I planned on getting eight dental implants in total. Six on the top and two more on the bottom. The top was done first and I have already paid for these. The plan was after these healed to get the remainder done. I’m a bit worried, though. Three of the six on top have have already fallen out. Here are my questions:
1. Should I get the money back on the ones that fell out?
2. Should I be worried about the remaining three?
3. Should I move forward with the last two?
Wow! What a disaster. That is a 50% failure rate. Most dentists have a 5% failure rate. Even then, they don’t fall out the first week! First, you should not have to pay for the dental implants that have fallen out. A basic tenant of dental care is that the work stays in your mouth. This is an easy one. He owes you a refund.
Now for your second question. I would be very concerned about the remaining three. My very strong suggestion is that you see another dentist, one who has post-doctoral training in dental implants. Look for someone who has trained with the Dawson Academy or the Las Vegas institute of Advanced Dental Studies. Have them look at the three of your dental implants which are left and give you a prognosis on the likelihood of their survival. I will be honest, I would not hold out much hope. In fact, I would not hold out any hope.
Before you move forward with the other two, I would like you to find out why these three failed. There are a few possibililties for dental implant failure.
- Inadequate bone support. This would only have been an issue for you if your dentist did not do the proper diagnostics. These should be done to not only check for bone support, but also to plan the proper placement.
- Incorrect placement of the implants. As mentioned above, placing these are quite tricky. If he didn’t do the right diagnostics, then it is very possible the implants themselves were not placed properly.
- Infection. This is one of the leading causes of implant failure. However, it is often accompanied by a fever and/or pain. You have not mentioned either of these, so I don’t think this is an issue.
- Substandard implant fixtures. Some dentists try to save money by purchasing implant fixtures from overseas. While they can save several hundred dollars per fixture, the patient’s outcome is put at risk.
- Premature loading of the implant crown. This is if the dentist did not wait long enough for the bone to integrate with your dental implants before placing the dental crowns or a denture on your implants.
Your dentist should have been on top of this and offered a refund the moment your implants failed. I think you are going to be better served elsewhere. My suggestion is you just ask for a full refund and start over somewhere else. Bear in mind that starting over will require you have some bone grafting done, in order to build back the bone you’ve lost in this whole process.
This blog is brought to you by Auburn, AL Dentist Dr. Alan Yount.