All posts by Annmarie Worthington

Why Should I Get the More Expensive Implants?

I need a third opinion. I have three teeth that need dental implants up front, then another tooth in the back. I went to comfort dental and they suggested mini implants up front, to save me a lot of money and a partial denture in the back. They told me they’d last ten years. I went to get a second opinion and he strongly disagreed. He said I needed traditional implants up front and a bridge in the back. He said the adjacent teeth to the back tooth needed crowns anyway, so a bridge makes more sense. So, which procedure should I do? Comfort Dental’s plan saves me tons of money, so I’d really need a good reason to spend so much more money.

Charles M. – Washington

Charles,

I understand why you’d want a reason to spend more money. I can give you one, too. Mini implants are not used to support a crown. They’re mainly used to stabilize a denture. Saying they’d last ten years is way too optimistic. But, let’s dream and say they do. Then what? You won’t have enough bone structure to place new ones. You’d have to have bone grafting done and then get new implants placed. Why not do it right the first time? Otherwise, your “affordable dental implants” aren’t so affordable.

As for the bridge, I agree with that as well. If the adjacent teeth need crowns, a bridge is your most logical option.

Comfort Dental is a cooperation. They mostly recruit new dentists fresh out of dental school. They often use this type of employment to practice and gain experience before they go into private practice. That is something else to consider.

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

What Does It Mean If Your Dentures Always Fall Out?

What does it mean if your dentures won’t stay in?

Bill A. – Montana

Bill,

It really depends on a couple of things. Are you talking about dentures that you’ve had for a while or new dentures that aren’t fitting quite right?

If they’re dentures you’ve had for a while you’re likely dealing with what’s known as facial collapse. When your teeth are first removed, your body, being quite efficient, begins reabsorbing the minerals from your jawbone to use elsewhere throughout your body. Dentures, while giving you new teeth, do not replace your tooth roots so your jawbone will slowly shrink from mineral resorption. After so many years, there’s not enough bone structure for your dentures to stay in properly.

Unfortunately, the only thing that can be done is to get bone grafted back in. From there, you can get dentures again, though you will eventually have the same problem. Or, you can get dental implants. These are more expensive, but provide replacement roots as well as teeth. You will not continue to lose bone structure.

On the other hand, if you’re talking about new dentures, then the problem is how your dentist made them. They can be remade to fit properly. Honestly, this would be the easiest of the two scenarios.

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Why Did My Bone Grafting Not Work?

I decided to get a dental implant to replace a missing tooth. I felt my family dentist would be adequate for the job. He’s performed over fifty successful procedures. He did tell me ahead of time I needed to have bone grafting done because there wasn’t enough healthy bone to support the implant. He’s always showed himself to be a man of integrity. I felt safe. Well, after doing my bone grafting, he went in to do the implant procedure and decided the bone was still too thin. He told me it wouldn’t be safe to follow through with the implant and I should get a dental bridge instead. Really?! After having the bone grafting done, I still am not getting my implant. He gave me my money back, but I still feel cheated. Would this have happened with a dental implant specialist?

Margaret S. – New Hampshire

Margaret,

The short answer is no, this likely wouldn’t have happened with an expert on dental implants. While technically, there isn’t such a thing as a dental implant specialists, some dentists invest a large amount of time into training, so they’re essentially experts. They would have done the bone grafting properly.

However, You’re being a tad hard on your dentist. He’s obviously done this procedure successfully many times. It sounds like bone grafting was new to him, but he’s working toward building up the skills necessary to help all his patients. Learning starts somewhere and there are many failures before successes.

He also had the integrity to let you know he didn’t do the grafting successfully. A less honest dentist would have just placed the implant anyway, knowing it would eventually fail and you’d have to start over. Your dentist not only told you not to go through with it, but gave you your money back on work that he did with a good faith effort. He won’t get his lab or surgical fees back from the hospital. He took a loss.

A dental bridge is an equally viable solution to a situation such as yours.

