My last two pregnancies left me throwing up every day. Needless to say my enamel was a mess. Then cancer. The chemo finished off what was left of the health of my teeth. They are literally crumbling and I am financially ruined. I’m pretty sure all I can afford is dentures, but my dentist insists at my age (30), it is the worst thing I can do. What would you recommend to someone in my place?
You are certainly in a bind. I’m sorry for everything you’ve gone through. While your dentist is correct that dentures are dangerous in the longterm and your age would make them longterm, I wish he could have been more compassionate. One thing I would try first is applying for Care Credit. This is a medical credit service that has low and no interest payment plans. I’m a little concerned that with all the cancer treatments, you may not have enough credit to qualify, but it is worth a shot.
One of the reasons your dentist is concerned about dentures is the danger of facial collapse. When your teeth are removed your body immediately begins to resorb the minerals in your jawbone in order to use them elsewhere in your body. It does this in an effort to be efficient with your body’s resources. The longer you wear your dentures, the less jawbone you have left. Eventually, there won’t be enough bone left to even support your dentures, leaving you as a denture cripple.
Your top arch is held in by suction so dentures there aren’t as devastating as the bottom arch. However, for your bottom dentures, they simply rest on the ridge of the jawbone. Saving that jawbone is imperative.
Obviously, implant overdentures would be the ideal treatment. By placing six dental implants in your jaw lets your body interpret that as still having teeth, therefore it leaves your jawbone intact. I do realize your financial situation precludes this from being a real possibility.
One thing I would seriously look into is getting snap-on dentures. This utilizes just two dental implants and will at least preserve the jawbone where those implants are. You can even use mini implants to save more money. Then, if finances improve you can add more implants as you are able.
If that seems out of reach, I would appeal to your dentist’s sense of humanity. Explain your situation and see if he’d be willing to allow you to pay out the procedure. Hopefully, he will.
Again, I’m sorry for what you’ve been dealing with.
This blog is brought to you by Huntsville Dentist Dr. Steven Murphree.