Author Topic: Dental implant help  (Read 1358 times)

firemane

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 16
Dental implant help
« on: July 15, 2019, 09:49:06 AM »
Hey folks.

My wife accidentally messed up a tooth implant on a front upper  tooth  and dentists here in the US are quoting $5k to replace it. It seems like dental insurance companies don’t cover it at all and most the policies basically say “we will give you dentures, take it or leave it.”

The implants were originally done in Southeast Asia about 10 years ago for fantastic work at a small fraction of the cost. I am not sure it is feasible for us to make it over to Asia this time due PTO limitations.

I wanted to see if anyone else has been in this situation and how you handled it? My thoughts are some sort of way to get a lower price in the US or perhaps even medical tourism to a closer destination like Mexico. One limitation I am seeing is that there will likely be more than one dentist visit involved so we might have to stay there for a while.

We are prepared for situations like this, but still hate to have such an extreme cost if we can avoid it.

Thank you
« Last Edit: July 15, 2019, 10:14:37 AM by firemane »

former player

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4590
  • Location: Avalon
Re: Dental implant help
« Reply #1 on: July 15, 2019, 09:55:16 AM »
My thought would be that this is not the moment to cheap out and that you get what you pay for.  Putting a failed implant right is more of a problem than having the implant in the first place; the number of chances for repair or replacement may not be unlimited.  So be grateful that your mustachian ways make this not a problem.


Your reference to bending over I find uncouth.

firemane

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 16
Re: Dental implant help
« Reply #2 on: July 15, 2019, 10:23:47 AM »
My thought would be that this is not the moment to cheap out and that you get what you pay for.  Putting a failed implant right is more of a problem than having the implant in the first place; the number of chances for repair or replacement may not be unlimited.  So be grateful that your mustachian ways make this not a problem.


Your reference to bending over I find uncouth.

Thanks for this. But is medical tourism really cheaping out? The care can be world class, but cheaper due to the exchange rates and without the extreme costs of running a business in the US. I don’t necessarily state this as an argument as much as trying to learn

Car Jack

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1254
Re: Dental implant help
« Reply #3 on: July 15, 2019, 11:01:57 AM »
I have one implant.  Got it started in the fall of that year.  Insurance covered some of it.  Then the rest was done the start of the next year, after the insurance started their new year.  They covered some more.

You can certainly talk with your insurance (both medical and dental) to see what and how much is covered.  Expect to pay a good % of this cost.  $5k is about right.

Malkynn

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1450
Re: Dental implant help
« Reply #4 on: July 15, 2019, 11:21:03 AM »
My thought would be that this is not the moment to cheap out and that you get what you pay for.  Putting a failed implant right is more of a problem than having the implant in the first place; the number of chances for repair or replacement may not be unlimited.  So be grateful that your mustachian ways make this not a problem.


Your reference to bending over I find uncouth.

Thanks for this. But is medical tourism really cheaping out? The care can be world class, but cheaper due to the exchange rates and without the extreme costs of running a business in the US. I don’t necessarily state this as an argument as much as trying to learn

Umm...no...not quite.

It's extremely difficult for a patient to determine what constitutes "world class" in terms of care, especially when it comes to anything surgical.

A lot of the expense in medical is in maintaining standards, of which the patient has absolutely no clue.

Also, other patient testimonials are nearly useless because patients rarely have any awareness of the standard of care their receive unless something goes obviously wrong early on. The problem is that poor standards usually lead to failure down the line, not necessarily right away.

A lot of scary dental work looks and feels great to the patient.

Be very cautious, and do not assume that you are automatically getting the same standard of care in a region where those standards are not tightly regulated, even if the clinic is gorgeous and luxurious. It just means they are making a lot of money, not that they have the best standards.


deborah

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 8779
  • Location: Australia or another awesome area
Re: Dental implant help
« Reply #5 on: July 15, 2019, 11:26:55 AM »
Implants need regular checking to ensure they’re staying ok. I’d have the work done where you live.

shadowmoss

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1079
Re: Dental implant help
« Reply #6 on: July 15, 2019, 11:28:50 AM »
Check out Algodones, MX.  The Rubio clinic does a lot of implants.  There is a casino less than 5 miles up from the border to stay if you need to.  It is 2 to 3 hour from Phoenix down interstate 8.

firemane

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 16
Re: Dental implant help
« Reply #7 on: July 15, 2019, 11:29:03 AM »
I have one implant.  Got it started in the fall of that year.  Insurance covered some of it.  Then the rest was done the start of the next year, after the insurance started their new year.  They covered some more.

You can certainly talk with your insurance (both medical and dental) to see what and how much is covered.  Expect to pay a good % of this cost.  $5k is about right.

