Cosmetic Dentistry Blog Cosmetic and General Dentistry Questions Answered

August 3, 2018

Update on Clear Choice Dental Implants Centers


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Dr. Hall, I have been reading your posts about Clear Choice and reading the comments but notice that most of them are from a number of years back. I am doing my due diligence before i say yes to Clear Choice and would like to ask if your thoughts and information about Clear Choice have evolved or changed in 2018?
Thank you
David from Rhode Island

David,
Thanks for your question. I haven’t posted some of the recent comments I’ve received from Clear Choice patients, and I need to bring this subject up to date.

I don’t believe the business philosophy of Clear Choice has changed any. Of course, different locations are going to be different, but I have seen no indication of any change in their guiding philosophy, which includes the following elements: They generally employ very qualified surgeons and prosthodontists, they charge high prices, and they put a strong emphasis on sales with a tendency to use high-pressure sales tactics. Clinically, they have a strong preference for extracting all the teeth, often teeth that other dentists would consider savable. And then for a full mouth restoration, they will use the all-on-4 dental implants technique for pretty much everyone.

So my advice would be the same as it has been in the past: Get a second opinion. Don’t rely on what they tell you. In getting your second opinion, look for dentists who have credentials with the International Congress of Oral Implantologists and/or the American Board of Oral Implantology, which is associated with the American Academy of Implant Dentistry. After getting the second opinion, if you feel that Clear Choice is going to give you the best care, then go with them. But my guess would be that in most areas you would be able to find excellent care from highly qualified surgeons and prosthodontists for more down-to-earth fees. There are many more surgeons now doing all-on-4 dental implants and having excellent success with them. Plus their may be options for your case that Clear Choice didn’t share with you.

I have been contacted by a couple of patients who have had problems with their care. Not many, because I think they try to get very qualified dentists, but I have seen an uptick in clinical complaints from some locations in the last couple of years. But when there are problems, the patients seem fearful about saying anything. So I wonder if they have you sign papers which enable them to threaten you if you publicly voice any complaints. I had one individual who sent me his complaint, but before I could publish it he contacted me again, very fearful that he would experience retribution from Clear Choice, and he asked me to promise not to say anything about it. I had one recently who was emphatic about not using his name or location, lest he experience retribution. Maybe I’ll go ahead and publish that with those details removed to help bring this subject up to date.

Dr. Hall

Do you have a comment or anything else to add? We’d love to hear from you. Enter your comment below. If you have your own Clear Choice complaint, click the link for the form for that.

Click here to ask Dr. Hall a question of your own.

About David A. Hall

Dr. David Hall was one of the first 40 accredited cosmetic dentists in the world. He practiced cosmetic dentistry in Iowa, and in 1990 earned his accreditation with the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry. He is now president of Infinity Dental Web, a company in Mesa, Arizona that does complete Internet marketing for dentists.

April 12, 2012

Should I go to Clear Choice or Costa Rica for my dental implants?

Your website only discusses Clear Choice as a provider of the all on 4 implant procedures. I went in for a 3d x-ray and initial eval at both Clear Choice (CC) and EON. My experience with CC was consistent with the experiences of others reflected on your website. EON seemed much better. In particular, the head of the EON clinic spoke with me. Apparently he used to be associated or partnered with CC. He stated that he left CC because he did not like the practice of abandoning the patients once they had the procedure done. Also according the the “evaluation done at CC and reported to me by the sales rep, I was a fine candidate for the procedure. The dentist from EON referred to the x-ray and mentioned several consideration that needed to be evaluated. Ultimately he stated that they could make the necessary modifications to allow insertion of the implants without bone grafting. If any of this seems odd or false, please let me know. I figured you might benefit from my description of the initial meetings with the 2 local competitors in Chicago area. Thank you. Mike Burke My next step, in addition to scouring the internet for justification and knowledge is to consider going out of the country to have the implants put in. Costa Rica?

Mike from Chicago

Mike,
I don’t understand. You are unhappy with the idea that you would go to Clear Choice and get dental implants and they wouldn’t have any follow-up. And for THAT you are going to Costa Rica? What kind of follow-up do you think they have in Costa Rica? Do you think THEY will call you for a checkup and a cleaning?

Having dental implants placed, even in the United States, is a risky procedure. We are seeing so much malpractice in this area. Dentists are getting into it without adequate training, and the standards of care are not well established because it isn’t a recognized specialty and is fairly unregulated.

