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Old 06-28-2015, 09:25 PM
 
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I'm 64 and had upper molar #19 extracted due to a failed filling (endodontist said root canal would likely not be successful) so the tooth had to come out but sure gave a good fight--the oral surgeon won.-Getting mixed opinions from dentists and friends whether to go with implant or bridge. Anyone here have experience with either?
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Old 06-28-2015, 09:50 PM
 
Location: Los Angeles area
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I have two implants with which I'm very satisfied, but never had a bridge. A bridge is not as strong as an implant because it has to be attached to the two adjacent teeth, meaning that those two teeth now bear the load of three. As I see it, the only reason to opt for an implant is because it's cheaper and requires fewer total visits.
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Old 06-29-2015, 01:08 AM
 
Location: Las Vegas, NV
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I'm in the same boat as you are, with some variations. I go to the oral surgeon tomorrow for a consultation. Basically I have 3 teeth being evaluated for implants. I'm your age too. The way the dentist described it to me is that in order to have a bridge, you have to basically destroy the two teeth next to the bad tooth by grinding them down to take a crown on each of them. If those teeth are not really solid and strong, the bridge is likely to fail. It's also a lot harder to care for a bridge as far as cleaning it goes. And a bridge costs nearly the same as an implant. Plus if a bridge fails, you're looking at doing the whole thing over again. As opposed to the opinion above, I've always been told an implant is more expensive, but not a whole lot more. Prices vary a LOT depending on who is going to do the work and your location. I live in a major metropolitan area and am probably going to have to go to a smaller town 2 hours away to get my work done because it's ungodly expensive here. I originally thought I would go to Mexico to have my teeth fixed but decided it's too scary of a proposition for me. What if something happened medically or otherwise and I'm in a foreign country? I'm scared enough as it is to have dental work done because I've had a lot of it during my lifetime and now my teeth are getting to be too bad to keep them all. In other words, the teeth themselves are not strong enough to take another crown. However, to have an implant and have it be successful you have to have enough bone to support it structurally. If not, then you are looking at bone grafts. This is the case with one of my 3 teeth. I'll come back and post again after I see the oral surgeon tomorrow.
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Old 06-29-2015, 01:39 AM
 
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Implant is the way to go if you have healthy bones.
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Old 06-29-2015, 05:38 AM
 
Location: In a house
13,253 posts, read 38,143,135 times
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I had both: A bridge over molars and an extracted tooth, and an extracted molar replaced with an implant. Then, one of the anchor teeth got an abscess and they had to take the bridge off to treat it. But rather than risk ruining the bridge (sometimes, if you're lucky, the bridge can be removed intact), the dentist split the bridge up. A bridge is actually little more than individual crowns that are connected to each other. So when he was done, I had a crowned tooth that had nothing wrong with it (the OTHER anchor), a space where my old molar used to be, and the stumped crown (the bad anchor) with the abscess, which he treated and then re-crowned. For the empty space, he put an implant.

Fast forward a couple of years and I find the implant feels more secure, more solid. The anchor that was bad (which needed root canal treatment) feels unstable - when I chew anything crunchy, I have to try and chew on the implanted tooth next to it, or on the other side of my mouth.

If the idea of implants hadn't been so scary to me when the tooth was first extracted, I would've opted for an implant instead of a bridge, and perhaps the two teeth surrounding it would still be fine, since they wouldn't have needed to be ground down to stumps and capped to support the bridge.
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Old 06-29-2015, 02:46 PM
 
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Very helpful responses - - thank you so much. I will probably go with an implant but here it is much more expensive than a bridge. Sure wish my dental insurance covered implants but it does not - - cha ching.
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Old 06-29-2015, 07:38 PM
 
Location: In a house
13,253 posts, read 38,143,135 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Townandcountrygal View Post
Very helpful responses - - thank you so much. I will probably go with an implant but here it is much more expensive than a bridge. Sure wish my dental insurance covered implants but it does not - - cha ching.
Your dental plan might have a guaranteed maximum fee for implants though. As long as you go to an "in-network" participating provider, they can submit a treatment schedule to your insurance company before the procedure, and the insurance company will come back to them with "what's covered, what's not covered, and which things you've agreed to reduce prices on."

In other words - that $4,500 implant might only cost -you- $3,250, even though the insurance company doesn't cover implants.
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Old 06-30-2015, 12:01 AM
 
Location: Las Vegas, NV
255 posts, read 337,945 times
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I'm not sure if I mentioned this before but I have NO dental insurance. I saw the oral surgeon today. It turns out that I have had bone loss on all three teeth that will have to be extracted. This means I need bone grafts for all of them. I'm still kind of in shock. If I go with this guy, it would be $3400 for the surgery and bone grafts for all 3 teeth, then if the bone grafts are successful several months later, then he would put in the implants, but only the part that screws into the bone. That would be $7600 for all 3 teeth. So $11,000 later, I still have no teeth, no crowns, nothing but sewn up tissue. I have to then go back to the dentist to have the rest of the work done above the gumline - the abutments and crowns. I am not sure how much that would be because I have two different estimates with completely different procedures and codes for the same finished product. One says $1300 per tooth, the other one says $1700 per tooth. I'm pretty sure I'm going to have to get the implants done somewhere else than here in Las Vegas because it's cheaper in smaller towns. I found one dentist in St. George, Utah, a couple hours away that does the entire implant for $1900, but I don't really know how well qualified he is. I have more research to do.
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Old 06-30-2015, 05:03 AM
 
Location: In a house
13,253 posts, read 38,143,135 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jadedlady View Post
I'm not sure if I mentioned this before but I have NO dental insurance. I saw the oral surgeon today. It turns out that I have had bone loss on all three teeth that will have to be extracted. This means I need bone grafts for all of them. I'm still kind of in shock. If I go with this guy, it would be $3400 for the surgery and bone grafts for all 3 teeth, then if the bone grafts are successful several months later, then he would put in the implants, but only the part that screws into the bone. That would be $7600 for all 3 teeth. So $11,000 later, I still have no teeth, no crowns, nothing but sewn up tissue. I have to then go back to the dentist to have the rest of the work done above the gumline - the abutments and crowns. I am not sure how much that would be because I have two different estimates with completely different procedures and codes for the same finished product. One says $1300 per tooth, the other one says $1700 per tooth. I'm pretty sure I'm going to have to get the implants done somewhere else than here in Las Vegas because it's cheaper in smaller towns. I found one dentist in St. George, Utah, a couple hours away that does the entire implant for $1900, but I don't really know how well qualified he is. I have more research to do.
On average, not counting the dirt-cheap fly-by-night whose license was suspended, and not counting the gourmet dental boutique in Beverly Hills... an implant, from start to finish, including a bone graft, would run around 4,000 per tooth. So that'd be around $12,000 for three teeth. Again, that's only on average.

Below average doesn't equate with below quality, and above average doesn't equate with superior quality. It really depends on location. To find out what's average near you, maybe check with the closest dental school, and find out what they're charging their patients. It is typically lower than private practices, and usually on par with "chain store" practices.

I would avoid the chain store practices. They upsell things that patients don't need and have really bad reputations.
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Old 06-30-2015, 05:08 AM
 
Location: Tulsa, OK
2,449 posts, read 2,443,634 times
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I had same experience. Partial bridge here. No implants for me, thank you very much!
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