Didn’t even think of checking with medical insurance - only checked dental

firemane

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 16
Re: Dental implant help
« Reply #8 on: July 15, 2019, 11:37:29 AM »
My thought would be that this is not the moment to cheap out and that you get what you pay for.  Putting a failed implant right is more of a problem than having the implant in the first place; the number of chances for repair or replacement may not be unlimited.  So be grateful that your mustachian ways make this not a problem.


Your reference to bending over I find uncouth.

Thanks for this. But is medical tourism really cheaping out? The care can be world class, but cheaper due to the exchange rates and without the extreme costs of running a business in the US. I don’t necessarily state this as an argument as much as trying to learn

Umm...no...not quite.

It's extremely difficult for a patient to determine what constitutes "world class" in terms of care, especially when it comes to anything surgical.

A lot of the expense in medical is in maintaining standards, of which the patient has absolutely no clue.

Also, other patient testimonials are nearly useless because patients rarely have any awareness of the standard of care their receive unless something goes obviously wrong early on. The problem is that poor standards usually lead to failure down the line, not necessarily right away.

A lot of scary dental work looks and feels great to the patient.

Be very cautious, and do not assume that you are automatically getting the same standard of care in a region where those standards are not tightly regulated, even if the clinic is gorgeous and luxurious. It just means they are making a lot of money, not that they have the best standards.

Thanks for this. My wife is from the country the original work was performed in so it made t a bit less intimidating, but the country as a whole does not have the level of healthcare that the US has (yet)

Malkynn

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1450
Re: Dental implant help
« Reply #9 on: July 15, 2019, 12:24:58 PM »
Check out Algodones, MX.  The Rubio clinic does a lot of implants.  There is a casino less than 5 miles up from the border to stay if you need to.  It is 2 to 3 hour from Phoenix down interstate 8.

Funny...I just went to a lecture about standards of care in Los Algodones Mexico...




firemane

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 16
Re: Dental implant help
« Reply #10 on: July 15, 2019, 12:50:22 PM »
Check out Algodones, MX.  The Rubio clinic does a lot of implants.  There is a casino less than 5 miles up from the border to stay if you need to.  It is 2 to 3 hour from Phoenix down interstate 8.

Funny...I just went to a lecture about standards of care in Los Algodones Mexico...

Was this a good thing or a bad thing? I am kind of standoffish about Mexico and Latin America because I am not as familiar with the country or culture and feel like I’d be a target for a rip off. Probably planning on staying here at this point.

MsPeacock

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1550
  • Location: High COL
Re: Dental implant help
« Reply #11 on: July 15, 2019, 01:14:18 PM »
I had a very expensive and unhappy experience with dental implants last year - all done in the US. I actually researched going to Mexico to get them done but decided against it. Basically, I needed more frequent follow-up and concerns with infection, very complicated placement issues (front LOWER teeth - little jawbone to work with), two failed implants out of 3.... etc. etc. . Insurance did cover a portion of the work. I had the start of the work during one benefits year and the balance of work the other benefits year (about 2 weeks apart) which meant that I got the $1500 benefits pay out to cover most of the work.

I would, at the very least, consult with a knowledgeable oral surgeon or implant specialist regarding her specific needs and the reason the current implants failed. A prostedontist can also offer other solutions - such as a bridge - which may be considerably less expensive and less invasive. The prostedontist has ultimately been the most knowledgeable and helpful person in my case and I eventually transferred all my dental care to that one specialist (he doesn't do surgery - but he does absolutely everything else).

Prior to this I never realized how many sub-specialties there are in dentistry.

 

Malkynn

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1450
Re: Dental implant help
« Reply #12 on: July 15, 2019, 03:18:10 PM »
Check out Algodones, MX.  The Rubio clinic does a lot of implants.  There is a casino less than 5 miles up from the border to stay if you need to.  It is 2 to 3 hour from Phoenix down interstate 8.

Funny...I just went to a lecture about standards of care in Los Algodones Mexico...

Was this a good thing or a bad thing? I am kind of standoffish about Mexico and Latin America because I am not as familiar with the country or culture and feel like I’d be a target for a rip off. Probably planning on staying here at this point.

Well, it was a presentation by someone who did her PhD specifically on dental care standards in Los Algodones, and the main challenge to her research was actually trying to gather accurate information on the care and infection control standards being used.

When something like that isn't strictly regulated, it's hard for even the relevant professionals to obtain enough information in order to evaluate the standards.
The general public simply can't.

A Fella from Stella

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 525
Re: Dental implant help
« Reply #13 on: July 17, 2019, 07:43:31 PM »
I'd spend the money. Took one of my kids to a dentist who turned out to have a hygienist that was not kid friendly, and she was suddenly afraid to be at the dentist.

I went out of network to a kid-only dentist. She was in bad shape with 4 big cavities. I said, 'knock it out,' and it was a very good experience. She actually wanted to go back after we left.

