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Thu Feb 25, 2021, 09:37 PM

Has anyone here had a tooth (molar) implant before?

I went to the endodontist today as I have been having serious tooth pain, to the point where I cannot really even eat solid food. I thought I would end up needing a root canal, but it turns out that I have a fractured tooth and some bone loss in one of my last right lower molars and the doctor suggested that an implant would probably be the best way to go.

Just wondering what your experience was, if insurance covered any of it and roughly what it cost out of pocket. Also, what was the aftermath like?

I know I will probably be anesthetised so it won't be that painful during the procedure, I am mostly worrried about the recovery and the out of pocket cost.

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Arrow 37 replies Author Time Post
Reply Has anyone here had a tooth (molar) implant before? (Original post)
smirkymonkey Feb 25 OP
El Supremo Feb 25 #1
smirkymonkey Feb 25 #6
jmbar2 Feb 25 #2
smirkymonkey Feb 25 #8
jmbar2 Feb 25 #17
smirkymonkey Feb 26 #19
a kennedy Feb 27 #37
gainesvillenole Feb 25 #3
smirkymonkey Feb 25 #9
Yonnie3 Feb 25 #4
smirkymonkey Feb 25 #10
Yonnie3 Feb 25 #18
smirkymonkey Feb 26 #20
Yonnie3 Feb 26 #27
Thekaspervote Feb 25 #5
smirkymonkey Feb 25 #11
Phoenix61 Feb 25 #7
smirkymonkey Feb 25 #12
Phoenix61 Feb 25 #13
VarryOn Feb 25 #14
smirkymonkey Feb 26 #21
Desert grandma Feb 25 #15
smirkymonkey Feb 26 #22
Ms. Toad Feb 25 #16
smirkymonkey Feb 26 #23
Corgigal Feb 26 #24
smirkymonkey Feb 26 #28
Rhiannon12866 Feb 26 #25
smirkymonkey Feb 26 #29
Disaffected Feb 27 #36
csziggy Feb 26 #26
smirkymonkey Feb 26 #30
csziggy Feb 26 #32
smirkymonkey Feb 26 #33
csziggy Feb 27 #35
mnhtnbb Feb 26 #31
smirkymonkey Feb 26 #34

Response to smirkymonkey (Original post)

Thu Feb 25, 2021, 09:45 PM

1. Yeah, I got one a few years ago.

Broken upward forward molar. Cost me about $4K. Took many weeks. Didn't have dental insurance. But it worked.

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Response to El Supremo (Reply #1)

Thu Feb 25, 2021, 10:11 PM

6. Ugh, that's what I was afraid of.

I am hoping insurance will cover at least some of it. Thank you for your feedback!

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Response to smirkymonkey (Original post)

Thu Feb 25, 2021, 09:45 PM

2. Had a similar situation

I had the root canal done on the very back molar. It is a very difficult procedure because of the weird angles and tight spaces. It was very expensive, then it failed again about a year and a half later.

The Dr. said that the furthest back molar is really unnecessary and you won't notice it when it's gone. He was right.

Facing the same with the first molar. I've spent about $4000 on it total with root canals and crown replacement. Now it's acting suspicious. Not sure what to do if it fails. It's visible.

But don't sweat the furthest molar.

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Response to jmbar2 (Reply #2)

Thu Feb 25, 2021, 10:14 PM

8. Good to know! I wonder if I can do without it?

She asked me if I grind my teeth and I wasn't sure, but I told her I was often aware of clenching my teeth and I often got headaches from it. She said that in the past few years she has has a flood of patients with cracked and broken teeth and I mentioned that it was probably Trump related. She just laughed.

Thanks for your input!

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Response to smirkymonkey (Reply #8)

Thu Feb 25, 2021, 11:26 PM

17. I had my last root canal done at the dental college

They charge about half of what the endodontist was going to charge.

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Response to jmbar2 (Reply #17)

Fri Feb 26, 2021, 12:04 AM

19. Someone else below mentioned going to a dental school, which didn't even occur to me, but

I think it's a great idea!

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Response to jmbar2 (Reply #2)

Sat Feb 27, 2021, 11:52 AM

37. It's actually called the 3rd molar.....used to work in the dental business.....

and itís true a lot of folk can get along ok without the 3rd molar.

