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Has anyone gotten a dental implant?

tendrillytendrilly Posts: 183Registered Users
I had a failed root canal, followed by a root canal retreatment attempt which also failed because decay had "blossomed" under the crown and there's not much tooth left (I know, it's a nightmare), so now I have to get that tooth pulled.

Does anyone here have experience with dental implants? It seems better than the bridge option, since I really don't want a repeat of cavities forming under crowns again. But there is also a chance of failure with the implant, they say...so it's like there's no good, dependable solution.

I go in next week to the oral surgeon to get it pulled and will ask more questions then but in the meantime I wanted to see if any of my fellow curlies had experience with this. :icon_smile:
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  • wild~hairwild~hair Posts: 9,890Registered Users
    I have two. I got mine because two of my baby molars were never replaced by adult ones. My ortho and dentist both said that the baby molars would fall out in 10 years or so, and they recommended implants, since I was having a bunch of other work done. That was about 12 years ago.

    They've served me well. One is now a little loose and needs some maintenance, but it's no biggie. I was warned that they would maybe need some work at some point, so I wasn't surprised by this.

    They function otherwise just like regular teeth. I've been very happy with them.
  • CocoaCoilyCocoaCoily Posts: 2,648Registered Users
    I'm interested in this too, for similar failed root canal reasons...

    WH, what was the process like? Was it painful? I know that it is long (several months or so?). ETA, I've spoken with a dentist, so I have hte pro pov, but I want to get the patient pov, which dentists never really give.
  • solidgoldsolidgold Posts: 1,485Registered Users
    My mother had this procedure, and the results are fantastic, but it was a long process. I think she had surgery to have the screws put in, then you have to wait a long time, like 6-12 months for that to heal, and in the mean time you wear a retainer-like thing with falsies, and then you get the implants. She tolerates pain very well, so she managed the recovery from the surgery pretty well. She was very self-conscious about the missing teeth so this was her choice and she would have put up with anything to do it. It was also very expensive! But like I said, the results are fantastic. She has a gorgeous, white, straight, teeth-like-chiclets smile.
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  • curlypearlcurlypearl Posts: 11,970Registered Users Curl Novice
    I have an implant. It is terrific! I also had a choice between a bridge and an implant, and I spoke with people who had implants and decided to do that. I have never regretted the decision. Some questions: is the tooth an upper or lower tooth? Is your general health good? Are your bones strong - this important. If you have any kind of osteoporosis, implants can be a problem because they have anchor the implants into the bone.


    Here are some of the pros and cons:

    Pros: It looks fabulous and has much less chance of getting decay than an ordinary tooth.

    Once its done, you can forget about it. No worries. It feels excellent, works great, strong and durable. With bridgework sometimes you have to take it out, and do special cleaning and bridgework is a pain in the neck. With an implant - none of that.

    Everyone I know who has had it done is pleased.

    Cons. It is considerably more expensive to get than bridgework.

    It takes much more time and effort than getting bridgework but in my opinion there is no contest.

    I was so pleased with my implant that I got my workplace to pay for the insurance (unfortunately, that didn't apply to me, but everyone else who got implants after, got some insurance.)

    I think the chance of failure with an implant is very small if you go to an EXPERIENCED, excellent dentist who does implants. Don't take a chance with this. Make sure you feel confident with your dentist. Are you in the New York City area? I can give you a recommendation.

    Feel free to pm me if you want. Good luck with this.
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  • wild~hairwild~hair Posts: 9,890Registered Users
    Yes, I guess there is downtime between the surgery and getting the implant. But it wasn't an issue in my case, because I was also having braces put on, and then I was having jaw surgery as well. All of that took a couple years, so the imposed waiting time in my case was much longer and for other reasons.

    The surgery was simple, oral surgery. Outpatient. I did have to be completely out for it, though. It really wasn't bad, but I also was facing the much larger jaw surgery, which I was much more focused on [that is, freaked out about].
  • wild~hairwild~hair Posts: 9,890Registered Users
    curlypearl wrote: »
    I think the chance of failure with an implant is very small if you go to an EXPERIENCED, excellent dentist who does implants. Don't take a chance with this. Make sure you feel confident with your dentist. Are you in the New York City area? I can give you a recommendation.

    I thought it was only oral surgeons that did these. No?

    The surgeon who did my jaw also did my implants. He was very good. I was his last patient before retiring — I considered myself very lucky to have had him.

    ETA: I should say, the oral surgeon did the post. My dentist did the fake tooth part. It was an interesting process, as he had to create mine from scratch, since the adult version never existed. You get to pick out the precise shade of white. It's kinda cool.
  • curlypearlcurlypearl Posts: 11,970Registered Users Curl Novice
    Yes Wild Hair, I think you're right. I was using the word dentist generically, because I went to 3 different people for the procedure. One to pull the offending tooth, one to fix screws in the bone, and one to design and place the actual implant. That's the way it was worked out for me and I don't remember which person had which title. They worked as a team, each with his own specialty and I saw them multiple times.

