I have had full dentures for years. They were starting to get uncomfortable so I decided to get dental implants to help support them. The dental implants were expensive, but I was told they would help out my situation a lot. I ended up getting five implants placed and they were approximately $1700 per implant. Then, I’m supposed to be getting a couple more down the road after these heal for another $5,000.
I was mortified when three of them have already come out, and after only three days! I feel helpless at this point and am trying to figure out what to do. Do I have to pay for this first round of implants? Also, what am I supposed to think about moving forward with more down the road?
Any information you could provide would be appreciated. Thank you.
-Mitchell in New York
Well, the most important part of getting dental implants is that they stay securely in place. No – you should not pay for dental implants that fell out after only a few days. However, the most important factor is to determine why they came out. Typically, the dental implant failure rate is less than 5% according to Authority Dental. Three out of five of yours came out, which is not good odds. Most dental implants failures are caused by either poor placement and/or improper surgical technique. Most of these failures occur after several months or years, not a few days. So, your situation is not common and you should absolutely be concerned and proceed with caution.
Here are several reasons why dental implants are unsuccessful:
- Infected dental implant due to poor fit
- Inadequate bone density at the implant site
- Poor quality of dental implant fixtures
- Improper placement of the surgical implant posts
- Too much pressure or stress placed on the implant before it has fused with the bone
- Other health conditions which increase the rate of dental implant failure
The big question you are likely asking yourself is if three out of five of them have already failed, how long will it take for the others to come out? It sounds like there is a possibility that the others may be at risk for failure too. Since several of them have come out after such a short time, it is questionable whether the others will hold up when there is added stress placed on them to support the overdenture.
It’s time to find a new dentist and seek a second opinion on the matter. Not only is it difficult to give you specific recommendations without having seen you in person, it is always a good idea to get multiple opinions especially under these circumstances. You need to find out more about why the implants fell out. Your new dentist may ask for copies of your medical records and your original dentist is obligated to provide them.
Another thing that you need to realize is that there is no special designation in the dentistry field for dental implants. Sadly, this means that any dentist can claim to be an implant dentist without any extra training beyond dental school. It can be difficult for a patient to know how trustworthy an implant dentist is without understanding this. Some tips in selecting the best dental implant dentist in your area is to ask to see examples of cases similar to yours, check their training and credentials and to look at their reviews. It would also be great to find a dentist with fellowship status in a prestigious dental implant organization. And it is also encouraging if the dentist is skilled in oral surgery too. Once you have found an implant dentist you can trust, ask them their opinion as to why the dental implants failed. Don’t be afraid to get multiple opinions. Most implant dentists will provide a complimentary consultation.
Overall, your situation sounds like a red flag. So, it is likely in your best interest to find another dentist. If you have the input of another dentist, it may help provide some leverage when you request a full refund for your failed implants. You shouldn’t run into too many hurdles in requesting a refund because from the sounds of it, you should have the state dental board’s support in the matter. The dental implants failed, and only after a few days.
Thank you for reaching out with your story. Sadly, it happens more than we would like. Hopefully, this helps put you on the right track.
This post is sponsored by Petaluma dentist Dr. Rick Lane.