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Dental Stuff: implant vs bridge vs plate

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
Hi hi

I'm looking to either get a dental implant, a bridge, or a partial plate (one tooth) and would like to hear from others who have had any of the above.

If you could share your experiences, I'd appreciate it.

Years back I had the 3rd from the back (excluding wisdom teeth) molar removed..... it was removed without good cause (coulda been fixed but on the time I was on social assistance and the dentist chose to do the cheapest fix) and while I'm not having any problems yet, the potential is there for some fairly serious problems.

The only issue I have right now is that the missing molar has caused my other teeth to shift.... noticable to me and my dentist, not to others. But if they keep shifting, it will change how much room is left in the empty spot and could potentially limit my options (no implant).

The risks of leaving it alone vary from cosmetic to loss of bone in my jaw.

Alot of this is a financial decision....

Plate: 1200ish
Bridge: 2400ish
Implant: 35-4000.

Any experiences would be appreciated..... thanks.
post #2 of 23
As the owner of a partial plate I can say, avoid it.
I have a one tooth plate and I have to remove it to eat.
Rather embarassing.
And it has broken three times in two years, repairs are costly.
My understanding of bridges is that they carry the same risks as the old fashioned band type braces and often end up needing replacement.

I'd go with the implant.
Cheaper in the long run.
post #3 of 23
I lost one of my top front teeth when I was a kid, and had a plate for about 10 years. It was only supposed to be temporary, but the cost stopped me from doing anything else. Finally I decided to get something done since we were in a better financial situation.

Why did I not want a plate? It would often pop out while eating hard foods - it would get stuck in the food, which was annoying and embarrassing. I cleaned it when I brushed my teeth, but didn't like the idea of having stuff stuck up under it through the day - and if food got caught between the plate and the roof of my mouth and I was somewhere I couldn't take it out it would drive me NUTS. But it was perfectly fine otherwise, and if you are on a very limited budget, itsn't a bad choice.

I went for a dental implant. I didn't like the idea of a bridge, since the teeth on either side need to be filed down to attach the bridge. Because mine was one of my front teeth, it would mean filing down 2 of my top teeth including the other main front tooth. Not something I wanted to do. May not be so worrisome for a back tooth though.

I also had a fair bit of bone loss in the area, so going for an implant allowed them to rebuild the bone using a hunk of bone from near where my wisdom teeth used to be. I was worried the bone loss would keep getting worse over the years, and was concerned about the potential damage to the teeth around it if I kept losing bone.

The first oral surgeon I went to was an IDIOT. I hated his work. His plan was to do the bone graft, then when that settled, do the implant. The mess he left in my gums was horrible - it was a tangle of stitches, and it fell out and left a hole in my gum. Not only that but he wouldn't let me wear my plate, so I had to walk around missing a front tooth for 2 weeks - while I was out job hunting mind you.

So I went to someone else for the implant itself, and he did that, only the bone graft the first guy did didn't take! So the new surgeon did the bone graft and implant in one surgery, it looked SO much better than the first one, and he recommended I wear the plate because it would protect the area from food and whatever else, and would keep my tongue from playing with the stitches which is kinda inevitable, and it also kept any swelling down. It was a much better experience, so finding the right person is crucial.

Then maybe 6 months down the track once everything had settled into place, I went to the dentist who took a cast of my mouth, got the tooth made, and then attached the tooth to the implanted "rod".

I'm so glad I went down this path. It looks like a regular tooth, I don't have to worry about bone loss, it's very secure, and requires no extra work - it's just like a regular tooth.
post #4 of 23
I have a what Arlyn has ... I usually go without it ... which since I am a fairly natural gal is fine with me ...

