Communicate your expectations for the best outcome

by Caroline
(Canada)

I need multiple implants. Because of the cost, I am doing it in stages, over time. I have high expectations for the result, they will look like I never lost my natural teeth.

In mid treatment, I have discovered my dentist does not have the same expectations as me. Three days ago, I went to have my first implant crown placed. It did not fit well and so I did not let him cement it. There were large spaces between the adjacent teeth. It was shaped like a 'v'. Two large black triangles were visible where the gum tissue is low. My dentist said no one can see it when I smile, but did not understand that I am the one who sees it and it matters to me.

He explained it is because the bone is depleted, it cannot hold the gum tissue. I recall paying $300 for a CT scan to check the bone, the periodontist said I did not need a bone graft. I assumed that meant a bone graft was not necessary for my tooth to look natural.

Now my dentist explained I should have had a bone graft at the time, to hold the gum, in order to minimize the spaces. I asked if this is the same for the two recently placed implants I had on the other side, he said yes, I suffered a lot of bone loss on the other side and it will not look like it did before. He said at this stage, to get a bone graft the implants would have to be redone which would break my jaw.

I live in Canada. I am paying $4000 a tooth here, very little is covered by my job plan. Both my dentist and periodontist discouraged me from going overseas for this work because it would not be guaranteed.

I have learned there are no guarantees here either. I am frustrated to tears and have lost my trust in these professionals. I don't know where to turn.

When I asked my dentist if I could get an image of how it would look for the next ones, he muttered something about more cost then left. I don't know what's happening because he's gone after 10 seconds.

The problem we have is the huge difference in what we expect aesthetically. Since I am going to be living with it, mine are higher. I thought a dentist would want to give the patient information to be able to make the best choices. I would have had the bone graft.

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May 06, 2016
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Sorry to hear about your ordeal...
by: Jean

Caroline,

Thank you for sharing your story. I believe many patients will benefit from your experience. And I hope many dentists and specialists pay attention as well.

Even with cosmetic dentistry, all dental professionals should adhere to "do no harm."

This is the main reason, as a dental technician/aesthetic ceramist, I'm focusing a lot of my attention and training in minimally invasive cosmetic dentistry and becoming more knowledgeable in occlusion.

In this way, I can work with dentists who hold the same values as I do.

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