Tag Archives: implant dentistry

Will all-on-4 work for me?

I have been trying to figure out what to do because I’m fed up with my dentures. In my research so far, I am intrigued by the all-on-4 dental implants procedure, for many reasons. I understand that it will help stabilize my dentures and it’s a lot more affordable than a mouth full of dental implants. But I have one huge setback. I have a metal allergy. When I mentioned this to the dentist, he didn’t even flinch. He said it was not a big deal. I am still not sure about it. I will suffer greatly if come in contact with metal of any kind. I don’t want to go through the investment and inconvenience of the procedure failing. I typically break out into a terrible rash. How do I know he is right? Do I just take his word for it?

-Dolores in Missouri

Dolores,

Your implant dentist is correct in that the all-on-4 dental implants should be fine. Most “metal allergies” are actually sensitivities. Now, of course, anything is possible, so continue asking questions until you are completely confident in the dentist’s understanding of your individual situation. But most people with sensitivities don’t typically react to all metals. For example, nickel is a big one to steer clear of. Also, any triggers that you may react to must be avoided. So be clear on precisely what metals may set you off.

Titanium or a titanium alloy is what you need to be comfortable with, since it what is most commonly used in dental implants. It is possible that the alloy contains some nickel. Your dentist will be able to give you the complete rundown of the composition of his recommended implants. It will be available through the manufacturer.

If you still are not comfortable that you will not react to titanium, it would be in your best interest to meet with an allergist to get a full diagnosis. You will be able to find out what your triggers are and what to steer clear of, so you can provide that information to your implant dentist. Good luck!

This post is sponsored by Cleveland dentist Hylan Dental Care.

Clear Choice is the cheapest estimate. Is this a red flag?

I went into Clear Choice and they dropped their price $30,000 after hearing I was on a fixed income. As amazing as this sounds, I have to wonder if I should beware. This price is literally half price when compared to all the other implant dentists that I have consulted with. I’m only in my sixties and my teeth are deteriorating.

-Phillip in North Carolina

Phillip,

It sounds like you have done a good job of exploring your options and seeking several opinions on your case. The main Clear Choice complaints revolve around the sales tactics used. Generally speaking, the doctors are qualified and will take care of you. So if feel a level of trust and have done your research, that is a huge cost savings.

That said, you need to ensure that all of these implant dentists are pricing the same services. There is such a large variance in treatment plans and philosophies when it comes to replacing teeth. Clear Choice has the reputation of removing all your remaining teeth and placing all-on-4’s. Is that what they are recommending for you? You do have a right to be suspicious with such a drastic drop in fees. Either they were overselling to begin with or they may have changed the treatment plan. If you have any doubt or concern, it’s likely for a reason. So, it can’t hurt to take their estimate and go back to the other implant dentists you’ve seen previously to see if they can compare in fees with this most recent treatment plan.

The big discrepancy here is whether or not, all of these quotes are planning to extract the remaining teeth or not. Have you expressed that you would like all your teeth removed since they are already falling apart? I think you will have a better handle on your options after ensuring that you are indeed comparing apples to apples.

Thank you for your question.

This post is sponsored by Cleveland dentist Hylan Dental Care.

What is the best way to fix teeth that have broken off?

I am wondering what the options are for my mother. Her two front teeth are broken. The roots are still in her gums. Are a dental bridge or partial denture her only choices? Or would it be a possibility to get root canals topped with crowns?

– Sherri in California

Sherri,

It is difficult to make specific recommendations for your mother, without having seen her case in person. Generally speaking, root canals are possible. It all depends on exactly how much of her natural tooth structure is remaining. A post may be required with the root canal to support the porcelain crown that goes on top.

Many dentists will recommend dental implants to replace missing teeth, because they are a permanent solution. So, you may have to look around for a dentist that is interested in trying to save what’s left of those teeth. It would be wise to find an implant dentist in your area that is experienced in dealing with traumatized teeth. Discuss your interest in saving the roots and be prepared to talk through the possible treatment plans. Dental implants are now considered the standard of care in similar situations. Sometimes, a post may end up fracturing the root. Then, there will be additional issues. So, it may be in your best interest to see a couple different dentists and listen to their treatment plans.

