Came around here to read up on how others are...
Came around here to read up on how others are doing. I have had one of "those" days where all I feel is like I have way too many teeth in my mouth! I had a long history of root canals and two failing bridges so discovered Clear Choice here in Denver in early November. I went in and had their consultation which ended up being a six hour long marathon in the chair, they were very nice, very professional but it was also a bit of a hard sale. They are professional and very nice but the entire procedure was exhausting. I had an implant that I had paid 4,000. for that was only two months old that was loose and they tightened that up for me as part of their $1000 consultation fee. I knew that I would lose that of course for the all on 4 procedure and was feeling very stressed at having invested so much in my upper teeth. I was pretty exhausted when I signed the papers and left their office but felt that I really could not get by with having more bridges and implants and that perhaps the only thing left for me was the all on 4. I liked the Dr. very much but they could not medically clear me for the procedure as my usual normal Blood Pressure was so high that I needed a clearance by an MD and I was in pain and nervous at the thought of all that I would be doing. I also learned that I could not have the procedure until Feb. 8th By the time I got home at 7 pm I decided that I had rushed things along quite a bit and that I needed to think on having my front teeth pulled which were in excellent condition. I started looking at the loan papers I signed and wrote to the loan company and said that I had really been stressed and did not want to jump so quickly into paying $20,000 for this procedure. I had been in pain, taking medication, had an outrageously high BP and was just shell shocked. I called the office at 8 am the following morning and was told that I could leave a voice mail with the person who had processed my loan. Shortly thereafter I received an email from the loan company stating that they had already deposited the funds with the dentist. Fast Work! In 12 hours i had signed the papers and the dentist had the money! In the early afternoon I received a phone call from Clear Choice telling me to relax and take the weekend off to think about it. The strange thing is that my blood pressure was so high they could not even clear me for the procedure and even if I could get an MD's permission they stated that it would be Feb 8th before I could have the temporary bridge put in. Something about snapping dentures in and out was just too much for me to think about. I ended up spending the weekend reading reviews, including much of what is written here. I started looking very hard at Dr Golpa's in Vegas and called them. They were able to get me in on December 8th and it all sounded too god to be true. Most things are! I went ahead and cancelled with Clear Choice and headed for Vegas. Again kept returning here to read the updates. I had a fairly easy procedure to be honest. The people in the office are as nice as you all say they are. I drove out to Vegas and took my adult son with me. The office worked well except everything was late. I was supposed to be picked up at 2 waited in the lobby until 4 and then finally the office staff drove to pick me up as James, the very nice driver was backed up with other patients. Dr. Golpa and the staff looked at my again high BP, I am an RN and am very confident that I have a great BP except at the dentist and they started the IV and I woke up without any teeth. I went back in the following day and was fitted with my teeth. I drove back to Colorado with some of the worse bruising and swelling you can imagine. At one point I looked as though someone had tried to strangle me, but I was expecting that. I have spent the past two weeks thinking, "I'm going to get use to this" I am in the healing stages, etc. I do find eating to be a major pain. I use the water pic after having a cookie as I can't stand having anything stuck even close to my teeth. I had some missing back teeth on my left side so I feel as though there are way too many teeth back there and the bridge just sort of sticks out as though it has no where to go and nothing to hang on to. The "teeth" feel like one might expect if they really think this through carefully. They are not natural or your real teeth at all, they are more or less plastic substitutes for the real thing! I am somewhat nostalgic for my old failing bridges on some days but I do have a full set of teeth. I believe I am developing some major TMJ just getting use to all of this stuff in my mouth, which I suppose is something that could be expected. Of course we go into all of this dreaming of the perfect outcome and hoping we will be the one that every single thing goes perfectly for and I haven't much to complain about except the palate feels huge in my mouth. I thought that I wasn't ever going to get dentures because of the palate and yet this upper palate is very large and very thick. It is perfect on the right side but not on the front. My number one concern is my speech, I am a teacher and I cannot even do an automated customer service phone call as the computer cannot understand me at all. I am looking for some reassurance, someone who will say that my tongue will get better, that I probably don't need speech therapy, that my jaw will start to relax into this at some point. On the upswing...... because there is one, I liked Dr. Golpa, he was extremely busy during the brief time that I saw him. The first day I spent most of the time with Amanda2 who was very nice, she showed me some teeth and she selected a color. I just sort of nodded. I honestly thought that all the teeth come in one size and we all have one set of teeth in there and it was not at all like Clear Choice where they spent hours measuring me. I met Dr. Golpa just before I went to sleep for the implants and then again the day Amanda put the implants in, briefly. I would love for someone to tell me I will be okay but I also have to think that it hasn't been a month yet and this was a huge decision. I hope that everyone who goes through this puts in their time and energy researching what they are doing. I had little choice, it would have been at least 4 implants and two new bridges on both sides of my upper arch and I think we can all do the math with that. Cheers to all of you, I wish you a happy new year and am so grateful this website is here so that I can rattle away and that I can read all that you write! Lefty
