Have Low Sinuses- How Do I Find the Best Implant Dentist?

I need to have a single tooth replaced and I saw an implant dentist about it close to a year ago now. He had me go through all kinds of tests, including a CT scan, and then surmised that it wouldn’t be an easy process for me. Apparently, my sinuses are lower than they are for most people, so the implant dentist wanted me to have some kind of surgery to lift it up higher, and then have bone grafting on top of that. All the preliminary work would have taken about a year and cost a mint- and that’s before we even get to the point where I can have the implant placed. A good friend of mine says that’s nonsense, that a good doctor can go through without all the preliminary work. How do I go about finding the best implant dentist, given my unique situation, so I can avoid having the extra stuff done?


Margo in New Mexico

Dear Margo,

It’s not really about finding an implant dentist who will go forward without the additional steps. Any doctor can do that. The problem is, any doctor can perforate your sinuses, too. If that happens, you’re  probably going to wind up having to start from scratch again and might have infections, pain, and other problems. If the doctor you saw had you go through the tests and the CT scan, and still determined that it was too risky to go forward without the sinus lift, then it’s really a bad idea to go forward with the traditional course of treatment.

You have a couple of options. One, of course, is to keep searching until you find someone who will do it the way you want it done. This is a choice you’re likely to regret. Alternatively, you can search for someone who does “mini implants.” They’re the same concept, but smaller. Many doctors use these for patients who wear dentures, to help keep the dentures in place better, but they don’t always use them for single teeth. You might want to seek someone out who already uses the minis and have a consultation, but don’t put pressure on the doctor either way. Give him the opportunity to propose the best solution for you. If the mini is an option that can save you the time and effort of the sinus lift, a dentist who places them on a regular basis will be able to tell fairly easily.

There is a possibility that you still won’t have enough bone and will still need the additional procedures, but at least you’ll be able to go forward knowing that you’ve checked with an expert implant dentist and are being offered the best solutions for your situation.

This post is sponsored by Cleveland dentist Hylan Dental Care.

Very Sick After Seeing the Sedation Dentist

I finally decided to overcome my dental anxiety and get my work done by a sedation dentist. I let stuff sit for far too long and had something wrong with just about every single tooth. The sedation dentist I saw was pretty good. He put me at ease and we came up with a strategy to take care of everything in four visits. I don’t know if I messed up or if I had a reaction to the medicine. I’ll admit it. I ate a candy bar the morning of my appointment. I wasn’t scheduled until noon and I was so hungry. I ate the candy bar around 9 thinking it wouldn’t be a problem by the time my appointment came around. But I got there and we started up and I was so sick. I literally threw up while I was in the chair and I was sick all afternoon. They asked me if I ate and I said no. I was afraid if I told them I ate that they’d stop and I wanted to finish. We got through the appointment but the sedation dentist wants to talk to me before my next visit. Should I fess up and tell him I ate? Will the refuse to treat me? Was that even the problem? Or, should I not say anything and just wait and see if they offer a different medication next time?


Sue in Texas

Dear Sue,

You’re really not supposed to eat before you see the sedation dentist. The medications used often make a person feel woozy to begin with, and when you eat, it’s a recipe for disaster. It’s not just the nausea that’s a problem, though. When you’re sedated, there’s always worry of aspiration; that you might breathe it back in. So, eating before any kind of sedation is not a good idea. There are quite a few doctors that won’t administer medication if they know you’ve eaten, just to ensure your safety.

Yes, you should tell the doctor that you ate. It will help him decide what medications are appropriate for you next time around. It’s highly unlikely that he’ll refuse to treat you again, though you’ll probably get a lecture on not eating before the appointment and they may ask you more than once if you’ve eaten when your next appointment comes around.

Your doctor needs all the facts in order to keep you safe and provide you with the best possible care. Sometimes that might mean postponing a visit, but you should know that it’s not a “punishment.” It’s because he genuinely cares about your well-being.

This post is sponsored by Cleveland dentist Hylan Dental Care.

Why is there a Disparity in Clear Choice Reviews?

I’ve been reading Clear Choice reviews and I’m not sure what to make of them. I’m hoping to get a little advice. I’ve had a bridge on my lower left side for 40 years—if that tells you anything about my age. Ha! It was replaced once about 20 years ago and has served me well, but at my last check up the doc told me it was done for. One of the teeth holding it up has decay and it can’t be saved. The doc gave me a list of options. He was really pushing for one or two dental implants to replace the teeth or redo the bridge, but he also said I could go with a partial denture—yuck! I’m not that old yet! Or, he can make a really long bridge, but he’s not really crazy about the idea or sure about how long it will last. In my research, I came across some Clear Choice reviews. Some people seem really happy with what they had done and other people experienced nightmares. Shouldn’t it be consistent with the same outfit? Any idea why there’s a disparity? I was considering having a consult with them just so I can say I was diligent, but I’ll steer clear if there’s something happening there.

