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Thread: Dental: Bridge vs Partial Denture

  1. #1
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    Dental: Bridge vs Partial Denture

    Hi... I had a tooth extracted 10 years ago, second to the back on the bottom. The space doesn't bother me personally, but the very back tooth is leaning into that space. Then a cavity developed due to that leaning causing a mis-fitting crown.

    So my dentist wants to fill that space with:
    (A) Implant
    (B) Permanent Bridge
    (C) Removable partial denture

    Having health issues, I am not crazy about the implant - it seems too invasive.

    The bridge involves recrowning the teeth on both sides of the space, and a "crown" for the space, and all three crowns are connected and permanent. So that is the cost of 3 crowns

    The removable partial denture. That is something like a fake tooth for the space, which connects around the adjacent teeth, and is removable. I didn't ask enough about this initially, so I am unsure of the cost, but probably the least expensive.

    Yesterday I went into for a cleaning, and said I was leaning toward the bridge. I'd like to do things in stages so it's not too hard on me physically, and financially. Apparently I didn't stress that part enough.

    The dental staff got overly excited and set up an appointment to do it all at once, which would be a one-time huge expense. I should mention, whenever I go to the dentist, even for a cleaning, my blood sugar drops like a rock and I can't understand what they are saying until I get out of there and eat something and relax. Usually I have to call back the next day and reschedule or fix whatever I agreed to the day before.

    Anyone have experience with a bridge or removable partial, who wants to share their opinion?

    Also, any ideas on a better way of dealing with these people, given my low-blood-sugar problems, and not getting good info/decisions during those times?


  2. #2
    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
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    I have a bridge and it's been fine. I chose it over an implant or dentures.

    I think you HAVE to do it in stages. They have to prepare the two other teeth and take a mold and the whole bit and then you go back later and have it put in permanently. It does take an hour or so each time.. it's not quick and easy. I would recommend nitrous oxide to deal with the stress of it.

    I have an awesome dentist and so my experience was just as good as it could be. I used to be absolutely petrified to go to the dentist, but I've grown out if it thanks to this dentist and nitrous oxide.
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    Quote Originally Posted by catherine View Post
    I have a bridge and it's been fine. I chose it over an implant or dentures.

    I think you HAVE to do it in stages. They have to prepare the two other teeth and take a mold and the whole bit and then you go back later and have it put in permanently. It does take an hour or so each time.. it's not quick and easy. I would recommend nitrous oxide to deal with the stress of it.

    I have an awesome dentist and so my experience was just as good as it could be. I used to be absolutely petrified to go to the dentist, but I've grown out if it thanks to this dentist and nitrous oxide.
    Catherine, let me ask you, did you PAY in stages?

    When I was there 2 weeks ago, the plan was going to be to do the cavity tooth and make a temp crown for that, then decide which way to go after that. So at that point, I would just pay for the 1 build-up and crown, which I could handle. So even after that point, I could still decide - do i want that tooth crowned singly, or the bridge going across all of them?

    Then if I decided on the bridge, the other-side tooth would be prepped in a later session, and the impression would be done going across all three. So at that time, I would probably be paying the equivalent of crown #2 and crown #3 (the missing tooth).

    So that way, I would be able to save up a little money between the sessions.

    But yesterday the plan changed suddenly to prepping both teeth and doing the impression next week, which would make me pay for 3 crowns at once. And somehow in my diminished mental state, they had me sign up for a dental credit card, which looking back, I really don't want.

    Also, did your bridge involve the price equivalent of 3 crowns?

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    Senior Member peggy's Avatar
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    I think the first thing I'd do is call my dentist and make an appointment to just talk. You don't have to talk to the dentist, just his secretary. Then I'd be upfront about my condition, and the condition I get into when I visit. Then just talk. Ask her/him abut payments, or doing it in stages or whatever, gather all the info you can, then tell them you want to go home, relax and think about what they said. Then you can call them with your decision. Good luck!

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    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
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    I have to admit that at the time I had dental insurance, which covered most of it, and I paid the dentist off in a few monthly installments (not credit card, but paid directly against my account with the dentist.
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    Quote Originally Posted by catherine View Post
    I have to admit that at the time I had dental insurance, which covered most of it, and I paid the dentist off in a few monthly installments (not credit card, but paid directly against my account with the dentist.
    Yeah, that may be the difference. Because right now, the quote is $7,000+.

