About six months ago, I decided to try and do something about a couple of my lower front teeth that were loose. After doing some research, I decided that my best option was dental implants, but knew it was going to be very expensive. I started looking around for a doctor who could do affordable dental implants and when I came across an ad for a doctor a few miles away from where I lived, I was sure I had found the right person for the job. At my consultation, he priced everything out for me. He said I should go ahead and have the teeth pulled that day and that I needed bone beads to help with the healing (I had to pay for that because my insurance wouldn’t cover it). I went ahead with his recommendation and waited six months — with a toothless smile no less — to go back for the surgery. Much to my disappointment, he told me that he couldn’t move forward until I had more procedures done – including bone grafting and gum treatment. Now I’m thinking it would have just been better to keep my teeth because I’m having to spend more and more money and I’m still toothless. I feel like my smile is ruined. What can I do? — Christina
There’s several concerns here, but the biggest one would be that your dentist didn’t first address why you teeth were loose. If you had periodontal disease, you should have never been considered for implants until that was under control. I’m guess that is why he is now saying you need additional gum treatments. Since the teeth are gone, there’s no way to know if they could have been saved.
The other treatments are probably necessary before moving on with the implant surgery to ensure they don’t fail. Get a second opinion to be sure you’re getting the right treatments. As far as going without teeth for six months, your dentist should have offered you a temporary solution – such as a flipper or partial denture. Either one would not only help with appearance and eating, but also prevent the other teeth from shifting into the open space. You could still get either one of these options now, so schedule a consult with another dentist to find out what they can do.