If I had the choice 15 years ago I would have done a implant or a flipper tooth( simliar to a plate only just the tooth and you can eat with it easily
post #5 of 23
Check here for lots of helpful info:

http://members5.boardhost.com/CosmeticDental/index.html

Implants, if you can afford them, are almost always the way to go.
post #6 of 23
I have a bridge because I had the exact same issue. My tooth was removed because it had to be, and I never dealt with getting the bridge done at the time because we couldn't afford it. A few years later... teeth shifting. Got the bridge. Didn't even know an implant was an option. Haven't had any problems with it at all. It's supposed to be a long term solution. I've had it about 10 years or so, and never any issues.
post #7 of 23
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the experiences

Quote:
Originally Posted by Arlyn View Post
And it has broken three times in two years, repairs are costly.
.

I'd go with the implant.
Cheaper in the long run.
In my case, repairs cost nothing because of my insurance. The insurance covers repairs/replacements and the like, but they will not cover the initial...(whether it be a plate/dentures/etc.....yet they will cover repairs)

Quote:
Originally Posted by sarahp View Post

So I went to someone else for the implant itself, and he did that, only the bone graft the first guy did didn't take! So the new surgeon did the bone graft and implant in one surgery, it looked SO much better than the first one, and he recommended I wear the plate because it would protect the area from food and whatever else, and would keep my tongue from playing with the stitches which is kinda inevitable, and it also kept any swelling down. It was a much better experience, so finding the right person is crucial.

Then maybe 6 months down the track once everything had settled into place, I went to the dentist who took a cast of my mouth, got the tooth made, and then attached the tooth to the implanted "rod".

I'm so glad I went down this path. It looks like a regular tooth, I don't have to worry about bone loss, it's very secure, and requires no extra work - it's just like a regular tooth.
Thanks for the lengthy explanation.

Thankfully I am not at the bone grafting stage, and that is part of what I am trying to prevent.

I won't say that money is not an issue, cuz this day and age, of course it is. But it is NOT the driving force in my decision.

Right now the driving force is preventing furthur damage.

The dentist is recommending either a plate or implant..... and I know nothing about bridges.....but I don't like the idea of them filing down the other teeth.


I'm in the research phase, then will talk to hubby. But within the next 6mos or so, I want to get something done.

The partial plate would at minimum keep the other teeth from shifting which is a good thing, and because its not permanent, if a few yrs I could get an implant.

Ultimately, eventually I'd like the implant, am nervous on the procedure but I'll worry bout that when the time comes.

Sounds like I made my decision eh LOL....really I haven't, I'm talking out loud still.
post #8 of 23
I have terrible teeth (genetically) even though I am a religious brusher, flosser, and extra fluoride treatment person. I've had so much dental work done that it's practically mind boggling.

Many years ago, I had a root canal/crown done on a bottom first molar. It was never right, and always caused pain. The endodontist who had done the root canal...well...let's just say I'd never go back...even if he was the last endodontist on the face of the Earth. Three years ago, I went to an oral surgeon because of the pain in that tooth. He did an apicoectomy on it (remove the nerve by drilling through the jaw), and the pain went away for the first time in years! I was ecstatic! Unfortunately, a year later, I got an abscess in the bone graft that was placed in the root bed, and had to have the tooth removed. I didn't have enough money to start a dental implant (which would have been my second one...the first one was a breeze.) About a year later, I went back to see about starting the work for a dental implant. They discovered so much bone loss from just one year, that I needed to build up my jaw with grafting, before they could start the implant work.

The only thing I can tell you, is.....If you are thinking dental implant, time is of the essence. The longer you wait, the more bone loss you'll have, and the more work will be needed for the prep, and it will be more expensive, and take longer (I had to wait 6 months between bone grafting, and placing the screw.) Right now, I still have the screw cover in (so far it's been well over $3000 US.) I haven't made the appointment yet to have the healing abutment placed. Then I need to have the crown placed, which will cost at least another $3000 US.

Dental implants are great. The first one I had done was so easy, no bone graft was needed, it healed very quickly, and works wonderfully. The only true drawback is their exorbitant expense!!!
post #9 of 23
I'd go with an implant. I have never had either of those, but my parents have and I've heard nothing but complaints about bridges and plates. My mom had an implant and recently and she says it feels no different than a real tooth.
post #10 of 23
I have heard wonderful things about implants. My cousin who is anorexic has a plate and has nothing but issues. Due to her medical condition implants are not an option.