A dental bridge or partial denture may also be options worth exploring. It all depends on your budget, the philosophy of the dentist, and your mother’s desired results. Sorry that the answer isn’t completely straightforward. With broken teeth, there are many factors to be considered.

Thank you for your question.

This post is sponsored by Cleveland dentist Hylan Dental Care.

Affordable Dental Implants Doctor Ruined My Smile

I saw an ad for affordable dental implants and the doctor seemed to check out with my online searches. My lower two front teeth were loose and had been for some time. It seemed to me they weren’t going to get better and implants were my only viable option, if I wanted something to function like my real teeth. I went in and got an estimate from the affordable dental implants doctor and he priced out the surgery and placement of the posts/implants, the abutments, and the crowns for two teeth. He also suggested that I get extractions done right then and there, as well as something called “bone beads” to help me heal, which insurance did not cover. After six months of healing and no teeth, I went back for the surgery and he said he couldn’t do it without more procedures. He says I still don’t have enough bone and that I need gum treatments. I’m not sure what to do at this point, but I’m starting to wonder if I should have had those teeth removed at all and the cost seems to keep rising. I still have no teeth. My smile is ruined! How should I proceed?

-Joshua in North Carolina

Dear Joshua,

There are a couple of warning bells that go off when reading your message about affordable dental implants. First off, it sounds like the reason your teeth were loose was never addressed. This is a huge concern. If it was due to periodontal disease, you wouldn’t have been a candidate for implants. That would have needed to have been brought under control first and would explain the need for additional “gum treatments” now. The doctor should have discussed this with you from the start. There’s no telling if the teeth that were extracted could have been saved now that they’re gone, though the lack of information given to you is a huge concern.

Going forward, you probably do need other treatments before you can undergo the surgery and have your dental implants last. It’s a good idea to consult with another dentist before you do anything else, just to make sure you’re getting the right treatments. There’s also no reason why you shouldn’t have been offered some form of temporary replacement teeth. It’s typical for an office to offer to create a flipper or partial denture, to prevent the other teeth from drifting, help maintain adequate space, for aesthetics, and so you can eat easier. This is still an option now. Book a consultation with another dentist or perhaps even two, to see where you stand.

This post is sponsored Cleveland dentist Hylan Dental Care

Feeling guilty about seeing a different dentist for affordable dental implants.

I have been very interested in getting dental implants to replace my missing teeth. But I keep putting them off because I cannot afford them. So, I have been looking all over trying to find more affordable dental implants than what my current dentist offers. I recently came across an implant dentist in a surrounding suburb that works with people that have budget issues and offers relatively affordable dental implants. Am I cheating on my regular dentist? I feel so bad about it. I don’t want him to refuse to treat me when he finds out I had the implants done elsewhere.

-Gene in Ohio

Gene,

You are in no way solely obligated to receive every dental treatment from your current dentist, just because you have been seeing him for routine care. That said, just be sure the dentist across town that is offering affordable dental implants isn’t cutting corners and offering a substandard product.

Dental implant fees vary from one practice to another. But theoretically, most implant dentists rates will be fairly comparable. So if there is a huge difference in fees, you need to dig a little deeper and find out more about it. Affordable dental implants mean different things to different dentists, as well as different things to different patients. For example, you may not be comparing apples to apples. Your dentist may be pricing traditional dental implants and the new dentist may be quoting mini implants. Or the dental implant brand and products may be a factor in the discretion. Be sure that the affordable implant dentist isn’t getting parts from overseas or choosing less quality materials. Parts can vary by hundreds of dollars.

Ultimately, dental implants need to be done by a dentist that you trust. That is hands down the most important factor. If you get a good deal and then the dental implants fall out, become loose or get infected, it will end up costing you much more in the long run.

So, don’t feel bad. Just proceed with extreme caution.

This post is sponsored by Cleveland dentist Hylan Dental Care.

 

Need someone to fix my dental implants!

I have been considering dental implants for years. But my budget has been holding me back. When I found the all-on-4 method, I knew it wasn’t entirely dental implants, but I figured I’d be better off than I was. The office was great and assured me they do this all the time and I will be well taken care of. Well, when one of the dental implants failed, I was in a world of hurt. Now, they are telling me I need bone grafting done and that is why it failed. They are making me pay over again and not covering any of the re-do cost. There’s no way I can afford this and now I’m halfway through the process and feel completely stuck. What do I do?