But take the worst dentists you have in the United States, and remove ALL quality control standards that even they have, and that’s what you’ll have when you go to Costa Rica. If you are a brave soul, you could try getting crowns or bridgework done in Costa Rica, because you could always have those re-done if something goes wrong. But when something goes wrong with implant dentistry, you could end up a dental cripple, maybe with practically no jawbone. They could accidentally place implants in your nerve canal, in your nasal sinuses, they could perforate the bone. Infection could set in. The implants could be too short or too thin. They could be placed under load prematurely. They could come loose. If they place cheap fixtures, they could lack precise tolerances, which would leave openings for infection and coming loose. The fixtures could corrode. You could get peri-implantitis. There are so many things that could go wrong with dental implants. At least in the United States you might have some legal recourse if things go bad.

I am not a fan of Clear Choice. As you were told, they do not have any follow-up contact with you. We have numerous reports of high-pressure sales tactics. And the all-on-four is a risky procedure – if anything goes wrong later with any one of the four implants they place, the entire case will have to be re-done. But you are far better off having this done by Clear Choice than going down to Costa Rica. If you want the best care, my recommendation would be to find a solo practitioner with expertise in dental implants. Look for credentials from either the International Congress of Oral Implantologists or from the American Academy of Implant Dentistry.

There are other dentists who do the all-on-4 procedure in the Chicago area. Dr. Anthony LaVacca in Naperville is one. He is a board-certified prosthodontist and is also implant surgery trained. If you are leery of the all-on-4 procedure, which I am, you may want to get a second opinion from Dr. William Cohen in Glenview, who used to be my dentist when I lived in Iowa.

But please, please, don’t go down to Costa Rica for dental implants, not if your quality of life is important to you.

Dr. Hall

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About David A. Hall

Dr. David Hall was one of the first 40 accredited cosmetic dentists in the world. He practiced cosmetic dentistry in Iowa, and in 1990 earned his accreditation with the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry. He is now president of Infinity Dental Web, a company in Mesa, Arizona that does complete Internet marketing for dentists.

August 19, 2011

Clear Choice pricing seems so arbitrary. Dr. Hall explains their pricing

Dear Dr. Hall,
My story begins with being convinced to have my teeth removed by a different facility other than Clear Choice. I was fitted for dentures, and sent home. At age 42, and after thousands and thousands of dollars of previous care, I was at my wit’s end. I was told by the dentist that I could get the dentures stabilized down the road with implants and that would be that. But it wasn’t. I couldn’t wear the dentures, at all. Between pain and severe gagging, I ended up returning over and over for fitting. After a horribly frustrating and deeply depressing year, I went to Clear Choice for a consult. I purposely went there for info on the All-On-4 procedure. I wanted to do individual mini implants for each tooth, but decided financially and the amount of time involved in getting all of those procedures wasn’t the best fix for me. My consult with Clear Choice was fine. Beautiful, classy office, no wait, very professional staff.

They quoted me $67,000. After learning my husband was 64, they offered me a senior discount bringing the price to $52,000. This seems weirdly arbitrary to me. Is the procedure worth 67 or 52 thousand? Even at 52, it seemed very high. I can get individual implants done by a very good dentist locally for around $1,900 apiece, start to finish, should I reconsider this route? How do I go about finding other dental professionals that are qualified to do the All-on-4 procedure? I have tentatively called around, but most offices seem confused and assume I want to just do stabilizing implants for my polyresin dentures, which I cannot wear! At my age I really don’t want to make a 2nd mistake, the first was letting the first dentist remove all my! teeth w hen at least 10-12 were totally salvageable really haunts me. I have been so distraught and so depressed. I had a fantastic smile, and now I am forced to try to wear my top denture only when going out. Please give me any advice on this. Should I go back to Clear Choice and just ask them to work with me financially? I can afford the procedure if it’s spread over a year or so, but not up front. God willing, I will live for some time, and I don’t want to do it with pain, embarassment, or an inferior set of teeth.

Thanks for a great website,
Diana from Georgia

Dear Diana,
Clear Choice will not work with you financially. This you have to understand. They are a business operation. It’s a corporate dental implant clinic that exists to make money, not what you think of as a traditional dental office where you have a caring dentist who sort of becomes a personal friend. The initial quote of $67,000 which was trimmed to $52,000 is to make the real fee seem more reasonable. But in fact both fees are very high for what they are doing.

Be skeptical of the All-On-Four dental implants procedure. It works great for a while, but then there is a risk of it failing several years down the road. The best way to treat your situation for long-term results would be with bone grafting. That is expensive and time-consuming. The reason Clear Choice is so expensive is because they’re pricing their service to compete with the bone grafting. And the reason their facility is so nice and their dentists make so much money is because they don’t actually have to do the bone grafting – they have a short cut around that, which greatly increases their profit margin.