Many Thanks,

Gloria in Minnesota

Dear Gloria,

Clear Choice reviews are a mixed bag because the experiences people have are not consistent. When they do well, people are naturally satisfied, but when they don’t do well, it can wreak havoc on someone’s whole life.

The biggest problem people seem to have is that they handle dental care in a standardized fashion, almost like an assembly line. It’s tough to get quality results if people aren’t treated like the unique individuals they are. Your teeth are one-of-a-kind, just like your fingerprints, so your treatment should be chosen based on what’s best for you.

If you’re simply trying to be diligent, you may have a better experience if you seek out an individual practitioner, rather than a chain. Naturally, you’ll want to check out the doctor’s reputation before scheduling as well. However, it sounds like you have a good relationship with your current dentist and that you trust him. If this is the case, there’s probably no need to get a second opinion. You’re already in an office that treats you well and that will see you through, even after the dental implants procedure is done. That’s something certain chain offices can’t touch.

This post is sponsored by Cleveland dentist Hylan Dental Care.

My tooth is crumbling, I think it’s a dental emergency.

My tooth is literally breaking down and crumbling into nothing. I think this would qualify as a dental emergency. I have a follow-up appointment next week, since I had a recent root canal treatment. But I think I need to get in for an emergency dental appointment. Everything was ok when I left after the dentist put in a temporary filling. But when I was eating last night, I could hear crunching like bits of my tooth were coming off into my food. It freaked me out! The dentist told me the tooth might break if the crown wasn’t done soon, but next week was as soon as he would get me back in. I’m afraid my tooth will continue breaking off if I don’t get in soon. Do you know if I should try to get in for an emergency dentist appointment?

-Morgan in Tennessee


This is a good question. But hopefully, you will not need an emergency dentist appointment. Since you recently had a root canal done, it sounds like it is quite possible that the temporary filling has come out. When you look at the tooth, can you see if it’s the center of the tooth or the area where the filling once was? If it’s only that section that is showing, it is only the filling portion that has been dislodged and you should be able to return for the crown as planned. Usually, a dental emergency is for individuals that are in pain, after hours. If indeed it was the temporary filling that came out, you can go to your local drug store and purchase some temporary filling material until your next appointment. If so, be careful eating sticking or very crunchy foods until the permanent crown is in place.

If you determine that part of the tooth has broken off, you need to call into your doctor’s emergency number. If it’s after hours, you can likely leave a message and someone will return your call. Regardless, it would be wise to contact your dentist in the morning to explain the situation. They will be able to advise you on the best next steps.

This post is sponsored by Cleveland dentist Hylan Dental Care.

What caused dental implants to fall out?

I was looking forward to getting dental implants, but after seeing what my cousin has been dealing with, I’m not so sure. She had dental implants done about 10 years ago. She was very happy with them and was always recommending them to me to replace my missing teeth. All was great, until recently she found a lump under one of them. It was on her gums. When she went to get it checked at the dentist, he told her that the dental implant failed. How does that all the sudden happen? Apparently, she also had bone loss and an infection. I’m scared to move forward with them now.

-Sandra in Ohio


Based on what you have described, it sounds like your friend has peri-implantitis. This condition is quite rare. Usually this type of issue surfaces right after the permanent crown is placed. But in some cases, it develops years down the road. There are some symptoms that may have been better indicators to your cousin, like bad breath or a very bad taste in her mouth. Both of those would have been from the infection. When the infection goes untreated, the bone starts to dissolve. And now she is probably going to have some major problems.

Do you know if your cousin kept up with her regular check-ups. The implant dentist that placed them should have detected this problem much sooner than now. If it was found earlier, the dental implant might not have failed.

You shouldn’t avoid dental implants because of her bad experience. Although, you need to learn from it and keep up with regular appointments and cleanings. Also, smoking should also be avoided. Smokers are at higher risk of developing peri-implantitis.

When selecting your implant dentist, be sure to check their credentials. Ask them if you are at risk for a condition like this and also ask to see cases similar to yours. Inquire about their experience and success rate with dental implants. When they are done properly and taken care of, they are a permanent solution that look, feel and function just like natural teeth.

Good luck!

