I’m in a bit of a pickle. I have bad teeth. I know that. I didn’t take care of them. I’m always getting cavities. Then I ended up with an illness which essentially destroyed the rest of them. I need to get dentures, but my dentist refuses because of my age. I know most of this is my fault but does that mean I have to go so far into debt for the treatment he wants me to do that I’ll never get out?
While I’m going on the assumption your dentist is trying to save you from facial collapse, he’s not going about it the right way. Here is likely what he’s concerned about.
When your teeth are either removed or come out, your brain recognizes the roots of your teeth are no longer in your jawbone. Without roots there, it concludes you won’t need the jawbone for as much so it begins to reabsorb the minerals there to use elsewhere in your body where it presumes they’ll be more useful.
While a remarkable way to use resources, it has the unfortunate side-effect of shrinking your jawbone. This means, after ten or more years, you’ll no longer have enough jawbone left to even keep dentures in your mouth. In the dental field we call this facial collapse.
A Good Dentist Works With Their Patients
A dentist is ethically bound to give you all your options. While he is allowed to only offer services he wants, he should still be giving you options you can get elsewhere. Yes, you can get dentures. Just be aware of the serious consequences you’ll be facing down the road.
Fortunately, you have options.
- Dental Implants: This is likely what your dentist mentioned. It puts a prosthetic tooth root into your jawbone and then a dental crown on top. Not only are these as secure as healthy teeth, but it prevents facial collapse.
- Implant Overdentures: These have the benefits of dental implants without having to pay for an implant for every tooth. Instead, you’ll have 4-6 implants placed, then have dentures attached to them. It’s much more stable than traditional dentures and also helps prevent facial collapse.
- Snap-on Dentures: When you don’t have money for the implant supported dentures, I’d suggest snap-on dentures as an inexpensive alternative. This uses two implants and snaps the dentures to them. It will protect the jawbone where the implants are placed and keeps the dentures from falling out. This will give you some protection and allows you to save up for more dental implants as you’re able.
Find a dentist who is willing to work within your budget and circumstances while advising you of all your options. You’ll also save a lot of money by saving as many teeth as possible, if that’s an option for you at this point.
This blog is brought to you by Lake Oswego Dentist Dr. Mo Saleh.