Tag Archives: saving teeth

Am I Doomed to Dentures?

My dentist said that my teeth aren’t worth saving and I should just get dental implants. When he showed me the price tag, I almost had a stroke. I told him there was no way I could afford to get those. He just shrugged and told me it’s that or dentures. I want to cry. Am I really doomed to dentures at 31?

Rebecca L.

Dear Rebecca,

Salem Snap on Denture

I’m a tad concerned that your dentist said that your teeth weren’t worth saving. Most dentists are of the opinion that every tooth is worth saving. You’ll find that saving natural teeth gives you a much better quality of life.

Sometimes teeth can’t be saved, even when you try your best. When that happens, then yes, dental implants are your best option. They’re the closest thing to having your own natural teeth. As you discovered, they are pretty pricey.

While dentures are a more affordable option, many patients hate them because they’re not anchored. At your age, dentures would be disastrous. There’s a condition known as facial collapse that will become an inevitability for you. When your teeth are removed, your body recognizes there is no longer a need for your jawbone to support the roots of your teeth. To that end, it removes the minerals in your jawbone to use elsewhere in your body where they may be more beneficial. Unfortunately, that means losing jawbone structure. Before long, you won’t have enough jawbone left to retain your dentures.

You may be feeling doomed right now, but there are options. The first one is the most important. I want you to get a second opinion. I can’t imagine, unless you just haven’t taken care of your teeth AT ALL, that at least some of your teeth cannot be saved. The more teeth you save, the better your outcome and the less money you’ll have to spend on replacements. It might be you won’t have to even worry about whether to get dental implants or dentures.

But, let’s plan for the worst. If you get a second opinion and the dentist said there wasn’t a way to save your teeth, don’t despair. It may be possible for you to set up a payment plan with your dentist in order to afford dental implants. Then you wouldn’t have to worry about being doomed to dentures. But, there’s always a possibility that even with the most generous payment plan, it would still be impossible for you.

If that’s the case, a decent option would be to get snap-on dentures. They use as few as two implants which enables you to snap the dentures. While you’re still getting dentures, these have a couple of benefits. First, they’re anchored. You won’t have to worry about them falling out the way traditional dentures do. Second, the areas that have the snaps will not lose jawbone.

You can do snap-on dentures with as few as two, but this allows you to save up until you can get a decent set of dental implants.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. Randall Burba.

Why won’t my dentist fix my teeth?

I have teeth that need some work. Some are just discolored. Others are chipped, and some have decay. ¬†All my dentist wants to do is remove the teeth and repalce them with partial dentures. I told him if I did replace them I’d want something more permanent, not something removable. He said my teeth can only have partials. I keep hearing about all these advances in dentistry, like dental implants. How do you get those. Also, isn’t there a way to save my teeth?

Dana P. – Montana

Dana,

The sad truth is, just like with any other field of study, dentists vary in their abilities as well. Sometimes skill is the only factor, sometimes it’s laziness.

Some dentists are passionate about saving teeth. Others are fine just removing them.

Your chipped and discolored teeth can easily be repaired with dental bonding and whitening.

Your decayed teeth may still be able to be saved as well, but if not there are better treatments than partial dentures. You’re right that dental implants would be a much better treatment.

However, it sounds to me like your dentist doesn’t know how to do theses procedures. My suggestion would be to get a second opinion from a different dentist to get the kind of care you want.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. Randall Burba.