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

Clear Choice Never Told Me They Could Fail

Clear Choice cost me about $63,000. They spent a lot of time telling me how they’re saving me money because I won’t need bone grafting. I’d only had my teeth out for a few months when I went to see them and I knew I was tired of the dentures. I didn’t want to wait on bone grafting too before I received teeth again. Now, I”m just a year into the procedure and one of the implants had a problem. Instead of fixing that one, they’re telling me the entire unit has to be replaced. They never told me that was even a possibility.

Because I had to start over I decided to see about other dental implant options. I will also admit I was feeling a little salty about them not warning me that losing one implant meant losing all. I didn’t want to give them more money. I’m so glad I did.

Clear Choice originally convinced me I was saving a ton of money by not needing bone grafting. It turns out I didn’t need any bone grafting to begin with. But, now that I’ve done the all-on-4 procedure, I will. I’ve been shafted…twice.

My advice—always check out all your options before making a decision.

Georgia P. – South Carolina

Emergency Dentist Said My Dentist Blew It

I had a crown placed. Everything was sensitive afterward, especially to hot/cold. I went back. They said it’s normal for a few weeks. But, it continued after that. They still told me it was nothing. A few weeks later, my face blew up and I was in so much pain I went to see an emergency dentist. He told me I have an infection and need to have a root canal treatment. I couldn’t believe it. He said it was a result of an open margin. My crowns were placed incorrectly. I spoke to the original dentist, trying to get a refund for what I’d paid so far, especially, because I had to pay an emergency dentist and I missed work. He said what happens after the crown is placed is my responsibility and I’ll need to pay the balance. I can’t believe it! I’m out so much money. Is that normal?

Brooke – Texas

Brooke,

Wow! What a difficult experience you’ve had. Each dentist is a little different in their policy on refunds. However, this one seems pretty cut and dry, especially if you’ve got x-rays showing the open margins.

Your dentist didn’t meet the standard of care, not to mention he let your infection go so far. People still die from teeth infections. It’s a good thing you went to the emergency dentist. He likely saved your life.

Here are a couple of tips that may help you get a refund in your situation.

1. Tell him you’re going to contact the dental board and show them the x-ray.
2. Get the emergency dentist to contact the dentist on your behalf. Dentists don’t want to look bad in front of their peers. He may give you a refund just to maintain his reputation.

Either of those should get his attention if he has trouble being fair on his own.

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

What If I Am Terrified of the Dentist?

I have had so many bad experiences at the dentist that I find it almost impossible to go. I know I need to get some dental care. Even now I’m terrified of getting a cavity, but I cannot find a way to get through the door of a dentist’s office. Are there any helps?

Tina – Ohio

Tina,

I’m very compassionate about the position your find yourself in. I want you to know you’re not alone. Many people have a fear of the dentist. Our mouths are vulnerable parts of our body.

I’m impressed that even with your fear, you’re still concerned about your oral health. I wish more people were as conscientious as you are.

I have good news for you. There are dentists who are aware of the fear you experience and cater to patients that suffer from dental anxiety. You can do a quick internet search for some of the following terms. Any of them will likely lead you to a dentist that can help you experience a pain free appointment.

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

Is Sedation an Option When You Have Osteoporosis?

I have osteoporosis. My teeth hurt all the time as a result and I dread dental appointments. Is it possible to have sedation dentistry in my condition?

Julia L. – Wisconsin

Julia,

It sounds like sedation dentistry is a great option for you. It will enable to have your work done without the pain that comes with osteoporosis. Plus, it allows you to have more work done per appointment, saving you time and money.

One precaution. with your condition, you’re always at risk of breaking a bone. Sedation makes you tipsy. That means you’re at risk of a fall. Even for patients without osteoporosis, it’s required you have someone stay with you for that reason.

The office will likely make sure you have someone with you when they check you in. Be sure to list every medication you’re currently on so the dentist gives you the type of sedation best for your body considering what else you’re taking.