I called Dr. Golpa's office Monday and spoke with Amanda. I told her how concerned I am about my speech. Reminded her that I had waited a month to call about anything and that I just am not doing well. Speech is off and I am having tremendous bouts of TMJ on my left side. She said that this is "certainly" something Dr. Golpa would want to know about and that she would let him know, he wasn't in the office on Monday but would call me on Tuesday. That came and went and I did not hear a word all day yesterday. I did not call in myself as I was having a "better" day. Able to think of a few things other than my teeth, or the clanging of my teeth and I was alone all day so didn't have anyone to talk to. I spoke with my daughter by phone and asked her to be honest and she said, "doesn't sound good" and I am sure that even Amanda can tell that I am speech impaired. So at this point I am just "waiting" to hear from Dr. Golpa's office and sometimes deeply regretful that I don't have a dentist nearby. I think that is one thing to consider for people going out of state for this procedure. That is my weekly update! Hoping that next week I will have some good things to report.
Dr. Golpa Las Vegas, Be Careful
Amazed that this Doctor was able to schedule me in to see him, to see him in one week and now that I am suffering terrible pain. He no longer has time to even see me for a follow up appointment for two weeks. I am astonished. I am so miserable with the entire right side of my "denture' coming off. Just don't know what to say or do. Spoke with one person on Monday the 5th of January and they said Dr. Golpa would call me, no call. Called back today 7th of January that they could not even see me until the 20th of January. The level of my pain, discomfort, the fact that I am absolutely miserable and that I waited a month to call them to adjust to this is startling given their ability to get me in for the procedure. Customers beware. If you are out of town you are out of sight. I barely saw Dr. Golpa, I did read every review on his website, nothing mentioned that I can barely swallow ENSURE after a month let alone eat an "apple." I feel discouraged, let down, and scammed, to be honest.
Dr. Golpa's office called
Okay, spoke with Carlos. I called my local dentist and went in to see him at 8:15 Denver time, he sa id that there is "Nothing" right going on with my implants that he can see and he was very supportive. He feels I need immediate attention or I have a huge risk of infection and permanent damage. I came home and wrote another email to Dr. Golpa telling them that I just have to have help. I am in pain, I am miserable and I am just not comfortable at all with an implant getting closer to failing completely. Carlos is always very supportive and I really like this guy, all of the staff are, except yesterday. He said that Dr. Golpa will see me in Vegas on Monday morning the 12th. I will be there. There was no way on earth I could last until the 20th. Sadly I am a nursing educator and I am giving a seminar with 100 people attending on Nursing Ethics on January 15th that I have to somehow find someone to replace me for but at this point I cannot speak clearly at all and I really do not have any options except to go back out there. I am just so relieved that they will see me. I do not want to be "the squeaky wheel" that gets the attention but as we all know, dental pain is dental pain. Nothing much worse So far I have found the staff to be compassionate and caring in my limited dealings with them and I want this to work out so badly. My son and I are up in the Colorado mountains right now so will start the drive back through the mountains asap. Just so relieved that this group is here, so grateful that they called. Hoping that there will be some kind of good outcome to post on here in the days to come. Carlos also mentioned that they will help with the hotel room expenses, that is huge for me. I am just using my credit card to finance all of this and starting on September 8th I missed ten days work due to an implant that I paid $4000 for that had to be removed for the all on 4. Then on December 8th I had the procedure done at Dr. Golpa's and I had terrible bruising and could not go back to work. I am begging for all the online work but the company is getting very tired of me. Imagine now when I tell them I am heading off for Vegas again. I should have gone with a dentist in Kansas or something, it doesn't sound like just fun and games. Anyway, thanks for the support from those f you who have replied to me, it is like a breath of fresh air.
Pictures in January 2014 at the SB (War paint on) Picture in January 2015
The shape of my face is very different. I have large front teeth that feel huge to me and as though they are protruding. People say that they can hardly understand recognize me. My speech is garbled and I have worse than a lisp, and then I have a very different face. I'm not certain these are two of the best pictures to show this, but I have lost what was a very natural smile, with two failing fixed bridges on both sides.
