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Old 10-10-2004, 09:50 AM   #1
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GrtWht HB User
Anyone have experience with missing teeth?

Since the early age of seven I knew I was different. Whereas most little kids had to worry about broken bones, the chicken pocks, and cavities; I had to worry about congenitally missing teeth. In laymenís terms, this means that instead of a permanent tooth growing in behind a baby tooth, there is nothing. Now on itís own this isnít a huge problem. Dental sciences have progressed far enough to allow a missing tooth or two to be fixed up with either a bridge (using the other good teeth as a support, for a fake tooth), or a dental implant (small metal screw drilled into the gum, with a false tooth then placed over). Well teeth really just affect your appearance, so no big deal right?

Well this is where we run into a problem. Because of a gene defect, I was born missing 11 permanent teeth. So as I grew older my ďbabyĒ front two teeth, front bottom row, and molars all fell out and were replaced with permanent teeth. But almost all of teeth in between those didnít budge. My baby teeth that remained became ankylosed, meaning since they had nothing to push them out, they would remain there for a while (though some might fall out, get loose, retract into the gums etc.).

Throughout my teenage years I already had an extreme lack of confidence, because though I donít smile wide, it was definitely noticeable that something was different about my teeth. This went on until I was about 16 or so, when I found an amazing dentist who was able to use some bonding and ďsculptĒ some top front teeth, over top of my baby teeth. Now this was just a temporary solution, but has helped give my confidence a huge boost until the next step in the process.

Well flash forward to today. I am now a 19-year old student at California State Chico, and I am faced with the lovely task of dealing with 11 missing teeth. I have talked to probably 3 or 4 different groups of dentists, orthodontist, dental surgeons, etc. in the Bay Area, and it looks like my only option is going to be implants. But because it is so many teeth, and I have very little tissue (and thin gums where the missing teeth are), I will probably have to have hip surgery to remove bone from my hip, and have it placed in my jaw. From there I will have to have 11 metal screws drilled into my gums, then wait a while and finally have the implants on.

But this process is not nearly as simple as it seems. Nothing is a guarantee, and though implants normally look pretty decent, it is probable that if I were to smile wide you will still see a bit of the screw. The surgery isnít quite a sure thing either, mistakes could be made, and I would be forced looking like a 50-year-old hockey player without teeth the rest of my life.

But to top of the cake, according to pretty much every California insurance plan (at least from everyone we have looked at), congenital missing teeth are a ďcosmeticĒ issue, and not covered by insurance. This means my parents will have to cover a $50,000 process, without getting any help at all.

Well, as I have finally stopped growing, time is rushing forward and it has been decided that instead of getting to be a normal college student, I get to come home on my breaks and start what Iím guessing will be an extremely painful surgery.

So goons, do any of you have experience in a situation like this?

How is the surgery?

Is there a certain dental team (bay area, CA) I should look into?

Is there anything we can do to try and get insurance to pay (we have a pretty horrible insurance plan, but from what we are told not one insurance covers this surgery)?

And most of all, any advice from someone whoís been here?

[Please refrain from using slang/cuss words. "Pretty *horrible* insurance plan...", is better. Thanks - Well-come Moderator]

Last edited by Well-come; 10-11-2004 at 07:36 PM. Reason: Removed cuss/slang word.

 
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Old 10-10-2004, 04:54 PM   #2
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babydoll362436 HB User
Re: Anyone have experience with missing teeth?

I had 1 tooth missing as I was growing up and it was fixed with a marion bridge which I heard they no longer do. Mine was one that has made it for a long time. I have a friend that had her tooth fixed like you have been talking about and after a few years the gums turn black-black. Is there anything else they can do for you and is there any other options? I also have another friend that has a plate for just 1 tooth. Hers is just made to fit on the roof of her mouth. I can't tell any difference that it's not real. Do you have any dental schools in your area also that can take you as a work study. If they take you as a work study, you can have it done very affordably and they will work with you on it.

 
Old 10-11-2004, 09:34 PM   #3
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lateeth HB User
Re: Anyone have experience with missing teeth?

Since you are over the age of 18, you might check to see if you qualify on your own for dental work at a clinic. Unless you have savings in your name, they might do the work for a fraction of the price you are quoting. If your parents are still carrying you as a dependent this might not work but if you could wait until you finish college that might be the most cost effective way of getting the work done. California tends to have some pretty liberal policies on health care for the poor compared to other states.
In limited cases, medical insurance does cover dental work. A friend of mine had a tumor under her gum and the medical insurance at first refused her but she appealed and was able to get the surgery, the removal of the teeth involved and replacements paid for by her medical insurance. She did not get implants though. They may not go for the cadillac treatment. she was able to get dentures though.
Good luck on your treatment. It sounds like a long process but you will be much relieved when it is over.

