It's hard to know what to do

Discussion in 'General Dentistry Discussion' started by Whatteeth, Oct 24, 2018.

  1. Whatteeth

    Whatteeth

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    I have an unusually bad dental situation. Nearly all of my teeth need to be extracted; nearly half are broken at the gum line.

    My preference is to want to get implants for all of them, not to go to dentures.

    This is where it gets hard with the questions.

    In theory, I have some minimal insurance that would cover extractions, but in practice it has almost no providers. For example, one of the few providers accepting it is booked until into 2019. And bone grafts aren't covered anyway.

    So that makes it likely to just pay for everything. Calling local oral surgeons, the prices seem to range from about $220-$900 per tooth, plus about $750-$900 for a bone graft. One has an estimate of $900-$2000 for both per tooth.

    Some want $100-$200 for a consultation even to say their prices.

    Saying 15 teeth, that alone is perhaps $20,000 for extractions and bone grafts. Then the implants seem to be about $5,000 each from a quality provider - maybe $3,000 if you 'shop around' for value - another $50k-$75k.

    It's hard to know where to find value, how to find quality, even what questions to ask. You find there are a lot of things about quality you don't even know to ask.

    And then there's the international option. I don't know if providers in this forum have a bias against that as a competitor, but of course there are legitimate risks and tradeoffs and benefits with the option.

    But try to find the better options on that - it's easy to find many options, but not to feel you have found the 'good ones'. The resources mainly seem to be paid referral sites, and the providers' own websites.

    Which makes sense - who has actually gone to hundreds of offices to compare them around the world? That'd cost a lot and I know of no independent service reviewer who does that.

    Which leaves little but 'word of mouth' type info like someone saying 'I went there and here's my experience'.

    It's a lot to look at something like a $100k expense for this. I could be pretty sure of good quality with a local provider for that $100k figure. But if I could find as good or better internationally for less than half and save $50,000 that's attractive.

    Currently, I spent yesterday in some pain from the root/sinus area on the left with 4 teeth broken at the gumlines (I basically have the two front teeth left for biting upper/lower). Last night aleve/tylenol made the pain go away.

    And even if I spend a lot to do this, there's how long they'll last. I hear 10 years, I head 30 years... I wouldn't want to have to re-purchase this in 10 or 15 years.

    And then there's the question whether I should consider other options I've barely heard about in some cases - not only dentures, but things like bridges so multiple teeth use one implant.

    Don't really know the tradeoffs there in cost/quality/how long it lasts/etc.

    Clearly I've spent years putting off getting this done as more teeth have broken off. Just thought I'd share the experience of looking for the right option and listen to comments with suggestions.

    One other option is looking for places in the US that are good and more affordable - I remember a 'dental school' in North Carolina that did a great job on something if I could find them again, if they do this work (probably not).

    And then I see these 'low-cost implant' services advertising but don't feel comfortable with the quality yet from them unfortunately. And anyone who can be asked tends to have their own interests to protect.
     
    Whatteeth, Oct 24, 2018
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  2. Whatteeth

    MattKW Verified Dentist

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    If you haven't been able to maintain your natural teeth, then I would worry about giving you implants. You need to be absolutely on top of your diet and hygiene before embarking on implants. Apart from the obvious cost, it's like getting a nice car - the maintenance is higher. So, if you smoke, have a sugary diet, and don't maintain excellent hygiene, then you'll be wasting your time and money.
    I like all my implant patients to go to a periodontist for the purpose of getting good hygiene, assessing their risks, and for the implant surgery (they handle gums well).
    As for overseas (tourism dentistry), the problem is that you don't know what you'll be getting. there are plenty of implant systems in the world, and if you want your implants to last you need to have big-brand types. Would you buy a Lada while visiting Russia? I've seen some patients come back from overseas with systems that I can't find parts for.
     
    MattKW, Oct 28, 2018
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  3. Whatteeth

    asdf1234

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    I have several implants. I have all of my teeth crowned except for 6 on the bottom which have veneers.

    As far as price I started out as a patient at a dental college. Implants ran me $500 each there. I also learned a lot about teeth which helped me make much more informed decisions in the future as I have needed work done.

    As far as prices I recently had two extractions and three implants with bone grafting placed all in one surgery. This was at a private dentist. It cost me 3500$ total for everything without crowns, and I will have to buy my abuntments later for 100$ each. I found a discount dental plan online and pay less than 450$ for pfm crowns, but there is a small selection of dentists who take this plan.

    I too did not want dentures, but I did have to wear a partial for a while. What you are wanting to do is very possible. However you should know it is tough. Half of my face is swollen up after extractions, grafts, and implants 2 days ago. Yesterday was very painful, even with pain meds I could not sleep.
     
    asdf1234, Nov 3, 2018
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  4. Whatteeth

    Whatteeth

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    Thanks for the reply. What dental school did you find? I wonder how good an option finding one of those it.

    The main local one is the State University and they aren't really cheaper than private...
     
    Whatteeth, Nov 3, 2018
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  5. Whatteeth

    asdf1234

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    Accurate prices over the phone are hard to get. My implants were 1,000$ each at the graduate college if you just came in and wanted that. However once I got assigned to a student and the implant was approved as part of my whole mouth restoration treatment plan the price dropped to 500 plus the price of a crown signed off as necessary, etc.

    If you want to go the private dentist route, which is what I do now. You will need to Google discount dental plans, and study the various plans. Then check the area where they have dentists who accept the plans. Some plans are less for root canals, but higher for crowns. You can have multiple plans. Then call the dentist to make certain they will take the plan, and honor the prices. I have found nobody to take these plans for implants. But extractions, crowns, veneers, bridges have been no problem. These prices were often the same as the college. Implants being the exception.

    I used affordable dentures and implants for implants. I actually drove a great distance to go to more than one location. I did read bad reviews about them, but it was people complaining about their dentures not fitting and so forth. I did have to go in there knowing exactly what I wanted them to do. I had to be a little pushy, and ask if I could get the crowns elsewhere.
     
    asdf1234, Nov 4, 2018
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  6. Whatteeth

    Whatteeth

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    It's worrisome to consider splitting up work all over. It'd be nice to find one place somewhere in the world to do all of it with good quality and value.
     
    Whatteeth, Nov 4, 2018
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  7. Whatteeth

    asdf1234

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    Indeed it would be nice, but when you are talking about major restorative work it depends how determined you are.

    Most go with pulling all teeth and dentures, as implants, veneers, crowns, root canals are out of reach financially. For those who can afford them they are not willing to go through the trauma and pain involved.
     
    asdf1234, Nov 7, 2018
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  8. Whatteeth

    DrPhilHellmuth

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    That sounds really bad! I am sorry to hear that :-(
     
    DrPhilHellmuth, Nov 8, 2018
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