At Comfort Dental, I had all my incisors replaced with a bridge and anchored by my canine teeth. They recently became loose and had to be extracted. When they extracted my anchor teeth, they put in a partial denture, but it is very uncomfortable. I really don’t think I can stick with it. I asked them, their next option and they want to replace each missing upper tooth with mini implants because I’m on a tight budget. I decided based on my previous experience with them to just see what another dentist has to say. I went to a local dentist in private practice. His suggestion was completely different. He wants to place three full-sized implants, two where the canines were and one directly between them. This plan is considerably more expensive, even though it is fewer total implants. Is there a good reason to do the more expensive plan or is the cheaper plan safe?
The picture directly above shows a side by side comparison of a full sized-dental implant (left) with the mini-implant (right). I don’t like that Comfort Dental is replacing teeth with mini-implants. That’s not what they’re designed to do. The best they can handle is to stabilize a denture. Putting them as the root for individual teeth will not last long.
Comfort Dental is a corporate dental practice. They tend to draw in brand new dentists straight out of dental school who are trying to garner some experience before striking out in private practice.
Dental implants are a particularly advanced procedure and require some post-doctoral studies to truly understand and get right. In fact, it is one of the largest cases of dental malpractice right now because too many dentists don’t invest in that extra training.
If you went with Comfort Dental’s plan, the teeth wouldn’t last very long and the implants will fail. You won’t be able to just replace them either. When they fail, they’ll take bone structure with them. That bone structure is necessary to integrate with any new implants you may want to have. In order to get that back, you’ll need an additional procedure known as bone grafting. Does that sound like saving money to you?
The Right Dental Implant Treatment
I’d go with the dentist suggesting the three full-sized dental implants. He’ll anchor a dental bridge to them. Putting the third one in the center shows he really understands the engineering principles behind dental implants.
Placing a bridge on the canine teeth, as comfort dental did earlier, puts too much stress on the canines because of the motion of our bite in that area. It causes a twisting motion that will loosen those teeth. That is why you lost those teeth to begin with.
Now, by adding a third implant between them, it will stabilize the bridge, thereby preventing the twisting motion. Yes, this plan will initially cost you more money, but it could very well last your lifetime, much unlike the “cheaper” plan.
This blog is brought to you by dental implant dentist Dr. Susan Dennis.