 
Old 10-31-2004, 11:00 AM   #4
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desertdweller HB User
Re: Anyone have experience with missing teeth?

My daughter is also missing adult teeth, though not as many as you. She is 15 and currently going through braces in order to make room for the implants. I talked to a woman that also needed many implants due to lack of adult teeth. She had her implants done at the dental school in Loma Linda CA. She said only the instructors do the work, and it cost roughly half the cost of having it done conventionally. She was very happy with the work and results.

 
Old 11-03-2004, 12:04 PM   #5
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twest HB User
Re: Anyone have experience with missing teeth?

I am 44 years old and missing 1 permanent tooth, but never did anything and I have a small space on the side that's not noticable. My daughter (17 yrs) has 2 missing permanents. She wore braces for 3 years and the dentist and orthodontist agreed to try to save the baby teeth if possible. The baby teeth never fell out, but we had to fill both of them. She may eventually need implants or a bridge, though. The dentist tells us that she could lose them at any time and she has to be extremely careful about what she eats. It's frustrating to spend almost $4000 on braces and may have to face implants as well. Our insurance does not cover it either. I can't imagine having to replace 11 teeth. Maybe a dental school or you can apply for some help through the state? I wish you well.

 
Old 08-17-2005, 04:31 PM   #6
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findingdx HB User
Re: Anyone have experience with missing teeth?

If your missing teeth are genetic then you would be covered under medical not dental for this. I would pursue a name for this condition( and yes there is one) by going to a genetic dr. and have them put a name to it. YOu ask why bother well $50,000 is allot of money and if it's a syndrome of sort then it's covered under medical. We have done this now for my daughter as we where paying so much out of pocket for dental and I learned the hard way to go this route. What state are in you? We found out my daughter had missing teeth after we had 4 pulled and 2 adult teeth missing in the front(she had two sets of teeth on front 2). Well now we are going to cranial facial team of dentist and orth. to make a plan for her she is very young so we don't pull put any more teeth and find out some are missing. She also has underdeveloped bones in her upper jaw and much more. Get a medical name for this condition from a genetic dr.

 
Old 08-18-2005, 06:58 AM   #7
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anitak1982 HB User
Re: Anyone have experience with missing teeth?

Quote:
Originally Posted by GrtWht
I had to worry about congenitally missing teeth. In laymenís terms, this means that instead of a permanent tooth growing in behind a baby tooth, there is nothing.

Throughout my teenage years I already had an extreme lack of confidence, because though I donít smile wide, it was definitely noticeable that something was different about my teeth.

But because it is so many teeth, and I have very little tissue (and thin gums where the missing teeth are), I will probably have to have hip surgery to remove bone from my hip, and have it placed in my jaw. From there I will have to have 11 metal screws drilled into my gums, then wait a while and finally have the implants on.

I was born with a birth defect too so I understand where your coming from to a point. I have a condition where I was born with extra teeth instead of not enough. I had to have surgeries to get my permanent teeth but in 1973 they had never heard of my condition and did less than a lovely job. By the age of 46 my teeth had really deteriorated and I needed dentures but had no gums to hold them so I had implants placed in May.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GrtWht
But this process is not nearly as simple as it seems. Nothing is a guarantee, and though implants normally look pretty decent, it is probable that if I were to smile wide you will still see a bit of the screw. The surgery isnít quite a sure thing either, mistakes could be made, and I would be forced looking like a 50-year-old hockey player without teeth the rest of my life.
Heres where we differ. If you were born without teeth and have the option of having implants which is the most amazing procedure ever created that is next to having your own teeth why are you complaining? You would have to really raise your lip to see the screws you don't see them just smiling wide. Who told you that?


Quote:
Originally Posted by GrtWht
How is the surgery?
My surgery was not that bad but remember if you are missing teeth next to each other you cannot have individual implants side by side. What you will need is a device that has all the teeth together like a bridge and it will screwed onto the implants. I have 8 on top and 6 on bottom and all my teeth were removed and the implants placed. But I was able to have what they call "Teeth in a Day" which my new teeth were attached to the implants immediately. I never went without teeth. It was my dream come true to finally smile with beautiful teeth. I never resented getting implants but embraced it with excited happiness and tears.



