I’ve paid my dentist almost $10,000 dollars already and I am worried he is not up for the remainder of the procedure. The price was to cover extractions of teeth #5 and #7, bone grafting, Maryland Bridges as temporary replacements, dental implants, and crowns for each tooth. Thus far, we’ve done the extractions and bone grafting. He’s provided me with the Maryland Bridges but they keep falling off. This worries me not only because it is super inconvenient to have to constantly have to return to the dentist to have my work or repairs done, but also because I’m concerned he just isn’t up for the remainder of this procedure. What do you think? Am I overreacting and fretting over nothing or is there cause for concern?
There is nothing wrong with you switching dentists in the middle of your dental implant procedure. In fact, your dentist is ethically obligated to provide all the labs and diagnostics to the new dentist. Given what you have said, I am actually going to recommend that you do switch for a couple of reasons.
First, he is using a Maryland bridge as a “temporary” tooth replacement. This is not a temporary replacement because in order for it to stay in properly there is a need to make a small groove in your tooth. Anything that changes the structure of your tooth is not temporary. Instead, he should have suggested something like a dental flipper. These are less expensive and don’t necessitate any changes to the teeth.
Second, he wasn’t able to properly bond the Maryland bridge. That is much less of an advanced procedure than the dental implants you need. You need to look for a dentist with dental implant training and experience. That training needs to be post-doctoral.
One other note, the dental implant crowns can be made any color necessary to match your teeth. You should be aware that whatever color is made is permanent. Once it is bonded on, no changes can be made. If you are considering teeth whitening at some point, then I suggest you do it before having your dental implant crown made. This way it will be the right color for the permanent smile you’d like. If you decide to wait until after the crown is placed and then whiten, you will have to replace the crown for it to match.
This blog is brought to you by East Cobb Dentist Dr. Cristi Cheek.