As a child, I never learned how to take care of my teeth. I also never went to the pediatric dentist, either – I didn’t see any dentist until I was in my twenties. When I finally went in, it was for a toothache and the dentist found that nearly all my teeth had serious issues. I was quoted an insanely high treatment plan estimate – nearly $10,000, even with insurance! I can’t afford that, but I’ve been going in whenever there’s a problem. Since then, I’ve had multiple teeth pulled, and I don’t see that stopping in the foreseeable future. I asked if I could just get dentures instead, but was told I was too young (I’m in my 30s). Would dentures really be that bad? It’d be nice to have a beautiful smile for once. Am I really too young for dentures?
Bebe, from Versailles, Kentucky.
It’s difficult to fix a problem 30+ years in the making, but finding a supportive dentist will be a good start. Your dentist should have taken your concerns into account. Given your background, it’s not so unheard of to get dentures, even at your age. Your dentist should design a treatment plan that that saves any healthy teeth they can, instead of getting all of them extracted at once. This can be done over time and will save you money.
The only issue with dentures is that they will not feel like your natural teeth. While you may be a candidate for a partial or full upper denture, you can also consider implant overdentures, though implants would increase the cost.
Once all your teeth are extracted, the process of resorption will begin; your jaw will begin to break down over time, and this can lead to facial collapse, where the face is shrunken in appearance. Dental implants in the jaw will halt this process. If you get your teeth out now, you will be dealing with bone loss for the next few decades.
Dentures are not bad, but you should definitely save as many teeth as you can, and hold onto your natural teeth as long as possible. In your case, dentures would improve your smile, life, and confidence, but will lead to the issue of bone loss later on. Take your time with this process, and find a dentist you can trust to lead you through this.
This blog post is brought to you by Baton Rouge dentist, Dr. Ryan Perry.