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Old 07-11-2007, 11:14 AM   #1
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walkunafraid HB User
Need help deciding between 2 doctors for implant/extraction

Some of you may remember my postings a few months ago about deciding whether or not to get an implant for my back bottom molar that needs to be extracted. After hearing some of the kind advice from people on this board, I decided to go ahead and have the implant, since it seems to be worth the bundle of money I'm going to have to spend.

Since that time, I have interviewed a number of doctors in search of the person I want to have performing the extraction/implant. I have narrowed it down to two choices, but am having a hard time deciding which is the better choice. Here are my options:

Doctor A:
I went to Dr. Lloyd on a referral from the Academy of Osseointegration, even though I soon learned that he is not an implant specialist, per se. He had a look at my tooth and agreed that an extraction/implant would be necessary. He has been doing implants for the last 15 years, and does about 9 per year. He has performed over 100 implant surgeries, and has been successful with every one (100% success rate).

Because he is not a specialist, he takes a slower, more careful approach -- including recommending a CAT scan to locate the nerve, and doing the extraction/implant in different surgeries (some doctors choose to do the extraction and implant on the same visit). He said I have plenty of bone in my jaw and would not need a bone graft.

He gave me a detailed print-out of the costs for the surgery and it amounted to $4,225, including the CAT Scan.

Doctor B:
Dr. Soleiman is the periodontist at my regular dental office. He has been doing implants for 10 years, and does hundreds per year -- so over 1,000 total. He has a 98% success rate. Unlike Dr. Lloyd, he would do the extraction/implant on the same visit. He stated no need for a CAT scan, but did say he'd like to do a bone graft using cadaver bone because he generally prefers that with all implants, regardless of the patient.

I asked for a detailed print-out of the costs for the surgery and it amounted to $5,150. The main reason for the $1,000 difference between Doctor B and Doctor A is the bone graft ($850) and the fact that Doctor B simply charged more for the implant surgery itself.

A few other factors:
Both doctors would be doing the surgery under local anesthesia (just numbing me up). Doctor A runs his own private practice and has a smaller office that is less "nice," while Doctor B works at a larger dentistry that is a bit more "fancy" looking. Both doctors were very friendly and happy to answer my questions.

So...I am torn between which doctor to choose. Obviously money is a factor, which makes me lean toward Doctor A, but the fact that he has done far fewer surgeries (albeit with a success rate of 100%) then causes me to lean back toward Doctor B.

Can anyone offer any advice?

Thanks,
Paul

 
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Old 07-11-2007, 12:24 PM   #2
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dma11663 HB User
Re: Need help deciding between 2 doctors for implant/extraction

I don't think anyone here can chose for you, you must go with your gut and go to the doctor that you feel most comfortable with. Have you checked their reputation with the american dental association or another place where you can check their credentials/reputation?

perhaps a 3rd opinion would be wise too?

Good luck.

 
Old 07-11-2007, 01:14 PM   #3
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walkunafraid HB User
Re: Need help deciding between 2 doctors for implant/extraction

Quote:
Originally Posted by dma11663 View Post
I don't think anyone here can chose for you, you must go with your gut and go to the doctor that you feel most comfortable with. Have you checked their reputation with the american dental association or another place where you can check their credentials/reputation?

perhaps a 3rd opinion would be wise too?

Good luck.
Thank you so much for your input.

I have checked with the Dental Board of California to check both doctors' credentials and any disciplinary actions taken against them. Both are fully licensed with equal credentials and have never had any actions against them.

I have had a total of 5 doctor's opinions, these just happen to be the top two of the five.

I know I should go with my gut...it's just that my gut is split between the two. I guess I should be optimistic and think that both are equally GOOD?

Thanks for the help.

 
Old 07-15-2007, 09:20 PM   #4
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Lalena HB User
Re: Need help deciding between 2 doctors for implant/extraction

I would certainly like to avoid what sounds like a unnecessary bone graft according to doctor A.
You probably want to get things under way but with such large differences between these two doctors I cant help but wonder what a couple other opinions would offer. Why not get two more opinions, seeing as this is an important decision, and let us know how it goes?

Good luck!

 
Old 07-15-2007, 09:25 PM   #5
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Lalena HB User
Re: Need help deciding between 2 doctors for implant/extraction

My apologies as I just noticed that you said that you have already gotten many opinions before narrowing your choices. It seems alot more expensive where you are as I was quoted 1500-2000 canadian for an extraction and implant. Maybe this was before all of the tests that they like to do prior to surgery though?

 
Old 07-16-2007, 09:52 AM   #6
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Thelma-Louise HB UserThelma-Louise HB UserThelma-Louise HB User
Re: Need help deciding between 2 doctors for implant/extraction

This is a tough one only b/c of the bone graft issue - did any other drs you consulted with suggest a bone graft as well? I would be more inclined to go with the dr that does it a regular basis but the fact that he insists on the bone graft regardless of whether you need it or not raises a flag for me - however his experience may suggest that he gets better results this way. Don't rely on success rates - they tend to be biased and self proclaimed and there is no way to verify them.

 
Old 07-17-2007, 05:17 PM   #7
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Re: Need help deciding between 2 doctors for implant/extraction

I'm having implants done at a Dental School by a dentist who has had his own office for 15 yrs in Canada. He is back in school to specialize in implants. He doesn't use cadaver bone. He uses either cow bone or some of my bone. The cat scan is necessary (I'm having upper implants so they have to see my sinuses) I don't know what they need to see for lower implants other than how much bone you have. The implants will cost about 2,000 including the final crown for each tooth. Do you have any dental schools in your area? It's worth a try.

s

 
Old 07-18-2007, 07:16 AM   #8
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dma11663 HB User
Re: Need help deciding between 2 doctors for implant/extraction

What is the cost of an implant outside of a dental school? Double?

 
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