Category Archives: Dental Implants

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.

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.

Are Jamie Foxx’s Teeth Dental Implants?

I’m losing two teeth. I’m trying to decide how to replace them. I keep hearing dental implants are the way to go, but they’re really expensive. Someone told me that Jamie Foxx’s teeth are dental implants. His teeth look great. If mine can look that great, I don’t think I’d mind the expense. Is that true?

Cynthia K. – Oregan

Cynthia,

I did some research after getting your question. I already knew how to respond regarding your options, but wasn’t sure about Mr. Foxx. It’s apparent from the photo below that his teeth change. From what I’ve read, he goes above and beyond for roles. In fact, part of what I read says that he had a tooth chiseled out for his role in the “soloist”.

As you can see, his teeth change a lot. That makes it obvious some dental work has been done. He’s even admitted as such saying he has some porcelain in his mouth. However, that can be anything from porcelain crowns to dental implants.

So, I’ll answer your question in two parts. 1. Mr. Foxx has had some dental work done, but I’m not sure which procedures. 2. Dental implants are by far your best option, if you’re a good candidate. As to whether they’ll look as good as Jamie Foxx’s teeth, that depends on the skill of the dentist you acquire. Ask to see before and after photos of the work he or she has done.

These are the most like having natural, healthy teeth as you can get. You’ll be able to eat and drink normally, as well as brush and floss without limitations.

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

Are Dental Implants the Only way to Get Pretty Teeth?

I went to a consultation for replacing my teeth. I asked for prices first. It was obvious from that my only option was dentures. I wasn’t thrilled, but I learned long ago not to get too upset about things which can’t be changed. However, it was quite an additional blow when he told me there is no way to get dentures to look natural. He told me that if I wanted natural looking teeth it had to be dental implants. I truly can’t afford implants. Is there anything kind of in between the two? Maybe it won’t look as good as dental implants, but won’t look as bad as dentures?

Ashley S. – Ohio

Ashley,

I don’t say this often, but I want you to get as far away from this dentist as possible. I don’t want to discourage you or make you feel like you can’t trust your healthcare providers in general. However, this dentist isn’t honest. He’s lying to pressure you into the more expensive treatment. I HATE that. There are plenty of legitimate reasons why implants are superior to dentures. He doesn’t need to make something up. Plus, it’s unfair to guilt someone into something they can’t afford.

If the dentist is skilled, dentures can look not just natural, but gorgeous. If your dentist says otherwise it’s more a commentary on his ability.

The stronger reasons to get implants is to protect your jawbone. If you can’t afford implants, that’s understandable. See if snap-on dentures are within your budget. It will give you some of the benefits of the ideal procedure without the huge price tag. If not, dentures are perfectly acceptable teeth replacement option.

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

Can I Get Braces with Dental Implants?

I’m a bit frustrated with my dentist. We were talking about why I needed to have my pre-molars removed. He said my tooth spacing likely had a lot to do with it. I have crowding in the back and spaces in the front. Then he mentioned braces would have helped. He tells me this now…after I’ve had the teeth removed and replaced with dental implants. Is it too late? Can I remove the implants and fix my teeth?

Cynthia – Denver, CO

Cynthia,

While you could have the dental implants removed, I wouldn’t recommend it unless absolutely necessary. The implants, if done properly, will have integrated with the surrounding bone. This is important because it keeps the implants in place. If you remove them, you’ll have to start over. But, you won’t be able to just do the procedure over again. You’ll need to have bone grafting done to build up the bone structure. Then you can start over.

There’s a chance braces are possible even with the implants in place. Given the lack of foresight and communication from your dentist, I’d work with someone else for this. Talk to several orthodontists in the area. See if they think it’s possible with the implants.

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

Clear Choice was Pushy and Immovable

I went for a consultation to Clear Choice after several months of trying to get my dentures tolerable. They quoted me $59,000. That’s a lot of money and I could get traditional dental implants for less than that. When I told them that they insisted I wasn’t factoring in bone grafting. That’s true, but only because I don’t need bone grafting. My existing bone structure is fine.

During their sales pitch, it became increasingly clear that dental implants were a better option for me than Clear Choice’s all-on-four procedure. I mentioned that but they weren’t willing to let me off the hook. They kept hammering away at me. I said if they’d consider coming down on the price, we might talk, but they were steadfast about that huge priced tag.

At one point, I just said I needed to go. As I stood up, they implied I was intentionally not caring about my teeth and tried to waste their time. That was it. I’ll never go back.

Dentist Humiliated Me Over Need for Dentures

I am 28 years old and I think dentures are my only option. I’ve had dental problems my entire life, starting with my parents not taking me in for regular care as a child. I have tried to take care of my teeth. I brush at least twice per day and floss, but with so many problems already going on it doesn’t help. I also had hyperemesis gravidarum for three pregnancies and was sick all the time. I’ve been to several dental offices over the years and tried to fix what I can, though there was so much to do it’s hard to do it all. I could easily max out my insurance every January when it renews and still spend 20 years trying to fix it all. So, I’ve fallen into a routine where I only go in and deal with things when they hurt. I’m tired of living this way, always waiting for and dreading the next toothache, broken tooth, or infection. I want to have them all pulled and just get dentures.