My advice would be to check around and get other opinions. Check the website of the International Congress of Oral Implantologists. I believe they have a list of dentists who have credentials with their organization. Fellowship in the ICOI is a great credential. Diplomate status is even better. Find dentists who will let you have an intial visit to meet the dentist without any charge, visit a couple of them, and pick a dentist you think you would like to work with. Get past the receptionist and to the dentist with your questions, and you’ll get past this confusion that you are feeling. And don’t put too much faith in this All-On-Four procedure. Instead, ask yourself this question after you visit the dentist – Do I believe this dentist will care what condition my mouth is in in ten years?

Clear Choice dentists, as a rule, I believe, have dentists with great expertise. But I will tell you what I tell everyone else – I would strongly recommend a second opinion after you get a treatment plan from Clear Choice.
– Dr. Hall

Read more about dental implants.

We thank our advertisers who help fund this site.

About David A. Hall

Dr. David Hall was one of the first 40 accredited cosmetic dentists in the world. He practiced cosmetic dentistry in Iowa, and in 1990 earned his accreditation with the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry. He is now president of Infinity Dental Web, a company in Mesa, Arizona that does complete Internet marketing for dentists.

August 17, 2011

A great experience at Clear Choice

Filed under: Clear Choice Dental Implants Centers — Tags: — mesasmiles @ 10:15 pm

My experience with Clear Choice was great. I tried to get this procedure done in Michigan but it would have taken 1 1/2 yrs to complete and I might have to have bone grafts,and I would have to travel to all the different places to accomplish this task.

Went to 2 periodontists..which one of them had to tell me that he is “famous” and he is “very expensive” and his charge was $50,000.00 plus. The oral surgeon couldn’t give me an estimated charge for a year, and his charge was in the $35,000 mark! The other periodontist alot of bone loss on the top.

There was no pressure applied. The complete figure was much cheaper than having it done in my home state, Michigan. And to have it complete in 6 months!
– Gail from Michigan

Gail,
Glad you had a good experience.
– Dr. Hall

We thank our advertisers who help fund this site.

About David A. Hall

Dr. David Hall was one of the first 40 accredited cosmetic dentists in the world. He practiced cosmetic dentistry in Iowa, and in 1990 earned his accreditation with the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry. He is now president of Infinity Dental Web, a company in Mesa, Arizona that does complete Internet marketing for dentists.

May 20, 2011

A good experience with Clear Choice Atlanta

Filed under: Clear Choice Dental Implants Centers — Tags: — mesasmiles @ 6:58 pm

Before I was introduced to Clear Choice I had spent $30,000 in the past 10 years trying to keep bridges, caps, root canals, etc. in an attempt to keep a clean and healthy mouth. During that time I don’t remember a year going by that I wasn’t having trouble. I do remember many visits to the dentist, bad breath, bridges moving around, and infections, not to mention the thousands of bucks spent. In about Feb 2009, two years now, I had total mouth, uppers and lowers done by Clear Choice in Atlanta. I have had no trouble at all since. It has changed my life all for the better. I have beautiful teeth, I can eat anything, my mouth is clean and I have had no dental problems, infections or bad breath since. I agree it would be great to have all your own teeth, but, if you are not one of the lucky ones, I can tell you that these teeth from Clear Choice are the best I have ever had. They take very serious procedures and impressions so that everything fits, looks natural and feels great.
– Rob from Georgia

Rob,
Generally, we’re hearing that the dentists at Clear Choice are clinically knowledgeable, and I’m glad it worked out for you. Some people just don’t want to save any of their existing teeth, and for some of them, Clear Choice is a good fit.
Dr. Hall

About David A. Hall

Dr. David Hall was one of the first 40 accredited cosmetic dentists in the world. He practiced cosmetic dentistry in Iowa, and in 1990 earned his accreditation with the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry. He is now president of Infinity Dental Web, a company in Mesa, Arizona that does complete Internet marketing for dentists.

March 31, 2011

Clear Choice is my cheapest option

Dr. Hall,
I had an appointment and would like to know if there has been any complaints from the Beaverton (near Portland)clear choice. They quoted me $53,000 but settled on $29,000 when I explained my financial position and that I was a disabled Veteran. All of the other Implant dentist quoted me 50 to 75 thousand and wanted to fix my teeth (for 10 thousand plus) rather than a full implant procedure. I have several missing teeth and at 62 they are breaking and falling apart at an accelerated pace.

