Why do my implants keep snapping off?

I got three dental implants. Not only was it very expensive, but it cost me a lot in time.  Two of the three of them have snapped off. The actual screw/implant broke. I would think with the cost of this, they would be more durable.  My dentist is offering to re-do the procedure free of charge, but is saying I may need some additional work. I’m not looking forward to this and want to know the cause before making a decision.

Ned S. – Iowa

Ned,

That would be frustrating. I understand your concern.  The posts for dental implants are made of titanium, so they’re pretty durable. It’s not very common for them to snap like that.

My guess would be one of two things. Bear in mind that it is only a guess, as I haven’t examined your particular case.

1.  Sub-par materials. There are a handful of companies that make the materials for implants.  Some of them use poor quality materials, presumably to increase their profit margin.  If this is the case, hopefully your dentist took note of it and will not order from this company again.

2. Improper placement. Dental implants are a highly complicated procedure which requires a lot of training. It is possible that your dentist did not place them correctly.

If I were in your place, I would get a second opinion by another dentist who can examine your case before making any decisions. Don’t tell them who your dentist is, in ase they’re friends. You want an unbiased opinion.

This blog is brought to you by Salem Cosmetic Dentist Dr. Randall Burba.

My crown doesn’t match my other teeth

I got my first dental crown.  I was already embarassed about having a fake tooth, but when he put the crown in I burst into tears. It doesn’t look at all like my other teeth. Technically it is the same color, but it doesn’t look right. I don’t know if this makes much sense, but  it looks “flat”. What it boils down too is I can tell it’s different and I’m embarassed. My dentist says it looks fine. Is there anything I can do?

Elaine T. – New York

Elaine,

I’m sorry this has happened to you. Obviously you have a more artistic eye than your dentist. Unfortunately, if your dentist isn’t willing to do it again, there isn’t much you can do.  The “standard” for dental care is functional, so you’re unlikely to win a refund in court if  the crown functions properly. I know that seems unfair, but currently there is no ethical standard of aesthetics.

This doesn’t mean you have to be stuck with an ugly crown. It just means it has to be re-done to a higher standard. I don’t think you currently have the best dentist to do this.  Creating beautiful dental work takes more than technical skill. It takes an artistic eye. I’d look for someone who is accredited by the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry.

This blog is brought to you by Salem, MA Cosmetic Dentist Dr. Randall Burba.