Deal of the Day Says 67% Off Dental Implants. Too Good to Be True?

I recently received a deal-of-the day e-mail that offered me 67% off the price of my dental implants.  I received a quote from my dentist a couple of months ago and was told I could expect to pay a few thousand dollars. This deal sounds too good to be true. I want to know how this dentist can afford to cut his rates so much. I’m really tempted to book an appointment just to find out. Don’t get me wrong, I love my dentist, but if I can make my dental implants much more affordable by switching for just this one procedure, it’s worth it.

Thanks,

Mark in Arizona

Dear Mark,

Most people know the phrase, “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.”  That phrase rings true for most of the deal-of-the-day specials like the one you received.  Not only is the dentist promising you 67% off, but the company distributing the offer on his behalf usually takes 50% of his profits.  So, if the normal charge for a single dental implant is $2000, the affordable price they offer you is just $660, of which, the dentist only receives $330.

A dentist who uses high-quality fixtures for dental implants that have been approved by the ADA and FDA can pay anywhere between $300-$500 for each one.  IF he chooses one of the high quality fixtures, he may be left with $30 to spend on your treatment and that doesn’t include the cost of the “tooth” that goes on top of the implant, any additional materials, his time or the time of his staff.  So, how can a dentist afford to provide an offer like this?

There are many techniques a dentist might use to be able to cut his rates so drastically.  It’s possible he’s using lesser quality materials.  He can offer a slightly different procedure.  (Perhaps you think you’re getting traditional implants when you’re actually getting mini implants.)  He can artificially increase his rates for the special to make it look like you’re getting a good deal when in reality, the discount is much lower.  He can accept a loss of income on your procedure and hope that you continue on at his practice so he can recoup his losses.  Or, he can add any number of stipulations into the fine print.

While it’s possible the advertisement is not deceptive in some way, be very wary of offers like these and make sure you know exactly what you’re getting for the price they offer, as well as any additional costs you may incur.  It may seem like a good deal to start, but if you’re left with additional expenses or a failing implant, the costs add up quickly. There is a different between a good deal and cheap dental implants that have the risk for infection or falling out. Be careful and do your research!

This post is sponsored by Cleveland dentist Hylan Dental Care.

My dental implant is darker than my other teeth and whitening isn’t working.

It has been a couple of years since I had my dental implant placed to replace a missing tooth. It used to match the surrounding teeth in my mouth but now it is getting much darker. I have been whitening my teeth but nothing is happening to the color of the implant. It continues to be much darker than my other teeth. Do you know if there is a different teeth whitening product I can use to fix it?

– Rhonda in Illinois

Rhonda,

Sorry to hear that you aren’t happy with the look of your dental implant. Unfortunately, there really isn’t any tooth whitening agent or whitening system that is a simple solution to your issue. Typically, it is always good to have your teeth whitened prior to getting a dental implant or a  porcelain restoration. That is mainly because porcelain will not whiten. But it also shouldn’t change color either because it is highly stain resistant.

Since there is discoloration occurring with your dental implant, it is possible that the seal wasn’t properly executed. So the color wasn’t sealed in which means that the porcelain is susceptible to stains. A dentist can darken a crown, but lightening it is not an option. Take home whitening products will also not work, even though the surrounding teeth may appear lighter. But continuing with the at home whitening systems will only make the implant appear darker, since the surrounding teeth are lightening.

It’s unfortunate that your dental office didn’t discuss this matter with you prior to getting the implant placed. At this point, in order to achieve a uniform color for all your teeth, the porcelain crown (which sits on top of the implant) will need to be replaced. If you decide that you would like to move forward with that, then you should give your surrounding teeth a couple of weeks to stabilize so the color can be matched. It would also be wise to consult with a cosmetic dentist this time around. The porcelain crown can be made to match your surrounding teeth perfectly and an experienced cosmetic dentist will be able to create a beautiful restoration.

Sorry that there isn’t a quick fix out there at the moment. Hopefully this post explains what has happened.

This post is sponsored by Cleveland dentist Hylan Dental Care.

I have a toothache on a Saturday!

Why do dental emergencies always happen on the weekend? Ugh! I woke up to this throbbing, terrible toothache and of course it’s Saturday. My dentist is not open today. Do you think I should just tough it out until Monday during normal business hours? Or is this an urgent issue that needs to be addressed right away?

– Beth in Texas

Beth,

Unfortunately, dental emergencies don’t always fit into normal business hours.  The main factor is pain. If your toothache is affecting normal eating and sleeping, then you need to be seen by an emergency dentist as soon as possible. This is because the sooner you get in, the faster and likely more economical your toothache can be remedied.  Even if you can’t get into your dentist on Saturday, it is possible they have an after-hours number you can at least call and discuss your symptoms.