This post is sponsored by Cleveland dentist Hylan Dental Care.

I’m looking for an affordable dentist.

I don’t want to divulge too much information. But I am a survivor of domestic violence. I suffered a lot of trauma to the face which broke off several of my teeth. I can’t get a job because my appearance isn’t normal, to say the least. Is there a way to find an affordable dentist for someone like me? If I can get my teeth fixed, I think my chances will increase to find work.

-Anonymous in Texas

Dear Anonymous,

So sorry to hear about the horrendous situation you have suffered through. It sounds like you are out of that situation and are indeed a survivor. Hopefully, getting the dental care you need will help you find a job.

Here are some tips when looking for an affordable dentist, especially as they pertain to someone that is a domestic violence survivor.

  • Have you asked at your local women’s shelter or domestic abuse center? Often times, these programs will help women transition back into the working world. There may be an agency that would help or even cover your dental work. Or they may have arrangements in place with local employers to help individuals like you.
  • You could look into seeking treatment at a dental school. It wouldn’t be free of charge, but the dental care would be much more affordable than you’d find in a general dentistry practice. Keep in mind, these students would still be in training, but there would be a licensed professional supervising and assisting as needed.
  • Many dentists offer affordable dentistry by making various payment plans available to patients with financial constraints. CareCredit is a zero percent down plan, that offers no interest for six months to a year. That may be an option until you are back on your feet.

Best of luck to you as you begin this new chapter in your life. I hope you are involved in a local support group and have support from your family to continue in your recovery. Thank you for your question.

This post is sponsored by Cleveland dentist Hylan Dental Care.

Will a Sedation Dentist Do All My Work at Once?

I’m scared of the dentist so I don’t get in very often. When I saw a general dentist and was told that I need five root canals, crowns on all of those, two more crowns, and a handful of fillings. They also told me that if I do whitening now, they can make everything match. I’m really excited about having a nice smile again, but I’m not so thrilled about all that time in the chair and all the appointments. The doctor I saw broke everything up into dozens of appointments, but I wonder if a sedation dentist could get most or all of it done at once. If so, how would I go about finding a sedation dentist who can do it all?


Jared in Wisconsin

Dear Jared,

A sedation dentist can do a lot in one sitting, but probably not everything. For starters, your in-office whitening probably isn’t worth seeing a sedation dentist unless you have dental anxiety. This appointment alone will probably take you 90 minutes at the very least, and could be as much as 2 hours, but it’s not invasive and there’s no drilling. So, unless being in the chair bothers you, this will be an easy visit, but you’ll also need to allow some time between this and the other work to allow the color to stabilize so you can be sure everything is a perfect match.

When you get into the root canals, the best way to save time is to have them done by a root canal specialist, also called an endodontist. Some endodontists are sedation dentists, so just check around to see who is. When you see a specialist for those, it can literally cut your time in the chair in half, but it’ll still take about an hour per tooth and most people max out at about four hours in the chair, even at the sedation dentist. Molars will also take more time, simply because there are more roots to treat.

There’s a good chance that the crowns and fillings could be done in one visit, but each office sets its own limits as to how much they’ll tackle at once. Some will only work on one quadrant, or corner of your mouth, in each visit, but others will work on the whole arch, or the whole mouth. Some of this will be determined by the extent of the decay, too. It’ll obviously take more time to repair three surfaces of a tooth than it will to do one small one.

You can do an online search to see who can help, and then just ask what their policy is for how much they’ll do in one visit. It’s not a good idea to choose exclusively based on the number of visits. You’ll want to make sure that the office has a good track record, too, but it’s a good place to start.

This post is sponsored by Cleveland dentist Hylan Dental Care.

Why Did My Dental Implant Fall Out?

I wanted to have a dental implant done, but I found the prices here in the US were too expensive. Someone referred me to a dentist in Mexico and he seemed ok, so I went ahead and had the procedure done there. Everything seemed fine. We got through the surgery ok and the healing process went fine, but then it started to feel loose. I made the trip back to Mexico and the doctor said it was just the crown that was loose, and that he’d be able to take it off and re-cement it. Instead, he pulled the whole dental implant out. He offered to redo it, but I’m more than a little worried, since I still don’t understand why it came out in the first place. Was it just because he pulled too hard?


Brandon in Texas

Dear Brandon,

Your dental implant should have been rock solid if it was healthy. Pulling on it would not have made any difference at all. When it’s healthy, it’ll integrate fully with the bone. So, the real question is why it was loose to begin with.