Last week, I scheduled a consultation with a dentist and told him my plan. His repsonse humiliated me. He was demeaning and basically told me it was my fault that my teeth are the way they are. Then he told me I shouldn’t get dentures. I left in tears. I need help without being made to feel bad about my situation. How can I find a dentist who will help me?

Thank you,

Tara

Dear Tara,

Sorry to hear you’ve had such rough experiences. Unfortunately, some dentists lack good chairside manner. You’re also probably emotional about your teeth, which can make some things sound more critical than it’s intended to be. For example, “This didn’t happen overnight,” could easily be interpreted as “You let this go too long,” when really, the person means, “It’s going to take some time to fix too.” This, paired with the complexity of what you’re facing, can make it seem very overwhelming.

Before you take any steps, you should know that dentures are not the end-all and, especially at your age. You could be dealing with significant bone loss and facial collapse while you’re still in your 40s if your teeth are pulled now. Plus, the longer you wear dentures, the harder it is to get a set to fit well. So, you aren’t picking the easiest solution, even if it is the most economical one right now.

Your best bet is to try to put emotions aside and focus on finding the best solution for you right now. Find a dentist you feel comfortable with and have a frank, open discussion about your options. Save the teeth you can save because every tooth you retain will help prevent bone loss. Even if you wind up with a partial denture, those teeth will help make sure it fits you better and works better. As time goes on, you may be able to consider adding in implants for more support as well. Take baby steps and don’t beat yourself up. When your needs are extensive, you’ll need to build a roadmap to good oral health and that’s ok. Set a goal and work to it as best as you can, while being realistic about what you can achieve. A good dentist will work with you on this.

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

Can I Super Glue My Dentures In?

My dentures refuse to stay in. They slip all the time. Would it be okay for me to super glue them in? I know I won’t be able to take them out, but that’s the point. They wouldn’t come out. I just wanted to check in case it was poisonous or something.

Marc G. – San Antonio

Marc,

I’m assuming you’re just kidding with me out of frustration. I know that you’re in a pickle with your dentures, but super glue is a horrible idea. It’s extremely dangerous for you to do that. You will cause yourself a tremendous amount of pain.

The reason your dentures are slipping is likely because of bone loss. When you remove your teeth, your body recognizes that you no longer have tooth roots and begins reabsorbing the minerals in your jawbone to use elsewhere throughout your body. Eventually, there’s not enough bone structure to support your denture. That’s why they slip and slide.

I’m going to suggest a much healthier alternative. You could have some bone grafting done to build up your bone structure, then get dental implants. Implants anchor your tooth replacements to your jawbone. It’s like having your own natural teeth back… and they won’t go anywhere.

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

Broke Teeth Close to Bottom – Replacement Options?

I took a fall and broke two teeth. One of them is almost at the gumline. The other is a little taller. Do I have any decent replacement options?

Tim M. – Chicago

Tim,

Sorry for your fall. Fortunately, you have several replacement options. If there’s enough tooth structure left, you could get dental crowns. These will leave your tooth roots in place and help preserve bone loss in your jaw. Ideally, you want as much healthy tooth retainment as possible.

If you can’t preserve the teeth, your next best option is to get dental implants. These also prevent bone loss by placing a titanium root form into your jaw to imitate your root. This signals to your brain to leave the bone in place. Dental implants have the added benefit of being most like your natural teeth, so you can eat, drink, brush, and floss as you normally would.

If those are out of your budget, then I’d recommend a dental bridge or a removable partial denture (in that order). These are also satisfactory replacement options. You just won’t have the ability to prevent mineral loss in your jawbone.

I hope this helps. This blog is brought to you by Dr. Brad Hylan.

Worried I’m Losing My Implants

I had gum disease. My dentist upped my cleanings to every three months in order to help, but it just seemed to continue. In fact, I lost some teeth. They just came loose and fell out. He told me it would be important to replace those teeth or my natural teeth would shift. After debating the differences between a partial denture and dental implants. I decided on the implants because that seemed to be the best replacement. I love them, but now they’re loose. I’m worried they’re going to come out too. Is there something I can do to save them?

Danny B. – Michigan

Danny,

There are flashing lights and alarms bells going off everywhere. If you lost teeth, your gum disease was quite advanced. He should never have given you dental implants with gum disease. It’s a guaranteed implant failure.

I’m also concerned that the only treatment for such advanced gum disease was extra cleanings. There are several other things that should have been done.

Your first step is to see a dentist who has significant training in dental implants. Have them look at your implants and see if by treating the gum disease there is a chance of saving the implants.

Worst case scenario is these implants will fail and you’ll have to start over with new ones after the gum disease is properly dealt with. If that’s the case, you should be able to get a refund from your original dentist.

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