Dental Tourism
January 6, 2014 8:47 AM   Subscribe

I'm looking for some suggestions on dental tourism, and if it is right for my situation.

I live in Wisconsin, and have a mouth full of bad teeth: more specifically, my upper teeth are a mess and my dentist advised that I go for dentures (my periodontist agreed here, but I feel this was more of just a rubber stamp on the dentist's suggestion, because it was immediately followed up with a discussion of why I might prefer implants.)

My lower jaw is in fair shape and requires some minor work in the way of crowning two molars, but everyone agrees that I shouldn't see too many problems with it.

My concern is this; I've read so many bad things about dentures, and I don't know that, at 42, I want to go down that particular path. Getting a new set of choppers implanted via dental tourism seems like an idea that might be worth pursuing.

Implant sound like the ideal, but for what they are asking here, I couldn't even begin to consider affording it, and what I'm looking for are suggestions as to where I might want to go, and any concerns that I might need to consider.

I've looked over these previous questions, and I'm more wondering if anything had changed, and if I could go north instead of south, though I'm certainly not opposed to travel to warmer climes for these procedures.
posted by quin to Health & Fitness (3 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Well, after having recent implants, I can tell you it's a lengthy process. I had mine done in South Korea (in Daejeon) because I was living and working there. I loved Korea, but it probably is a lot further than you want to travel. On the plus side, I loved my dentist (and I had a HUGE dental phobia) and health care is very westernized (unless you specifically seek out traditional medicine).
posted by kathrynm at 10:31 AM on January 6, 2014

I tend to stay out of dental tourism threads, because, as a practicing dentist in the US, my experiences are skewed heavily toward cleaning up messes that have been made elsewhere. I have seen good and bad, from here as from elsewhere, so I will not derail so much as weigh on some of the finer points you have raised.

Firstly, it seems that you are looking toward a full rehabilitation/reconstruction of your upper teeth, and subsequently, your bite. This can be done in several ways, as you have suggested. The important factor you need to consider is the after-care for whatever procedure you decide on.
It sounds like you might need extractions. Unlike a root canal or a filling which, once done, are usually done, extraction of multiple teeth will often require re-care visits. Sutures sometimes need to be removed, or dressings, or any of a number of situations that may arise that might require the surgeon to re-visit the extraction areas. So plan for this.

Implants, once placed, require months to be integrated into the bone, and only then are they restored by placing crowns, bridges or a prosthesis on them. so you will need to plan return visits to whomever has placed them for this as well.

Often, we will begin by placing a full denture on the upper. If you adapt well to it, then we are done, save for periodic adjustments. In order to do this correctly there are between 3 and 5 visits, including the extractions and placement of the denture the same day. For patients who need more retention (stability to keep the denture from rocking), we can place a couple of implants later and use them to grab the denture.

For patients who want to avoid dentures altogether, we plan implant supported bridges, but I would expect quite a few visits to take care of the many many details of fine tuning what will essentially be an entire new bite. Again this is far far different than simply having a few fillings or crowns done.

Feel free to memail me if you have any further detailed questions you might want answered.
posted by OHenryPacey at 10:39 AM on January 6, 2014 [1 favorite]

how would you feel about a partial that you place in everyday. I hated it because it messed up my speech
posted by Jewel98 at 9:25 PM on January 7, 2014

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