It was rather nice, and surprising that I got a call from Dr. Golpa's office this morning. Carlos certainly is reassuring. They offered to accommodate me as soon as I can get out there. I honestly feel that this is what we hope for when we are going on internet reviews only to choose a dentist far from home. We want to know that we are somehow important enough that the office knows who we are wand will check up on us. I am still just barely talking like a half normal person. I HATE my voice, but ...... onward and upward. TMJ is about a 10 with no bite at all but actual "pain" really isn't there. I am 1 month and 2 days post op and wondering if I will ever be normal again. Need to get to Vegas soon as two dentists have now assured me that there is nothing "normal" about my bridge. However, the good news is that they followed up to see how I am doing and that is incredibly important to me.
Leaving for Vegas
This has been a long two months. I am trying to think of any moments when I was not focused on my speech or ache in my jaw. Heading back to see Dr. Golpa and leaving Colorado today as the weather doesn't look too good across the mountains. Hopefully there is some relief at the end of the road. I've gotten almost use to not being able to speak clearly, to looking in the mirror at someone who doesn't even look like me and am somewhat fearful of the entire process. My experience with the office has certainly been on a basis of who I talk with. Carlos has been kind and polite but I don't even bother to try and talk to the rest of them. Just getting scheduled in for this "appointment" feels like a nightmare. I do try to imagine how different this would have been if I had been seeing someone locally. For sure I would have been able to go in for an immediate appointment, perhaps some bite adjustments, concerns about the "teeth" themselves. Not looking forward to this trip at all but my son is coming back with me so we will try to enjoy the ride out there.
Thanks so much, I am a nervous wreck. I began having some pretty terrible pain in one of the implants on the plane. Worse that it has been these past weeks. It feels like a piece of metal on a raw nerve. Just have to hope that I will leave that office in better shape then I am going in! Thanks for your comments.
We arrived at Dr. Golpa's at about 8:30 this morning and just got back to the hotel at around 2. In all I am pretty amazed what these people can do. Amanda2 and Dr. Golpa spent a great deal of time with me and took the monster out of my mouth and the lab did some adjustments. My deepest regret is that I could not have come out sooner. It is a dramatic difference. The good news is that I am very close to having my "normal" almost me smile back. My bite is way off but I was pretty exhausted after hours in the chair and opted to go back tomorrow to let them further adjust it. They were able to correct cosmetically what has been driving me insane but I am biting the inside of my cheek which isn't good. I have to say that I received wonderful care from everyone in the office. I continue to believe if Carlos ever gets tired of this job he can be some kind of consultant for psych patients as he has nursed me through some tough times. In all it was a good experience. I wish that my bite was perfect, as it is the bite was better before we got started on this but I do have confidence that we will get through this. I did get to see much of Dr. Golpa's personality that everyone has been writing about, he was warm, kind, and very certain that he wanted to get this right. I am not sure I would recommend this procedure to someone who "just needs some dental work done" it is very dramatic but I might survive it. I am grateful for the community support here and relieved to have a journal of sorts of this amazing journey. Dr. Golpa and staff took x rays of the implants as well as the CT Scan and they cannot see any signs of infection that caused the terrible pain I had yesterday and this morning except maybe some gum irritation. If that is so then I am relieved as of course I fear a failed implant. Putting the denture back in did not hurt at all and I had myself geared up for some kind of pain with that. We have spent both trips to Vegas hanging out in the room all day so might try to walk around a bit tonight.
I will try to place 3 pictures side by side, the first is my natural teeth, then the first trip out here, and now. If nothing else, now.
12 Feb 2015
2 months post
I feel as though I might go crazy with this teeth thing sooner rather than later. My TMJ kicked in big time and my bite is so far off now that it seems impossible that I was just back out to Vegas. When I look at what I paid for airfare and hotel and all I am beginning to realize that going out of town for a dentist is just crazy. Surely I could have done this closer to home. Oddly my "teeth" the plastic objects in my mouth are starting to again stick out. I don't know if there was swelling when they had them out to work on them and there was a temporary adjustment making them look more normal but I sat around taking pictures of myself and I look just as bad as I had "before" the trip. These teeth are just not right at all. I have no idea what to do. Somehow manage another trip back out there? I would love to have at least a few hours without any thought of teeth. Nice to have a place to come and write about how miserable I feel.
