How Do I Get My Dentist Nominated for Best Dentist

I have found the best dentist in the whole wide world and that is no overstatement. I have been to many dentists and have never had service like this one. Is there a way I can get him nominated for best dentist?


Dear Chelsey,


I’m so excited that you have found a great dentist. There’s no feeling in the world  like having a care giver you trust.  There isn’t a national best dentist database or anything. However, sometimes cities run a family favorites kind of vote for their local magazine. They’ll have best dentist, best doctor, best dance studio; things like that.

There are two really great things you can do for your dentist though.

First, go to the different review sites, such as Google or Yelp and write a fantastic review for them.  More and more people are relying on these sites when they need to find a new practitioner.

Second, write the dentist a note letting them know how you felt about your visit. I promise it will make his day and really give him a lift.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. Brad Hylan.

Are Dental Implants Worth the Cost?

I’ve got to replace a tooth. I’ve been looking at my options. The two best (from what I’ve read), seem to be dental implants and a dental bridge. There is a big price difference between the two. Are dental implants really worth the price difference?

Elle N. – Oregon


It’s good you’re doing your research. Both are good treatments. You’re asking if the cost of dental implants are worth paying more.  I can tell you they’re definitely worth the cost, simply because they are the closest thing to having your natural teeth back.

It replaces your tooth root and places a crown, which replaces you from losing bone structure in your jaw. The bridge only places crowns.

However, if either of the adjacent teeth need a crown, a bridge might be a more reasonable choice. The bridge crowns the teeth on either side of the missing tooth and bonds a false tooth between them.

Which you get really depends on what you’re looking for and what your situation is with your mouth. Either will work well for you.  Most people, who can afford it, prefer dental implants, because it feels like natural teeth.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. Brad Hylan.



Where Can I Get Clear Choice Second Opinion?

I’m curious about getting Clear Choice second opinions. I am missing several teeth on my lower jaw, but they’re in pairs. Two on the left in back, then another two closer to the front, and another two in the same spot on the other side. They told me I wasn’t a candidate for their regular thing that they advertise and wanted me to replace every single tooth with a dental implant, to the tune of $20,000.  They wanted me to commit to it right then and there, but that’s a whole lot of money, so I told them I’d need to think about it. Now I’m wondering if this is really my only option. Is there a place that specializes in giving Clear Choice second opinions? If so, how do I go about finding one and what should I tell them about my initial quote? Is it better if they do it blindly or know what my prior experience was like?




In your case, I would definitely recommend a second opinion. I’m not a fan of removing healthy teeth. If all your teeth were in bad shape, then they might have a case, but if your other teeth are healthy, it just sounds like they’re trying to fit you into their procedure.

When getting a second opinion, you generally don’t want to mention the other dentist or their recommendations, just in case they know each other. Sometimes it is hard for one dentist to go contrary to the opinion of another dentist, especially if they know one another. You won’t really have to worry about that with Clear Choice, because that is a different situation.

When it comes to replacing your teeth, there really are many options.

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Were We Discriminated Against Based On Appearance at Clear Choice?

We went to a Clear Choice for a scan. They had us fill out paperwork, including financial. We waited for a while. Eventually a woman came out and said we didn’t need this procedure and it’s really expensive. We hadn’t even had an examination. How could they determine what we didn’t need?  I think we were discriminated against. We came straight from work and were a little worse for wear. We work blue collar jobs, so our clothes were pretty dirty.

August M. – Ohio


My guess is that your credit was denied. It’s possible they decided, based on your appearance, they didn’t feel you could afford the services without the credit. However, I’m surprised they didn’t at least talk to you about the situation. It’s certainly not professional behavior.

Whenever you are turned down for credit you applied for, you are legally entitled to receive a credit report explaining the reasons for denial. I would ask Clear Choice to send you a letter indicating that you were turned down. You should be able to use that to get a free copy of your credit report.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. Brad Hylan.

Dental Insurance Isn’t Making Dental Implants Affordable

I was really surprised at how little my dental insurance was willing to pay for my dental implants. I honestly expected them to cover half.  It’s not even close. Is there any way to afford these implants?

Sienna – South Dakota


Dental Insurance rarely goes as far as people hope, but that doesn’t mean you can’t afford dental implants.

The first thing I’d do is have your dental office run a pre-authorization. It may turn out that they’ll end up covering more than you think.

However, if what is left is still feeling out of your budget, I’d reach out to your dental office again. They likely have contingencies in place for such things. Most offices have payment plans. If they work through Care Credit, you can even dictate the terms of your payments.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. Brad Hylan.

Can You Get Implants After You’ve Had Dentures for Years?

I’ve had dentures for most of my adult life. I’ve always been embarrassed about my smile. I’ve just gotten to the point where I’d like a pretty one. Is it too late? Can I get dental implants if I’ve had dentures for years?

Emmy Lou T. – North Carolina

Emmy Lou,

You can have a beautiful smile no matter what stage of life you’re in. In fact, with the right dentist, you could have had beautiful dentures. However, switching to dental implants is always a good idea.

Because you’ve had dentures for so long, you’ll likely need bone grafting done to make sure there is enough bone structure to integrate the implants.

After the bone grafting, you can have implants placed. As you go forward, make sure you see the general dentist first. Don’t rush to the oral surgeon. Many patients think that is the first step, but it’s the general dentist who determines the proper placement of the implants. If you go to the surgeon first, they’ll likely be placed in the wrong position.

As a beautiful smile is one of your goals, it will be important that you find a dentist that can do beautiful work. I’d ask your dentist to show you some samples of the smiles he’s done, so you can be sure that he or she can give you the results you’re looking for.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. Brad Hylan.


