I feel absolutely humiliated. I’ve always had bad teeth even though I brush and floss regularly. No matter what I do I was always losing ground, and a fortune. Then I had three pregnancies which completely destroyed my teeth. I threw up the entire 9 months, which made things so much worse. I can’t afford to keep fixing these. I’m actually in debt because of my teeth. I’ve finally given up and went to the dentist to ask to extract them and give me dentures. He practically yelled at me and said I was being a complete idiot. That I will ruin my life getting dentures at 24. Are they really that bad or does he just want me to have to keep coming back?
I’m sorry he was so insensitive to you. Despite his horrific chairside manner, his advice to you was sound, especially given your age. There is a condition called facial collapse that is a direct result of dentures. Even worse, the longer you have them, the more severe the condition.
Here’s how it happens. Once you have your teeth extracted, your body begins reabsorbing the minerals in your jawbone to use elsewhere throughout your body. Unfortunately, that leads to your jaw shrinking. Wearing them for over a decade will lead to you not having enough jawbone to even keep your dentures in your mouth. At your young age, that will positively happen to you.
What Alternatives are There to Dentures?
The first thing I would do is try to save every tooth you can. Every tooth with natural tooth structure will save you money and agony later on. For those teeth which can’t be saved, your next best option is to get dental implants. Unlike dentures, these won’t cause you to lose jawbone. The prosthetic root placed in your jaw tells your body you still need the minerals.
Now, I do realize dental implants are expensive. So, get the ones you can afford, strategically placed to preserve the most jawbone. Then, get removable partial dentures placed elsewhere as you save up for the better solution.
This blog is brought to you by Dr. Steve Murphree.