I lost my right second molar at age 17 and never replaced it. As an adult, I decided to do something about it. I wore a partial denture for many years, and now at age 47, I have decided to get an implant. But I regret it because I never had dental issues like this until I got the implant.
After implant surgery, my dentist told me that he placed the implant, although my bone level was shallow. He said that if it didn’t work out, he could do a bridge instead. I was furious, and after four months, my dentist said the implant was not healing well. I had a lot of anxiety about getting an implant, and it is increasing because someone must remove the implant. But I refuse to get a bridge. I would rather leave the space empty. I’m writing out of frustration but unsure of what question to ask. – Thank you. Marcus from KY
Thank you for contacting our office. We understand that you must be frustrated.
Do You Have Enough Bone Volume for a Dental Implant?
Whether you have enough bone level for a dental implant is something that any responsible implant dentist determines before surgery. Implant dentists take a 3-D digital CT scan before recommending implants. The scan helps your dentist identify:
- Bone level
- Oral anatomy
- Best implant location
We are also concerned because if you have had a missing tooth for 30 years, your dentist knows that you have experienced significant bone shrinkage.
How Much Does Bone Shrink When a Tooth Is Missing?
When a tooth is missing, bone shrinkage progresses rapidly. If your dentist takes a 3-D CT scan before placing an implant, they will notice the shrinkage and determine if you need bone grafting. An article published by the American Academy of Implant Dentistry on how missing teeth affect your bone notes that when you have a missing tooth, bone shrinkage occurs at these rates:
- 25 percent in three months
- Up to 50 percent in six months
How to Deal with Poor Implant Dentistry
When you are a victim of poor implant dentistry, your dentist owes you a refund. You paid your dentist for a service you did not receive—a healthy, functioning dental implant. Also, our dentist failed to meet the standard of care by not taking adequate x-rays to measure your bone volume. So, your dentist owes you for the implant process and negligence.
What Are Your Options After Dental Implant Failure?
If you have experienced dental implant failure, get a second opinion from a skilled implant dentist. Look for credentials from one of these organizations:
- International Congress of Oral Implantologists
- International Dental Implant Association
- American Academy of Implant Dentistry
Schedule an appointment for an examination. The dentist will explain your options for sedation and a comfortable procedure and recovery. And expect a skilled implant dentist to take a 3-D CT scan before recommending treatment options. Also, talk to your new dentist about your anxiety and what triggers it.
Dr. Steven Brooker, a Baton Rouge Fellow of implant dentistry, sponsors this post. Dr. Brooksher is accredited by the International Congress of Oral Implantologists.