How Important Are Dental Implant Abutments?

I’ve been quoted two widely varying prices in dental implants. When I inquired about the price difference, the more expensive dentist said he does custom abutments and the other dentist uses prefabricated ones. How important are the abutments? Do they really need to be custom made?

Emily S. – Utah


First, it would help you to know what abutments are. The implant itself goes into your jawbone to serve as the tooth root. Next, the abutment is placed on top to serve as a means of securing the crown to the implant.

Prefabricated abutments come in only a few sizes. This can lead to problems in placing the crown properly. If the space is too tight with the abutment, it can be quite difficult for the dentist to get all the left-over cement off. If that doesn’t get removed, it can lead to infection, which often leads to dental implant failure.

Yes, it will cost less to get the prefabricated abutments. But, that increases the risk of procedural failure. You may feel the price difference is worth the risk. You also may have no problems with the abutments. Just be aware that if you do, the entire procedure will have to be re-done, with the added procedure of bone grafting, because the surrounding bone will no longer be sufficient to integrate the implant with the bone.

You’ll need to weigh these risks and determine what is more of a priority.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. Brad Hylan.

Don’t Know If I Can Finish My Makeover

I’ve been grinding my teeth for years without realizing it.  My dentist said my teeth are really worn and they need to be crowned. I started the procedure. We did the bottom arch first. The procedure was much harder on me than I expected it would be. Emotionally, I don’t feel like I recognize my smile anymore. Physically, my gums are hurting. The whole procedure was aggressive. I told the dentist I wanted to stop, but he just kept going.  I’m not sure I want to finish this. Is there a reason this has to be done?

Chelsea M. – New Jersey


I haven’t examined your smile, so it would be hard to say whether or not it HAD  to be done. If you’ve got worn teeth, through grinding, both arches would have been affected. Depending on how bad the wear is, you’ll likely need to do the upper arch as well.

There is good news, though.  I can help you with the struggles you faced with the procedure.

The first thing I’d address is the aggressiveness during the treatment. If you’re finding the procedure emotionally traumatic, and your dentist is refusing to stop when you need a break, you may want to consider switching to a more compassionate dentist. A gentle dentist will have techniques to help with the pain, as well as the kindness to give you a break if you’re frightened. Often, you can have the procedure done with sedation, so you don’t feel anything.

Secondly, if you’re not happy with how the crowns look, that can be addressed as well. Talk with your dentist about what you were hoping to get out of the makeover. Do you want them to be exactly the same as your natural teeth, or were there improvements you wanted to make to your old smile. Whichever you want, a good cosmetic dentist can make a smile to order. However you want it to look, it can look.

However, you’d have to address it before they’re bonded on. If they’re already bonded, the procedure will have to be totally re-done.

If you decide you want to switch dentists, you can do that, even in the middle of a procedure. Your dentist is under an ethical obligation to supply the new dentist with all the data on your treatment, including x-rays.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. Brad Hylan.


Why Can’t the Dentist Get Me Numb?

I need a root canal treatment. The dentist tried nine different times to get me numb and it wouldn’t work. I ended up leaving without getting the procedure done. I already struggled with dental anxiety. This has just put me over the edge. I don’t think I can go back. Do you know what went wrong?

Ben H. – Chicago


You’ve had a horrible experience, but I don’t want you to just leave the tooth as it is. That puts your life at risk. Infections spread, and an oral infection is very close to your brain and heart.

I do have a solution for you, and know exactly what is going on. You mentioned dental anxiety. What many dentists don’t realize is how much that anxiety affects your metabolism. If you’re afraid, your body jumps into action. That fear will burn up the numbing agent. That’s why your dentist wasn’t able to get you numb.

When there’s a patient who is afraid of dental work, it helps for them to see a sedation dentist. If they just have mild anxiety, then having some nitrous oxide to relax them will do the trick.

If they have a more severe anxiety, which I suspect is the situation you find yourself in, they may need to use oral conscious sedation. This is simply a pill you’ll take before your appointment. But, you’ll be woozy enough to where you’ll need someone to drive you to and from the dentists office.

You won’t necessarily be out, though some patients enjoy sleeping through the entire appointment. Either way, you won’t feel a thing. You’ll have a completely pain free procedure.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. Brad Hylan.

Will a Maryland bridge work for two teeth?

I have two teeth that will need to be treated. They are next to each outhr. I’ve been researching and have seen that a Maryland bridge is an option for a missing tooth. Will it work for two teeth, instead of just one?

-Jeff in Indiana

In some instances, a Maryland bridge will work for two teeth. But it will not work for more than that. That said, you still need to be careful in this case because of the extra stressed placed on the bridge. It would be most appropriate for two teeth on the bottom that are small in size.

When considering a dental bridge, the force and stress exerted to it is important to factor in. The vertical force doubles when there is more than one tooth on a bridge.

Additionally, there is another factor that should be taken into account, as well. The bridge will flex more when there is an additional false tooth it is supporting. The longer the span of the restoration, the more it will flex, which in turn stresses the abutments.

Typically, a Maryland bridge is bonded to the inside of a tooth. And even with only one tooth, some dentists feel that you’d be taking a chance with the Maryland bridge.

So, use this information when you consult with your dentist. Try not to feel pressured and be sure to explore all the acceptable options that may work for your specific situation and budgetary constraints. You may also be interested in evaluating the pros and cons of a dental implant vs a dental bridge. It may be in your best interest to meet with multiple dentists to best compare your options. Thank you for your question.

This post is sponsored by Cleveland dentist Hylan Dental Care.