Bad teeth run in my family. My sister and I have both lost a lot of teeth. We wanted to get dental implants, but were concerned about the price. My sister did some research and found a dentist in her area doing dental implants for half the price. He used something called mini implants. She got the same type of crowns you could get with the bigger implants. I was thrilled to see her results, at first. In fact, I planned on staying with her to get some mini implants myself. But, she’d barely had them a few months when they broke. Now he tells her she has to have an extra procedure in order to have them again. I can’t believe it. Would it be pointless to get any affordable implants? Is it worth the price to get the big ones?
There are a few things which factor into whether or not affordable dental implants can be successful. The first is making sure there’s a clear difference between affordable and cheap. There are some dentists who are inexperienced in placing dental implants (or dentistry altogether). In order to draw in patients and gain experience, they lower their prices substantially. While some of them may be naturally skilled and it works out fine, there are situations that can only be learned by experience. Not everyone’s body is the same.
While newcomers to the implant procedure have lower prices with good motives, there are those dentists whose motives aren’t so pristine. Some dentists who have extraordinarily low prices do so to draw patients in as well, but they care about their bottom line profit. So, to make up the difference, they use subpar materials which saves them hundreds of dollars. For instance, an implant can cost several hundred dollars if purchased in the United States, which has regulations that ensure a certain quality, an implant would cost them at least $200.00. But, if they purchase from another country, their cost will only be a few dollars. They get the patient AND the profits. The problem with that is most of those implants either break or lead to infection, which is the leading cause of dental implant failure.
Another factor in a successful implant procedure is using the materials properly, which your dentist didn’t. Mini-implants are useful in stabilizing a denture or for implanting in tight spaces where a traditional implant couldn’t fit and the teeth are substantially smaller. But, they are not designed to support a crown as a single tooth implant. That could be why your sister’s failed.
What mini implants are useful for is stabilizing dentures. They can also help prevent facial collapse where they’re implanted. But, you’d be better served in getting snap-on dentures, with two full-sized implants and save up for the rest of the implants if they’re out of your budget.
You asked if it was worth the price to get the full-sized implants. The answer is absolutely. When done by a skilled dentist they have a high success rate and are just like having your natural, healthy teeth back. Many dentists will work with you to pay out the procedure.
Don’t be too hard on yourself about your teeth. Genetics play a large factor. You can do everything right and still end up with a bunch of cavities.
This blog is brought to you by Dr. Steve Murphree.