My dentist convinced me to get a dental implant because he told me he has been doing them for years. The first part of the procedure required bone grafting at the dental implant site. I waited for the healing and went back in for the dental implant surgery. Well, the implant placement failed and had to be removed because the bone proved to be too thin. He wasn’t able to find a place to put it. So, I have had three surgeries now and I still don’t have a dental implant. Now, he is recommending I get a bridge. Does this sound normal?
-Christina in Oregon
This is unfortunate to hear. There are far too many dentists that think they can do dental implants and get in over their head. There is no recognized specialty area within dentistry for dental implants. This means that any dentist can make the claim to be an implant dentist. However, it takes extensive training and experience to be successful at them. Also, there are some dentists that specialize in oral surgery, called periodontists.
Even though it doesn’t sound like things went according to plan, it does sound like your dentist is trying to do the right thing. Bone grafting is a complicated procedure. At least he didn’t place the implant and forge ahead. That would have ended up creating a lot more difficulty down the road. So, he may have been new to bone grafting. These types of things are not uncommon when a dentist is trying something new.
The bottom line is that your dentist sounds like he has integrity. And according to his skill level, a dental bridge is a sufficient treatment option for a missing tooth. But, they come with many pros and cons. Dental implants are the best, most permanent solution to replace a missing tooth. So, if you really want to get a dental implant, you need to do some more research and get a second opinion.
You could your dentist for a referral to a periodontist or oral surgeon that is more experienced in dental implant surgery. At least you will be able to get a second opinion about the bone grafting and what is the best treatment option moving forward.
This post is sponsored by Petaluma dentist Dr. Rick Lane.