Will my dental insurance cover dental implants?

I just found out that I am a candidate for dental implants and was wondering if my dental insurance will cover them?

– Paul from New York

Paul,

If you already have an existing dental insurance policy, it will usually help in the cost of dental implants. Most dental insurance plans will pay for the least expensive solution. Therefore, to replace missing teeth, your insurance will usually pay the amount toward a removable appliance of some kind. This could be a complete denture or a removable partial denture.  Unfortunately, removable appliances tend to be the most uncomfortable of all your options.

If you don’t already have dental insurance coverage, you may be thinking that since you need implants that you will buy some kind of dental insurance to help pay for them. I would be careful if this is the case. Most dental insurance companies may not take the bait if you are trying to take advantage of them in paying premiums and expecting coverage of dental implants.

Dental implants are still the best option to replace missing teeth. Hopefully you can find a way to afford them.

This post is sponsored by Cleveland Dentist Hylan Dental Care.

I really think my dentist gave me a lousy crown. What can I do?

My dentist placed a filling in one of back molars about a year ago, but afterward I would get pieces of food stuck between that tooth and the on in front of it because for some reason there was more of a gap. I oftentimes could get floss in between the teeth to get the food out but sometimes food would not come out.

My dentist recommended a crown which I just had the crown prep done on the 15th of August. During that crown prep the hygienist had me bite down, but because she didn’t tell me to hold the bite, the mold got messed up so she had to redo that one. On the next, I made sure to keep my bite down this time, but she told me to open too soon because the mold was not set yet and immediately i had to bite back down. She said let me see if Dr. ____ thinks this is okay.

I am concerned that the original mold was done incorrectly because now that the permanent crown is in my mouth, I have a pretty much flat tooth with no real cusps on the tooth and it feels incorrect when I bite down. There is also a bulge on the inside of my tooth by my gums like a bubble was formed from the rebite. I really don’t think that the dentist is willing to do much about it, but I am going to speak with him today again. Can this be fixed and is he liable to make it correct?
– Crystal from Wisconsin

Crystal,
It does indeed sound like there is a real problem with this crown, and that you need to get a second opinion.

Keep in mind that we haven’t seen the situation in your mouth ourselves and so I am relying entirely on what you are telling me, but what you are telling me makes sense, and it seems like something that can easily happen in a dental office.

What you are describing to me with the mold you were biting on sounds like the impression that the dentist takes in order to make the dental crown. This impression has to be absolutely accurate, because the crown has to fit the tooth precisely. If there is the slightest gap between the final crown and the tooth, that provides an opening where decay can enter, and it can also provide an irritant to the gum tissue. So if, when you opened your mouth the second time, if that was while the impression material was partially set, that impression would be distorted to one degree or another, and I’m confident Dr. Hylan would have discarded it and done it over.

The features of the crown that you are describing – the bulge on the inside by the gum, and the flat chewing surface, also do not sound healthy. I would need to look at this myself to make a correct judgment of the situation, but it is cause for me to question your treatment.

Also, the history that you are describing with this tooth – the filling a year ago that sounds like it didn’t make proper contact with the adjacent tooth, so it collected food between the teeth – that doesn’t give me much confidence in your dentist. And it makes me wonder if you really needed the crown. Maybe you did need the crown, but all these questions add up.

So yes, I would recommend getting a second opinion. I also would like to give you a piece of advice about getting a second opinion. The most accurate second opinions are what we would call “blind,” meaning that the dentist has no other information other than what he or she can perceive. So it’s best if the second dentist doesn’t know who did the work in the first place, and I would say as little as possible about the history. So I would get a recommendation of a good dentist and ask the dentist to look at this crown and give you an opinion about it. If the dentist presses you with questions about what happened, you can tell him or her that I told you not to give any history, but the dentist should just evaluate what he or she sees.

This blog is sponsored by Cleveland implant dentist Dr. Brad Hylan.
Links: read more about affordable Cleveland dentistry.

Not happy with treatment for missing tooth

I recently got a Snap-on smile and I must say that I am not happy with the result. I am missing one of my canines and my dentist told me to go with the Snap-on smile. I think it looks very fake and bulky. I am really disappointed. From what I can tell it is non-refundable which out of principle I feel like I should wear it even though it looks fake. Do you think I should have my dentist try again with a new mold? I’m embarrassed of this tooth gap and really want to feel good about my smile.

– Carolyn in Oregon

Carolyn,

Unfortunately your situation may be a good example of the fact that most dentists aren’t artistic. Simply put, they are trained to fix things. If you think your dentist will try to fix it, than it may be worth working with them to see if it can be improved. But you are correct in not expecting to be refunded.

A true cosmetic dentist is wired a bit differently than your average dentist. They have undergone additional training beyond dental school and are very passionate about making their patients feel completely satisfied with the way their smile looks. An excellent cosmetic dentist will be able to help you.

Although, if it’s the missing tooth that is the primary issue then there are other treatments that could do a lot more for your smile and self-concept. When you are missing one tooth or if you are missing several teeth, a partial flipper may be the way to go. This appliance snaps into place and replaces your missing tooth with a plastic tooth while your other teeth remain unaffected. There is nothing that covers them up. In some cases, a dentist may let you try the flipper out free of charge. Other options that may work for you are a dental implant or a dental bridge.

I hope you find something that gives you the smile you deserve and I hope this information was helpful.

Best of luck.

This post is sponsored by Cleveland implant dentist Hylan Dental Care.