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
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.