Getting Dental Implants After 30 Years in Dentures
I have been in dentures for over 30 years. My “teeth” have never been attractive. I just inherited a large sum of money and would be able to get dental implants, which I think would give me a beautiful smile. Is it too late for me to get that?
While technically it is never too late to get dental implants, the length of time you have been in dentures means that you have probably lost a significant amount of the bone structure in your lower jaw. Maybe you have noticed that it has become a little more challenging to keep your dentures in place. Because that bone is important to keep your dental implants anchored, you will need a procedure done to build that bone back up. This is called bone grafting. Once that is done you should be good to go with the dental implants.
When you are missing all your teeth, it is too cost-prohibitive for you to get a dental implant for each missing tooth. Instead, you will get implant overdentures. This will take four to eight dental implants and then anchor your dentures to them. These will be completely secure.
As for the beauty of the smile. That can happen with dentures, implant supported dentures, or straight dental implants. What determines whether or not the smile will be beautiful is dependent on the cosmetic skills of the dentist. I would certainly make sure they have done some post-doctoral training in cosmetic work. In addition, I would ask to see some before and after pictures of actual cases they have done. That should give you a pretty good idea what kind of result you will get with that dentist.
In addition to their cosmetic training, it is extremely important that you look into their post-doctoral training in dental implants. This is extremely important. Dental implants are an advanced procedure and if they do not have significant training in this there can be disastrous results. There are countless horror stories from dental implants gone wrong. I would start by looking at their implant training and then look at their cosmetic training.
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Half My Dental Implants Have Fallen Out
I received eight dental implants in total. I’ve already paid for five of them and will pay for three more and some dentures in a couple of months. However, they’ve already started falling out. Today, I lost the fourth one and it has only been a little over a week since they’ve been placed. I feel I should get a refund on these so they can be redone. I’m also wondering if I should be concerned over the remainder of them. Have you seen this happen before?
First, this is not normal and should not have happened. Your dentist has a 50% success rate for the dental implants he’s given you thus far. Most competent implants dentists have a 95% success rate and even that 5% of failure doesn’t happen for a year or more out. As for a refund. I would not just ask for a refund. Getting dental implants redone is not as simple as replacing the ones that failed. Instead, you have to first have a bone grafting procedure to build back up all the bone that was lost during the failure and removal of your dental implants. That costs even more than what you paid him originally. What I would like you to do instead is request him to pay to have these redone by an implant dentist of your choosing. My recommendation is you find someone with extensive post-doctoral training in dental implants as well as a high success rate so you can be certain you are getting competent work done.
Before moving forward with your replacements, I would like you to get a solid explanation for why they failed in the first place.
Common Reasons for Dental Implant Failure
- Infection at the implant site.
- Inadequate bone support. This is always the fault of the dentist. If he or she does adequate diagnostics, the problem would be realized and dealt with using a bone grafting procedure.
- Cheap implant fixtures. Rather than pay high fees for implant fixtures held to rigid standards, some dentists will try to increase their profits by purchasing cheap fixtures.
- Incorrect placement of the implant – Also completely the fault of the dentist.
- Premature loading. This means the dentist placed the crowns or dentures too soon. The bone needs time to integrate with the implants in a process known as osseointegration.
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My dentist is struggling to get the right color for my implant crown
About a year ago, I was so excited to get a dental implant to replace my missing right upper front tooth. Everything went fine with my implant procedure, but I’m disappointed in the resulting esthetics. My dentist has really struggled to get the crown color right so that it matches my left front tooth, and we’ve redone this crown at least three times now. Sometimes it’s been too dark, at other times it was noticeably too light.
I don’t know why my dentist can’t get this right. He’s getting frustrated with me, telling me I should just be grateful the implant is doing well and that it’s not his fault that my tooth color is hard to match.
He also told me that continually manipulating my implant to change the crown could compromise the implant itself.
I don’t mean to be so difficult; it’s just that I want my new implant to look like a natural tooth since it’s so visible. But I also don’t want to risk damaging my implant.
What should I do at this point?
Thanks for any advice you can share,
Paul from Phoenix, AZ
Getting matching dental crowns makes a world of difference!
Getting a dental implant is an exciting step that can change your life for the better, so we’re glad to hear your procedure was successful. But we’re sad to hear that you’ve had such a frustrating experience with your current dentist.
The good news is that your situation is not as hopeless as it may seem. You can safely get a new crown for your implant that matches the neighboring teeth!
There are three things we want to make sure you’re aware of.
Point number one: it may help you to hear that you are not being unreasonable. Given that the tooth in question (maxillary central incisor) is one of your most prominent teeth, it’s only natural to want your implant restoration to blend in seamlessly with the rest of your smile, so there’s no need to worry that you’re being a “difficult” patient.
Point number two: it is perfectly safe to grind off your current crown in order to replace it with a new one. Get a second opinion from a dental implant dentist who has extensive experience in esthetic implant restoration.
This brings us to:
Point number three: your current dentist doesn’t seem to be a very experienced cosmetic dentist, and this could be the reason he’s not interested in creating a closer match for your implant crown.
It’s not an easy feat to get a perfect match. Even skilled cosmetic dentists need to try in a crown more than once to make sure the color match is true before they bond the crown in place.
Many general dentists rely on an industry-standard shade guide to pick colors for their crowns. This guide, however, doesn’t account for all the subtle variations in color that can occur naturally in human teeth. Dentists who rely heavily on this guide and have little to no interest in achieving an exact match don’t put in the time to customize the hue or to communicate specific color instructions to their dental lab ceramist.
So in short, it sounds like your current dentist may not be putting in the effort necessary to create a well-matched restoration for your implant. You need to work with a dentist who takes an artistic approach to restoring dental implants and is willing to try in your dental crown and make needed adjustments multiple times before permanently cementing it onto your implant.
Posted on behalf of Dr. Tostado, a cosmetic dentist near Douglas AZ.