I’m losing my teeth and making some decisions about what to do next. What would it entail to get dentures? Do they put you out and then take out all your teeth at once? Do you get the dentures right away?
I’m sorry you’re facing this decision. I know how heartbreaking it can be. I’ll answer your question about dentures, but before you make a decision I want to be certain you know your options other than full dentures.
Options to Full Removable Dentures
If you’re removing all your teeth, ideally you’d get dental implants. As you can see from the illustration at the left, it implants a prosthetic root into your jawbone. This is why dental implants are so useful. They’re much more stable than other options. You can eat and brush/floss as you normally would with your normal, healthy teeth.
However, their biggest benefit is the prevention of facial collapse. When your teeth are removed, your body immediately begins to reabsorb the minerals in your jawbone to distribute elsewhere throughout your body where they’re more needed. It’s efficient, but the result will be you won’t have enough jawbone left to retain a denture. Dental implants prevent that.
Implant Retained Dentures
Very few people can afford to get an implant placed on every tooth. However, implant supported dentures are another option which is more do-able financially. With these, your dentist will place an implant in even distribution throughout your bite. When that’s completed, he can anchor your dentures to them. You get the benefit of preserving a good deal of bone along with having your dentures secure in your mouth.
Obviously, the more implants you can afford to place the better, but this can be done with as few as two implants, which are called snap-on dentures.
How Are Removable Dentures Placed?
First, the teeth are extracted. Some people prefer to have dental sedation for this part of the procedure. This way they can sleep through the procedure if they’d like. Others prefer just to use a local anesthetic. It’s completely up to the patient. Once that is completed, the next step depends on the type of dentures you decide on.
These can be placed as soon as your teeth are removed. The benefit is you can walk out with a full set of “teeth”. They tend to end up being a bit more expensive because they require more follow-up visits and adjustments.
These are placed about eight weeks after extraction. The benefit is they tend to fit better, requiring less adjustment. The obvious drawback is the wait to have a smile.
Discuss these options with your dentist. I’m sure the two of you can come up with what works best for your lifestyle and budget.
This blog is brought to you by Dr. Randall Burba.