Personally if you have the $$ now, do the implants. What if it's not an option later on and the plate or bridge doesn't work.
post #11 of 23
My brother got punched in the mouth as a teenager (by his best friend...over a girl ) and one of his front teeth was broken. The dentist put in an implant, and you'd never know the difference now. It was only about $800....although that was over 10 years ago. I know a guy who's looking at getting a couple implants, and he says it'll cost him $1000-$1200 per tooth. $3500-$4000 seems exorbitant, though I know prices differ in other areas of the country.
post #12 of 23
DH has a partial he absolutely hates it. A friend of mine had a partial, she also hated it. She got implants last year, She loves them.
post #13 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Willowy View Post
, and he says it'll cost him $1000-$1200 per tooth. $3500-$4000 seems exorbitant, though I know prices differ in other areas of the country.
wow, that's not bad even when you do the conversion....

But yes, here at the bare minimum I'd be looking at 3400 for one tooth.



DH and I talked about it, I'm going to make another appt with my dentist to see which options are indeed available for me.... (I was talking to the assistant who cleans my teeth about this, never saw the dentist himself tho he was the one giving the price estimates)

From there, we'll decide between a partial plate or an implant.

DH has some concerns..... #1 me having surgery.... ( based on the issues I had with my last hand surgery ) #2 my tolerance to pain medication and sedative medication (again relates back to my most recent hand surgery) #3 is just that he knows noone with an implant.

He raised some valid points. Money is not an issue really.... it is but it isn't. It would be an issue if we were talking that I wanted to buy a 4k toy. But when it comes to health, preventative health, etc. then we do what needs doing.


For those of you that have had the implant, can you tell me about the procedure and pain afterwards? (Sarah already posted her procedure which sounds like not the norm) What type of pain were you in? For how long? How long did the first step take to heal?

Thanks
post #14 of 23
Mine was probably $3000 for the failed bone graft, then a bit over $3500 for the graft and implant placement in one. The healing abutment was included in that price. I can't remember how much the tooth itself was but I think it was mostly covered under my dental insurance and wasn't too expensive.

The pain really wasn't that bad if I recall correctly. The second surgery was probably more typical, and I blogged about it, so this is what I wrote at the time:

Quote:
So my poor mouth is feeling quite uncomfortable, my right sinus aches, I have a fair bit of facial swelling, and the roof of my mouth is hurting as well from the tissue graft I assume. I can wear my plate with the fake tooth which helps limit the swelling as well as helps me not look so silly, and I reckon it also stops me playing with all the stitches! They gave us an extra prescription for anti-inflammatories, and also told me to take high dosages of calcium and vitamins C and D to help with the bone healing and strength which certainly makes sense!
The next day I posted that my face was throbbing, but then after that, everything felt pretty good. So 2 days of discomfort - and that was include a tissue graft, a second bone graft and the implant itself.

As far as I'm concerned oral surgery is the worst sort of surgery to have - any other surgeries you can eat or drink things to make you feel better, but your mouth feels too icky to do that after oral surgery. I end up swallowing a fair bit of blood and whatever from surgery that makes me sick and barfy afterwards.

But the pain itself isn't too bad, and it is worth it in the long run.
post #15 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Snake_Lady View Post
wow, that's not bad even when you do the conversion....

But yes, here at the bare minimum I'd be looking at 3400 for one tooth.



DH and I talked about it, I'm going to make another appt with my dentist to see which options are indeed available for me.... (I was talking to the assistant who cleans my teeth about this, never saw the dentist himself tho he was the one giving the price estimates)

From there, we'll decide between a partial plate or an implant.

DH has some concerns..... #1 me having surgery.... ( based on the issues I had with my last hand surgery ) #2 my tolerance to pain medication and sedative medication (again relates back to my most recent hand surgery) #3 is just that he knows noone with an implant.

