I needed three dental implants. My dentist has a lot of experience placing them so I thought I’d be safe. When he started the first surgery he realized I needed additional bone structure and suggested bone grafting. So, then I went ahead and had a second surgery. We go in for surgery number three and he again decides there’s not enough bone for it to work. Now, after three surgeries, he’s telling me to get two dental bridges. Should I have gone to an oral surgeon instead of a dentist?
It sounds like your dentist may be a very experienced implant dentist but is just learning the bone grafting procedure. He’s expanding his skill set, which every good professional should do. But, we all start out new when it comes to learning new skills and he still needs some more practice with bone grafting.
There are two things to be grateful for here:
- You have a dentist who is passionate about his field and still advancing his skills.
- You have a dentist with integrity.
It would have been very tempting for your dentist to just place your dental implants after the bone grafting procedure. Yes, it would eventually fail. But by the time it did, you wouldn’t know why and he could have gotten away with it. We’ve seen that happen.
You can, of course, get two bridges as he suggested. But, if your heart is set on getting dental implants that is still possible.
Go see an oral surgeon. They can re-do the bone grafting and then place your implants.
Dental Implants Versus a Dental Bridge
Dental implants, as you definitely already know, requires surgery. But, the implant signals to your body to recognize the bone that holds your tooth in is still needed, protecting you from continued bone loss.
A dental bridge is a false tooth suspended between two dental crowns. This has the upside of not requiring surgery and being less expensive. But, it has the downside of the two adjacent teeth being ground down to make room for the crowns.
If the adjacent teeth already needed crowns, then a dental bridge would make sense. However, unnecessarily removing healthy tooth structure is rarely recommended.
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