Quote:
Originally Posted by GrtWht
Is there anything we can do to try and get insurance to pay (we have a pretty horrible insurance plan, but from what we are told not one insurance covers this surgery)?
No most insurance companies do not pay for this.

I read of a program on another site where a woman had a birth defect that was really bad. She contacted a program (each state has this program) "Give a smile back" It generally helps only those who are victims of domestic violence but she wrote a compelling letter explaining her heartache and a Doctor in her town is going to treat her for free. This might be your avenue, since you have a birth defect. But you must be sweet in your letter as you can catch more flies with honey than vinegar if you understand my meaning.

Here's hoping all goes well with you.
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Old 08-18-2005, 07:05 AM   #8
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anitak1982 HB User
Re: Anyone have experience with missing teeth?

Quote:
Originally Posted by findingdx
If your missing teeth are genetic then you would be covered under medical not dental for this. I would pursue a name for this condition( and yes there is one) by going to a genetic dr. and have them put a name to it. YOu ask why bother well $50,000 is allot of money and if it's a syndrome of sort then it's covered under medical. We have done this now for my daughter as we where paying so much out of pocket for dental and I learned the hard way to go this route. What state are in you? We found out my daughter had missing teeth after we had 4 pulled and 2 adult teeth missing in the front(she had two sets of teeth on front 2). Well now we are going to cranial facial team of dentist and orth. to make a plan for her she is very young so we don't pull put any more teeth and find out some are missing. She also has underdeveloped bones in her upper jaw and much more. Get a medical name for this condition from a genetic dr.
I was born with a medical condition and my insurance only pays for the surgeries and not the braces. Never implants.
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Old 09-13-2009, 08:42 AM   #9
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Heath12171 HB User
Re: Anyone have experience with missing teeth?

I too was born missing 8 permanent teeth. My three brothers however had overcrowded teeth and had to have some of them pulled. The big joke for the dentist "I guess they took yours" yea ha ha...so I have seen soooo many dentists and all they can recommend are implants which aren't covered by insurance. I was quoted $68,000 to have them done.
This is after my parents spent so much money on braces for the four permanent teeth I did have in my teen years.I never felt like the other kids with beautiful smiles. It's considered a birth defect most dentists will say after the intitial reaction of "what the heck is going on here"? I am now 38 years old and without insurance (not that it would matter anyway) my baby teeth roots are not holding up any more. They aren't designed to be used this long, I was told. The million dollar question is Why are these considered cosmetic for people like us that are BORN missing these teeth. Other people that are born missing senses and limbs are considered handicapped in some way and are accomodated. Why not the same for this situation????

 
Old 11-06-2009, 07:29 PM   #10
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Marweb HB User
Re: Anyone have experience with missing teeth?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Heath12171 View Post
I too was born missing 8 permanent teeth. My three brothers however had overcrowded teeth and had to have some of them pulled. The big joke for the dentist "I guess they took yours" yea ha ha...so I have seen soooo many dentists and all they can recommend are implants which aren't covered by insurance. I was quoted $68,000 to have them done.
This is after my parents spent so much money on braces for the four permanent teeth I did have in my teen years.I never felt like the other kids with beautiful smiles. It's considered a birth defect most dentists will say after the intitial reaction of "what the heck is going on here"? I am now 38 years old and without insurance (not that it would matter anyway) my baby teeth roots are not holding up any more. They aren't designed to be used this long, I was told. The million dollar question is Why are these considered cosmetic for people like us that are BORN missing these teeth. Other people that are born missing senses and limbs are considered handicapped in some way and are accomodated. Why not the same for this situation????
I too have the missing teeth congential condition. Mine was treatable with bridges. My daughter is 16 and not so lucky she has 13 missing teeth so she is going to have to have dental implants. We are going to the University of Ky for the work and have been told it will be a long process. I so agree with you about 'why is this not covered with Medical Insurance. Other people with congenital defects get help why is there no help for this. I dont have any answer, but I wanted to write and let you know I understand how you feel. I hope some day the laws will change, I plan to write letters and generally try to cause a ruckus. I will do anything to help my daughter. But the truth is this month she starts the process and I havent a clue how to pay for it. I hope you find help with your situation as well.

 
Old 11-07-2009, 10:25 AM   #11
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riptoff HB Userriptoff HB Userriptoff HB Userriptoff HB Userriptoff HB User
Re: Anyone have experience with missing teeth?

People in Europe who need implants and find them too costly in their home country go to Hungary to get them done. Sometimes they are pleased with the results, sometimes not, but you get what you pay for, and the price is about half what they would pay at home. The snag of course is that if there are problems, going back is an additional cost.

 
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