Category Archives: Dental implants

Smoking after dental implants

I want to get dental implants, but my dentist made me quit smoking first. It has been hard. I’m wondering if I can start smoking again after I get the implants?

Dan. – no lectures please.


Ideally, you’d want to stay smoke free. I no it is hard, but it honestly the best chance for a successful dental implant procedure. Even when all circumstances are perfect and your dentist is highly skilled there is a chance of dental implant failure.

When you smoke, it reduces the blood flow in your gums. That significantly increases the chances of a problem with your implants.

It’s your body and your call, of course. But, if you’re going to spend that amount of money to get the highest quality tooth replacement, you’ll want to give it the best chance possible.

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Another story of problems with dental work in Costa Rica

It’s a different mentality, these dental bargain-hunters, who seek to save money by getting dental work done in Mexico or Costa Rica. I can’t relate to this degree of risk-taking. They must not understand all the things that can go wrong in dental treatment.

With dental implants, especially. Even done in this country, dental implants treatment is poorly regulated. Providing dental implants should be a specialty, but the entrenched powers in the dental profession don’t see it in their interest to make it so. Independent regulatory bodies have arisen: the American Academy of Implant Dentistry and the International Congress of Oral Implantologists. Dentists can pursue certification with either of these organizations. But those certifications are not recognized by the American Dental Association or dental boards, and so any dentist can legally provide dental implant treatment without any extra training at all. As a result, there is a high rate of dental malpractice in dental implantology.

But when people go to foreign countries in search of a bargain, they are on even shakier ground. I get e-mails from these people occasionally, wondering what they can do when they have run into trouble with their treatment. The answer is that they really have no recourse.

I have one e-mail I received a week ago from a woman from Chicago who went down to Costa Rica for dental implants work. She ended up with twelve teeth on the upper jaw, but only eight on the lower jaw. The back four teeth on her upper jaw have no opposing teeth and are therefore useless. What can she do now? Nothing, really. She says she keeps e-mailing the dentist for an explanation and he is ignoring her.

What will she do next year when the dental implants begin getting loose? If that happens, that will make her present complaints pale in comparison.

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A Clear Choice complaint

I get regular e-mail complaints about Clear Choice Dental Implants Centers through one of my websites. Clear Choice operates a chain of dental implants centers around the country. I thought I would share this one that came through yesterday, about an experience someone had at the Las Vegas Clear Choice:

“After my initial visit to this place all they seem concerned about is the damn money. Well we’ll need so much before we can do this or that is always their answer. I was to go in for my second consultation and exam prior to surgery today. I cancelled the appointment. I spoke with the sales person last night and after our talk I started having reservations about this company. Still the emphasis on their damn money prior to me coming in. Then in our discussion it came out that these people have only been around for a little more than 5 years and only have a little over 10,000 customers. That is nationwide. After I hung up I thought hard and long about the conversation. The fact that concerns me the most is they are nationwide and only have 10,000 patients to account for. The second concern is only a little over 5 years in the business. Putting implants in people’s mouths needs highly skilled and trained people. The person I work with is starting to sound like a used car salesman and doesn’t give a damn about you or your health. Even the brief talk with the actual doctor at this site seemed cold and uncaring. I have cancelled today’s appointment and am now back to searching for a solution for my problem.”

– Dennis from Nevada

My comment:
While I do believe that Clear Choice tries to recruit dentists with strong expertise in both dental surgery and implant prosthodontics, their sales tactics are what come under repeated criticism. They conduct aggressive marketing campaigns that draw in a lot of prospective patients to their presentations. They offer them a free CT scan. Then they present an exorbitantly high fee for a one-day procedure – in the neighborhood of $40 to $50,000. And what I hear from people is that they will offer a significant discount if the patient signs today, a high pressure sales tactic that people aren’t used to seeing in the health care industry. All of these dealings happen before they see the dentist, so that the time is spent by sales personnel and clerks who are at a lower pay rate. So while there is only a small percentage of those who come who sign on to their program, there is a handsome profit on those who do, enabling them to pay their dentists salaries and bonuses in the high six figures to seven figure area.
– Dr. Hall

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