    So, almost certainly at least one is an oral surgeon.
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  • NubianCoilsNubianCoils Posts: 2,149Registered Users
    I have just about the same problem as the OP. I had a failed root canal that got infected 10 years after I got it. I had the tooth pulled and I'm scheduled for an implant in 2 weeks. The implant is in three parts and this is will be my first appointment. I'm just anxious to get it all over, but I've been told this is considerabley better than having bridge work. My mom has had an implant and she says her tooth is just fine. She can't tell the difference.

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  • sarah42sarah42 Posts: 4,034Registered Users
    I also just had a failed root canal and had to have the tooth extracted. My dentist said I could wait to see if the opposing tooth starts to super erupt, which might happen in the next few years, or might never happen. I'm holding off on any treatment (bridge or dental implant) until the dentist thinks I need it. Dental surgery drilling around in my jawbone makes me a little nervous.
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  • burgundy_locksburgundy_locks Posts: 2,420Registered Users
    I worked behind the scene in the dental field for a bit and my mom is a dental assistant, and I actually assisted in a couple procedures because the dentists loved me AND I had to explain the dental implant procedure for a full year 8-5 Mon to Fri. So I'll tell you everything I know!

    Dental Implants are a perfect solution for a missing tooth because they are permanent*. A dental implant is actually a small metal screw made of titanium that a dentist drills in to your gum. Dental implants have a high level of rejection- but this should be easily to detect through a consultation. Reason that implants can reject is usually because of bone loss. Bone loss can occur when you have been missing the tooth for a long time. If you do have bone loss, doctors can perform bone graphing. So once you've checked that there is enough bone to hold the implant, the doctor performs the implant procedure- which is just the screwing in of the small titanium screw. The titanium screw, or implant, is left in for about 6 weeks to allow the implant to infuse with the bone. During this time, we'll know if the implant will reject or not. After several follow ups, you are ready for step 2- the Abutement. The abutement, or post is then screwed on to the top of the implant. This is the metal part that you see if you open your mouth (the implant is inside the gum line and is not visible... unless it is rejecting). One the abutement is put on, you are ready for your crown. The crown is the actual tooth and it is made out of porcelain. Be weary of cheap crowns because that can mean they are not made from porcelain, but a cheaper material that can break. The crown is usually the most expensive part of the who thing, but some dental insurances cover crowns, so look in to it.

    And tada, you have a complete dental implant.

    Don't forget, porcelain tooth can't be changed in color. So if you are going to get any kind of bleaching done, do it before the dental implant, that way they can match the new tooth to your current color.

    *- nothing is permanent. It is the most permanent solution out there for a missing tooth, but some people have had issues with implants. I believe these issues can be detected early on with the consultation. But some dentist just want the money so they will perform whatever you want them to perform in your mouth!!

    If you're in NYC, I also have a few places and doctors I can recommend.

    OOHHH, dental implants are not typically covered by insurance. But what people don't understand sometimes is that the implant is just the screw and it is actually pretty cheap. Some insurance may cover Post (Abutement) and or crown so DEF look into it.

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  • NalliaNallia Posts: 2,979Registered Users
    wild~hair wrote: »
    curlypearl wrote: »
    I think the chance of failure with an implant is very small if you go to an EXPERIENCED, excellent dentist who does implants. Don't take a chance with this. Make sure you feel confident with your dentist. Are you in the New York City area? I can give you a recommendation.

    I thought it was only oral surgeons that did these. No?

    The surgeon who did my jaw also did my implants. He was very good. I was his last patient before retiring — I considered myself very lucky to have had him.

    ETA: I should say, the oral surgeon did the post. My dentist did the fake tooth part. It was an interesting process, as he had to create mine from scratch, since the adult version never existed. You get to pick out the precise shade of white. It's kinda cool.
    You are correct. Regular dentists don't do implants, though some oral surgeons also do regular dentistry.

    My dentist is an oral surgeon and is part of the biggest dental implant center in my state, along with periodontists and other oral surgeons who work in the same complex (but in their own separate businesses). He performs all of my routine dental work and will be taking care of my implants when I get them in a few months. I go to him for all of my dental work because he also specializes in sedation dentistry. I am terrified of going to the dentist and cannot go in for any kind of procedure beyond an examination and cleaning without sedation.
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  • curlypearlcurlypearl Posts: 11,970Registered Users Curl Novice
    Burgundy, that's a great post. You explained every step. It's sure to be helpful to people considering the procedure. I'm a generally very cautious person (for example, I won't even consider Lasix for the eyes) and I was wary of this 3-step procedure, but I am very glad I went through with it. It's actually straightforward once you understand it.

