I had a bridge replacing all my front upper teeth. They used my canine teeth as the anchor. Eventually, those came loose so they did an upper partial. That felt completely awful so I went back in to see what my options were. They’re suggesting dental implants and to keep the cost down they’ll do mini implants. I wanted to get a second opinion because I haven’t felt like my treatments from them have gone particularly well, so I went to see a different dentist. He has suggested a vastly different treatment plan. He wants to do three full-sized dental implants attached to a bridge. One at each canine and a third one directly between them. This treatment is much more expensive. I want to do the right thing and not just go with the cheapest solution, but also feel like I need a good reason not to go with the cheapest solution. What is your opinion on the two treatment plans?
I”m going to recommend you go with the full-sized dental implants and give you some good reasons why. First, let’s talk about that dental bridge. Putting your canine teeth as the anchor teeth were bound to make them come loose and need to be replaced at some point. I wish they’d have given you a more permanent solution to begin with.
The mini-implants will not hold the crowns they will anchor to it. They are not substantial enough and this procedure will again fail as the bridge did. Once those fail, you will lose bone structure with them. In order to replace the implants, you would need to add a bone grafting procedure for it to replace it with any other implant, whether full-sized or mini.
It sounds like the dentist you currently see tries to be inexpensive, but there is a difference between trying to keep costs down and doing cheap procedures that end up costing your patient more in the long run. I just don’t feel like whomever you are seeing is the best dentist for you at this point.
How the Three Dental Implants will Solve the Problem
If they were to just place two dental implants where your incisors were, there would be too much twisting force on those teeth and you’d eventually lose them. This is why those teeth came loose when they used them for anchoring your dental bridge. It was a failure waiting to happen.
Fortunately, the dentist who gave you a second opinion understands basic engineering principles. This is why he is suggesting a third dental implant in the middle to stabilize the implant bridge. This will protect your outside implants from the twisting forces, giving you a much more stable and secure result.
In your place, I’d go with the second dentist. He has the much more sound treatment plan. You’ll be happier with it in the long run.
This blog is brought to you by Atlanta Periodontist Dr. David Pumphrey.