I need some advice. I had six dental implants placed for some implant overdentures. It’s only been two days and I’ve already had half of them fall out. Is there any chance the other three will stay? Does this rule out me being able to have viable implant overdentures? If not, how do I go about getting them? Also, I feel I am entitled to a refund. Is that unreasonable?
No, it is not unreasonable to expect a refund. In fact, I would not just ask for a refund on the implants that have fallen out thus far. It’s very likely you will lose the remainder of them as well. Most decent dental implants have a 95% success rate. Your dentist fell significantly lower than that. What I really would like you to do is see someone who has an expertise in dental implants to see what was the problem that caused the failures to begin with. There are quite a few reasons dental implants can fail. I’m going to list some of the more common here:
- Infection. This is often the result of poorly fitting implant fixtures
- Diagnostic shortcuts. This is the result of your dentist to not properly assess whether or not there is adequate bone support for the implant. Implants need enough bone in your jawbone to secure the implants. He should have done lots of scans, hopefully including a CT scan.
- Incorrect placement of the implant. This is another problem with diagnostic shortcuts. Dental implants are a 3-Dimensional procedure and without a CT scan your dentist only has 2-Dimensional images to go by. As a result, some dentists have punctured sinus cavities or damaged nerves, leaving people with jaws they can no longer feel.
- The use of substandard implant fixtures. Getting fixtures in the United States is more expensive than overseas. The reason for that is we have laws dictating the safety and quality of our dental implants. Some dentists purchase them overseas where they can get them much less expensively in order to increase their profits. Unfortunately, that puts you at a higher risk of failure.
- Premature loading. I would love to know if the implant failure happened before or immediately after the placement of dentures. If it happened as a result of the denture being placed, that means your dentist did not wait long enough for your bone to integrate with the implants. Placing premature stress on the implants will cause them to fail.
Once you know why your implants fail, it will help you have a way forward. So, what should you look for in an implant dentist to evaluate these? You want someone who has post-doctoral training in implant dentistry. It’s not taught adequately in dental school, so the post-doctoral training is a must.
This blog is brought to you by Hilton Head Cosmetic dentist Dr. Bonnie Rothwell.