New York, NY 2010 Tooth Saga


[July 15-18, 2010 New York, NY, US] New York by Train, July 15-18, 2010 I cracked my tooth earlier this year and I had to get it extracted. Next step was to get an implant, followed by attaching the crown (ceramic tooth). I went back to my Illinois dentist and he suggested an oral surgeon to do the extraction and implant. The dentist was going to do the crown. The cost of the whole procedure was: extraction $400, “flipper” $600 (partial denture to cover up the gaping hole), implant $2300, abutment (basically one screw) $800 and crown $1500. So I spend $400 for the extraction and $600 for the flipper. Now I still had to pay $4700!!! This is for one tooth. One! (And as it turns out, you don’t “need” the flipper at all, so that was a waste of money.)

You thought the US Military was paid too much for a toilet seat for $500? How about one dinky “abutment” screw for $800! So I started to look around and decided to go to Costa Rica to get my dental work done. Well, I need to do two trips, one for the implant (jaw bone to gum line) and one for crown (the fake tooth). It takes approximately 6 weeks to heal after the implant procedure. So Costa Rica was out. For one trip, it would have been cheaper, but not for two.

So I was bummed and just starting hitting Google and Yahoo and typing in all kinds of search terms an I found a dental clinic in New York who would do the implant, abutment and crown for $1800 (vs $4700)!!!! That’s a 62% discount!!!

Of course I was weary of the choice, I mean why would all other places in the US charge about $4700-$9000 and theses people can do it for a whopping discounted price of only $1800??? I mean they were even cheaper that Costa Rica (excluding air fare, of course, I mean just the dental costs)!!! So I asked them and they said they just do so many of these procedures that they can discount the price…

Okay, fine, but I still feel uneasy. What the heck – so I went on the train from WAS to NYP – taking the NorthEast Regional Amtrak. The train ride was not impressive at all. The physical train tracks were horrid – the train shook a lot.

I get to the dental clinic and there is no one in the waiting area! My first thought was I am soooo screwed… Well, after they took an x-ray and said I can get the implant without any bone graft. (If you have a missing tooth and don’t get an implant within a year or so, you start to lose bone and you may need to get a bone graft – that itself is another $1000…) I said great, lets do it! They shot me up with novocaine and the whole procedure took less than two minutes. They drill a hole in your bone – your head shakes like operating a jack hammer (but no pain at all). Then the dentist showed me the implant (a short post about 2mm-3mm wide and about 1cm tall). He literally screwed the post into my jaw with a ratchet. I thought I’d be spewing blood all over. But no, the entire operation was done and there wasn’t one drop of blood! Amazing.

So, I have to go back in six weeks to make sure it healed okay and if they give a go ahead, they’ll measure the area to fit the crown and then I need to come back again to have the crown fitted. (Good thing I didn’t go to Costa Rica – the airfare would have wiped out any savings in the procedure!) Well great, that was easy. All I had to do was take antibiotics for a week and done. There was a dull throbbing pain in my mouth for about ten days. (It didn’t hurtunless you touched the area.) Your results may differ! They gave me a high dose Motrin prescription but I didn’t bother getting it.

So, on the way back from NYP to WAS, I took the Acela an paid for First Class since I figured I won’t be taking the train next time. It was pretty nice. This train had some sort of shock system so it didn’t shake as much, but it still shook on the worst parts of the tracks. But hey, got a free lunch and free alcohol…

So where is this place? Here: ( NOTE: They have a coupon for $395 on their site, you must print it and show it to them to get the discount. Then they say you need a consultation first – I said I need to get the implant in the same visit and they said that is fine. Even though I had the $395 coupon, they charged me up front for $1400 and when I get the crown, I pay $400. In my case, I didn’t care, $4700 vs $1800, hey, they could have charged me for the whole thing at once…)

New York by train.