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Alternatives to Dental Implants?

I had an accident that caused me to lose a tooth. I was hoping to get a dental implant for it, but my dentist said I wasn’t a candidate because it is a front tooth. I was disappointed but need to find a replacement for this tooth. What are my next best options?


Dear Corinne,

Diagram of dental implant components and a dental implant in the bone next to a natural tooth

I am sorry to hear about your accident. Given what you’ve said, My first suggestion is that you find another dentist. You can absolutely get a dental implant on a front tooth. My guess is your dentist does not do dental implants because he doesn’t have the training. It is a procedure that he would have needed to get post-doctoral training in. Rather than send you to a dentist that could do the procedure, he lied and said you were not a candidate. Not the best dentist for you.

I would like you to get a second opinion from someone else. In most cases, if you are in good general health, then you should be a fine candidate for dental implants. There are exceptions, of course, which is why I want you getting a second opinion.

If for some reason it turns out you are not a candidate for a dental implant, you do have other options. Your next best option is to get a dental bridge. Though, that does require the two adjacent teeth to have dental crowns placed on them. Your false tooth will be suspended between the two crowns. Like the dental implant, it is permanently placed.

I would not give up on the idea of the dental implant yet. Get that second opinion.

Whichever procedure you end up with, you may want to consider teeth whitening first, depending on how satisfied you are with the current color. Once your dental implant crown is made, the color is permanent and will not respond to whitening. If you have the bleaching done first, you can match your new crown to the color you’ll be proud to keep around.

This blog is brought to you by Moline Dentist Dr. Goebel.

Pediatric or General Dentist for Special Needs Teenagers?

I am a foster mom and recently took some extra training in order to care for a special needs teenager. He’s sixteen years old and it is as if he is a child trapped in a man’s body. While he is a pure delight to have in our home, he does get a bit sensitive if people treat him as a child instead of as a teenager. Thus my dilemma. I’m afraid if I take him to a pediatric dentist that he’ll get offended and not cooperate. At the same itme, I need someone who is okay working with what is essentially a man-child. Do you have any advice for me?


Dear Molly,

young teenager smiling with braces

I think foster parents are amazing human beings. I’m thrilled you are doing this and I know the added stress of a special needs child is daunting at times. The good news is there are general dentists who do treat children. You would want someone who is good at working with children but whose office does not feel childish. They are completely qualified to treat children. All general dentists do a pediatric dental rotation.

One way to find out if they are good at children is to notice when they want to first start treating children. If they say they want to wait until they are five or older, then I would suggest to look elsewhere, even though your foster son is much younger. If they say two or three years old, then you can know that they really like working with kiddos and have some skill with then. It takes a special skillset to keep toddlers entertained and cooperative in the dental chair. If they can do it with a toddler, they can do it with a sixteen year old, even one who is special needs.

I’m going to make a suggestion that you ask them for a tour of the practice so your son can meet the staff. If you explain the situation, I am sure they will agree to that.

Best of luck.
I’m sure you will find the right dentist for your foster son.

This blog is brought to you by Moline Dentist Dr. Goebel.