Tag Archives: missing several teeth

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.

My mom is freaking out because she had another tooth fall out.

I don’t know what to do for my mother. She has always liked the way she looked and as she gets older, things have changed. Now, she’s having issues with her teeth, which is really freaking her out. She has had a partial denture for a couple missing teeth and another one fell out near that location. Then, in a completely different area of her mouth, another one just fell out last night. Obviously her oral health is slipping, so we aren’t sure if a bridge will cut it. Budget is also an issue. Any pointers or advice so I can help calm her down and put her mind at ease?

-Whitney in Indiana

Whitney,

Of course, it is difficult to give specific recommendations without having seen your mother in person. That said, when teeth begin to fall out, it is a symptom of advanced gum disease.

So, if that is indeed what is happening for your mother, a dental bridge will not be the ideal treatment plan because it isn’t likely that she really has any solid teeth left that would be able to support this type of treatment.

If budget weren’t an issue, dental implants would absolutely be the treatment recommendation. Dental implants are the standard of care to replace missing teeth because they function like natural teeth and are lifelike. They prevent bone loss around the implant site and are a permanent solution. But, a full mouth restoration with dental implants would cost tens of thousands of dollars.

At this point, keeping in mind that there are budgetary constraints, your mother may better candidate for complete dentures. This would entail extracting the remaining teeth. The major downside of this plan is that when the teeth are gone, bone loss will occur. If you’ve seen images of elderly with sunken in faces, that is what would end up happening to her as the years go by. The condition is known as facial collapse and if she’s concerned about her appearance, she will not like that. Although, depending on her age, it still may be the best option for her.

If she’s not ready to go to the extreme of having all of the remaining teeth extracted, there is another type of partial denture called a Cu-Sil partial. This type of appliance is similar to a complete denture, but it allows the natural teeth to poke through and they help secure it in place. It will provide more stability than a complete removable denture. But if she truly does have advanced gum disease, it may not be the right fit.  Although, as other teeth fall out, the Cu-Sil partial can accommodate the occurrence with an artificial tooth replacement onto the appliance.

Hopefully this information was helpful. It would be wise to meet with a couple different dentists to obtain multiple treatment plans. Good luck!

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

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.

Am I too young to get a partial denture.

I’ll be honest. I think I’m too young to get a partial denture. I feel like the word “denture” automatically makes people think of old people. My teeth have been in bad shape for most of my life. I have several chips and some missing teeth. I can’t seem to find a dentist that has much empathy for me. There was one recent one that recommended a partial denture and I just expressed my thoughts on it. I don’t feel like a partial denture is a very permanent solution for my age. He seems set on doing multiple partials. Thirty-five years old seems to young for a partial.

-Rebecka in Minnesota

Rebecka,

Different dentists have different philosophies on salvaging your natural teeth. Some will go to any extent to utilize whatever is existing versus recommending tooth replacement options.

You need to get over the stigma about something being called a partial denture. That said, there is a much better alternative to replace missing teeth called dental implants. Dental implants are a permanent solution that look, feel and function just like your natural teeth. They prevent bone loss around the implant site and look completely natural.

For chips and some missing teeth, it is difficult to give specific recommendations without having seen your case. There are many approaches that may be viable. Dental bonding incorporated with dental implants may be a better approach to someone at your age.

In your situation, it may be in your best interest to seek some additional opinions from implant dentists in your area. You don’t ever want to make a recommendation to a dentist that may push them out of their comfort zone. They have made a recommendation based on their opinion, philosophy and experience. So telling a dentist to place dental implants that doesn’t have the right training and experience could end up disastrous.

Hopefully this is helpful. Good luck!

This post is sponsored by Cleveland dentist Hylan Dental Care.

Is it okay to get dental implants in Costa Rica?

I have heard all about how great dental implants are to replace missing teeth. The problem is that there is no way I can afford them. I have met with several different implants dentists in the US and they all are similar on fees. So, in my research I stumbled on a clinic in Costa Rica. The dentist is supposed to have received his training here in the States and has started a implant practice back in his home town. Should I be concerned? I’m ready to call it a vacation and get them done while I’m there.

-Carrie in Nevada

Carrie,

There is no way to tell how legitimate a dental implant practice is outside of the country. Sure, it all sounds good and it very well may work out for you. But there have been some terrible reports lately from Costa Rica practices claiming serious problems with dental implants and other cosmetic dentistry treatments.

There is simply no way to verify that the dentist in Costa Rica has the right implant dentistry training. In dentistry, implants are not a recognized specialty area. This means that any dentist can make the claim to be an implant dentist without having any additional training beyond dental school. In another country, the requirements are even more lax.

It’s a piece of cake to set up a website and claim to have happy patients and create whatever kind of image you would like, especially outside of the US. So, without being accusatory, it would be highly advised that you stay in the US for such an elaborate treatment plan as dental implants.

If things go wrong, you are here and he is there. Also, there are no repercussions if there is an issue like a failed dental implant. You will end up causing yourself more expense and pain, and unforeseen pitfalls than if you stayed in the country.

Sorry to be so negative. But this is the reality. Dentists, especially implant dentists, will go to great lengths to cut corners. So, before choosing an implant dentist, regardless of their location, be sure to interview them, research their credentials, and ask to see an extensive portfolio of work. Ask them about their success rate, how many implants they have placed, etc.

Bottom line – be very careful!

This post is sponsored by Cleveland dentist Hylan Dental Care.

I have two implant crowns, will a Maryland bridge still work?