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Response to smirkymonkey (Original post)

Thu Feb 25, 2021, 09:50 PM

3. I had one a few years back....

The worst part was the extraction of the broken tooth.... once that was done, I had to wait a couple of months for the space to ďfill inĒ and the bone to solidify. Once that was done, they put it the metal post. Heal again then the crown/false tooth put on.
Insurance didnít cover mine, but policies and companies differ so yours might. I paid directly and it was $3,000 or so.
Good luck.... for me it was well worth it! 👍🏻😁

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Response to gainesvillenole (Reply #3)

Thu Feb 25, 2021, 10:20 PM

9. Thank you! I didn't realize that it might be a bit of a longer, drawn out process.

The whole thing started when I broke a front tooth about 2 weeks ago and had a bond for that and then things just started going south. I haven't had any dental problems my whole life.

Hopefully I can stretch out the payments. I am getting a tax return but not quite that much. I can always ask my parents for a loan if worse comes to worst, but it's kind of a drag having to spend all that money on something so unpleasant.

I really appreciate your feedback! Very helpful!

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Response to smirkymonkey (Original post)

Thu Feb 25, 2021, 09:52 PM

4. One for me

and one for my partner.

It was very expensive, but my dentist sent me to an expensive place because he felt I needed the better quality at that place. I've known him since undergraduate days in the 70s so I followed his advice. I needed a bone graft as well. My partner was much less expensive but didn't require a bone graft.

For each of us, we went to our specialist and they gave a price and also ran it through our dental insurance so we knew the out of pocket cost up front.

Insurance varies widely, so our costs were quite different. I had nearly hit my my annual maximum so I got the bone graft and hardware done in one year and the replacement the next.

Pain was certainly a part of it. It was tolerable with Tylenol/Codeine and Advil.

I'm happy with the molar (an upper).

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Response to Yonnie3 (Reply #4)

Thu Feb 25, 2021, 10:23 PM

10. Thank you for your feedback!

Very helpful and much appreciated. It helps knowing what I might be able to expect. I thought this might be one of those things where I could go in and get it dealt with in an afternoon, but it sounds like it might be a longer process, which might actually end up being better.

I am allergic to opiates, but so far Advil has been working well and I have also been using Orajel which helps too.

Thanks again!

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Response to smirkymonkey (Reply #10)

Thu Feb 25, 2021, 11:54 PM

18. For me it was a nearly a four month process

Timeline

Initial visit to implant guy estimates and insurance figured out.

Extraction and implant with bone graft

Months later a checkup with implant guy and an ok to go forward with a fake tooth.

The rest was done with my regular dentist. He made a mold and the tooth and installed it. Cost similar to a crown

As I said the implant guy was expensive compared to others, but guarantees the implant for the rest of my life.

I replaced two molars with one implant because of cost.

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Response to Yonnie3 (Reply #18)

Fri Feb 26, 2021, 12:08 AM

20. Were you in pain the whole time?

I am just worried about the recovery process and not being able to live normally while I am going through it.

I suppose it's my own fault for neglecting my dental care, but I honestly think a lot of it was due to Trump stress induced teeth grinding and clenching. I have never had dental problems before. The bastard has really messed me up physically and mentally. I can tell things are already getting better, but the damage has been done.

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Response to smirkymonkey (Reply #20)

Fri Feb 26, 2021, 05:13 AM

27. Pain was a brief thing.

It rapidly diminished over the course of three or four days.

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Response to smirkymonkey (Original post)

Thu Feb 25, 2021, 10:02 PM

5. Yes..I have 2. Expensive, yes...wouldn't trade them..best fix out there

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Response to Thekaspervote (Reply #5)

Thu Feb 25, 2021, 10:24 PM

11. Thanks! It seems to me like it is the best long term solution and I am not that old, so it makes

sense to me. Appreciate your feedback!

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Response to smirkymonkey (Original post)

Thu Feb 25, 2021, 10:12 PM

7. If you have a dental college nearby it's much

cheaper there. Plus, they get graded on how good of a job they do.

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Response to Phoenix61 (Reply #7)

Thu Feb 25, 2021, 10:25 PM

12. Actually, I am in Boston, so we have a lot of good dental schools in the area.

That is a good suggestion and one I didn't even think of. I will look into that! Thank you so much!

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Response to smirkymonkey (Reply #12)

Thu Feb 25, 2021, 10:30 PM

13. My parents got a lot of work done at the

University of Florida. Itís a process to get admitted into the program but, I think, well worth it.

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Response to smirkymonkey (Original post)

Thu Feb 25, 2021, 10:49 PM

14. I have two implants...

My posts were done by an oral surgeon, so it was covered under my medical insurance, not under my dental. After waiting 2-3 months, I then went to my dentist for the instalation of the teeth. I was out of pocket for a few under for each implant.

