Tag Archives: missing teeth

Why I Backed Out of Clear Choice?

One woman’s experience with Clear Choice:

I was considering doing a dental implant procedure. I really wanted the best tooth replacement. However, my dentist indicated this procedure could take months. I saw an advertisement for Clear Choice. It talked about how much faster their procedure was. In fact, they said I could get it all over with in one day. That sounded appealing.

When I called, however, the sales tactic was pretty hard. While they gave me a price compatible with my dentists, they insisted I place a $1000 deposit down to hold that guaranteed price. Then I find out they expect me to remove healthy teeth in order to do their procedure. That worried me. I did some more research and discovered their procedure isn’t the “normal” dental implant procedure. Instead, Clear Choice does some kind of short-cut, which does save time, but will likely cost me in the long run–including some healthy teeth. No thanks.

Glad I did some more research.

Helen – Virginia

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.

Choosing the Right Solution for Affordable Implant Treatment

I have a missing upper molar and two canine teeth that need replacing. One place I went wants to do mini implants to replace them. They told me it would keep cost down and last ten years.  They’re very affordable. The other dentist suggested instead to replace my canine teeth with regular dental implants and on the missing molar to do a bridge because the teeth next to them are broken and having problems.  This is a more expensive option. The two plans are so different, I’m having a hard time choosing and don’t want to get sucked into the wrong one, simply based on math.

Emely R. – PA

Emely,

I’m glad you’re not making decisions simply based on the “best deal”. Sometimes what you think are affordable dental implants end up being what costs you the most, in both health and dollars.

If I were in your place, I’d go with the recommendation of the second dentist. Here’s why.

Mini implants, though more affordable, are not meant to be single tooth replacements. They’re designed to secure a denture. They don’t usually last ten years. But, let’s say you luck out and they make the full promised ten years. Then what?  You don’t just replace them with new implants. They fail when there’s not enough bone structure to support them anymore. In order to replace them, you’d have to have bone grafting done, which is quite expensive.

If you start with full-sized implants, you have a 98% chance of success, depending on who does the procedure.

The bridge is also a good idea, because it addresses the needs of the adjacent teeth.

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

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.

Why is there a Disparity in Clear Choice Reviews?

I’ve been reading Clear Choice reviews and I’m not sure what to make of them. I’m hoping to get a little advice. I’ve had a bridge on my lower left side for 40 years—if that tells you anything about my age. Ha! It was replaced once about 20 years ago and has served me well, but at my last check up the doc told me it was done for. One of the teeth holding it up has decay and it can’t be saved. The doc gave me a list of options. He was really pushing for one or two dental implants to replace the teeth or redo the bridge, but he also said I could go with a partial denture—yuck! I’m not that old yet! Or, he can make a really long bridge, but he’s not really crazy about the idea or sure about how long it will last. In my research, I came across some Clear Choice reviews. Some people seem really happy with what they had done and other people experienced nightmares. Shouldn’t it be consistent with the same outfit? Any idea why there’s a disparity? I was considering having a consult with them just so I can say I was diligent, but I’ll steer clear if there’s something happening there.

Many Thanks,

Gloria in Minnesota

Dear Gloria,

Clear Choice reviews are a mixed bag because the experiences people have are not consistent. When they do well, people are naturally satisfied, but when they don’t do well, it can wreak havoc on someone’s whole life.

The biggest problem people seem to have is that they handle dental care in a standardized fashion, almost like an assembly line. It’s tough to get quality results if people aren’t treated like the unique individuals they are. Your teeth are one-of-a-kind, just like your fingerprints, so your treatment should be chosen based on what’s best for you.

If you’re simply trying to be diligent, you may have a better experience if you seek out an individual practitioner, rather than a chain. Naturally, you’ll want to check out the doctor’s reputation before scheduling as well. However, it sounds like you have a good relationship with your current dentist and that you trust him. If this is the case, there’s probably no need to get a second opinion. You’re already in an office that treats you well and that will see you through, even after the dental implants procedure is done. That’s something certain chain offices can’t touch.

This post is sponsored by Cleveland dentist Hylan Dental Care.

How can I find free dentistry?

Hi,

I’m embarrassed to be in this situation. But as a recent breast cancer survivor, my mouth has taken a beating. To say that my teeth are in bad shape is an understatement. I’ve gotten to the point where tooth pain is the norm. I’m missing many teeth. Of the remaining, most are okay. But one of them has a nerve that is bothering me. Also, I had braces a long time ago and have some brackets left on a few of them.

Unfortunately, I don’t have a job and even if I did I qualify for low income care. So I’m desperate to find a free dental clinic or low-cost dental care. Any pointers you have would be very much appreciated.

-Shelby in Pennsylvania

Sheila,

Congratulations on overcoming breast cancer. To answer your question about free dentistry, your best bet is to research charitable dental clinics. This is a bit tricky because you may have to lower your expectations. For example, for the nerve issue, they will not likely offer a root canal treatment, their solution will be to extract the tooth. The brackets aren’t an issue because it’s relatively straightforward. And for the missing teeth, a flipper partial will likely be the option. So you can expect the lowest-cost alternative at free dental clinics.

Here are some pointers to get you started. Find a local “dental society” in your area. They may have more information on charitable or low-cost dental care. Another route you may be interested in is going to a dental school. If you are open to dental students providing care, this may be a viable option. Contacting charities in the area works well for some too. They may have established relationships with local dentists in your area that may be able to help you.

Still another strategy is to do a little research about specific practices. If the dentist mentions charitable contributions or involvement in the community, they may be open to working with you. Also, many dentists will set aside one day a year to provide free dentistry. The organization that sponsors this initiative is called Dentists with a Heart.

Good luck to you. Hopefully this will be helpful in identifying some options for your situation.

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.