Thanks,
Neil from Oregon

Neil,
The complaints we’ve had about Clear Choice Dental Implants Centers have been mostly about their sales tactics and them not giving you options. And my recommendation is that when you go to Clear Choice you get a second opinion. You’ve done that. If you like the option Clear Choice is giving you and you feel comfortable with the Clear Choice doctors, then I would have them do your work. Generally, I think they hire good doctors.

But are you telling me that the other implant dentists are telling you they refuse to extract your remaining teeth? Or did you just not ask that question? If it were me, I would take the fee Clear Choice gave me and take that back to the other implant dentists, telling each of them that you just are tired of dealing with your existing teeth and want the rest of them out and implants. If they are that hard-nosed that they won’t be flexible on that, then Clear Choice is a better bet for you. I would think most dentists would be flexible financially and treatment-wise. I can understand a dentist telling a 25-year-old that he or she would refuse to take out all their teeth – that’s what I would do. But when you’re 62 with your remaining teeth breaking and falling apart, having them out and going with implants is not an unreasonable desire. And your case should be a lot less complicated than someone who has been without teeth for ten or twenty years.

Having said that, the drop in fee from $53,000 to $29,000 is rather suspicious. Either the first fee was grossly exaggerated or something else is going on. If you have any kind of an uneasy feeling about the Clear Choice clinic you went to, I would continue shopping for another opinion. But if you do that, I would tell the dentist straight up that you don’t want to monkey with saving your existing teeth, if you’ve already made up your mind that’s what you want.
Dr. Hall

Links: read more about dental implants.

We thank our advertisers who help fund this site.

About David A. Hall

Dr. David Hall was one of the first 40 accredited cosmetic dentists in the world. He practiced cosmetic dentistry in Iowa, and in 1990 earned his accreditation with the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry. He is now president of Infinity Dental Web, a company in Mesa, Arizona that does complete Internet marketing for dentists.

March 4, 2011

Impressed with Clear Choice Chicago, but concerned.

Filed under: Clear Choice Dental Implants Centers — Tags: — mesasmiles @ 3:55 pm

Hello Dr. Hall,
I recently visited Clear Choice in Chicago and received a quote for full extraction on top and bottom ($41K upper and lower, $20K upper only). I was impressed with Clear Choice and feel like this is a good option for me. My regular dentist agrees that the upper full extraction and replacement is appropriate, but he feels the lowers can be saved or at least maintained for several more years. He also liked the fact that Clear Choice has the availability of the 3D scan. He indicated this new technology does change the traditional method because the surgeon can see more before beginning the procedure.

My question is, if full extraction of the uppers is appropriate, is there any compelling reason not to go with an “All-On-4” procedure, whether by Clear Choice or another doctor? I have been putting this off for so long that I am now in a position where I have no choice but to do something and to be honest, the one day procedure is appealing to me. Thank you for your help. I have enjoyed reading your blog and look forward to your insight.

Sincerely,
Robert from Chicago

Robert,
I think you need more information before you make a final decision. And I am leery about the all-on-four procedure. There may be some cases where it is useful, but in my opinion, Clear Choice overuses it. When they do a complete implant-retained denture, they always recommend all-on-four – at least every in every case where someone has e-mailed me. But dentistry isn’t that simple. And I believe there is a higher level of risk with the all-on-four procedure than with other dental implants options.

I don’t want to impugn the clinical work of Clear Choice, but I have had enough comments from people who have visited there to have some concerns about their sales and treatment presentation practices. They are strongly weighted in favor of the all-on-four, as I mentioned. They are also very quick to extract all remaining natural teeth. I am confident there are other excellent options for your treatment that you should consider. I would strongly encourage anyone who visits Clear Choice, before you spend $20,000 to $50,000 on your mouth, that you get a second opinion from another dentist with dental implant expertise. You need to know your options, and you’re not getting them so far.

My opinion.
Dr. Hall

We thank our advertisers who help fund this site.

About David A. Hall

Dr. David Hall was one of the first 40 accredited cosmetic dentists in the world. He practiced cosmetic dentistry in Iowa, and in 1990 earned his accreditation with the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry. He is now president of Infinity Dental Web, a company in Mesa, Arizona that does complete Internet marketing for dentists.

February 26, 2011

Felt he was discriminated against by Clear Choice

Filed under: Clear Choice Dental Implants Centers — Tags: — mesasmiles @ 11:29 pm

Well my wife and I were scedualed for a 3D scan at Clear Choice and all that you see on the commercial, well I am sorry to say that when we got in there, we filled out the papers we sat there and waited and the “financial” lady told us that there was no reason that we need to get this done, we didn’t look like we could pay for it. I personally was hurt and upset, because I felt that we were discrimenated against. I have a birth defect that I would really like to have looked at because the Army never did. I was wrong I would never recommend this place to anyone.
– Tim from Missouri

Tim,
If you were denied credit at Clear Choice, it was probably because you couldn’t be approved. I can’t imagine they would turn away a paying patient otherwise.

