Three years ago I paid $36,000 for a full-mouth reconstruction, with implants, etc. The veneers and crowns started coming off, and I’m left with a mouth full of exposed screws with big gaps. I can’t bite or eat hard, crunchy foods. Talking even hurts. My mouth is raw and bloody and I don’t know what to do.
The dentist skipped to Egypt, I’m told. They won’t give me any records or a refund. This is complete botched work. Please help.
– Jennifer from California
I found your website searching for botched implants.
(See Dr. Hall’s answer below.)
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Unfortunately, it looks like you were victimized by a dental crook. If he has truly fled the country, it appears that he (or she?) knows that he is in trouble and wants to get out of reach of the law. That also means that you have no leverage, and there’s nothing I know of that you can do about it, except to find a dentist who will re-do what needs to be re-done. So I will give you some tips for that. Oh, and be sure you warn other prospective patients by leaving an online review about your experiences.
First of all, I would not be looking for cheap dental implants services. There are a lot of shortcuts dentists can take in placing implants, which will trim their costs and enable them to undercut the competition. You do not necessarily need to go to the most expensive dentist, but avoid the cheapest.
Second, I would look for a dentist with credentials from a reputable implant training organization. A dentist who has a fellowship or diplomate status with either the International Congress of Oral Implantologists or the American Board of Oral Implantology (which is a part of the American Academy of Implant Dentistry) is a very safe bet. The requirements for those credentials are fairly stringent. But even if they have membership in one of those organizations, or have training from an implant program of an American university, or from the Misch Implant Institute, that will set them apart.
Third, look for careful diagnosis. I wouldn’t trust anyone who wants to place multiple implants without a three-dimensional x-ray – a CT scan.
And finally, I would always check the online reviews. Check especially Google and Yelp reviews for hints of clinical troubles. You can’t give total trust to the comments of other patients. Sometimes dentists who really aren’t very good still have some enthusiastic fans. But I would still always check the reviews.
I will add that besides implant problems, with crowns and veneers that have fallen off, I would also call yours a cosmetic dentistry horror story. So you need someone with good cosmetic dentistry skills.
I wish you well.
– Dr. Hall
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About David A. Hall
Dr. David A. 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 advanced internet marketing for dentists.