Tag Archives: affordable versus cheap dentists

Can I Trust Comfort Dental?

A little over a year ago, I had a bridge put across my upper front using the canine teeth as anchors. Since then, the canine teeth have come loose and now they need to be replaced. Comfort Dental did the bridge so I went back to them for advice. They’ve suggested a partial denture. I did try that and it is massively uncomfortable so I went to another dentist for a second opinion. They suggested I get three full-sized dental implants. One on either side and another in the front between them. Then he’d attach a bridge to it. This plan was very expensive so I went back to Comfort Dental. They’re suggesting we replace all my upper teeth with mini implants which would cost less. I like the idea of the lower cost, but my experiences with Comfort Dental have not provided me any long term solutions and I’m wondering at this point if I should trust them. Do you have an opinion on which plan is better for me in the long run?


Dear Maggie,

You have been through a lot with these teeth. I’m going to explain a bit about Comfort Dental which should help you understand the way they work. They are a corporate dental clinic with (at last count) about 150 locations. Consider them mass-market dentistry. They tend to be less expensive, which is attractive to many patients.

Often, their practitioners are just out of dental school and are there to get experience before they open a private practice. They won’t understand principles dentists who have been in their field for some time have picked up over the years. One of those, in your case, seems to be some basic engineering principles, which is an important part of dentistry.

You mentioned having a dental bridge on your upper teeth where they used the canine teeth as the anchor teeth, dentists would call these abutment teeth. There are twisting forces at play here and this type of placement will actually cause your canine teeth to come loose, as they did.

This is the reason the dentist you went to for a second opinion suggested that you have a third dental implant placed in the center. This is to prevent those twisting forces. It will keep the implants secure.

While Comfort Dental’s plan will be less expensive, mini implants are not strong enough to anchor dental crowns. They are mostly used to help keep a denture from falling out, but there will still be some movement. Like your other treatments from them, I wouldn’t expect this to last very long.

My suggestion is to go with the other dentist’s suggestion. Sometimes, the inexpensive treatment becomes the least affordable one because it doesn’t last and you have to keep adding treatments or there are complications.

This blog is brought to you by Lafayette, LA Dentists Drs. Thimmesch and Foreman.

Do CEREC Crowns Break Easily?

I’ve had crowns before and have never had any problems. My previous crowns were with a different dentist and were always the result of an infection gone mad which required a root canal treatment. This time, I decided to try to get treatment before an infection developed. Unfortunately, the new dentist said the cavity is too large for a traditional filling and will still need a crown (well, at least I don’t also need a root canal). It’s a step up. He told me he could give me a CEREC crown in just one day. I liked the idea of not missing more work and agreed, but after just two weeks it broke. I called the office and he offered to replace it for free. I’m hesitant to do so if it will just break again. Are CERECs weaker than other crowns?


Dear Olivia,

Machine for CEREC Crowns
CEREC Crowns are Milled by Computer

CEREC crowns are just as strong as traditional crowns. What happened in your situation is incredibly unusual. As you’ve had several crowns before, did you notice anything which felt unusual about this one? Maybe your crown hit your teeth before the rest of your teeth or possibly tooth pain when you bit down? I could see a crown breaking if it sat way too high, but even then it would take some flaws in the materials for it to break that soon after it was placed.

In general CEREC crowns have less of a chance of having a problem because they’re designed by a sophisticated software program and milled by machine. They should fit perfectly. You didn’t mention pain, which again makes me wonder about something being off with the materials.

Redoing Your CEREC Crown

Going forward, I’d give your dentist an opportunity to fix this. It’s so unusual for this to happen so I doubt it would again. If it does, the dentist would be the problem. If you happen to look up your dentist’s reviews and see this is a regular thing, then my suggestion would be to find another dentist. It probably wouldn’t matter what type of crown he gave you.

In that case, you may want to see an emergency dentist in your area. They can help you get a crown and get you back on your way. You won’t want to wait too long because your teeth will shift into the open space left by the broken crown.

I’m NOT saying this is what happened, but be careful about dentists whose prices are significantly lower than other dentists in the area. There is a huge difference between an affordable dentist and a cheap dentist. Our area was hit hard economically, so it’s tempting for patients to go for the cheapest. It’s also tempting for some (less ethical) dentists to draw in patients by lowering their prices, then buying subpar materials which helps them make up their profits.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. Mike Malone.