My Dental Implant Update

My Dental Implant Update post image

I had a tooth pulled and was wavering in my decision for its replacement. Many readers have contacted me about what I did and how it is going. I waited to write this update to see how things have turned out. Well, here is my long awaited experience with a dental implant.
Just to back up a bit – I wrote about Why I Pulled a Root Canal Tooth and My Options To Replace It. Briefly, I had gum recession in a large molar that was a root canal for 30 years. Because of the gum recession, the root was exposed and developed a cavity. I did not want to try to use expensive dental procedures to save the root canal tooth and had it extracted.

Find out more about issues with root canal teeth here.

Replacing an Extracted Tooth is an Important Decision

The options are not that great. According to the American Dental Association (ADA) there are three options:

  1. Implants
  2. Fixed Bridges
  3. Removable Partial Denture

There is actually a 4th option called a composite bridge that not all dentists know how to perform. According to the folks at Orawellness,

Dr. Ronald Carlson, a biological dentist in Hawaii, has a kit that he sells to dentists to educate them on what they need to build a composite bridge.  Called the Carlson Bridge ‘winged pontic’, this kit is something your local dentist could purchase for you upon your request. (source)

Finally, there is the 5th option and that is to do nothing. Just leave the space there. Most would argue that this is not a good option as the teeth can move and misalign and this could affect gum health as well.

What I Did to Replace a Tooth

I decided to go with the implant.

I went to a dentist who was known for using zirconium (as this is supposed to be more inert than titanium) and he spent the better part of the consultation explaining to me why that was not a good choice for the particular tooth. He also told me that the zirconium has a greater failure rate and should not be used for replacement of a large molar.

Needless to say I was kind of very disappointed as I had traveled some distance to see this particular dentist for the zirconium. But, I listened to him because he had a good reputation.

I decided to go with the titanium.

My next step was to test myself for titanium. Luckily I know someone who works with metals and he was able to lend me a chunk of titanium. I had my chiropractor muscle-test me for the titanium.

Kinesiology is a little woo woo for some people but it is really a great way of accessing the wisdom of your own body. I thought it could at least give me some indication (via a weak muscle) if the titanium was reactive to my body.

The chunk of titanium we used fit into my hand. I thought that any reactivity would certainly show up against that large mass – especially since a titanium implant is so much smaller.

As it turned out, my muscles were very strong against the titanium so that gave me a bit more confidence that it would work out.

How I’m Doing After 6 Months

I’m doing OK with it. It is not perfect.  The crown fits perfectly and the implant seems fine. There is no pain when I chew on it so I know it is good.

However, sometimes I feel a throbbing sensation in my jawbone. It passes, but happens every few days for a passing second. I know something is there.

I have not had any new health issues and it has not affected any organs that sit on the particular meridian associated with tooth #30.

But it is early days yet. As time goes on I hope I can say that it is still OK.

So that’s my story.

Have you been faced with similar dental problems? How have you dealt with them? Leave a comment and share your experience!

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Leave a Comment

  • Laura October 6, 2016, 10:06 am

    Hi! I just wanted to say there is another option. I did endless research, and it sounded like the best option to me. I actually just got it myself for a missing first molar I had pulled (it was also a root canal tooth). The option is called an inlay onlay bridge. They basically just do a normal filling in each adjacent tooth (as opposed to sawing them down and capping them), which especially worked for me since those teeth needed fillings anyway in my case. Then they use those fillings to connect the fake tooth to. I’m going to a good holistic dentist that knows how to do them. I’ve also had a biocompatibility report done so I know what all dental materials I am reactive to and least reactive to. So my dentist is using that to choose what materials he is using for the fillings and fake tooth. I just got the temp tooth put in and will go back in 3wks for the permanent version. So far so good. 🙂

    Reply
    • Dr. Jill October 6, 2016, 11:52 am

      Hi Laura,
      Thanks so much for sharing! That DOES sound like a good option. Sadly, here in NY, dentists/labs are not allowed to do compatibility testing. But some do choose the materials that are compatible with most folks (one can only hope).