Based on the timeline, it sounds like the crown may have been placed too soon. If it hasn’t had time to fully integrate, the pressure from biting will cause it to become loose and cause the dental implant to fall out. There’s no set timeline on how long it takes for one to integrate. For some people, it’s around a year, but it could take more or less time. An infection could have also caused the problem, but since you didn’t report any pain or other symptoms of infection, it seems unlikely.

The other possibilities typically include issues in how the dental implant was placed. Perhaps the implant, itself, wasn’t sturdy enough or cheap “parts” were used. It could have been that there wasn’t enough bone as well, in which place a skilled dentist would have recommended bone grafting before the procedure.

At this point, a new dental implant can’t simply be placed. You’ll probably need bone grafting done to fill the hole and that will have to heal before you can have a new one placed. Going forward, this is not something you want the same dentist to do for you. It’s far better to have it done in the US, where there are quality guidelines and standards in place. The same thing could have happened here, but it’s highly unlikely and you would have recourse. With the care being done in Mexico, you’re largely at the mercy of the dentist, and that isn’t a good situation to be in, especially with what you’ve already endured.

This post is sponsored by Cleveland dentist Hylan Dental Care.

What Brand Does the Best Implant Dentist Use?

I have had a few consultations as I try to find the best implant dentist and I’m astounded at the number of choices out there. One of them made a point of telling me what brand he used, as if it was some sort of a big deal. I think he called it “3i.” I asked the next guy about it and he seemed rather indifferent, so I’m wondering if I should be looking for a specific brand with the best implant dentist, or if the other guy just preferred it because it’s easier to get parts for or something. What should I be looking for here?


Bill in California

Dear Bill,

Choosing the best implant dentist has very little to do with what specific brand he uses, though it probably should be on your radar anyway. Kudos to you for picking up on the difference.

3i is one of the most well-known and trusted brands, but there are a few of them out there, like Traumann, Nobel Biocare, Astrotech, BioHorizons, and Zimmer. The reasons why these dental implant brands are worth mentioning is that they have a track record for producing quality products and they have excellent quality-control methods in place. When you’re looking for the best implant dentist, he will choose quality parts and will be proud to tell you where he gets them from. There are many places a doctor can get supplies from, and these parts can range anywhere from a few dollars to over $100. Some doctors will try to save a few bucks by getting parts from an overseas vendor with little to no quality control, which is scary, because this will be inside your body and become integrated with your bone. If the right parts are chosen to begin with, replacing them won’t be a concern, though any of the brands mentioned earlier are easy enough to get stock from.

Your biggest tip-off in finding the best implant dentist is looking for someone with a good track record. He should have a high success rate on this. The procedure averages out to more than 98% successes across the board. If your doctor dips much below this, then there’s probably something off about his skill or the parts he’s using. You can ask him what his track record is and even check online for reviews. Even the best implant dentist will have a couple of cases that didn’t go right- it can happen through no fault of the doctor or the patient, and the number of difficult cases should be proportionate to the number of cases he has seen. So, you should expect some rough patches from someone who only performs this procedure, but if he doesn’t do it regularly and has a tough track record, you will want to choose someone else.

This post is sponsored by Cleveland dentist Hylan Dental Care.

I get so nervous about going to the dentist!

I know this is silly. I just need to find a way to get over it. But I can’t! I hate the dentist. I never had a bad experience or anything. I just get terribly nervous and anxious when it comes time for a dentist appointment. My family dentist that I grew up with helped make me relax and feel comfortable. But after he retired, I’ve not found anyone that even comes close. Do you have any insight on how I can find the right dentist for someone like me?

-Becky in Michigan


First, let’s all take a deep breath. You are not alone when it comes to dental anxiety. It is very common to be nervous and anxious about going to the dentist. Here are some great key words to google that may help you find a dentist that better understands your anxiety; gentle dentist, cater to cowards dentist or sedation dentistry.

If a practice markets for these types of patients or offers those services, they will be geared toward serving fearful or anxious patients. These types of practices generally go out of their way to make patients feel welcomed and relaxed. They may feel more serene and take the extra time to explain procedures and ensure you are comfortable.

A sedation dentist may be a good fit for you. These practices are motivated by helping fearful patients get the care they need. They may offer treatments like nitrous oxide or oral sedation. It sounds like mild anxiety is what you are dealing with, so you may not require oral sedation. But if you are interested, most sedation dentistry patients report remembering very little if anything about their appointment. It simply involves take a prescribed medication prior to the appointment.

Thank you for your questions. Hopefully this helps you.

This post is sponsored by Cleveland dentist Hylan Dental Care.