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My Bridge Died, Now I Need Affordable Implant Option

I had a dental bridge on two of my teeth. I got hit with something that damaged one of the teeth on it and now the entire unit must be replaced. I was never thrilled with the bridge and considered dental implants, but they’re so expensive. Is there another option?

Davis E. – Virginia

Davis,

You didn’t mention what you didn’t like about the bridge, so it’s hard to know what to recommend for that particular solution. I can tell you that you’re on the right track about dental implant. They’re by far the best tooth replacement solution currently available. And, yes, they can be expensive.

However, there are dentists, like Dr. Hylan who work hard to not only keep their fees reasonable, but also offer affordable dental implant alternatives.

Your least expensive option, isn’t a dental implant one, but very affordable7mdash; a removable partial denture is on the lower range of cost.

There are several options in between those as well. A lot of it will depend on the specifics of your situation. Where is the bridge? Some teeth have more pulling force than others. I’m happy to answer with more detail if you give more information.

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

Is Sedation Dentistry a Possibility If You’re on Multiple Medications?

I’m on multiple medications for some endocrine issues. Is it still possible for me to do sedation dentistry? I do struggle with dental anxiety and don’t want to get turned away from office after office. Is there a way I can just compare my medicines to what they’ll use to make sure it’s safe without talking to them to avoid the doc hop?

Olivia B. – San Diego, CA

Olivia,

You’re not alone in your dental anxiety or the need for multiple medications. I don’t think you’ll have to fear being turned away by multiple dentists. However, there’s not a way for you to try and compare the medicines on your own.

Each dentist uses different types of sedation medication, depending on the situation and what they’re most comfortable working with. Your safest bet is to send a complete list to the dentist’s office ahead of time so the dentist can review it and choose the appropriate medication.

Please don’t skip this step thinking everything will be fine. There are serious reactions that can occur when you mix certain medications. I’d even remind the dentist when you get there about your specific medications, in case he forgets. I once was given two different types of medications by the SAME doctor that cause severe hallucinations when mixed. Thankfully, I decide to check for myself first. The point being doctors are human and make mistakes. You have to be proactive about your care.

I’m not saying this because you won’t be able to have sedation. I’m certain you will. I just want to make sure you don’t skip the very vital step of making sure your doctor is aware of everything you take, including dosages.

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

I’ve decided that my implant dentist was incompetent.

I have determined that my implant dentist is incompetent. I went through the entire dental implant process and was so excited to put it behind me. Well, it was less than a month before the crown felt loose. When I went back into the implant dentist, he told me that the dental implants looked fine after doing an x-ray. He determined it was the crown that was the problem. When he tried to remove the crown and it wouldn’t budge. He returned with some special tool. Then, when he removed it, the implant came out with it. Help! I’m freaked out now. Where did he go wrong, in placing it or in yanking on it with too much force?

-Rebecka in Rhode Island

Rebecka,

Based on what you have described, one thing is clear. The crown was not the problem. It was the dental implant that was loose the entire time. When a crown isn’t placed properly and is loose, it is simple to remove. In fact, it may end up falling off on it’s own. There would never be a “special” tool required to remove a loose crown. The problem with implant dentistry is that it is not a regulated specialty area within dentistry. Therefore, any dentist can claim to place dental implants without adequate training and expertise that is required for success. A loose dental implant is very serious.

There are a few possibilities to explain why your dental implant was loose. It is possible that the crown was placed onto the implant too early, prior to the necessary healing time that is required. The implant fuses to the bone in a process called osseointegration. If too much stress is placed on the implant too early, it will fail because it doesn’t have enough bone support. Or it may have been an issue of substandard materials.

Infection is another possible cause. But you didn’t mention being in pain and typically when there is an infected dental implant, there is intense pain.

Unfortunately, repairing the dental implant at this point isn’t an easy or straightforward process. The bone will need to be prepared again and you will need to have surgery again. Bone grafting may also be required to build up enough density at the implant site. The possibility exists that there wasn’t enough bone density to begin with.

It would be in your best interest to find a new implant dentist. Be sure to research their credentials and experience, as well.

This post is sponsored by Cleveland dentist Hylan Dental Care.

I need $50,000 worth of work. Can I get dental insurance?

I went to the NYU dental clinic on an emergency basis. I was referred to the clinic for extreme cases. Treatment plan was for the entire mouth (inclusive of bridge for 4 front teeth, dental implants, fillings & possible bone graft.) Estimated cost is $50,000. They will only begin treatment if you agree to full treatment plan & give them approx. 30% upfront. What cosmetic dental insurance can I purchase in order to have treatment done by a cosmetic dentist in private practice (instead of at the Clinic)? This is a crisis situation & I really need treatment right away.
Many thanks in advance,
Barbara from New York

Barbara,
Do you think you could buy fire insurance for your home AFTER your home has burned down? No company is going to sell you a dental insurance plan when they can predict ahead of time that they will pay out more than you pay in. Would you do that if you owned the insurance company?

The way dental insurance works is that your employer pays the insurance company. They pay enough to compensate the insurance company for all the benefits they pay out, plus a little profit margin. The employer then works that into a budget, and they base that budget on the average cost for each employee. What causes it to make sense is that when the employer pays for it, it’s paid with before-tax dollars. If they didn’t pay the insurance company, they would pay that to you, but you would get taxed on that amount. That’s where the money savings is for you. And for every one of these dental insurance plans, they place strict limits on the dollar amount of benefits that they will pay in any one year. $50,000 is way more than any dental insurance I have heard of. Annual benefits range from $500 to $2000 per year.

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