I’m not sure I can take much more. I’ve been undergoing two rounds of cancer treatments. They told me to give extra attention to my dental needs. But, to be honest, I was so sick and I could barely afford the dentist before cancer and now I had to pay for all these treatments or I’d die. So, I ignored my teeth thinking they’d still be there when I return. After this last round, I had a tooth bothering me so I went in. The dentist did an exam and said all the teeth had to go and I should get dentures. I’m distraught. I didn’t think they’d go that quickly. I’m only 29. I’m losing my hair and my teeth. I can’t do this. Is there any other option?
You’ve been through so much and I’m sorry. I haven’t examined you, of course, but in your place I’d certainly get a second opinion. I can’t imagine that NONE of your teeth can be saved. It may be true that some of them are beyond hope, but I have a hard time believing all of them are.
At your age, dentures aren’t your best option. When your teeth are removed, your body begins to reabsorb the mineral in the roots of your teeth, perceiving you don’t need them anymore. This causes the roots to shrink, which will lead to something called facial collapse. When you’re much older it’s not as big a deal because it happens slowly. But, you’re young. It’s possible you’ll be a dental cripple by the time you are in your 40s.
The first priority is to see what teeth can be saved. Then work from there. The ideal treatment, especially at your age, is to get dental implants. This puts a prosthetic tooth root in your jaw, which causes your body to leave the minerals where they are, preserving your jawbone.
It’s also possible to do a mixture of removable partial dentures and implants while you work on financing. Get your second opinion and talk to a trusted dentist. Make sure you’re clear you want them to be aggressive in saving as many teeth as possible. That will save you more money than anything.
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