-Geoff in Texas

Geoff,

All-on-four dental implants is quite popular when people are looking for more affordable dental implants alternative. It doesn’t sound like your dentist covered the possible risks involved. Dental implants usually have a very high success rate, assuming the implant dentist has placed them properly. But, not everyone is a candidate. The all-on-four has many factors that may lessen their success rate. They aren’t as strong and can place a lot of stress on the implants, causing failure because of the angle they are implanted. Unfortunately, you are not in a very good situation.

There are many alternatives to traditional dental implants that you may have been better suited for. For example, mini implants are less expensive because they are much smaller and the surgery to place them is much simpler. But you may have been able to afford more of the mini implants to help secure your denture. The bone was likely compromised with the all-on-4 because of the steep angle of the implants. It may be time to go to an implant dentist that will make it right, yet will work with you on payment plans. But now, you need some healing time before anything can be done.

Hopefully your willingness to share your story, will help someone else avoid such a disaster situation. It isn’t right that the all-on-4 implant dentist has placed you in this situation. Sadly, it happens more than you might think. It is in your best interest to cut your losses and seek a second opinion. Sorry you are having to deal with this.

This post is sponsored by Cleveland dentist Hylan Dental Care.

Need the cheapest and fastest fix to a broken tooth.

My front tooth broke off clean right at the gumline. I need it fixed fast and as cheap as possible. I am not paying for dental implants.

-Mike in Florida

Mike,

Well, the cheapest and fastest way to fix a broken front tooth is called Superglue. But come on. That’s not what you want. A cheap repair will only last a day or two at most.

You didn’t ask for it to look good either. In which case, having a dentist rebuild the tooth with dental bonding would be a quick, cheap fix. But it would look terrible.

So, lets change your thinking. Sometimes the cheapest fix ends up being much more expensive and more painful in the long run. You should be considering something that looks nice, that’s durable, and long-lasting.

A dental crown is a possibility if the tooth still has the root intact. But this would mean there is a lot of stress being placed on this tooth. It isn’t out of the realm of possibilities, but may not be the best fit. A root canal treatment on the remnant of the tooth would be a good treatment, then having a post placed to add strength to the remaining tooth. A carbon fiber post or fiberglass would work better because there is some flexibility with the stress it will endure. A metal post won’t remedy the stress and may end up fracturing the root. Two posts are better than on in this case.

It sounds like you are not interested in dental implants. Although implants are more expensive, they truly are the best alternative. They are a permanent fix that looks, feels, and functions just like your natural tooth.

You need to get into the dentist to have the situation evaluated. If cost is a concern, be upfront. Discuss your options. Consider phasing treatment out over time or setting up an affordable payment plan. Cheaper isn’t always best, especially when we are talking dental care.

This post is sponsored by Cleveland dentist Hylan Dental Care.

 

Is the Encore bridge old fashioned?

Awhile back my dentist was telling me about an Encore bridge. We’ve moved and I can’t find anyone in the Atlanta area to tell me more about it. Is it outdated and not used anymore?

-Victoria in Georgia

Victoria,

The Encore dental bridge wasn’t widely used or accepted for individuals missing teeth. Not too many patients had successful outcomes because it is very difficult to get all the steps done correctly. It wasn’t as strong as other alternatives and it truly wasn’t the best option when compared to other treatments.

It is still available. But you should look into a the zirconia Maryland bridge. This is a very popular option and is much more aesthetically-pleasing. Zirconia is a very durable ceramic material that looks life-like. Patients have had many successful outcomes, when compared to the Encore.

What is the more important than the type or brand of restoration you choose, is selecting the right dentist. Make sure your implant dentist has placed other successful bridges that are similar to your case. You don’t want to walk into any dentist and tell them you want this type of bridge. Be confident that they have experience in both implant dentistry and cosmetic dentistry. Some dentists may make the assumption that this procedure doesn’t require tooth preparation. So, an expert cosmetic dentist would have a better all-encompassing understanding of the bonding materials and technologies to make this a success. Since it isn’t run of the mill, you may want to even ask upfront, if the restoration fails, could you be refunded. Best of luck and thank you for your question.

This post is sponsored by Cleveland dentist Hylan Dental Care.

