Re: Somebody pass the smelling salts...I can't believe the cost!
Yeah, I was told this too when they thought I would lose a tooth to resorbtion, but the cost my dentsit quoted was closer to $5000, and the first question out of my mouth was - Who can afford that? We have dental insurance which is supposedly pretty good, but after reading that yours doesn't cover implants, I'll have to check ours and see if it's the same.....may be because they consider it cosmetic. If it's a back tooth, you can always just leave it after it's pulled and do nothing, you know. When my dentist was talking to me about it, he said if it came down to having to pull the tooth (which he didn't have to do and hopefully it will heal and be fine), I could either have an implant, which of course is the chosen treatment, then he said, 'or - there's nothing wrong with just leaving it'.....and when I said 'but you'll see it when I smile, won't you?' and he said no no, it's far enough back in your mouth that nobody would notice it. Mine is the one right in front of my wisdom tooth and when I checked in a mirror, he was right, you can't see that space when I smile, as far as my lips smile to is the tooth right in front of the one in question. So quite frankly, if it doesn't heal and I do end up losing it later on, I'm quite sure I would leave it because there's no way I would put out that kind of money for something nobody can see, anyway. He did explain that the reason for the high cost is not just because a specialist has to do it, who always charge more because they're *specialists*, but they also need to do bone grafts to build up the bone for the implant. So if the cost doesn't throw you, all that work should.
Now another option is a bridge if you have two good teeth on either side of the one being pulled. This is usually used for teeth farther forward in the mouth that are seen when you smile, and where one would normally have a good tooth on each side to hook onto. You can either have one you can put in and out yourself that would snap over the teeth on each side (my ex had a couple of these and they looked wonderful when in place), or you can have what they call a permanent bridge done, which would be my personal choice if I had to choose. They prep the teeth on either side for crowns, then they make a 3-tooth crown that has a fake tooth in the center to go where the pulled one was, and a crown on each side that snaps over the teeth on each side. The cost is quite a bit less, and if I'm not mistaken, insurance pays for crowns. I myself have two crowns that are one piece, because when you have two crowned teeth next to each other, they don't put in two separate ones, they simply cover both teeth with one piece. And it looks perfectly normal, so what you would have is simply another tooth added on and put in place like they do for a regular crown.....no bone grafts, no long waiting while each graft settles before doing another. Now dentists will push for an implant because it's the 'best' way to go, and yeah maybe it is as far as being permanent, but a crown can last a reeeeeeeeally long time too, and the cost is manageable. It's your mouth, you tell them what you want. If it's in the back, consider doing nothing if it can't be seen anyway. If it's closer to the front and you have a good tooth on each side, then a permanent bridge is an option for you. My dentist even has a large poster in his office showing the different options after a tooth is pulled and how they're done, so an implant isn't written in stone as the only way to take care of this. Look online and read about these crowns and bridges and you'll have a little more information in your favor.
Last edited by kellie2; 06-27-2006 at 06:48 AM.