My daughter was just refused by the best implant dentist in the area. I am feeling hopeless and quite honestly, angry about his refusal. My daughter is an adult and has Down Syndrome. She lives independently for the most part. She is employed and involved in activities. But, she still lives at home. I am there to support her as needed and manage her medical needs.
Oral hygiene has always been a struggle. In fact, she’s had a couple of teeth that have been lost to decay. Since she’s so young still and the research I have found supports dental implants. So, I found the best implant dentist in the area. I’ve checked out the implant dentist’s credentials and have heard many great testimonials. Also, I learned that the dentist is open to treating patients with special needs.
Sadly, the dentist performed an initial consultation and exam and informed us that he would not recommend dental implants. Basically, he said he would never do them. I was so stunned, we walked out. When, I called back in to learn more, he explained that her oral hygiene isn’t sufficient. I pleaded with him that she will do better and explained her limitations with her situation. My daughter is devastated and so am I. Where do we go from here?
-Catherine in Nevada
Unfortunately, even the best implant dentist has to refuse care under certain circumstances. It is nothing personal against you or your daughter. Sometimes, a dentist may determine it unethical to perform a certain procedure. And this is likely what has happened in your situation.
For example, you mention that your daughter has lost multiple teeth due to poor oral hygiene. Therefore, if a dental implant is placed, there is a high risk of dental implant failure. Although it may not feel like it, the implant dentist has your daughter’s best interest in mind. Think of all the surgeries, healing time and expensive fees that go into the dental implant procedure. The implant dentist has likely determined that in this case, the dental implants would not be successful.
Tips for improving oral hygiene
So, where do you go from here?
- Keep up with regular exams and cleanings. It actually takes extreme tooth decay for a tooth to get to the point of requiring extraction. Regular, routine care will help address issues before they progress too far.
- Daily flossing and brushing.
- Schedule an exam with a general dentist and make a phased treatment plan. This will help identify urgent work and help improve your daughter’s overall oral health. Over time, dental implants may be an option.
There are other options besides dental implants. It may be wise to explore a partial denture or dental bridge. Thank you for sharing your story, even though it is a difficult one.
This post is sponsored by Barrington cosmetic dentist James T. Gavrilos, DDS.