Dental Implants in DC or Dental Tourism Abroad
July 25, 2016 4:25 PM   Subscribe

I'm looking for recommendations from folks who have gotten dental implants in the District of Columbia, or alternatively, done the Medical tourism bit and actually went to Mexico (or elsewhere abroad) and had successful dental implants of molars.

My jerk of a molar #18, after several thousands of dollars over the years, has finally resulted in a third root canal treatment that fractured the tooth and is going to result in a loss. It's likely that I'll need an implant now for molar #18, along with his jerk brother molar #19.

Both my endodontist and dentist has recommended Dr. Garry Miller, stating that he's the best in DC. I will see him soon, but I fully expect him to be 1) extremely expensive and that 2) GEHA dental insurance will pay out next to nothing for the implant.

I would like to save money, but also want high quality work and don't want to throw good money after bad. I'm open to dental tourism or dental school (Howard University Dental School is pretty convenient), but would like to hear specific recommendations for actual practices, either in DC or otherwise from mefites who had implants done at these practices.

For those of who have done the dental tourism thing for implants - how many additional follow-up visits did you need to do? Did you fly back every time?
posted by Karaage to Health & Fitness (8 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
Here's the thing about implants. Once the implant itself is placed, it's good to have some sort of a space maintainer made as well (a flipper partial most likely for 18 and 19)
the implant heals and then a healing cap is placed at around the 4-6 month mark.
at that point impressions are taken and crown(s) are made, which takes at least 2 visits.
tourism dentistry can work for simple things that don't require many follow-up visits, but implants don't really work that way, at least not without risk.
posted by OHenryPacey at 4:50 PM on July 25, 2016 [3 favorites]

Dental insurance usually maxes out at $1000 or $1500 a year. So you can count on that much, minus what they've already paid out this year.
posted by COD at 5:21 PM on July 25, 2016

I know someone who went to stay with family in another state and used their endodontist; it was cheaper than DC.

You may want to compare costs and look at people outside of DC in Fairfax or Montgomery Counties as well.
posted by bessiemae at 6:27 PM on July 25, 2016

The trick with dental insurance and implants is to split it across two years... Have the implant placed near the end of the first year and use the healing period so that you get the impressions/false tooth in the beginning of the second year.
posted by noloveforned at 6:37 PM on July 25, 2016 [5 favorites]

I did dental implants in DC with Dental Bug. It was a terrible experience from start to finish. I wish I had done the medical tourism in Mexico.
posted by quadrilaterals at 7:22 PM on July 25, 2016

I've had very good root canal work done in both Bogota and Medellin, Colombia. It's been a few years, and I don't have names now, but I was referred by a priest in both instances and was very happy with the results, with considerable savings. I think you can feel confident with a good recommendation, at least my experience and many others I speak with was positive.
posted by lometogo at 9:56 PM on July 25, 2016

When I told my endodontist that I was considering dental tourism (outside the U.S.), he was fine with it and suggested I be sure to vet the well as the brand of titanium screws they use.
You want to be sure the titanium screw is high quality. There are about dozen manufacturing companies all over the world, some excellent...and some really low quality but cheaper for the dentist. I no longer have the list, but ask your endo if he has suggestions, then be sure the dentist you choose uses one that is recommended.
posted by artdrectr at 10:51 PM on July 25, 2016

Previously, kind of. I answered a bit about dental tourism. PM me if you want more details.
posted by ananci at 2:06 PM on July 27, 2016

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