But it was $1,500. We cancelled a trip, and it delayed us paying off that card, but this is the health of someone you love. You gotta put that first.
« Last Edit: July 18, 2019, 03:21:34 PM by A Fella from Stella »

Cassie

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5739
Re: Dental implant help
« Reply #14 on: July 17, 2019, 09:32:08 PM »
Implants require many visits. I would do it locally. My dental insurance paid 50% up to 1500.

seemsright

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 227
Re: Dental implant help
« Reply #15 on: July 17, 2019, 09:50:28 PM »
I'd spend the money. Took one of my kids to a dentist who turned out to have a hhygienist that was not kid friendly, and she was suddenly afraid to be at the dentist.

I went out of network to a kid-only dentist. She was in bad shape with 4 big cavities. I said, 'knock it out,' and it was a very good dental experience. She actually wanted to go back after we left.

But it was $1,500. We cancelled a trip, and it delayed us paying off that card, but this is the health of someone you love. You gotta put that first.


it took an entire day calling dentists to find one that would work with my kid after the kid dentist threw tools because she would not sit still in his chair after a bike crash that knocked out teeth...finding the right dentist for your kid is vital.

MrThatsDifferent

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1546
Re: Dental implant help
« Reply #16 on: July 18, 2019, 01:39:37 AM »
I’ve got a friend going to Mexico to get it done.

FindingFI

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 134
Re: Dental implant help
« Reply #17 on: July 18, 2019, 06:05:59 AM »
Are there any dental schools in your area?

I'm in need of a root canal, and debating going to a highly rated dental school for the procedure to save a good chunk of money. I got quoted around $2,000 by my dentist after insurance, and $1,100 by the dental school before insurance (I would be responsible for submitting the claim on my own so the out-of-pocket would be even lower after reimbursement).

A Fella from Stella

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 525
Re: Dental implant help
« Reply #18 on: July 18, 2019, 03:24:42 PM »
I'd spend the money. Took one of my kids to a dentist who turned out to have a hhygienist that was not kid friendly, and she was suddenly afraid to be at the dentist.

I went out of network to a kid-only dentist. She was in bad shape with 4 big cavities. I said, 'knock it out,' and it was a very good dental experience. She actually wanted to go back after we left.

But it was $1,500. We cancelled a trip, and it delayed us paying off that card, but this is the health of someone you love. You gotta put that first.


it took an entire day calling dentists to find one that would work with my kid after the kid dentist threw tools because she would not sit still in his chair after a bike crash that knocked out teeth...finding the right dentist for your kid is vital.


Wow, I'm sorry to hear that.

I got lucky to find a great one off the bat. The work took so long that she watched an entire movie, and then a bit of another while being worked on. Initially, we were just going to do one side, but she did so well I said, "finish up if you're okay with it."

We recently went to a normal family dentist without a popcorn machine and movie theater, and it went just fine. However, the customers were not satisfied with sitting in coach!

Bucksandreds

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 840
Re: Dental implant help
« Reply #19 on: July 19, 2019, 06:59:23 AM »
I'm a dentist and I would go to the best Oral Surgeon in my area and pay up. No international and no messing around with students or residents doing something so technique sensitive. Only way I would consider the cost savings route is if I did not have the money to go to a very skilled Oral Surgeon.  You would be shocked at the gulf between skilled and less skilled dental professionals.

firemane

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 16
Re: Dental implant help
« Reply #20 on: July 19, 2019, 07:48:32 AM »
I'm a dentist and I would go to the best Oral Surgeon in my area and pay up. No international and no messing around with students or residents doing something so technique sensitive. Only way I would consider the cost savings route is if I did not have the money to go to a very skilled Oral Surgeon.  You would be shocked at the gulf between skilled and less skilled dental professionals.

Her current dentist took 3 tries to get a crown working last year so I am thinking we should probably find another one. Any thoughts on what to look for? There is an office not too far from us that is called “dental implant center” and a few other similar offices to that in the area that I would think would be better since they probably do a lot more implants rather than the current dentist who also does checkups and cavities and all of the routine stuff

Margie

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 46
  • Location: SW Ontario
Re: Dental implant help
« Reply #21 on: July 19, 2019, 08:49:01 AM »
I had to have a root canal in DR in 2005.  Symptoms started the day after we arrived.  I had broken a tooth while pregnant with my first and needed a root canal when he was 4 month old.  Then, I broke a different tooth while pregnant with my daughter and I knew immediately that I had another abscessed tooth.  The pain was unreal! I tried to avoid it by taking antibiotics and if I hadn't been nursing I would have drunk myself silly.  On the fourth day my face was starting to swell so I knew I couldn't wait until i got home.  Ended up seeing a dentist and he did a good job.  (had to feed my daughter during it so it was something I will remember!)  When I got back to Canada my travel insurance covered it.  I had to send them all sorts of info and was even told "we need to make sure this was a true emergency"  I laughed at her gently and said I have insurance in Canada why would I go to a third world for a root canal??? 