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

Dentist Lied About His Specialty

My dentist said he was a dental implant specialist. That gave me the confidence to move forward with this treatment. Previously, I’d been on the fence because it required surgery. When I heard he was a specialist I felt safe. Now I find out there’s no such thing as a dental implant specialist. Should I cancel the surgery?

Zahra E. – Oregon

Zahra,

You’re right. There is no such thing as a dental implant specialist. But, there’s no such thing as a specialty in cosmetic dentistry either, yet there are some dentists who’ve had so much training and are so artistic to boot that it is easy to call them a “Cosmetic Dentist” though in reality they are just general dentists.

The same can be true about your dentist and dental implants. There’s no ADA recognized specialty in the field, but it’s possible he’s had such extensive training and is skilled enough where he could be considered the best implant dentist in your area.

I wouldn’t cancel the surgery yet. Instead, have a talk with your dentist about your concerns. Ask him about his training. Ideally, there should be some post-graduate training in that field. Also ask him how many implant procedures he’s performed with succesful, permanent results.

If you’re not comfortable with his answers, then you can cancel.

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

Help My Affordable Dental Implants Nightmare

I need some guidance. I’m worried I’ve been dupped and ripped off. I knew I needed a couple of dental implants for some loose teeth. They’re the two teeth next to my very front teeth. I called around to different offices and one was significantly more affordable than the other dentists. I scheduled an appointment with them. He suggested pulling the teeth then and there. I liked the fact that he was ready to move forward and agreed. We waited for a healing time then I came back in to schedule the surgery. When I did, he told me I needed bone grafting from gum disease before the surgery. When he priced out that for me, it ends up more expensive than the other dentists I didn’t go to because of cost. Now I’m missing teeth and have no idea what to do. Can this be salvaged?

Abigail W. – Ft. Smith, TX

Abigail,

You’ve either been duped or gone to an incompetent dentist. When you have gum disease, dental implants are out. Period. It’s the gum disease which likely led to your losing the teeth to begin with. If your gums can’t support your teeth, they can’t support implants. The fact that this dentist indicated you could get implants means he’s a liar or he’s incompetent—neither of which you want in a dentist.

Affordable dental implants are possible, but not this way. Never just look for the lowest price. IT’s often a bad sign. There’s a big difference between affordable and cheap.

Here’s what’s going to need to happen.

1. Find a different dentist. One who does affordable dental implants. Again, I don’t mean cheap. There are ways to work with financial limitations and give you quality treatment.

2. Treat the gum disease. Without healthy gums, dental implants are out of the question.

3. Talk to your dentist about your affordable dental implant options. There are several treatment options for you, but which one is best depends on your individual situation. I can’t make a recommendation without more information. Choose your dentist carefully.

Depending on the extent of your gum disease, you may be able to get a dental flipper for the missing teeth, which will at least give you more social confidence until you can have a permanent replacement.

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

Will Medical Insurance Cover Dental Implants?

I’ve been struggling with periodontal disease and some other issues. I got dentures, but they make me gag. Dental implants are out of my budget. Is there a chance my medical insurance would pay for it because not having teeth is bad for my health?

Tilley L. – Montana

Tilley,

Dental Implants are an excellent procedure for replacing your teeth. But, as you’ve discovered, they are expensive. Unfortunately, medical insurance always has a clause in it that they won’t cover any dental procedures.

There are so many benefits to dental implants, but one I seem to forget to mention you brought up. Gagging. Those with a strong gag reflex find it quite helpful to not have all the additional implements in their mouth that come with dentures. Implants are like having your natural teeth, so there’s nothing to gag on.

However, even with all their benefits, you won’t be a good candidate for implants until you have your gum disease under control. You’ll lose the implants just like you’re losing your teeth. Your best bet is to save up for dental implants while you get your gums healthy. In the meantime, you’ll need to continue with the dentures.

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