About twelve years ago I lost a couple of teeth. I used a removable partial denture but m ready to get some dental implants now. My dentist said because the teeth have been out for so long I’ll need an additional procedure known as bone grafting. As I was reading up on everything I learned he could have preserved the socket when the teeth were first removed. He never even offered that. Should he pay for my bone grafting now?
Your body recognizes when you no longer have a tooth in your jawbone. Because of its desire to be as efficient as possible, it resorbs the minerals in your jawbone to use elsewhere. This is why you need bone grafting now.
There is a procedure which preserves sockets. It is called an alveolar ridge preservation. A decade ago, this was a fairly new procedure. Not only were the materials expensive, but there wasn’t any real long-term studies on it’s usefulness in the long-term. Most dentists didn’t offer the procedure. Even now, some don’t.
The procedure is pretty much just a bone grafting procedure. So, you’d be paying for it either way. It will likely cost you less now as the materials are not as expensive as they were in the beginning.
This important thing is not to put off getting your dental implants. The bone will continue to resorb. If you’re worried about cost, most dentists don’t make you pay for the entire procedure up front. Because it is done in stages, the standard is to pay for the surgical portion first. Then, there is a healing time when the bone ingrates with the new implant. When that’s done, you’d pay for the crown portion.
Cosmetic Considerations with Dental Implants and Crowns
A good cosmetic dentist can match your dental crowns exactly to your teeth. However, you should be aware that your porcelain crowns will not whiten after they are placed. If you are happy with the color of your teeth, that is great and you don’t need to do anything else.
If, however, you were hoping for a whiter smile at some point. I am going to recommend you get your teeth whitened before the porcelain crown is made. This will allow your dentist to make the crown for the new whiter color. If you whiten after it is made, your teeth will whiten but the crowns will not.
This blog is brought to you by Tulsa Dentist Dr. Jerome Cha.