    I hope any of the curlies who goes ahead with it keeps us posted.
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  • burgundy_locksburgundy_locks Posts: 2,420Registered Users
    NP! I answered dental implant questions for a year and I'm pretty familiar with possible (or worst) case scenario. We had good doctors, we had bad doctors. The horror stories I can tell you!!! Me and my mom talk about the implants all the time. Since she's an actual dental assistance, she tells me about how some people are still unaware about the dental implant process. I always recommend people to go in for consultations just so they know everything that is entailed.

    If you are a candidate for dental implant, it is definitely the best choice out there. Don't have to worry about not being able to eat steak, or corn on the cob, or to bite into an apple! You also don't have to worry about cumbersome bridges that can fall out lets say... on Thanksgiving!!!!! LOL. IMO, they are the best replacement for a missing tooth.

    And I can't stress it enough that some dental insurance do cover most of the implant procedure! And trust, me the dental office is not going to tell you this!!! So check with your insurance company and see if abutements and crowns are covered.

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  • tendrillytendrilly Posts: 183Registered Users
    Thank you so much for the replies. :icon_smile: You guys are the best! I appreciate the time you took to share your experiences, and also burgundy locks, for sharing your expertise. And that picture is a great illustration of what happens with the implant.

    About 12 hours after I did the original post, our computer got a virus/malware which shut it down for a while...so now I am back. I had the tooth (bottom molar, #19) pulled on Monday by an oral surgeon and am still recovering from that. I think I am going for the dental implant, by the same oral surgeon. The staff there is checking for me what our insurance will cover. We will just save up for what isn't covered. The more I hear about it, the more I think bridges are a big NO.
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  • CurliLocksCurliLocks Posts: 10,572Registered Users Curl Dabbler
    Excellent info on the implants! My dad is getting one done soon so I will pass this info on to him. Thanks! :)
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  • spiderlashes5000spiderlashes5000 Posts: 17,495Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    A similar thread was started by someone else a couple of years ago...and if I recall, the process was not going so smoothly at the time of her posts. I tried to search that thread, but I can't find it.

  • CurlyCurliesCurlyCurlies Posts: 1,641Registered Users
    What are some of the bad things that you've heard about bridges?
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  • burgundy_locksburgundy_locks Posts: 2,420Registered Users
    Bridges can be cumbersome for some, but others have no problems at all with bridge work. My thing about the bridges is that you have to shave down perfectly healthy teeth in order to make the bridges. And on occasions I've heard of them coming lose at inappropriate times. Also, the teeth are stuck together so you can't floss in between them (although you wouldn't need to bc food couldn't get stuck in between them anyways!). Implants are anchored into your bone, so the likely hood of it coming out is the same as having a natural tooth come out by biting into a apple.

    The way I view it is, if your having a problem with just one tooth, why do you want to bring trouble to 2 healthy surrounding teeth? But if you have multiple spaces close to each other, like 3 missing teeth, you can consider getting a bridge held down with an implant.

    Dentistry is not an exact science where all work is 100% guarenteed to have zero problems. I know PLENTY of people who have had issues with dental implants but I know of more who have had successful implants. My mom has a bridge in from decades ago which never caused her an issue until last year around the holidays!! It kept coming lose. I've seen people get bonding works that look like veneers. But if you trust your dentist, def ask them questions.
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  • saulssweetiesaulssweetie Posts: 19Registered Users
    Was looking for a thread on dental implants and found this thread. I have such a bad history with my teeth; it's ridiculous! My front tooth broke when I was young. Had a cap (or crown) put in after a root canal. Had two apicoectomys, and then finally had the tooth removed. All of the infection had eaten so much of the bone away that I had to have bone grafts during each procedure. Had an implant put in, but just found out the other day that it failed. So I have to go back and get it removed. I don't know if I want to try again, or if I want to stay with a permanent denture. As of now, I'm living in a flipper and getting more depressed each moment I think about it. Anyone else have implant failure?
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  • HoneycurlsHoneycurls Posts: 1,889Registered Users
    tendrilly wrote: »
    I had a failed root canal, followed by a root canal retreatment attempt which also failed because decay had "blossomed" under the crown and there's not much tooth left (I know, it's a nightmare), so now I have to get that tooth pulled.

    Does anyone here have experience with dental implants? It seems better than the bridge option, since I really don't want a repeat of cavities forming under crowns again. But there is also a chance of failure with the implant, they say...so it's like there's no good, dependable solution.

    I go in next week to the oral surgeon to get it pulled and will ask more questions then but in the meantime I wanted to see if any of my fellow curlies had experience with this. :icon_smile:

    I have one, and I'm very glad I chose implant over any other procedure. It's right in the front, so I really had no other viable choice. Anything else and the empty socket where the tooth had been would progressively atrophy and cave in, which results in an altered and unattractive facial shape. I have a bridge elsewhere in my mouth, and the gum has completely collapsed inward under the bridge. Luckily, it's in the back where it makes no real impact on my facial appearance.