Will my health insurance cover dental implants?

I have some serious problems with my teeth and existing dental work. It’s time for dental implants. I’m missing several teeth in back and I have a dental bridge that’s over 30 years old. I would love to get one of those dentures that is permanently placed with implants for my entire upper arch of teeth. Also, I have gum disease, so I am currently getting scaling and root planing. I was interested in a partial dental appliance, but I ended up gagging when I tried it. I also hated that I couldn’t eat normally with it.

I was wondering if I could have this dental work covered by my medical insurance? I think it would be considered a medical condition, since I am in such terrible shape.

-Betsy in Washington

Betsy,

Dental implants have many benefits over other treatments like the removable partial denture you have mentioned. Gagging isn’t something that is talked about too often, but it is not uncommon for denture-wearers or for partial dentures. Dental implants are surgically placed into the jaw bone, so there is no extra hardware in your mouth. If you have a heightened gag reflex, having anything with a plate will not be ideal.

It sounds like you recognize the pros of choosing dental implants. Unfortunately, it is not likely that your health insurance would cover the treatment. Many times people will pose the question and pursue the thinking that their teeth are indeed affecting their overall general health. So, it is understandable that you would request that your medical insurance cover the fees.

But, almost all medical insurance plans have exclusions. Dental problems, issues and conditions are almost always excluded from your health coverage. Although this may feel unfair, if it was included, even a small cavity could be considered affecting your overall health. There are some instances where medical insurance would cover dental problems or damage that occurred from an accident. For example, if you broke a tooth during a fall, it is possible that your medical insurance would cover that cost. But other than that, you are likely going to have to personally cover the cost. Some dental insurances will help offset the cost of dental implants, but even many dental insurance exclude dental implants because there are lesser expensive alternatives available.

You may be interested in discussing more affordable options with your implant dentist. Many will work with you on an affordable payment plan or you may possibly be interested in financing the treatment plan. Thank you for your question.

This post is sponsored by Cleveland dentist Hylan Dental Care.

Can Dental Implants Leave Me Permanently Numb?

I had multiple dental implants placed in my lower left side three days ago. The whole procedure was a nightmare. The dentist was running behind and it took him almost an hour to get to me. When he came in, he was in an obvious hurry. He normally puts gel on my gums and lets it sit for a while before he tries to numb me, but this time, he just wiped it on and jammed the needle in. It hurt like the dickens. I literally jumped in the chair. Instead of apologizing, or even reassuring me, he goes into a lecture about how I need to be able to sit still if he’s going to do dental implants. Well, I toughed it out, but I was in the chair for hours with him drilling, tugging, and pulling. He really did a number on me.  I feel like I got into a fist fight. I expected there to be some soreness after all that and there certainly is, but I can’t feel my tongue. I thought at first it was just that the anesthetic wasn’t wearing off, but it isn’t going away. Is this the result of the dentist being rough or can dental implants do that? Will I be stuck like this forever? If so, I’m going back and having these things taken out. It’s not worth all this.

-Frank

Dear Frank,

It sounds like you have some nerve damage, which can be an unfortunate side-effect of any dental procedure. Given the location of the dental implants, and where the injection was given, your lingual nerve could have been damaged. While the implant could be responsible for it, it sounds more like it occurred during your injection. Many people feel what they describe as “lightning” when their nerve is hit. Everyone’s anatomy is slightly different. So, when you’re being given an injection, the doctor is looking for standard landmarks and surmising where the nerves might be so they are avoided, but because everyone is unique, there’s really no way to be 100% accurate. This couldn’t have been avoided.

The good news is that this type of nerve damage generally isn’t severe. The needles are so small that a very small portion of the nerve is injured. When someone hurts a nerve in a car wreck or other serious accident, they often tear it or sever it entirely. In your case, the nerve is very likely to regenerate, which means it will heal entirely. Most people in your situation heal within three weeks, but there are times when it can last up to 18 months. There are also times when the numbness is permanent.

Please report this to your doctor and go in for an exam. He may recommend that you go on a course of anti-inflammatory medications, that you see a specialist, or just that you follow up with him so he can monitor your progress. With the damage being done, removing the dental implants won’t help, but you’re likely to make a full recovery regardless.

This post is sponsored by Cleveland dentist Hylan Dental Care.