Terrified to Go Through with This, but Was Very Impressed with 1st Appt - Mclean, VA/ I DID IT!!!!!!!

I am 45 years old & my teeth are almost all gone. ...

I am 45 years old & my teeth are almost all gone. I currently have no molars, a bridge that is broken & could break off at any moment. I only have 17 teeth left and all are crowned accept three. Three of the 17 are just roots & need to be pulled. I was born in England & for the first 7 years of my life, I was never exposed to any fluoride. It just wasn't available in the water or at the dentist, the other reason my teeth are this way is because of my fear of dentists. I always waited until I didn't have any choice but to have a procedure done, & by then instead of getting a simple filling done, I would end up having to have root-canals & crowns. I've been seeing the same dentist now for the past 10 years & unfortunately I am beginning to see that the work he did was very shoddy in that my crowns would break off after a year or two, the bridge only last 13 months before it broke off, and any crowns that remain, the tooth underneath is black & rotting. So I am now at the point where I am having to make a choice to either go with dentures or implants. My dentist had suggested implants, however I told him that I could never afford them with as many as I needed & that I would have to go with dentures, yet psychologically, I was having a very difficult time accepting that at age 45 I would need dentures & then the massive fear of having all my teeth pulled at once. So I have been stalling & putting anything having to be done off, hoping that I could just wait it out until I didn't have any choice in the matter.

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. :)

update as of 11-11-2013

Hello all..... several of you have asked if I have gotten the implants done yet. In short, I have not. We are still working on getting our finances in order. We were literally just a enter button away from applying for the financing that CC offers however after working out the total cost with interest we quickly learned that the $24,800 turned into just over $33,000. We just were not willing to pay almost $10,000 in interest. So as of right now, we are looking into other financing options that are available to us. As soon as we find something that is reasonable and affordable then I will be making that 2nd appt. I am definitely going through with having CC do the work, there is no question about that. I am really looking forward to getting this done and hopefully sooner than later. I will keep everyone updated. Lisa.

im doing it!!!!!!!!

Hello everyone..... well its taken awhile for me to take the next step and get this done but i finally decided yes, its time. I have my surgery on Monday Oct 6th, and i am soooooo scared but keep telling myself that this is going to be so much better for me and that i will be able to smile for the first time without fear in years. Wish me luck.

Day after surgery....

So last night at some point, one of my stitches tore through the gum and opened the hole from where a molar use to be. It didn't hurt at all, but bled a little and it was nasty to look at. When I woke up this morning the swelling was much worse, I don't look like me at all. On a pain scale of 1 to 10, 10 being I'm dieing, I would rate myself at a 2. Which really is pretty incredible considering I just had 9 teeth pulled the day before. Really my only issue is the swelling. No bruising either. If I could just get this swelling under control, I really would be in a good place. Since coming home, I've eaten some rice, a huge Frosty from wendys, about 6 twinkies and some cream of crab soup. As far as what it feels like to eat... The back teeth feel to me like any other time I would eat, just a little pressure, but the front two teeth it's a totally different sensation. When biting into the twinkie, it feels as it there is no teeth there at all, there is no sensation, no pressure, no pain or aching, it's just an empty feeling which take a few times to get your mind to accept the zero feeling. My brain wants to feel something when I bit down, but it's not matching up with how it feels. It's bizarre. Ok.... will keep posting as the days get better and the swelling goes down.

day 3 after surgery

It's day 3 and I'm still having A LOT of swelling and I'm now bruising. Starting to get a shiner under the right eye and also have a bruised left cheek, my forehead has a little bruise and I started to get neck aches, my upper lip between the lip and gum just above the front teeth is super tender and raw. Today I just feel tired and it looks like a day of lots of icing. Will continue to post updates.

day 4 and 5 post op

Hello all..... so day 4 went well, still swollen but is starting to go down, bruising was more visible today. Still zero pain, just a little soreness and i have learned very quickly to NOT bend over. They tell you not to bend over, but i thought after 4 days that i would be ok, however thats just not the case. I bent over to pick up the dogs water bowl, and there was just instant pressure in my head and sinuses, so much so that it scared me. So ive learned my lesson the hard way.
Eating has been frustrating at best. Ive been eating alot of flavored rice, chef boyardee beefaroni, cupcakes, twinkies, biscuits doused in sausage gravy.... just alot of soft stuff, and i literally have to swish my mouth out after every meal, to get any trapped food out. I am finding that the food gets stuck between my upper lip and gum because of the swelling, it just lodges itself there. Thats also probably the most tender area for me as well, it stays very wet and raw under the upper lip, and my skin is just sloughing off. Ive noticed that since the swelling is reducing there, that the area is starting to heal finally.
Im still too swollen to give a normal smile, so no pictures of my smile yet. My mother noticed something yesterday and quickly brought it to my attention. Something funny happened and i started laughing and without realizing it, i took my hand and covered my mouth. She said..... do you realize that when you laugh or smile you automatically cover your mouth and i said no, but i do now. She said, you dont have to do that anymore, you can smile without fear. :)
So i will update you tomorrow on day 6 of post op.
Thanks for all your support.

before, during and after pictures

I just wanted to let everyone know that I will be posting my before, during and after pictures today. I am currently day 10 post op and i think im ready to do my reveal!!!!! Im so very happy and cant wait to show off my new smile.

one month post op & MY NEW LOOK !!!!!

before and after video
2:51
Its been 1 month since my surgery and i feel great. I am sooooo incredibly happy with the results and its by far the best decision i have ever made in my life. Its worth every penny and i would highly recommend this to anyone thinking of getting this done. I only had the upper arch done, as it was all we could afford at this time, but i have every intention of getting my lower arch done as soon as we are able to afford it. Many people dont go through with this because of the cost, but PLEASE check with BOTH your dental and health insurance. Between my dental and health insurance with Aetna, they covered 50% of the cost. So we were only responsible for $12,400 of the $24,800 cost. Medical covered a portion of the cost and so did dental. As long as you are getting the procedure done for repair/health reasons and NOT for cosmetic reasons, they will cover some of the costs.
I am attaching a video i made of my before and after, so hopefully it will load without any problems.....
Clear Choice Mclean, Va

The staff at the Mclean, Va office provided me with first class treatment from the receptionist to the assistants. This process for me was psychologically traumatic, and everyone i came in contact with treated me with nothing but respect and dignity and made me feel cared about. My prosthodontist Dr. Nahlah was very helpful in making sure that we chose the perfect shape and color implants to match the shape of my face. My surgeon Dr. Graves made sure i understood the extraction process and went over everything that I would feel during the recovery phase and assured me that I wouldn't feel a thing. My anesthesiologist was just wonderful at trying to keep me calm and explaining everything that she was doing to me, i loved her even more when she could see how incredibly nervous i was, so she decided to give me a cocktail through my IV to help me relax. I remember maybe the next 3 mins of our conversation, then nothing until waking up to go to recovery. Another important person, Monique Crowe, is the patient care consultant and was extremely helpful in helping us with our finances as well as providing all the paperwork needed for us to file with our insurance company. I couldn't have done this without the team of people that Clear Choice provide to us. Its very one on one and personalized to help with your specific needs.

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