Frequently Asked Questions

Below are some of the most frequently asked questions patients have about implant and general dentistry. For an in-depth explanation of dental implant treatment, please view our video presentation by clicking on the icon.

If you have other questions or would like to schedule a personal consultation with Dr. Mills, please call our office at 843-293-6700.

What is implant dentistry?
With today’s advanced technology, traditional crowns, bridges, and dentures are no longer your only options for replacing missing teeth. Dental implants are becoming more and more popular because of their natural look, feel, and function. Implants can be the best solution to the problem of missing teeth because they integrate into the structure of your bone, preventing the bone loss and gum recession that often accompanies traditional bridgework and dentures. Now through modern dentistry, you have an alternative to “false teeth.”

How much do implants cost?
Implant fees vary considerably according to each patient’s dental condition and requirements. We will be able to provide you with specific fees for treatment after your examination appointment.

Does insurance cover implants?
Some insurance carriers help with the fees required for implant dentistry. It depends on your particular insurance policy. We do not typically recommend making decisions regarding your necessary dental treatment based on what insurance pays.

How long does implant treatment take?
Depending on your needs, treatment and healing times can range from 5 – 18 months. Dr. Mills will be better able to answer this question after your examination appointment.

How long do implants last?
With proper care, maintenance, and continued good health, your implants should serve you for many years, possibly the rest of your life. However, there is no way we can predict complications in the future.

What is a general dentist (D.D.S. or D.M.D.)?
Upon graduation from dental school, to become a general dentist, a dentist is awarded either a D.D.S. or a D.M.D. degree:

D.D.S. = doctor of dental surgery
D.M.D. = doctor of dental medicine

There is no difference between the two degrees – both dentists have received the same education and completed the same curriculum requirements set by the American Dental Association's Commission on Dental Accreditation. The difference is merely semantics – some institutions award a D.M.D. degree while others award a D.D.S. degree. Generally, three or more years of undergraduate college education, plus four years of dental school is required to graduate and become a general dentist. State licensing boards accept either degree as equivalent, and both degrees allow licensed individuals to practice the same scope of general dentistry.

Do all general dentists perform the same dental services?
Although general dentists are licensed to practice all areas of dentistry, not all choose to do so. Many general dentists practice select procedures only and refer their patients out to other offices for procedures, such as periodontal therapy, root canals, implants, wisdom tooth extractions, and other oral surgery. Our office is unique in that Dr. Mills has advanced training, experience, and desire to perform most procedures in-house, thus preventing his patients from the inconvenience of having to see multiple providers.

How do you treat patients with a high anxiety level and fear of dental treatment?
Dental anxiety and fear keep many people from getting regular dental checkups and treatment. Sedation dentistry offers a means of overcoming this excessive stress. Whether due to sensitive teeth, negative experiences in the past, a gag reflex, or general dislike for the smells and tastes present during dental treatment, sedation dentistry will enable you to be totally relaxed during your treatment. Using oral medication or an IV, Dr. Mills administers a sedative tranquilizer and pain reliever, which allows you to have a relaxed, pain-free experience.