    Unfortunately, I had the implant performed by someone who claimed to be an expert but really wasn't. It was a long, horrible process, where I had to wear an appliance with a fake tooth on it until the implant was properly seated. I had to remove it to eat properly, and that was awkward when out in public or at work. The first implant didn't seat properly because he tested it before it was ready (I tried to warn him that it was too early, but he refused to listen), so he had to remove that implant and start the process over again. It was over a year from start to finish. The final crowns he created were too big and have left me with my upper teeth protruding further than they should and sized too large for my mouth, and one of them is out of line, which causes me to bite my lip all the time. I can't believe what a crappy job he did, so I suggest you try to find out about your dentist's reputation with implants before allowing him to touch your mouth.

    That said, I'm still happy with my decision to go with an implant...just not my choice of dentist.

    Best of luck to you.
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  • curlypearlcurlypearl Posts: 11,970Registered Users Curl Novice
    I'm just so sorry that you experienced this. What was the cause of the failure - do you know? Are your bones not strong enough to hold the implant?

    I hope whatever you decide that you have good luck in the future. Please keep us posted. :hello2:
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  • redheadfullofcurlsredheadfullofcurls Posts: 409Registered Users
    There is some really good information here about dental implants.. I would like to point out though that general dentists can and do perform dental implants..

    Here is somewhat of a similar thread..

    http://www.naturallycurly.com/curltalk/non-hair-discussion/126178-calling-lotsa-dental-savvy-curlies.html
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  • HoneycurlsHoneycurls Posts: 1,889Registered Users
    curlypearl wrote: »
    I'm just so sorry that you experienced this. What was the cause of the failure - do you know? Are your bones not strong enough to hold the implant?

    I hope whatever you decide that you have good luck in the future. Please keep us posted. :hello2:

    Is this to me?

    The first implant didn't seat because he didn't wait long enough to "test" it, which he did by trying to twist it or twist something onto it--I can't remember. I knew it was still a bit loose, and I warned him, but he, being the "expert" didn't listen and twisted it. I felt it "give" and it hurt a bit because it had become somewhat embedded into the gum, as it was supposed to, but not enough to continue onto the next step. It wasn't anchored well.

    As far as the final crowned teeth having an overall suboptimal appearance, I don't know what to say. The tooth on either side of the implant was also crowned, so three crowns in front in all. Maybe because they are from a mold, they're always a bit bigger than the original tooth would have been? But the alignment issue...I think the problem there was that the tooth next to the crowned tooth on that side is crooked, so it didn't give him a good point of reference, so he lined it up with the implant, which means that I essentially now have 3 front teeth instead of just 2. It's not *that* obvious just looking at me, but the misaligned tooth is out of whack just enough that I have to be ever vigilant about my chewing, which isn't always possible. :sad6:

    He was a regular dentist, not an oral surgeon, but supposed to have been an implant expert.

    Boy, I sure hope you were talking to me!
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  • curlypearlcurlypearl Posts: 11,970Registered Users Curl Novice
    Honeycurls, I had actually been referring to the OP, but it was very interesting reading what you wrote and what I said applies to your experience also. I was just curious because I had such a good experience so I wanted to know what problems people had. Your story gives me the shivers - I was just very lucky that I got someone who really was an expert.

    Thanks for your input! :thumright:
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  • bcody09bcody09 Posts: 115Registered Users
    I got my two dental implants when I was 18. I genetically am missing the two teeth on either side of my top front teeth. My parents didn't want me to go the bridge route because it would have ruined 4 other perfectly healthy teeth. The actual implant post part was very painful, but the meds I got made me sleep for basically a week which was nice. I already had a partial denture (a flipper) from after I had braces. And I had up wait 6 months to order my crowns and another 6 months to get them installed because of financial reasons. My dental insurance didn't cover any part of the implant, and my dentist wouldn't accept a payment plan for the crowns. I love them though I understand I'll eventually have to replace them.
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  • BlackAngelPlayahBlackAngelPlayah Posts: 1,419Registered Users
    I do!! my front tooth got loose and I discovered I had no bone there.

    So they busted my gum open and gave me a bone graft.

    Then they installed the implant. Which is the screw. ($1800 NOT covered by insurance.)

    Then they attached the abutment ($500 NOT covered.)

    Finally, many months later, the crown. ($800, insurance covers 50%)

    Is it worth it?

    YES!! I love mine.

    You'll have no feeling in it though. There's no explaining it. You have to feel it. DH has one and tried to explain the sensation to me, but only feeling it explains it. LoL!

    I say if you can afford it in any way, DO it!!! Worth the money!
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  • BlackAngelPlayahBlackAngelPlayah Posts: 1,419Registered Users