Whenever you are turned down for credit like that, you are entitled to receive a credit report with the reasons why. I would ask them to send you a letter indicating that you were turned down, and you should be able to use that to get a free copy of your credit report.
– Dr. Hall

About David A. Hall

Dr. David Hall was one of the first 40 accredited cosmetic dentists in the world. He practiced cosmetic dentistry in Iowa, and in 1990 earned his accreditation with the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry. He is now president of Infinity Dental Web, a company in Mesa, Arizona that does complete Internet marketing for dentists.

February 21, 2011

A happy Clear Choice Dental Implants patient

Filed under: Clear Choice Dental Implants Centers — mesasmiles @ 10:07 am

I made my consult with Clear Choice in June of 2010. I met with a sweet,young girl who knew so much about the procedure that I thought she was the dentist herself. In my consult, she made me feel so welcome and took all of my dental fears away. We did 2 X-rays and then the Dr. came in and told me I had enough bone to get both the upper and the lower done. Due to severe perdio disease, I had maybe 8 “good” teeth left in my mouth. This was according to my general DDS and Clear Choice, so I was completely fine with sacraficing those horrible 8 teeth to get 24 perfect teeth. I now eat steak, green apples. For the last 12 years, I couldn’t eat anything other than soft foods. I next came in for an exam where I designed my smile, and then my surgery was 2 weeks later. During my surgery, I came in at 7:30 am and left at 3:30 with my beautiful smile! It was done all in one day like they said! In closing, I paid $44,000 for my treatment (including all discounts) and I would pay it all over again because it was the best decision I have ever made. I brush and floss between my gum and the prosthesis and that is it. No problems, no pain. Anyone interested in getting out of dentures or who are steadily loosing their teeth should go to Clear Choice because they have given me back my confidence, my healthy diet and no more visits to the dentists for fillings, root canals, extractions, bleaching, etc. I am a truly happy patient!

– Renee from Houston

We thank our advertisers who help fund this site.

About David A. Hall

Dr. David Hall was one of the first 40 accredited cosmetic dentists in the world. He practiced cosmetic dentistry in Iowa, and in 1990 earned his accreditation with the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry. He is now president of Infinity Dental Web, a company in Mesa, Arizona that does complete Internet marketing for dentists.

February 16, 2011

A Clear Choice Complaint

Filed under: Clear Choice Dental Implants Centers — mesasmiles @ 9:44 pm

Here’s an e-mail I received on August 5, 2010:

Where do I start?

Well first of all when I went to Clear Choice I had already lost all my teeth and was wearing dentures, so I was already desperate for a change and my life back and they have a good way of making you believe they have the answers. We went for the consult, and of course they recommended the all on for upper and lower with bridges attached and the cost would be $44,000 including the permanent bridge, I thought it was a little pricey, but I felt I was worth it and that it would give me my life back. Well since I am planning to move back to NM I opted for the implants and the temp bridge which I had done on 7/29/10 at a cost of $36,000, and I can have the permanent bridge done closer to NM. The day after surgery to my shock when the numbness wore off I realized I have a modified denture or overdenture attached to my implants and a pain that won’t stop. To say I feel ripped off is an understatement, since we took a loan against some family land to have this done and they feel like they gave me what they said. I have an appt on Monday 8/9/10 for my followup and you can bet they will hear about this and if I don’t get what I paid for they are in for a fight, because this is my future they are screwing with and I will not settle for ! crap. Pl ease warn people to ask questions and double check, or just go elsewhere. I believed what I was told and that was a big mistake.
– Donna from Tennessee

Comment by Dr. Hall:
While I think that Clear Choice Dental Implants fees are high and they try to pressure you into a decision, and in that process, you might not have had a clear idea of what you were getting, I wouldn’t be too quick to condemn them on this case. Post-operative pain is not uncommon and isn’t an indication that they did anything wrong.

I would agree that it would be a good idea, if you’ve received a treatment plan from Clear Choice, to seek a second opinion. They tend to look at these cases from one perspective, and it would be good to have another perspective before making a final decision.

Link: Read more about Clear Choice complaints.

 

We thank our advertisers who help fund this site.

About David A. Hall

Dr. David Hall was one of the first 40 accredited cosmetic dentists in the world. He practiced cosmetic dentistry in Iowa, and in 1990 earned his accreditation with the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry. He is now president of Infinity Dental Web, a company in Mesa, Arizona that does complete Internet marketing for dentists.

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