I’m in tears. I’d never gone to the dentist growing up. As an adult, I’ve saved up to go. I knew there’d be problems but I had no idea how bad it was. I went in and the dentist was quite rude. He told me I needed to remove all my teeth and get dentures. I asked if there were any other options and he replied, “What did I expect after going 27 years without seeing a dentist?” I’m mortified. Is this typical or should I get a second opinion?
I’m going to say first I’m sorry for the way you were treated. You obviously have worked to make it a priority and it’s certainly not your fault you weren’t taken during your childhood. That being said, there’s another problem. Dentures would be the absolute worst thing you could do, especially at your age.
Your body resorbs the minerals in your jawbone once your teeth are extracted. That means your jawbone will start to shrink. In ten years, you won’t have much jawbone left. Not only will you look years older than you really are, but you’ll have a hard time even keeping your dentures in, making it impossible for you to eat.
Before You Get Dentures
The first thing I’d do in your place is to get a second opinion. I think if your teeth were in that bad a condition, you’d have suspected. You said you knew that some teeth would need work, but you didn’t indicate being in very much pain. I would think there would be some signs of infection.
You’ll want to save as many teeth as possible. It’s always better to have natural tooth structure. Always. Those teeth which can’t be saved, you have options other than dentures.
Options to Dentures
The ideal replacement is a dental implant. This places a prosthetic root in your jawbone which helps prevent the loss of minerals mentioned above.
Another decent replacement is a dental bridge. This suspends a false tooth between two dental crowns. It makes more sense to get this if the adjacent teeth also need work.
Both of these are decent options, but priority one is saving the teeth.
This blog is brought to you the Vero Beach Dentist Dr. Rick Root.