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
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-4 dental implants procedure. It’s a compromise to avoid the need for bone grafting. While it can work well, I would get a second opinion. 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-4 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
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