If your dentist does not accommodate any kind of dental emergency, you can always google “emergency dentist” in your geographic area and will likely find someone that will see you right away. It may be wise to make a phone call and they can help you determine whether or not you can wait it out.

Good luck to you on getting this taken care of right away!

This post is sponsored by Cleveland dentist Hylan Dental Care.

What Dr. Oz said about Thyroid Cancer & X-rays

Not sure where I saw it but I came across this Dr. Oz clip that was correlating an increase in thyroid cancer and dental x-rays. It was mainly documenting that women were showing the increase. Does that mean we should avoid dental x-rays? What do you think?

– Loretta in North Carolina

Loretta,

Cancer is a hot button it seems and can easily scare the public, which is understandable. But we must further investigate and research the facts between the alleged correlation. We don’t need patients to be scared of the dentist over the possibility of an x-ray.

If you look deeper, you will learn that thyroid cancer in women is actually very low at approximately three percent of all types of cancers, only one percent with men, and about one and a half percent in kiddos.

If you examine the time frame between 1980-2007, you will notice that thyroid cancer numbers did increase up to 100,000 annually for women. This is a relatively noticeable increase, but we must remember how much technology has advanced during this same time period. The advances in early cancer detection are increasing everyday, so we need to take that into account when calculating these updated percentages.  Also, 87% of these new cases that have been diagnosed likely would not have been found without this sophisticated technology. It is also important to realize that the American Cancer Society has not seen an increase in thyroid cancer deaths. In fact almost all, approx 97% of diagnosed patients survive.

So when a correlation is attempted between dental x-rays and thyroid cancer, it is also important to realize that it is the cumulative radiation exposure that is the problem. In order to support good dental health, it is vital that x-rays are used in the diagnostics. Problems can be detected early on and taken care of before they turn into most complex problems. Tumor or abscesses, small cavities, and other dental problems can be addressed early with very minimal radiation exposure.

There are precautions that need to be taken at every oral hygiene appointment. During dental x-rays, these precautions include use of fast speed or digital film, as well as a thyroid collar and apron should always be worn by the patient. In fact, digital x-rays are the preferred option because they allow 75% less radiation exposure. The frequency of dental x-rays should be examined on an individual basis and if you are ever concerned, speak up. Communication is key in any type of dental procedure or treatment.

This post is sponsored by Cleveland dentist Hylan Dental Care.

Related link: oral cancer screenings

Tooth popped off my denture.

I wear a full denture on my top arch. I am very good about cleaning it; however, while doing so yesterday I dropped it in the sink, breaking one of the teeth off. The tooth is intact, so is there anything on my own I can do to repair it? I cannot afford to have a new one made!

– Richard in Colorado

Richard,

Oh yes, the good ole’ “can I fix it myself” question. I would not recommend you try to repair a cracked or broken denture. That can actually do more harm than good. Whatever you do, do not grab crazy glue or any type of glue substance. Most denture teeth are made of a certain type of plastic that will stick directly to the base of the denture. It is important not to try to glue it in yourself, as who knows what chemicals you are placing in your mouth. Not to mention, an ill-fitting denture can cause irritation and sores, which can be the case if you try to glue a tooth in it yourself. Trying to fix it yourself can lead to a whole set of other denture problems. It’s is best to bring it back to your dentist and let them advise you on the best course of treatment. If your dentist cannot make the repair themselves, they will likely send it back to the lab, and work with them to repair it at minimal cost.

Try not to panic; these things happen all the time. Remember, an apparently simple fix, may not be that simple and is often done incorrectly. In this case, you want the professional repair!

This post is sponsored by Cleveland dentist Hylan Dental Care.

Are dentures my only choice?

My mom is getting up in years and her teeth are in bad shape. She has such a fear of being this old lady with dentures falling out. Is this the only option to replace teeth?

– Sandra in California

Sandra,

Although, a complete set of dentures is what typically comes to mind for most people when they are missing teeth, there are a few options.

Dental implants are the most natural-looking, permanent solution to missing teeth. They are surgically implanted into the jawbone and act just like normal teeth do. They prevent facial collapse (a bone loss condition) that occurs with individuals that don’t have teeth. And they are secure so your mother wouldn’t have to be concerned about them moving around or coming out at embarrassing times. She would be able to eat, chew, and talk normally.

But if dental implants are too pricey, there are two types of dentures, the complete denture or partial denture. If you find the right dentist, you would be surprised at just how lifelike they can look.

