My son is a drug addict. I’ve got him with a recovery specialist. He’s only in his twenties but his teeth are a wreck. I’ve taken him to a dentist who’s recommended we just extract all his teeth and get dentures. He’s so young I hate to do that. Is that really the only option?
First, I’m going to say whatever dentist you’re seeing isn’t going to be the best for your son. It’s possible he’s thinking, “This guy’s an addict so let’s not waste too many resources on him.” But, I’m of the opinion that your son deserves the best chance he can to have a better life from here on out. Dentures will do just the opposite.
So, the first thing I want you to do is to find a dentist who is willing to fight to save as many of your son’s teeth as possible. Here’s why.
Dentures will Devastate Your Son’s View of Himself
He’s in his 20s. Imagine being twenty-something and having to remove your “teeth” every night like an 80-year-old man. I’m sure he struggles already feeling like a failure. Let’s not let the appearance of his teeth shout that at him every day of his life. It could lead to him giving up.
Dentures will Devastate Your Son’s Health
Once his teeth are removed, his body will be resorbing the minerals in his jawbone recognizing that his body no longer needs the bone to sustain teeth roots. Unfortunately, this will lead to his jaw shrinking. By the time your son is in his 30s or 40s, he’ll no longer have enough jawbone left to even sustain a denture. This will both make him look like he’s 80 and make him unable to eat solid food.
Alternatives to Dentures When Teeth Can’t be Saved
It’s likely there will be some teeth which can’t be saved. In that case, I’d like to strongly recommend you look into dental implants. These will look and function just like normal teeth. In addition, they place a prosthetic root in his jawbone to mimic what his natural tooth root would do. This protects his body from shrinking the bone.
I wish you both the best of luck.
This blog is brought to you by Huntsville Cosmetic Dentist Dr. Steve Murphree.