Terrified to Go Through with This, but Was Very Impressed with 1st Appt - Mclean, VA
I am 45 years old & my teeth are almost all gone. ...
I had seen the commercials for Clear-Choice but didn't pay them any mind, as I just thought it was one of those late night info-mercials but then my husband mentioned that one of his co-workers just had his upper & lower implants done from there & that his teeth looked amazing & I should consider looking into it. So I did. After doing a lot of research online about Clear Choice, I decided to take the next step & schedule the consultation appt. I was able to get in the next day. The front desk staff were very professional & friendly & while waiting with approx. 6 others in the room, the receptionist came out and went to each one of us & offered us, tea, coffee, hot chocolate or water. I was called back within 15 mins of getting there & filling out some paper work. I met with the "Patient Education Consultant", who went on to explain what we would be going over. She had asked how my teeth effect my life now & how would implants change that. She educated me on how Clear Choice works, they're background & also provided with me with background of the doctors & they're credentials. She then took me on a tour of the facility, which truly impressed me. The first thing I noticed when I walked in, was it did NOT smell at all like a dentist office normally smells, which is typically what gets my anxiety started & makes me want to turn around a run. I felt like I was in a mini hospital. There were several surgical suites that were decked out with what looked like a lot of high tech equipment, it was spotless & super sterile. Then there were approx. 6-7 recovery rooms, which while I was there, all were being used, but I was able to peek in & see a large, comfy lounge chair, large flat screen TV & an extra chair for family to use. I noticed a nurse going around & checking on each of the patients. We then we to the very large in house lab, where all the teeth are made, again looked to be very clean and sterile, & then she took me to have my 3-d cat scan done of my mouth, which took maybe 15 seconds. After that we went back to her office, while she went to speak to the prosthodontist & go over my history & cat scan, I watched a video about how the process is done, & then got to see video testimonials from other patients with before and after looks. I was so impressed with how these other patients looked & how different they looked afterwards & it was very touching to hear how getting this done had changed they're outlook on themselves & they're life. When the video was done, I was able to meet the Doctor, who came in to let me know if I was in fact a candidate for implants & which procedure she felt was best for my situation. She felt that the "4 all in one" was best for me and explained why. She also stated that I had plenty of bone & would not need to have any bone grafting done. She was very friendly & professional. We shook hands, and she left. The patient education consultant, then discussed the cost with me and the options to finance. The cost that was quoted for me was $24,800 for just the upper arch, as I cant afford to get the bottom done yet, however because I need to have molars to chew, they offered to provide me with partials on the bottom at no cost to me. I never expected to hear that at all, so it took me by surprise & I was very happy and greatful. So I left with that, I needed to discuss all of this with my husband & see if we wanted to finance the work, or take a loan out from our 401k and just pay it off in full. I didn't expect to be so impressed with them, and really wished that my husband had gone with me, so he could see how the process works, so she said that if I wanted to bring my husband back, that we could set up a second consult, so he too could be taken around and given a tour. So I left.
One the way home, I decided to call my dentist and schedule an apt with him to see how much he would charge to have the upper arch done, but not tell him that I had been to Clear Choice. The next day, yesterday I saw him..... I had a feeling that I was going to leave there more or less laughing & my feelings were justified in the end.
I sat down and explained that I wanted to get an idea of the cost to have implants put in, he wanted to know how many, I said all the upper teeth. He kind of had a surprised reaction, like he didn't expect to hear that. So he examined my teeth, and then had a "panoramic" xray. After looking at the xray, he shows it too me & says that I have significant bone loss as well as some areas where implants could not be placed because they were too close to the sinuses. This is just from him looking at a regular xray, not the 3D cat scan like Clear Choice. He says that bone grafting would need to be done in order to add bone to hold the implant. He then types up a treatment plan with cost and explains that based on the work needed, that I was looking at approx. 1.5 years for the entire process to be done, which would mean I would have to wear removable dentures AFTER the gums heal from the extractions, meaning I would at some point have to go without any teeth at all for approx. 2 weeks. So he hands me this typed out paper with all the procedures & prices. He was talking, but I couldn't hear him, because I was so stunned at his costs that my hearing had just shut down & my brain was trying to wrap around what I was looking at. After having such a positive meeting with Clear Choice & hearing that I was a great candidate & that I had plenty of bone left & wouldn't need any extra procedures, all I could really hear my dentist saying was "how happy he was, because he was going to make a killing with me"..... He claimed based on his regular xray and exam, that I would need an immediate upper denture $2633, CT Scan $?, surgical extractions $3825, Bone graft $3130, Membrane $2500, Sinus lift $8760, Ridge augmentation $3592, Implants $14,712, Abutment $14,712, Crown & Bridge $18,200 for a grand total of $67,574 and this was just for the upper arch. He never even discussed the lower partials & needing those to chew & support the upper teeth, which Clear Choice offered to provide for free. Know I understand why he was smiling!!!!!
Needless to say, it was very clear that we would NOT be having my dentist to any of the work, not to mention the fact that his office hasn't been doing these for long & with all the other work they have done that had failed in such a short period of time, this was not something I was willing to compromise with. As a matter of fact, even if he had offered to do all the work for free, I am not sure that I would accept, because of all the failures from the other work done. I would rather pay, and know that the work being done is by people that have been doing this for years, and that this is the ONLY type of work that they do.
So my decision in the end wasn't that hard at all, I am definatley going with Clear Choice to have the work done. We are getting our finances in place, and once done, I will schedule that all important 2nd appt. So its possible that within the next month, I could very well be smiling again for the first time in several years. :)