I've been happy with the results.

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Response to VarryOn (Reply #14)

Fri Feb 26, 2021, 12:10 AM

21. Hmmm, that's good to know.

I will look into that. Thank you for the suggestion! Very helpful!

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Response to smirkymonkey (Original post)

Thu Feb 25, 2021, 10:59 PM

15. I have and it was one of the best things I have done.

Last edited Fri Feb 26, 2021, 12:46 AM - Edit history (1)

I have 2 insurances, and each of them paid 50 percent of their contracted price. The oral surgeon I used was in network with both insurances. Like the previous poster, I had the bone graft and implant done near the end of one year and the crown over the implant in the next. Check with your insurance, because coverage differs widely. There may be an individual plan you can purchase that covers implants as well. Oral health is so important to overall health. Good luck to you!

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Response to Desert grandma (Reply #15)

Fri Feb 26, 2021, 12:13 AM

22. Thank you, Desert grandma!

Very helpful info! I appreciate it. I made sure to confirm w/ my insurance company that this endodologist was in network since the first one my dentist referred me to was not. It didn't cost me anything today. The insurance company was also very helpful.

Thank you so much for your advice!

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Response to smirkymonkey (Original post)

Thu Feb 25, 2021, 11:25 PM

16. Not a molar - a canine.

My tooth resorbed itself so there was a great big hollow space inside - since there were no external signs and it was painless, it was too far gone to try a root canal by the time I got my dentist to look for something wrong (I had told him the tooth felt fragile, but couldn't describe it in a way that triggered anything concrete, and it was just off the edge of the X-rays).

I've got two root canals. I'd prefer to keep my own teeth - but an implant is the next best thing. By now the color is a hair off but otherwise I can't tell it from my own teeth.

The length of the process varies depending on whether you have to have a bone graft. I was lucky enough not to need one, but with bone loss you'll probably need a graft - making it a two-step process for the implant itself. Then more steps for the crown (the tooth-like part).

The extraction was partly covered (if I remember correctly). Because I didn't have bone loss the implant was done the same time the extraction was. The implant wasn't covered (but a partial denture would have been). The crown was covered to the same extent every other crown would be - under my insurance that's 50%.

Not good timing for you, but I was able to spread mine over two plan years to maximize the payment (since there's a pretty low cap on a lot of dental work). I had the extraction in one year & the crown the next.

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Response to Ms. Toad (Reply #16)

Fri Feb 26, 2021, 12:18 AM

23. Thanks for your advice, Ms. Toad!

It's all so confusing because there are so many different types of dentists you have to see depending upon what the problem is, and I am learning from all of you that it is a much more complicated and drawn out process than I had originally thought it would be.

Unfortunately, it is early in the year, so I don't know if I can drag it into the next calendar year, but at least now I have an idea of what to expect, so I feel a little more prepared for the conversation w/ my regular dentist tomorrow. I am just hoping they will allow some kind of financing so I don't have to pay it all at once.

Thanks again! Very helpful!

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Response to smirkymonkey (Original post)

Fri Feb 26, 2021, 12:55 AM

24. Molar?

Pull it, cheaper and guaranteed. No one will ever see, nor will it ever bother you again.

I handled it that way, all good.

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Response to Corgigal (Reply #24)

Fri Feb 26, 2021, 06:22 PM

28. I was thinking of going that route.

It's the very last one, so I am wondering if I will even miss it. Thanks for your feedback!

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Response to smirkymonkey (Original post)

Fri Feb 26, 2021, 01:31 AM

25. Yikes! I'm so sorry, my friend! I've been there, too, had an abscess 3x on the same molar

But what my dentist recommended wasn't an implant, but what she called a "bridge." However, it's not a denture, it's a fake tooth which is attached to the tooth next to it and it's permanent. And it's fairly far back in my mouth, but it works, fills the space where my irreparably damaged tooth was and works just fine, I no longer even notice the difference. Plus, the pain is gone. If it's possible for you, I recommend it.

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Response to Rhiannon12866 (Reply #25)

Fri Feb 26, 2021, 06:31 PM

29. Thanks for the advice, Rhiannon! I have heard of that before, but didn't know what it was.

I will have to look into it. Since it's one of the last molars and so far back, that might be a better and cheaper option.

It's all so confusing, and I don't feel like this dentist I just found is very helpful in addressing my options. I kind of feel like they are just out to make as much money as possible. It's really helpful hearing back from everyone here!