If complete dentures are the route you end up going for your mother, there are the conventional type of dentures that requires a significant healing period of two to three months. Or immediate dentures are actually placed the same day the teeth are removed. There may be a couple more office visits to properly fit and re-fit the dentures, but this immediate denture option means that your mother wouldn’t have any time that goes by without any teeth.

Partial dentures are an option for patients that still have some natural teeth remaining. The false teeth are held in place with a metal framework that is secured in place by the existing teeth. There is also a pink colored base portion of the appliance which mimics the natural gum color. This option is a good solution if your mom still has natural teeth because it will help to maintain the position of her natural teeth and allow her to keep them. This will also help to stabilize the partial denture.

As you can see, there are definitely several legitimate options to replace missing teeth. The key is to find the right dentist that will explain the pros and cons of each treatment for your mom’s specific needs. If a dentist just wants to remove all the teeth and move on, you may want to keep looking. This is a major decision, so do your research and consider all your options. Also, keep in mind that any type of denture does require maintenance and adjusting the fit, as well as relining every five years or so.

Hopefully this helped to answer your question.

This post is sponsored by Cleveland dentist Hylan Dental Care.

Related link: problems with dentures

 

I chipped my tooth with my tongue ring. Is this an emergency?

Overnight while I was sleeping, my tongue ring must have chipped one of my front teeth. I have no idea how, but when I work up I noticed a small chip. It doesn’t hurt really. Do you think this is need to get in for an emergency dentist appointment? My next check-up isn’t for several months. Do you think it will get worse if I leave it?

– Tristan in Ohio

Tristan,

Tongue rings are known wreaking havoc on teeth. Damage occurs while sleeping, chewing, talking, really anytime you have a metal object in your mouth there is potential to unconsciously knock it against your teeth.

If you remove the tongue ring then it really shouldn’t get worse. So you probably don’t have a dental emergency on your hands, unless you start to notice some pain or sensitivity.  Again, it would be recommended to take the tongue ring out before this happens again.

Other issues from patients that have tongue rings in addition to broken teeth are gum disease, infection, sores, bad breath, and gum recession. Another thing you may not have thought of is that tongue rings are choking hazard.

But from what you have described, your small chip on a front tooth sounds more like an aesthetic issue at this point. So it should not require emergency care.  When you go into the dentist, the chip or crack will likely be filled with a white composite bonding materiel to repair the tooth.

Teeth whitening may be something you consider when the time comes for the tooth to be repaired, so that the composite material matches the color of your surrounding teeth. Actually, you can get your teeth whitened prior to the repair and then the bonding material can be matched to your new tooth color.

So for the time being, you are probably in the clear as long as you don’t notice any other issues including, pain or throbbing, a constant bad taste, sores or blisters. If any of those symptoms occur, call your dentist right away so it doesn’t turn into a more serious and invasive treatment.

This post is sponsored by Cleveland dentist Hylan Dental Care.

 

Could my bad breath and my dental implant be related?

I haven’t had a very good experience with the placement of my dental implant. In addition to the regular appointments, my case required grafting. The crown also had to be re-done because there was an infection that kept turning up. Everything feels okay now, but I have this terrible breath lately. I was wondering if it would be correlated in any way with the problems with my dental implant. I can’t stand my bad breath and I’m getting paranoid that others can smell it, that’s how bad it is. I switched toothpastes and tried a new mouthwash, but nothing is helping. When I was in for a follow-up with my dentist, he said it was good. Have you ever heard of this? Do you think I need to seek a second opinion?

– Becky in Maryland

Becky,

Sounds like you have had a tough go with your dental implant treatment. Thank you for sharing your story. It is always good to be vocal about your experience, because it may potentially help another patient. It also reinforces the importance of selecting an expert implant dentist. One that doesn’t try to cut corners and has the credentials to prove it.

Seeing that you have had some issues with the placement of the implant, the infection, and also a re-cement of your crown, it may be time to seek a second opinion. Ongoing infection can typically be a warning sign that something isn’t right. So it wouldn’t hurt to seek an independent opinion. When you go in to see the new dentist, don’t tell him or her everything that’s happened from day one. Have them make an independent observation and give recommendations based on what they are witnessing. This way you know they are not swayed by your frustration.

Dental implant failure is very serious. So make sure you see an implant dentist that is qualified, has placed hundreds of implants, and can properly diagnose the situation. Or hopefully he or she will be able to confidently rule out the potential failure and help to determine the cause of your bad breath.

Unfortunately, the bad taste you are experiencing could mean the cause of the dental implant problems have not been properly addressed. The reoccurring infection may be tied to this as well.

Again, thank you for sharing your story. Best of luck!

This post is sponsored by Cleveland dentist Hylan Dental Care.