Had a very rough week this week woke up about 8 and bit into a soft side of a cookie, the front teeth just snapped right off. I have continued to have pain, I have had a very soft diet, I hardly eat at all and basically have had a liquid diet. While Dr. Golpa is great about showing video's of people eating into apples, how about this. I am devastated. I am going to wake my son up and start driving to Las Vegas as soon as possible and be there Monday morning. I have the shattered piece that broke off, the thinnest of plastics that you would not give a child to play with. I honestly do not know how much more of this I can take. It has been a nightmare and this is my "permanent solution"
Dr. Golpa did return my call personally, which I deeply appreciated. He was kind and considerate. I am going to be there Tuesday morning. He has plans to get things underway before I arrive. I have no complaint as to how this office is treating me, or Dr. Golpa, my concern is about this process and procedure. Once a very long time ago I worked in a plastic factory, back when America manufactured plastic toys. The part that broke off is so thin and the material is not really made from what I can tell for much more than being ornamental. If you are looking for a 'permanent solution' this definitely has to be taken into consideration. I had two beautiful natural and straight front teeth that I had extracted for this procedure. I now have two broken plastic teeth that are cutting into my tongue and my lip as it is quite sharp. I have been a vegetarian for 40 years and I had faulty bridge work and have adapted myself to a very soft diet over the years. I do not believe that anyone eats a softer diet than I do. It is more out of choice then anything. If this can happen to me, it can happen to anyone, having a dentist who is a thousand miles away and having your teeth just break off as you bite into an Oreo type cookie, just the frosting side, is heartbreaking. I appreciate that Dr. Golpa called me, I will appreciate being seen as soon as possible but this is just terrible for me and would be for you. Consider this as you move forward. I hope that when I arrive they have some answers for me about how this just snapped off, broke, shattered. It was not at all from something that I ate. My quick fix permanent solution is turning into an ongoing nightmare. I had the process done in December and went back in Feb. because of pain and out of control TMJ and am now going back in March because this entire thing has just crumbled. Think about it.
10 Mar 2015
3 months post
Teeth broke on Saturday and today Tuesday I am back in Vegas. I have had a strange time with people who have the all on 4 and immediately feel that it was a prefect fit but since mine broke they put in a new upper arch. This fit is so much better. I have far less on the palate, It is much snugger to my gum line and I feel comfortable. I went into Dr. G's office at about 11 and was out by about 2 feeling much better. I will need to go back tomorrow for a bit more adjustments. I cannot sit in a chair and have dental work done and then have my bite immediately adjusted. Dr. Golpa was busy but everyone was kind and attentive. I didn't get any type of explanation as to why it cracked, the why probably being that it is just thin plastic. I took along the cookie (and left it) where this all started from. I honestly feel better since all of this began, I am also realistic and know that I am one bite away from having something just crack again, although I am going to hope that it never does of course. My phone battery is dead but will post an updated picture. At some point, I saw the Doctor very briefly, he said that these teeth would be sturdier. Hope so! It was a good experience, I still would not do this procedure for the world with teeth that were as good as mine, but here we are, life can only be lived forward.
Update on Golpa Dentist
12 Mar 2015
3 months post
Decided to update the rating I originally gave based on how promptly they called me back, about their treatment and care for me and how when I did face a crisis Dr. Golpa himself called me.
22 Mar 2015
3 months post
I've been back from Vegas for over a week. When my front teeth cracked and I lost the new "permanent" denture I was pretty devastated and of course logged on here to write about it. I was scheduled in to see Dr. Golpa right away and they had the new upper arch waiting. Oddly this one is so much better that it seems like destiny that the other one broke. It fits so much better and I go entire days (almost) without thinking about having this thing in my mouth. Before my TMJ was so terrible and I was so uncomfortable all the time, my waking thought was teeth and all day long it was on my mind. I go all day now without giving it much of a thought. I think that people might have thought I was a real whiner before but the first arch was just so uncomfortable and did not fit right that it was holding my jaw open and causing terrible TMJ, now that I have a better fit it makes my smile much more natural and I can simply forget about this most of the time, what a relief. My terrible speech disorder is also much better, the palate is much easier to deal with. A relief and nice to say that I could almost recommend this procedure now, for someone who really needs it!