      Reply
  • Ellany October 6, 2016, 7:01 pm

    Hello. Thanks for sharing your experience. It is a complicated issue. I had an abscessed root canal in tooth beside my front teeth and once I got that tooth removed my health improved remarkably. It took several months for the jawbone to regrow as there had been considerable loss with the infection. I left it alone for a couple of years as I searched for options because I knew I could not have titanium. I had to have hardware removed from a knee reconstruction when my body started rejecting the titanium so I definitely didn’t want it used in my mouth! Finally I found option of Ceraroot, zirconium ceramic implant and crown. Though the dentist doing this new technique nearest me is over 5 hours drive and procedure is 3 or 4 times more expensive I am thrilled to be able to have a “proper” smile again. I had the implant done a few months ago with time since required for jaw to grow around it but in the meantime I had a temporary tooth. Next week I return for the crown to be installed. Fingers crossed all goes well and there will be no repercussions down the line.

    Reply
    • Dr. Jill October 9, 2016, 12:30 pm

      Hi Ellany,
      Thanks for sharing. Hope all goes well!

      Reply
  • Kimberly October 6, 2016, 10:24 pm

    I just received a titanium implant a few months ago against my better judgement, but I felt I had no other options. I did not think about compatibility testing. Do you know if there is any way to assess my sensitivity once the implant is in? I don’t SEEM to be having any issues…. I think I have a meridian chart, but I don’t know if I’d know if there was a problem along the meridian line….. I have 4 more root canal teeth that I’d love to get removed! My dentist is willing to refer me, but we can’t find someone yet who is willing to remove a root canal tooth just because I want it done (big shock, most dentists don’t see a problem with root canals). Thank you for listing the other options… if I do get the other teeth removed, I’d hate to have 5 total titanium implants in my mouth, aside from the cost!

    Reply
  • Dr. Jill October 9, 2016, 12:29 pm

    Hi Kimberly,
    I still have another root canal tooth but I am waiting for it to fail. If you don’t have any pressing health problems I would really think hard about just removing 5 root canals – simply because the alternative (titanium implant) is not perfect either.

    Reply
    • Kimberly October 9, 2016, 10:00 pm

      No, my concern is with the problems with root canals themselves, not just the options once removed. There is much written on the subject & the problems they can cause in the body. I know the options are not ideal, but I think they are better than having a root canal (ie “dead”) tooth in your mouth.

      Reply
      • Dr. Jill October 10, 2016, 7:12 pm

        Hi Kimberly,
        Yes that is a concern but you have to weigh the cost/risk associated with implants as well. The implant is still on the meridian point of the tooth and it may affect it in the same way as a root canal. That said, the root canal also has other issues such as the breeding of pathogens in the tubules.

        I’m sure you know seniors citizens with root canals who seem to enjoy good health – or at least have gotten old without too many health issues. I know I do. Not everyone will experience issues – it all depends on how well your body detoxifies and how healthy your immune system is.

        Reply
        • Kimberly October 15, 2016, 1:58 am

          Well that’s really good to hear a dr. I respect say that. I know neither option is perfect, though I had not thought about implants harboring bacteria as well…. I just wish there was a way I could tell if either the root canals or implants in fact are affecting me. How will I know, before some symptom comes & it may be too late then, & no doctor I know would link it to the root canal anyway. I would like to work with someone who understands the energy meridians at least to start. I’m thinking acupuncturists?

          Reply
          • Dr. Jill October 16, 2016, 7:38 pm

            Hi Kimberly,
            Perhaps a well versed acupuncturist or a chiropractor doing kineseology.

  • Edward October 26, 2016, 12:20 pm

    Hello, thanks for sharing your experience and the options you had in replacing your tooth because a few days ago I had a molar removed that had a root canal done 20 years ago, it was a heart breaker because that tooth had not given me any issues until about a year ago when it became loose,it got to the point that it started to get sore and infected at times so when I finally got to my dentist and had a xray my dentist did not hesitate in saying it had to come out, being as loose as it was I thought it would come out easy but that was not the case as some type of tissue had formed around the roots holding it in place, once the tooth was removed my dentist had to cut away that wad of tissue and clean the area down to good bone as she explained to me afterwards that in doing so would promote healthy bone growth in my jaw in which to have the titanium post implant option, anyways its going to take a few months to heal up then I can decide with my dentist which option best suits my situation to fill in that huge gap.
    Cheers
    Edd

    Reply
    • Dr. Jill October 26, 2016, 7:45 pm

      Hi Ed,
      Thanks for sharing! Good luck!

      Reply