Posted in the Dentures Forum
Since: Jun 09
I'm at 2 years post full extractions as of today. I wore my immediate dentures faithfully for maybe a day. I wore them sporadically for maybe 2 weeks before I quite them. They were painful, humiliating and literally made me vomit. So 2 years of hiding have passed and I've started over with a new view this year and am now planning to have my consultations for full arch implant supported bridges this July to get this show on the road. I don't know whom among you have already been through this procedure but I know that the last time I was here Angel from Santee, CA was very, very close to her final few months of waiting for it to be all done. Angel are you done and happy? I'm here simply looking for any advice anyone has related to the whole thing. Whether it be cost related, the type of doc to see (oral surgeon vs perio or prostho dontist), things you didn't expect, things you love or hate, any regrets or cautions, anything really would be great. I'm going in armed with every question I can think of but personal experiences would help me a great deal. Thanks!
Done! Do not regret a single dollar - my biggest fear is ever having to wear a denture again in my life ever. The bridge does not feel like your own teeth as there is no way to make artificial nerves to insert into your bones or any way to create the natural give of root into flesh. The implants are stable, tight and there is constant pressure so you know you have a bridge in your mouth even when you are eating .... BUT .... it is as close as we are going to get in MY lifetime with the technology we have. My teeth look and function normal ... There is nothing that I was told not to eat that I wouldn't eat with natural teeth. No hard candy, no chewing ice, etc. Neither of which appeals to me anyway - I would not want to risk these beauties for any food. Just make sure that you go to someone who is a specialist with implants - Make sure that they are BBB rated, and look up their name on Google ... check them out - ask for recommendations from friends ... but only from people who have implants. Make sure whatever amount they charge is ALL-INCLUSIVE of ALL charges from start to finish ... no upcharges and most of all ask for a Satisfaction Guarantee ... make sure you ask for referral numbers from the person you choose and call them. Do your homework - this is a very expensive, probably once in a lifetime investment. Do not be surprised if the price is in the 30k range. IF someone talks you into mini implants vs the regular ones, ask what the warranty on them is ... I have heard horror stories about bridges on mini's ... I would think your price for this procedure may be much less expensive than I paid ... I have heard that KY dental rates are some of the best in the country. Make sure your dentist has done thousands of implants .... do not choose someone because of price. Remember - price IS negotiable --- I would ask for at least a 15% discount, and settle for a minimum of 10 ... if you pay cash you should be able to get 15%. Don't settle for a dentist until you are sure of them ... you can't quit in the middle of this and go somewhere else ... all dentists use different brands of implants, etc.... you don't want to do this again .... Dentists are really feeling the bite of this economy ... they will negotiate. Don't rely on the receptionist to answer ANY questions you might have - if your dentist won't take the time to talk to you - it's not the place for you. I do not ever think about what I can or cannot eat since there is nothing I can't eat ... nothing hurts.... You do have to take good care of your bridge ... you have to floss, brush, and use a WaterPik to take care of it... I do it with love ....good luck .... PLEASE KEEP ME POSTED ON YOUR PROGRESS AND CHOICES - everyone seems to quit posting after their work is done or they learn to live with their denture and then I never know the 'ending'.... thanks ...
One more thing. I was given a choice btw plastic or porcelain .... I chose porcelain ... they are sharper, and 'sound' like my own teeth ... they are also glasslike and so look much more natural than the solid look of acrylic .... your dentist may not like to work with porcelain ... it will be your own choice to make in the end.
Since: Jun 09
Angel I have a question about this statement: "The bridge does not feel like your own teeth... and there is constant pressure."
The nerves I assume are purposely avoided during implantation but you don't feel any of the implants either? Do you then chew excessively hard or harder then you mean to or anything like that since you don't "feel" it?
Is the pressure bothersome? I mean if this is the worst of it I of course can deal with it. But does it affect anything (kissing, singing, talking?) other than making itself constantly felt? Does it feel foreign? I worry that in the end I'll be so distracted by this that I'll hate it.
I read online that there really isn't a recognized specialty in implantation so do you have a suggestion on what specifically I can ask to the doctor so I get a clear response or what specifically I look for? My general dentist (who I don't trust) told me he did implants all the time. Turns out he only does minis with O rings and only to hold dentures. It took weeks to get a straight answer about this not being the implant I wanted when I didn't really know what was what. So any specific questions would help me too.
I'll do the google, BBB, recommendations stuff also.
Would you discourage me from getting mini implants? I too have read the bad stuff about them and hadn't planned to even consider it.
Did you go to an Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery place specifically? I'm trying to figure out if that's where I should start or go to a periodontist, prosthodontist or just a general dentist who also does (and is skilled in) implants?
Would you recommend that I try to find a doctor close to home since there a lot of follow ups? I've considered going as far as a couple hrs away but then I'm worried.
How long did your whole process take once you settled on a doctor (initial consult to implants to healing to final permanent fusing - is that what it's called?)
I had one quote in Cincinnati, OH for $50,000. That's the only quote so far. I found a Dr. in KY that I *think* does minis (I'm checking) but quotes 12,500 per arch. One procedure is definitely All-on-4 which I'm not so sure about.
She actually has a few links to her website which is confusing but it appears that she might do regular implants but via "Real Choice" and the Viso.Lign hybrid bridge - whatever that is.
Her husband runs the lab and these are his fees.
Last question. If someone wasn't looking into your mouth while you laugh or yawn or something similar would they know you have the implant supported arches at all? How about if someone is exploring your mouth (kissing :)). I just kind of want to know what is all looks like in the mouth. I've seen a tons of photos online but it's never enough and maybe it's best to hear it too.
Viv ... there is no way I could possibly answer your questions about how the bridge will feel to you ... only what it is like for me. It doesn't interfer with anything I do, but I definetly know it's there - and I do lisp a bit by the end of the day ... It is not like a denture, but not like your own teeth .. that's the only way I can put it. Yes, if someone 'explores' your mouth, and I assume you're talking about 'French' kissing, they can definetly feel it .... if they look into your mouth they will see it too. It is exactly as the link of the video shows it to be. It fits on over the gum where the teeth were extracted. The only way I know of to get better is to do a one implant per tooth procedure. And then I don't know how long that would look to teriffic as your gums are going to continue to shrink all of your life.
My advice is to go to an implant center or prosto ... I definetly would not have a guy who does o-ring dentures do your bridge ... only go to someone who has done it and done it ... and yes, make sure you are within driving distance because there are molds to be made, try-in's, etc. I have 'regular' implants as, like I told you before, my dentist told me he had to do many repairs with mini's ... and repairs consist of starting over with stronger implants. I think you are on the right path - you just need to follow your good instincts and make a decision ...
If I had started this procedure the right way in the beginning, from start to finish it probably would have taken about 8 mos to a year ... but because I started with a denture it took over 2 years.
Only if I stretch my mouth can you see the outline of the gum of the bridge ... if anyone ever says anything about my teeth it is just mostly that they notice that I have nice teeth .... and I just say thank you.
All I can say is that I LOVE IT ... AND I THANK GOD EVERY DAY THAT I HAVE IT.
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