Entire upper 4 are now wiggling about and loose
19 Apr 2015
4 months post
Again, this procedure is very tricky, for me it started in December and now in April I have wobbly and clicking in my teeth, the entire upper four. I went into this procedure because of a failed bridge and had upper front teeth that were in good condition, straight and crowned removed. I thought that this was more or less a "permanent" solution. I continue on a very soft diet after biting into a cookie and having the permanent plastic teeth break off clear across the front. I have been okay for a few weeks and two nights ago I had guests over and felt a pop, the entire set of teeth are wiggling about in there. I have air getting inside if I say more than 3 words and I will call Dr. G's office in the morning. I am quite busy with work and wondering how on earth I can go to Vegas again. I can honestly say that this was the worst decision of my entire life (long life too). I know that many do not have the choice that I did and this seemed like an easy fix to me, it is not, I have been to Vegas 3 times and need to be seen again asap. I have no idea how to find the time to go back out but it is just wobbling about in there and I can't really talk without them clicking and having to swallow. NO idea what happened this time.
Back to Vegas
This will be my fourth trip to Vegas. I had my procedure done on December 8th. I have combed every article on Dr. Golpa's website to find the problems that I have encountered, but seems everyone else had a perfect experience. I was back about six weeks ago because the entire bridge just snapped off, the very thin plastic that the denture was made of surprised me. I now have teeth that are wiggling about in my mouth. Because of the Mayweather fight I did not go a few days back as Vegas looked like a zoo. So here it is Sunday morning and I am going back for my 4th trip. My son is traveling with me. The bridge started feeling very loose over a week ago. I was out of state on business and could barely make it through the meetings. Loose fitting dentures must be a nightmare for those who wear them as loose fitting "dentures" on 4 implants is very bad. I wrote to Carlos several times and did not hear back from him. I have come to the conclusion that he will be there for me if I call, sometimes it is just difficult for me to call. I am a professional, I had a busy active life and since completing this procedure things have been sliding backwards for me. I am due to leave the US in July for an overseas posting and .... since December I have needed emergency and urgent visits with my dentist nearly every month. I would say overall that this has been one of the biggest mistakes of my life, if your teeth are very bad, if you have problems with your teeth then this could be the thing for you. My problem was not nearly as severe as this, I was interested in having a quick fix and realize that there might not be any such thing with such a dramatic procedure. I believe that the implants are placed way too far out on the gum line. Considering that I have a medical background I should have been able to put this together long ago. I now realize that I most likely will not ever have a "normal" life and I feel that my chance to go overseas is somehow going to be very difficult. After speaking with Carlos on Friday he encouraged me to come back and Dr. Golpa's office has always been more than fair financially with me. They have helped me with my expenses for these return emergency trips. I have just hid out in my room all week waiting for Sunday morning so that I can leave. After the chat with Carlos the teeth sort of when "pop" again and the impact on the far left is definitely just totally out of the denture, it isn't even in the "teeth" the second one on the left next to it, which supports the bridge is now very loose as well. So dreary, and to be frankly very depressing. If there was ever anything in my life I have deeply regretted, this is it. I have not found any type of solution, I have spent nearly every waking hour for the past months with teeth jiggling about and I am only hopeful that Dr. Golpa plans to do more than simply screw the denture back on tighter. I did ask for a referral closer to home but after discussing it with Carlos that does not seem to be a wise choice. On the road again....... just don't want to get on the road again.
arch off of implant
Driving back to Vegas, 4th trip
Two days later
The teeth were replaced way out on the implants so I am back to that very un natural smile, again, and when I do smile I see the bright glee of sliver from the back implant. I also notice that they are not aligned, not even straight from my nose to the middle of the teeth! Further more, if things couldn't get crazy enough it does't feel as though the back implant is actually anchored on correctly. I saw Dr. Golpa for about 2 minutes outside of the time when he was in my mouth working on me. I had come with a list of questions, but forget that, there are no answers. Thanks for dropping me a note Teddiemc, I do realize that there are people with terrible teeth, or no teeth who are looking for a solution, this seems cheap and fast. I think that the cheapest products were used in my mouth. I saw an advertisement where one dentist can now use your existing denture, make some holes in it and use implants to anchor it in, that is all that this truly is. Just a cheap denture anchored in with implants from what I can tell, if that isn't so then I am always willing to know. It isn't designed for me. The hygienist, Amanda, has always remarked that I have a small mouth, when I have gone other places they needed to use a pediatric tray to do the castings. There is no personal design to this implant to take in account that I have a "small mouth"...... I have a family emergency and need to head on back to Colorado but am not even finished with the 4th trip to Vegas and already have problems. Biggest Regret of my Life.