    Also, the non-cavity tooth which would require a crown just got a crown a year ago. So I really would like to let that one be.

  7. #7
    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
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    Wow! $7000?? Yeah, I agree with peggy--see if the dentist has any suggestions. Also, if he knows you are self-pay, would he give you a discount?
    "Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it--every, every minute?" Emily Webb, Our Town
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    Quote Originally Posted by peggy View Post
    I think the first thing I'd do is call my dentist and make an appointment to just talk. You don't have to talk to the dentist, just his secretary. Then I'd be upfront about my condition, and the condition I get into when I visit. Then just talk. Ask her/him abut payments, or doing it in stages or whatever, gather all the info you can, then tell them you want to go home, relax and think about what they said. Then you can call them with your decision. Good luck!
    Yeah. What I did so far today was call the office and cancel next week's appointment, since I'm not going to let them do anything while things are unsettled. I told the front desk woman my issues, and said I would like to talk to the dentist, but have her call me next week.

    The front desk woman and I agreed that after every procedure, I would just pay and get the h___ out of there - not set up any future appointments or talk about anything.

    I told the front desk woman there are things I need to know from the dentist, like, how soon the cavity tooth needs to be dealt with, what are details of the different options, etc.

    I think no matter what, I don't need to rush into anything. Really, it's only been 2 weeks since I was told that I needed any of this.

    I also browsed the internet, and people with autoimmune disorders should not have implants. So that makes me relieved actually, to have an additional reason not to have an implant. The hygienist yesterday was asking my reasons for not wanting that, and it was annoying. There are times when it seems like they are all trying to sell me stuff.

  9. #9
    bunnys
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    I think this depends upon your age but I would say that if you're under 60 and in pretty good health--go with the implant.

    First, these are your TEETH. Regardless of whether or not you care about having a gap-toothed grin, missing teeth ruins your bite (your teeth ALWAYS shift) and can lead to chronic pain and other health conditions. I'm not even going to address nutrition problems if you lose enough teeth and don't do anything about it or the loss of confidence most would suffer by living with missing teeth. In my opinion, EVERYONE is ALWAYS too young to stop caring about how they look. Your perception of your appearance simply has too much impact on your self-esteem, regardless of whether or not you admit it.

    I know the implant is the most expensive option. However, when you get a bridge, you put stress on two other perfectly good teeth leading (frequently) to more missing teeth when the bridge gives out. Your teeth have evolved to help you masticate food and talk. They are not designed to endure the weight of other teeth hanging off them for decades at a time. Dentures are a pain to deal with, will age you prematurely and also lead to other health problems.

    You put that implant in there and it is good and permanent. Even if it eventually wears out, they can just pop it out and pop in a new one. The hardware's already in place.

    I hope I never have to get an implant or anything along those lines but if I were you that's the route I'd go. I'd also ask my doctor MANY, MANY questions about any of the procedures you're thinking of having done to your mouth (yes, your most important orifice!) What does the dentist suggest you go with? What are the pros and cons of each. (Believe me, there is more to consider than just the up-front cost.) I would not take the opinion anonymous posters on a website! I also wouldn't go with the internet as a reliable source as to whether or not people with autoimmune shouldn't get implants. I'd trust my dentist on this one. If you think your dentist is just trying to sell you something, get a 2nd opinion. To me, it would be worth the cost and the frugal thing to do.

    Also, "letting it be" does not work with teeth. They do not get better. They get worse. The longer you wait, the more likely it will be the fix will be more expensive.

    For $7000. quote for an implant I would absolutely shop around. That's a lot of money and I'm sure some dentists are less expensive than others.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by catherine View Post
    Wow! $7000?? Yeah, I agree with peggy--see if the dentist has any suggestions. Also, if he knows you are self-pay, would he give you a discount?
    It makes me wonder if dentists who accept insurance are told by the insurance companies that they have to charge non-insurance people full price? Is this possible? The dentist - she knows I am self-pay.

    I think what I might need to do is make it clear to the dentist that I am willing to do things I consider crucial. But I'm not going to do what she would consider the ideal. And I may let some things slide.

    This may force her to come up with some compromise solutions, because it pains her to have people walking around with dental problems. If she is worried about the space between my teeth, then what is the minimum that can be done to deal with that?

    Now that I've had 24 hours away from that place, I'm a little irritated

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