Anyhow, 14 years later, it is still great.  Would I purposely plan to have dental work in a third world?  No.  But, I am no longer afraid of dental/medical care if an emergency arose.

I am not sure I would cheap out on dental care. 

Good luck deciding!

cap396

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 54
  • Age: 47
  • Location: FIREd and Traveling the World
    • Snail Travelers - Traveling the World at a Snail's Pace
Re: Dental implant help
« Reply #22 on: July 19, 2019, 04:59:23 PM »
I know you're hesitant on Latin America, but for what it's worth, we had some dental work done in Lima, Peru at a dentist office called Smiles Peru.  It focuses on dental tourism, the prices were reasonable, and the work was good quality.  The manager is from the US, as were most of the other patients we met there.  They also have a service to arrange your housing, but we didn't use this service so can't really comment on that.

You can read more about our experience here: http://snailtravelers.com/2018/10/15/smiles-peru-and-dental-tourism/

TomTX

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3582
  • Location: Texas
Re: Dental implant help
« Reply #23 on: July 20, 2019, 06:48:33 AM »
Hey folks.

My wife accidentally messed up a tooth implant on a front upper  tooth  and dentists here in the US are quoting $5k to replace it. It seems like dental insurance companies don’t cover it at all and most the policies basically say “we will give you dentures, take it or leave it.”

Is the actual implant/fixture down in the bone broken/messed up? If it's just the abutment/screw/crown portion, it may be fixable for much less. I had a screw failing about a year ago - my dentist drilled through the crown to remove the screw, then put everything back together with a new screw and patched the crown. Only charged me a few hundred bucks.

One note for anyone who gets implants: Make sure to record and archive all the manufacturer information on the hardware: System name, manufacturer, exact parts used, including screw length/size.

https://periobasics.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/Components-of-implant.jpg
« Last Edit: July 20, 2019, 06:50:07 AM by TomTX »

adrianmorrell

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 7
Re: Dental implant help
« Reply #24 on: July 20, 2019, 08:01:16 AM »
For what it's worth, I needed a dental implant a couple years ago. Went to a local guy that my dentist recommended. Later in talking to people in this area I found that everybody I talked to went to this guy. Literally everybody. I didn't find one other person who'd used anybody else. I even bumped into one of my neighbors in the guys office one day.

The implant was expensive, I want to say around $6000 by the time it was all said and done, and around a 6 month process. After the new tooth was installed on the implant, I discovered that the implant was loose. They had checked it at a checkup, but I guess they weren't aggressive enough when they checked it. So... I had to start all the way over from scratch. Had to remove the first implant, pack it with bone, wait for it to heal, then drill a new hole and put a new implant. After it had been in long enough to heal, we could get the new tooth for it (also a big expense, and the previous one they'd made wouldn't work with the new implant l.

The entire second implant was warrantied. I paid a ton of money for the first one, but the entire second ordeal was on him. All I had to do was show up.

If you go somewhere else, the travel will be a big deal because there will be a good many visits. And I'd be very skeptical if you'd get the kind of warranty that I got. Maybe you would, or maybe you'd save enough that it wouldn't matter to you, but it's something to consider.

Adrian

Sent from my XT1635-01 using Tapatalk


Habilis

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 85
Re: Dental implant help
« Reply #25 on: July 20, 2019, 08:46:35 AM »
Check out Yelp reviews of dentists in Los Algodones, Mexico.

Malkynn

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1450
Re: Dental implant help
« Reply #26 on: July 20, 2019, 09:09:04 AM »
Check out Yelp reviews of dentists in Los Algodones, Mexico.

I would like to reiterate that patients are not very well equipped to evaluate the standard of care of which they receive.

The difference in good quality dental work vs horrible quality dental work is difficult to perceive without professional imaging equipment and training. How it looks and feels on the surface is absolutely no indication of how well the work has been done, or what the quality of materials used is, or what standard of infection control is being adhered to.

I will also repeat that after going to a lecture that was specifically about the standards of care in Los Algodones Mexico, I wouldn't consider it a deal. I would actually consider it over priced.

I concur with the suggestion above to go to a dental school, because that is actually a very good value for service. They use quality materials and have even higher standards than most private clinics. Implants will usually be done at resident clinics, which means the dentist treating you is a fully licensed dentist already, but pursuing extra training, so in terms of value, you get a similar level of cost as going to Mexico, but all of the standards and material quality of a private office, as well as the legal protections of being treated within a regulated jurisdiction.