He raised some valid points. Money is not an issue really.... it is but it isn't. It would be an issue if we were talking that I wanted to buy a 4k toy. But when it comes to health, preventative health, etc. then we do what needs doing.


For those of you that have had the implant, can you tell me about the procedure and pain afterwards? (Sarah already posted her procedure which sounds like not the norm) What type of pain were you in? For how long? How long did the first step take to heal?

Thanks
Actually, imo getting an implant has nothing to do with your health or prevenative health.. people dont become disabled from not having an implant,plate,ect... 4k could turn into 1m easily from complications from an implant.. Im talking permanent nerve damage complications.. which by the way- i have... Are any of you aware that a dentist can take a "weekend" class for 5k on "how to do an implant"? and of course those dentists will and do promote implants... This site is where dental nightmares end up the most..

http://www.sciential.net/cgi-bin/dcforum/dcboard.cgi

And for info. on bone loss after root canals...

http://www.sargentipaste.org/
post #16 of 23
Getting an implant would be a great incentive to never go back to smoking. My dentist won't do implants on people who smoke, because in his experience they'll lose them if they continue to smoke or resume smoking. Just a thought, as I know you've kicked the habit.

I got a bridge about 5 years ago after breaking one lower molar and severely cracking the adjacent one. Implants were out of the question because I'd been smoking for decades. IIRC, both molars were removed, and a mold was made for the bridge during one visit. The teeth used to anchor the bridge were filed down with a laser and the bridge put in approximately three weeks later. All this was done using several shots of novacaine, and the only pain I remember was in my jaw afterwards from having my mouth gaping during the time it took to file the teeth and put the bridge in. I took regular strength Ibuprofen for two days, and that was the end of it.
post #17 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ms cat love View Post
Actually, imo getting an implant has nothing to do with your health or prevenative health.. people dont become disabled from not having an implant,plate,ect... 4k could turn into 1m easily from complications from an implant.. Im talking permanent nerve damage complications.. which by the way- i have... Are any of you aware that a dentist can take a "weekend" class for 5k on "how to do an implant"? and of course those dentists will and do promote implants... This site is where dental nightmares end up the most..

http://www.sciential.net/cgi-bin/dcforum/dcboard.cgi

And for info. on bone loss after root canals...

http://www.sargentipaste.org/
Actually it does have a lot to do with preventative health. As another poster already mentioned, the longer the hole is empty, the more potential for bone loss and that is something I really don't want to deal with if I can help it An implant, or plate, will stop the bone loss from the missing tooth.

I guess becoming "disabled" is subject to your definition of disabled. I already am from work related injuries, and quite frankly I don't want to add onto it as I deal with enough chronic health issues as is.

As well as any surgery, whether it be oral or not, has risks involved period. Unfortunately some people have a rough time.... I did after my last hand surgery but nothing horrible (and now we have things to do with my next surgery to prevent the same).

Also, I am Canadian, and AFAIK, our oral surgeons are well schooled and nothing like what you described. They are in schooling for many years to learn what they do, certainly not some "weekend course". I believe we have higher requirements than some medical professionals in the US.

Like most people, I would go to someone recommended by my dentist as I trust him completely in regards to this.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jcat View Post
Getting an implant would be a great incentive to never go back to smoking. My dentist won't do implants on people who smoke, because in his experience they'll lose them if they continue to smoke or resume smoking. Just a thought, as I know you've kicked the habit.
Hmmmm, never heard that..... dentist never mentioned it. Although it could be an incentive for some, the way my teeth look and smoking never coexhisted in my mind.... it's not an incentive for me..... (have enough other incentives tho )

But I am interested in how one would lose an implant from smoking? Curiousity.
post #18 of 23
Smoking is a risk factor for osteoporosis, and decreased bone density might lead to the loss of implants. Smoking and Bone Health
post #19 of 23
My first dental implant was not uncomfortable at all. I had a prescription for Vicodin, and I never needed to take any. My current one was a bit uncomfortable for the bone graft. I had that done on January 15, and I've still got a small area of numbness in my left side of my lip. The bone graft was done right over the area where the mental nerve/mental foramen is. I had the bone screw placed in July, and there as little to no pain from that, I only used Advil a couple of times. I would compare the discomfort to having an extensive filling type of dental work.

