Is this affordable implant dentist safe?

I went into an office that has a lot of ads out for affordable dental implants. My current dentist wants to charge by thousands of dollars to get my missing teeth replaced with dental implants. But I just haven’t moved forward because they are so darn expensive. So my curiosity won out and I went in for a consultation to this new dentist. Everyone I have talked to about this affordable dentist has told me it’s a terrible idea. They think I will be some kind of experiment or something and that it is a horror story waiting to happen. Is there any way I can tell if the implants he is placing are safe and if he is reputable?

– Sue in South Carolina

Sue,

The safety of the affordable dental implants you are considering is a multi-faceted topic. Of course, your friends and family are wise to recommend you proceed with caution. There are always malpractice suits occurring where dentists cut corners with dental implants in the quality of parts or shortcut healing times and they end up with loose implants, infection, or other horrifying complications.

But there are affordable dental implant options that are safe and may work for your individual situation. It is just difficult to give you recommendations without having seen your case. For example, dentists that offer affordable dental implants that are safe include, mini implants which are more affordable, all-on-fours, or even partial dentures or overdentures. These options are less expensive than traditional dental implants but not everyone is a candidate.

So what’s much more important is selecting the right, qualified implant dentist that you can trust. Ask about their credentials, how many implants they have placed, what their success rate is, etc. Ask to see and speak with cases that are similar to yours. It’s better to do your research now, then to end up with problems down the road. Inquire about the continuing education he or she has had. If it totals several hundred hours in implant dentistry, that will hopefully mean they are experienced. Also, a typical dental implant success rate would be 98%. So, don’t be bashful. Ask away.

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

Can’t get numb! It took me over 10 shots.

Have you ever heard of anyone taking twelve shots of Novocaine to get numb? This is insane! I had to get a tooth extracted and that’s how long it took for the area to numb. I ended up getting a bone spur near the extraction site too. My whole face hurts every time my tongue even gets close to the site. It toot them well over 45 minutes to remove the bone spur and now after a week has past, I feel this sharp ridge there. Is this normal? I have pretty much lost faith in this dentist through this traumatic ordeal!

– Linda in Nebraska

Linda,

That is definitely an ordeal, to say the least. Twelve shots of Novocaine may have been due to the dentist missing the tooth extraction site, but in actuality you were probably highly anxious. In some patients, increased or high anxiety or fear can actually inhibit the numbing agents to work properly.

For fearful patients which you may be now after this experience, you may be a candidate for nitrous oxide or sedation dentistry. It is quite surprising that the dentist didn’t offer this up after all the failed injections. For future reference, if that dentist doesn’t offer oral sedation, you may want to find a dentist in your area that does.

As for the bone spur, you didn’t mention if you returned to the dentist to have it removed. The dentist should have removed any large bone fragments that were a result of the extraction during the initial appointment. If the dentist missed it, then it could have turned pretty serious very quickly. As the site heals, sharp edges are not uncommon. After the tooth is gone, the gum tissue will heal over the socket and sometimes feels sharp. Keep an eye on it. It can be smoothed out or removed.

But honestly, after what you described, you may be best served with a second opinion. Good luck!

This post is sponsored by Cleveland dentist Hylan Dental Care.

Looking for cheap (good) dental implants.

I am really wanting to get dental implants but I cannot afford them based on the estimate I got. I am looking for cheap dental implants but still want a good product. Is there a middle-ground or any helpful hints?

– Jeff in Illinois

Jeff,

Please proceed with extreme caution in looking for cheap dental implants. Quite honestly, there is no such thing as good, cheap dental implants. In order to successfully place dental implants requires extensive training and education beyond dental school. Although, implant dentistry is not a regulated field within dentistry so any dentist can take a course here and there and call themselves an implant dentist.

There inlays the problem. You as a patient just see a cheaper option and think they know what they’re doing. But it takes a highly-skilled, precise hand to do them well. Nerve damage, impinged sinuses, broken dental implants, faulty materials, infections, the list goes on when you start looking into dental implant failure. And cutting corners on fees, is one of the biggest indicators you may want to steer clear of that dentist. So proceed with caution when searching for cheap dental implants.