I am trying to find out if it’s possible to have a Maryland bridge placed between two crowns. The crowns are actually part of dental implants. The place where the bridge would be is a molar and I currently have a tooth there. But it needs to be extracted and replaced.

Does that make sense?

-Jim in Iowa

Jim,

Yes, it is possible to place the Maryland bridge in a location between two dental implant crowns. The bigger issue at play is, how long will it last?

Maryland bridges have a short track record among many dentists. Although they seem easy to place, the force that will be endured with normal chewing and daily activities, presents some complications. Typically, to place a Maryland bridge, the adjacent teeth are ground down a bit and the framework is installed, then the bridge is bonded. But there needs to be small indentations or grooves implemented for success. Not every dentist will get this right. And the Maryland bridge may be at risk for popping out unexpectedly even if it is properly done.

Since you already have crowns on the adjacent teeth, that means that the bridge would not be bonded to natural tooth enamel. When bonding is done to porcelain, it simply isn’t as strong, even if it is well placed. Not too many dentists know how to bond directly to porcelain.

For an extremely skilled implant dentist, the possibility exists to bond the Maryland bridge to the metal framework. This alternative would be better than bonding to porcelain. But it’s a high risk treatment plan. So, although it is possible, it is definitely not ideal.

Hindsight is twenty-twenty. If the dentist would have originally anticipated the fact that the middle tooth would need to be replaced down the road, the implants could have been surgically implanted in such a way that the crowns could have been unscrewed and replaced with a bridge. But that’s neither here nor there.

At this point, the best permanent solution will be to have a third dental implant placed. As long as there is enough bone present at the implant site, this solution would give the the best outcome. The result would look, feel, and function, just like your natural teeth.

This post is sponsored by Cleveland dentist Hylan Dental Care.

 

Missing Several Teeth: Are Dental Implants an Option?

I’m missing several teeth for various reasons. A couple got knocked out in an accident and another one got decay under the crown and there wasn’t enough tooth left to save it (so I’m told) by the time we realized there was a problem. I want to start replacing them and I have looked into dental implants. They’re quite an investment, but my doctor says they’re best. Are dental implants my only real option since I’m missing several teeth?

-Connor

Dear Connor,

Dental implants are probably the best option, whether you’re missing several teeth or just one. The only caveat to that is that certain health conditions and habits, such as smoking, may preclude them as an option. The biggest advantage to them is that they work just like your natural tooth and anchor into the bone. This makes them very strong and helps you retain the bone in your jaw. With other types of restorations, the body begins to reabsorb the bone where the tooth was. The reduction of bone makes people look older, and leads to that puckered look people associate with aging. This bone loss condition is called facial collapse.

You didn’t specify whether the teeth were together or not, but there is a myriad of ways dental implants can be used to replace several missing teeth at once. Sometimes, a bridge can be created, with the dental implant serving as an anchor and a natural tooth serving as an anchor, while other times one on each side of the gap may be placed to anchor the bridge. With bridges, the teeth between the anchor teeth are made to match perfectly, so it will still look natural and it will be strong. However, you may still lose some bone over time in the areas between the anchors. You may also be able to use them in conjunction with a partial or a denture.

If cost is a concern, it’s a good idea to discuss these options with your dentist first. If you find they’re not an option, you may be a candidate for a standard bridge or a partial. A partial will probably be your least-expensive option, though a lot of people find they’re not happy with the fit sometime after, plus an ill-fitting denture can cause sore spots and make it difficult to eat. It just doesn’t feel “natural.” However, eating will still be easier for you than it likely is now, and a partial will help you smile for confidently as well. Ultimately, the decision is yours, but dental implants are likely the best choice if it’s within your means to get them.

This post is sponsored by Cleveland dentist Hylan Dental Care.

I hate my partial denture. It’s ugly.

I have a partial denture because I’m missing several teeth. So the partial is actually for five teeth. I think it looks terrible. I have been back in complaining about how ugly it is and it has been redone three separate times. I still hate it. It sticks out and doesn’t blend in at all. I don’t think my insurance will keep paying for it to be done over. Do you think I can get porcelain veneers? I want my smile to look beautiful but am not sure what to do because I’m missing teeth.

-Beatrice in Indiana

Beatrice

When a partial denture is done by a dentist that is passionate about aesthetics, it can look beautiful. Not just any general dentist will do beautiful, natural-looking work, as you are finding out. The dental laboratory is also an important part in getting the right look. Since you have given your dentist multiple opportunities to get it right and it hasn’t worked out, it may be time to see a dentist with some cosmetic dentistry training or at least an eye for aesthetics.

One option that helps to cover up the clasps that are inevitable with a partial denture is called a Valplast partial. These look more natural and lifelike and do not have the metal components.

Porcelain veneers will  not work to replace missing teeth. But it is possible to incorporate them into a smile makeover, along with dental implants. Implants are the ideal treatment to replace missing teeth. They look, feel, and function just like your natural teeth. You may want to seek a second opinion with a cosmetic dentist that is experienced in placing dental implants. Unfortunately, it sounds like your current dentist may not be the right fit to get the look you are going after.

Regarding your dental insurance, it is unlikely that dental implants or porcelain veneers will be fully covered. Also, most insurance companies will not cover the same treatment for five years. For example, if you had a crown done, they expect it to have at least a five year life. So you are correct in that they probably wouldn’t cover another try with the partial denture. It all depends on your budget and what your desires are regarding appearance.

Partial dentures can have problems, but they also can be done to look natural and beautiful. But it sounds like it’s time to find another dentist to work with.

This post is sponsored by Cleveland dentist Hylan Dental Care.