Thanks again for your feedback! Much appreciated!

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Response to smirkymonkey (Reply #29)

Sat Feb 27, 2021, 01:35 AM

36. A bridge attached to only one adjacent tooth

is called a cantilever bridge and are not nearly as reliable as one attached on both sides. In any case, the adjacent tooth/teeth have to be ground down and capped and there is no space to get floss between them. Biggest downside however to a cantilever is they tend to fail more often - I have had a couple and would not recommend them as when they fail, the bridge has worked loose of the support tooth and/or the support tooth breaks which may result in it being lost as well.

Implants are the Cadillac treatment but, as others have mentioned, the procedure is quite arduous, especially if a bone transplant is required, and the cost is high.

You might also want to inquire as to where the transplanted bone comes from.

PS, might be worth looking into going to Mexico or Costa Rica for the procedure as prices are much lower there and, if you choose the dentist carefully, the quality is just as high as in the US. Maybe do it in conjunction with a vacation...

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Response to smirkymonkey (Original post)

Fri Feb 26, 2021, 03:31 AM

26. I've had two implants

One, a molar that had two previous root canals. Long process - extraction, bone graft, healing for three months. Then implant, heal again, then false tooth.No serious pain after the initial work - cold packs helped with pain for the first week.

Meanwhile an old bridge on the other side cracked, so the dentist cut that - left the part of the bridge that was good as a crown on one tooth, made a new crown for the tooth where it had broken, and I got an implant to go where there had been no tooth for decades in between. (I had three pre-molars with no adult teeth, finally had to get them extracted in my forties, and had three bridges. When the other two bridges give up I will get implants to replace the missing teeth in those locations.)

It is expensive, but it is sooooo much better than bridges!

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Response to csziggy (Reply #26)

Fri Feb 26, 2021, 06:39 PM

30. Thanks so much for sharing the benefit of your experience, csziggy!

I never realized that this was going to be such a long, complicated process. Or so expensive! It sounds like you went through quite an ordeal! I thought knee and arm surgery were bad, but this sounds like a major production.

Thanks again for your input!

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Response to smirkymonkey (Reply #30)

Fri Feb 26, 2021, 08:59 PM

32. It wasn't nearly as bad as my first shoulder surgery!

THAT was an ordeal. To make a very long story short, that one involved eight months before the surgery trying to avoid it. Then when they got in there, it was about ten times worse than the MRI showed so they had to reconstruct the shoulder joint and rotator cuff structure. After that, six month of physical therapy but I got back to 95% full function.

The two knee surgeries were annoying, but the knee replacements were simple in comparison. You don't want to know my full surgical history.

Compared to all of those, dental implants were easy - and they didn't even knock me out for any of it.

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Response to csziggy (Reply #32)

Fri Feb 26, 2021, 09:55 PM

33. You poor thing!

I think I have had it easy by comparison. And I thought I went through hell! It's amazing what we can tolerate when we have to.

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Response to smirkymonkey (Reply #33)

Sat Feb 27, 2021, 12:20 AM

35. I'm lucky to have a high tolerance for pain

But I've had 16 major surgeries since 2001 and that doesn't count the implants or the original shoulder surgery. So I'm glad to be alive and in good enough condition to do most of the things I want to.

Yes, the will to live overcomes a lot of stuff.

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Response to smirkymonkey (Original post)

Fri Feb 26, 2021, 07:11 PM

31. My very last molar on upper right broke and had to come out some years ago.

I elected NOT to replace it with an implant because it doesn't show at all. Haven't missed it. My dentist said it wasn't a problem to not replace it.

Then I had an upper tooth on the other side break and it had to come out. I did elect to replace it with an implant because when I smiled, the missing tooth was apparent. Others have described the process which involved multiple visits. No pain involved, but costly. This was probably 5-6 years ago and it was close to $4,000. by the time I was finished. No dental insurance. That was the greatest pain in the process.

We have an excellent dental school at UNC- Chapel Hill and I have one friend who has a mouth full of problem teeth. She has all her dental work done there.

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Response to mnhtnbb (Reply #31)

Fri Feb 26, 2021, 09:59 PM

34. Thanks mnhtnbb!

This tooth is so far back, I don't know if it's worth replacing. It definitely wouldn't show. I think I will have to have another consult and weight the options, but everyone's feedback has been very helpful. I haven't really had any dental problems during my entire adult life, so this is all new to me.

I really appreciate your feedback!

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