Depending on your individual situation, you may want to shift your thinking into other affordable dental implant alternatives. For example, dental implants may be ideal and the best, permanent solution. But a partial denture, overdenture, or mini implants may be sufficient and end up saving you thousands of dollars. Or you may be able to work out an affordable payment plan to get the implants you desire.

It all starts with trusting your implant dentist. Research his or her credentials, ask about cases similar to yours, and inquire about their personal success rate. Generally speaking, implants have a very high success rate. But when you look at dentists that offer cheap dental implants, you’ll see red flags everywhere.

I hope this information was helpful. Remember, you may have other options. For your own well-being, be very careful when selecting an implant dentist based on fees.

This post is sponsored by Cleveland dentist Hylan Dental Care.

Freaked out about my dentist appointment!

I’ve always had really good teeth. Well, for whatever reason it’s been awhile since I’ve been to the dentist for a check-up and now I’m paying for it. I have four total cavities. The dentist is only going to do two the first time. I am only 13 years old so my mom won’t let them medicate me. Please help, I am freaking out!

– Meara in Ohio

Meara,

First, take a deep breath. Sometimes it’s the anticipation of the actual appointment that drives us nuts. The reality is that you shouldn’t feel anything.

Your fear is very real though and shouldn’t be scoffed at. Dentists genuinely really want to help people and cater to cowards everyday in their practices. The last thing they want to do is cause you pain. Most dentists are trained to deal with fearful patients and if the dentist is recommending you only get two done at a time, it sounds as if he or she is understanding that four at once may be more than you are able to tolerate.

The best thing you can do is be open and honest. Communicate how you are feeling. If your mother approves, you may be able to use nitrous oxide, a relaxant gas to help you relax. This is a mild form of sedation dentistry and is safe for teenagers and children. Then, after the injection of Novocaine, you won’t feel anything. If for some reason you thing you do during the treatment, raise your hand and let the dentist know right away. They will administer more Novocaine if needed. Good luck! Try to put it out of your mind. It will all be behind you sooner than you think.

This post is sponsored by Cleveland dentist Hylan Dental Care.

Can My Dentist Make My Dentures Look Better?

My teeth were so bad that when I got dentures, anything was an improvement. The dentist went on and on about how they look so beautiful and how my smile was dazzling. For awhile I thought they were okay, but the more I look at myself, I really don’t like them. They don’t look natural at all. The teeth are big and square-looking. They’re unnaturally white. I’m sure when people look at me, they can tell that I’m wearing dentures. Can the dentist fix them or do I just have to live with them the way they are? How do I approach the subject with him? I don’t want to be offensive or hurt his feelings, but I feel so depressed over the whole thing.

Sincerely,

Pat in Illinois

Dear Pat,

It takes an entire team to make a beautiful set of dentures. A lot of how they fit, as well as some of the aesthetics depends on what happens in the office between you and the dentist. Then, the dentist has to be able to communicate yours and his vision for the end product to a lab technician who makes the appliance. If any part of the communication fails or the people involved aren’t experienced, the end result is what you received.

It’s tough to say what went wrong with your treatment. It could be that they genuinely are beautiful, but if they don’t look beautiful to you, then it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks. After the fact, it’s incredibly difficult to make aesthetic adjustments, but it is possible to do some. The technician may be able to stain the teeth a slightly different color or reshape the edges of the teeth so that they look more natural to you.

Call the office and let the staff know what issues you have with the dentures. They’ll probably want you to come in for a consultation with the dentist to evaluate the issues and go over what changes can be made. Ultimately, it may come down to making an entire new set. Your dentist should be understanding about your preferences, especially if he normally does cosmetic work. It might help if you bring in a photo of yourself from before you got dentures so that they can see exactly what it is you feel like you’re missing.

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

Clear Choice was My Second Opinion- Do I Need a Third Opinion?

I wanted to have a couple of dental implants done, so I asked my own dentist about it. He quoted me a couple thousand dollars. I’ve been loyal to him for more than a decade and I go in every six months like clockwork. But I knew I wanted implants and couldn’t afford to get them done from him.

