Question by John S.: Are dental implants “nice to have” when you have lost back teeth, or “need to have”?
Patient is 80 years old with no front teeth missing. They are, however, missing 2 upper left molars, 3 upper right molars, and 2 lower right molars. They are not in pain and can chew adequately. But now a dentist specializing in cosmetic and implant dentistry has recommended expensive partial dentures to replace the missing upper 5 molars. In that the patient has no dental insurance and is fixed income, the dentist suggests spreading the cost out over time by replacing the missing upper molars with partial dentures now, and the lower molars with partial dentures in 1 year.
The question really becomes is whether the patient really needs to go broke paying for implants they may not really need. So do cosmetic and implant dentists sometimes recommend discretionary work? Or would these implants truly be necessary to prevent drifting of the remaining teeth or other deterioration?
Are implants more cosmetic? Or structurally necessary? And versus spending hundreds more on X-rays with another dentist, what is an inexpensive way to get a second opinion in a small town with few dentists?
Answer by Sage
In all honesty, if the patient is that old and it’s just the back teeth, why bother getting them? The patient is not in pain, and does not have any problem chewing so their is no problem. Obviously, the dentist will recommend them, because they want your money. I would suggest not to get them, if you certainly don’t need them of course. Good Luck!
Anyone answer mine?:
What do you think? Answer below!
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Shaving nicks and toothaches hurt more than they should. While a nick will vanish in a couple of days, toothache will take your pocket for a spin before it goes away. Believe me, dental care is prohibitively expensive, but still a part of necessary health care and very important.
Here comes dental insurance. Not much in the past it was considered a big company perk, dental insurance has today established itself as a must-have benefit. Even most small companies offer dental insurance today to recruit and retain workers. Dental coverage costs less than 10% of total medical coverage so its affordable and preventive procedures, like cleanings, ensure the overall health of employees, which means a decrease in sick time and increase in productivity.
Various dental insurance plans with numerous variations are available today. You should take proper care and time to consider all options.
Most expensive plans:
Direct reimbursement plans
These plans are the most expensive of the lot. They operate by paying for employee dental coverage from a pool of money set aside by the company for this purpose.
The simplicity of this plan makes it the most effective, the reimbursement is made by a simple formula doing away with the complexity of co-payments, deductibles etc. Even though ADA strongly recommends this plan, this kind of direct dental care may not be affordable by smaller companies.
Least expensive plans:
Managed care plans
Similar to a medical HMO, managed care dental plans need to pay for the treatment through regular co-payments and choose forma pool of dentists to get treated. These plans do various cost-control measures and can more affordable for small businesses.
The co-payment amount varies according to procedure. Preventive procedures are usually performed without co-payment, however advanced procedures will bear higher co-payments.
The choice lies with the company and their financial managers, however great care is recommended in choosing the plan.