Smoking causes vasoconstriction, so smoking can compromise the healing of any surgery, including implant surgery. My oral surgeon won't do implants on smokers either, as he feels that it is far too risky.
post #20 of 23
When I was in my late twenties believe it or not I still had a baby tooth. This cracked and was pulled. There was no tooth underneath. Back then I don't know if implants even existed. So I got the bridge and crown. I have never had a single problem with this.

About a year ago Neil was having jaw/mouth pain. He ended up having an root canal, a visit to an endodonist and an implant done. The implant is considered cosmetic surgery by insurance so we paid out of pocket for it. The only problem he had/has was nerve damage done. He has not regained feeling and has numbness in a portion of his lip and gum area. No problems with the implant.
post #21 of 23
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the input everyone.

We've decided to make the dentist appt. to start the process of doing either an implant or a plate. Reasoning: if we do the plate now, we can always go back and do the implant at a later date (having something there would help avoid some bone loss from what they told me).

So I'll be calling on Monday to start the process (most likely an implant).

I don't know how long the wait is here for an oral surgeon (none in my town, I have to go to a neighbouring city) but now is the time for me to do it..... while I'm awaiting surgery on my other hand, and recovery from that....meaning I won't have to take time off from school/training to do this.

Our insurance does not cover this either.... none of the options Insurance will cover if I already had a plate and needed another tooth added, but not the initial plate (and of course, nothing as far as the implant goes).

Thx again folks, appreciate the experiences.
post #22 of 23
How many people have implants or a plate put in because they had their wisdom teeth out and were afraid of bone loss? I sure didnt...

How many people are aware that Novocaine isnt even an anesthetic used in dentistry these days? Are most people aware of the dangers of articane/septocaine which is highly used in Canada but not as much in the USA?
http://www.nodentalpain.com/ArticaineParesthesia.html

There was a known class action suit against septodent in the state of Texas recently.. now all packages of septocaine in the USA have a package insert warning against the dangers of using it.. Canada does not....... And if Canada has higher medical requirements than the USA? Why are Canadian dentists still using septocaine and sending nerve damaged patients to US for microsurgery nerve repair?

I suppose only once i did become "disabled" because of dental negligence in the USA did i become aware of what really goes on in the world of dentistry... http://www.dentalfraudinflorida.com/

I for one would never ever consider having an implant.. or to be injected injected with septo....or to have sargenti paste as a root canal filler.. If i had done my research before agreeing to wisdom tooth extraction in 2001 and found that 90% of the time they dont need to be removed then i would not have ended up with permanent disabling nerve damage either....
post #23 of 23

Re: Dental Stuff

 

I had an implant about a year ago and it was a looooong process....the bone graft, healing, etc. took many months to complete.  The dentist I had has a very fine reputation, is very careful and very expensive.  With all the cleanings in between, the bone graft, the extraction, it came to close to $10,000.  I found that no two implants are alike. My husband's implant was about $5,000 and my friend's was about $3,000.  I find the charges a bit mysterious but I did have my regular dentist checkout the bill and he said it was fair.  So I guess my needs were greater than most.  However, I will say he did a great job.

 

Also, I just opted for a dental plate for two missing molars (my troubles started as a teen and I have a mouthful of fillings) and so far it is ok.  I just didn't want to go through the whole annoying process of an implant. I found all the hammering, etc., of getting the implant really tedious. I didn't have a lot of pain ( I take lots of vitamins), so pain wasn't the issue. I never even had to take a Tylenol.I just hated all the novocaine shots and all the time in the chair with all the equipment in my mouth.

 

I'll see how the plate works out.  It's not the most convenient, but it was a lot cheaper!  Not great for chewing so far, but I've only had it about a week. I'm getting used to putting it in and taking it out.

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