I’d heard a little about them, so I made an appointment for a second opinion from Clear Choice. I have to say, I was truly astounded at the way they do business there. I felt like I was on an assembly line, being shuffled around. Sure, they gave me a quote, but they also told me I have to have all these expensive gum treatments and they wanted a huge chunk of money up front in order for me to even schedule. It doesn’t make any sense, especially considering that my regular dentist didn’t say anything about my gums and I’ve always had healthy teeth. The ones I lost weren’t even decayed- I lost them in a car accident. Is it worth getting a third opinion or should I just resign myself to the fact that dental implants will always be out of my reach.

-Richard

Dear Richard,

Usually, a second opinion after Clear Choice gives a treatment plan is advisable. In this case, it doesn’t sound like you disagree with anything your regular dentist said, and that your main concern is affordability.

If what you truly want is dental implants and you want your dentist to do them, have a discussion with the office manager. Sometimes there’s a little bit of wiggle room, and the office manager is the best one to help you find it. Insurance might pick up a little, if you have coverage. The office might also be able to accept affordable dental payments, and the procedure is typically done in stages anyway. So, even if it sounds like a larger price tag, you can probably whittle it down into more manageable monthly installments. The office staff deals with budgets all the time, so be honest with them about where you stand and see if they can work some magic for you.

If you still can’t afford it, by all means, get another consultation, but beware of offices with ultra-low rates. There’s a reason why they can offer cheap implants, and it probably isn’t a good one.

This post is sponsored by Cleveland dentist Hylan Dental Care.

Two front teeth knocked out. Why is dental insurance calling dental implants cosmetic?

My two front teeth were knocked out in an ATV accident. When I went to the dentist, he recommended I get dental implants. He warned me that my dental insurance wouldn’t cover much of the fees. But I still think it’s the best treatment since I’m so young. The insurance company’s response is that dental implants are cosmetic. What is that supposed to mean? I mean missing two front teeth is more than a cosmetic issue in my opinion. This is nuts!

– Daniel in Oregon

Daniel,

You are correct that having teeth missing is definitely a functional issue. Here’s the deal with the cosmetic reference. The insurance company knows they need to be replaced, but they don’t always cover the best solution. If there is a lesser expensive treatment option that will meet the functional requirements, that is what they will help cover. They may cover the cost of a less expensive alternative, like a partial denture. Or they may cover a small portion of the implants. Although dental implants are the ideal treatment, that’s not the case in the eyes of your dental insurance. That is why they are referring to them as cosmetic.

A side note though, you need to get this taken care of sooner than later. If you put it off for any amount of time, the surrounding teeth may begin to slide into the empty space and there may be other complications.

Make sure your implant dentist is submitting a preauthorization or what is called a predetermination of benefits from the dental insurance company.  Dental implants are a major procedure so it would be in your best interest to get the insurance companies official determination on what they will or won’t cover. That way you can plan accordingly. The dentist may also be able to submit information stating the importance of the dental implants which may help your cause. Good luck!

This post is sponsored by Cleveland dentist Hylan Dental Care.

How’s better for a dental implant emergency – implant dentist or emergency dentist?

I think I’m having a dental implant emergency! It’s been about a year since I have been done with the whole dental implant process. Well, last week my jaw was real achy in that area, so I called my dentist. When I went in, he said there was no cause for concern. Well, he was sadly mistaken because when I was chewing something over the weekend I noticed a foul taste in my mouth. Sure enough there is nasty looking pus all around the implant. I think it feels loose too! Should I go back to the implant dentist or find an emergency dentist right away. Please help!

– Jana in Minnesota

Jana,

Oh no! You were right when you noticed something felt wrong. Even though it is the weekend it would be best to attempt calling the implant dentist first. It is possible he has a dental emergency line or voice mail system that he monitors after hours. If you don’t hear back right away there is nothing wrong in contacting an emergency dentist in your area. It definitely sounds like you have signs of infection. You definitely need to be seen as soon as possible.

Depending on the seriousness of the situation, antibiotics will likely be administered to address the infection. Also, they may try to place a splint on the dental implant if there is indeed a mobility issue. It’s hard to say specifically what is going on.

If you don’t hear back from your dentist, most emergency dentists will be able to respond appropriately. Although, an emergency dentist may not be able to provide a permanent fix, he or she can likely handle the immediate concern.

This post is sponsored by Cleveland dentist Hylan Dental Care.