I have always had a fear of the dentist. This really kept me from getting my teeth taken care of. I generally only ended up going in when there was a dental emergency. I know that wasn’t the best way to handle things, but what is done is done. I am now to the point that I need dentures. Most of my teeth are either missing, broken, or decayed. In that case, should I go to an oral surgeon or a dentist to have the remainder of my teeth extracted?
I would go to a dentist who can do both the tooth extractions and the dentures. Most general dentists do pre-denture surgery. It is not a difficult thing to do. I would call to several offices and ask them what the dentist’s normal procedure is. Do not hint to them what you are looking for, just ask about their denture procedure.
Because you struggle with dental anxiety, I am going to suggest that you see a dentist who offers oral conscious sedation. This is sometimes called sleep dentistry because most patients are so relaxed they just sleep through the entire procedure. This will ensure you do not have to have any fear or pain during your procedure.
The reason for using a dentist instead of oral surgeon is to get the best fit possible for your denture. An oral surgeon won’t be as familiar with designing and fitting dentures, as a result they don’t know the things that can be done during the extractions to make this work better.
You should be aware that even the best fitting dentures will reduce your chewing capacity by 50%. There are also long-term consequences, including shrinking of the jawbone. Dental implants can help with both of these issues and I recommend discussing this with your dentist before making any final decisions on your treatment plan.
I stumbled across your website and am hoping you can help me. I’ve never been so discouraged in my life. I grew up in a very poor family and we could not afford the dentist. They were good parents who worked hard, but dentistry is expensive. I have always had bucked teeth and braces were a wild dream. I spent most of my childhood being teased. Then in high school, I developed a tooth infection. I had a root canal treatment done, but we could not afford the follow-up treatment so I was left with a hole in the back of my tooth. Then, my first year in college the tooth broke in half. It was a front tooth! I was a freshman in college with no resources. One of my professors noticed I always put my hand over my mouth when I was talking and offered to get me a dental crown. I literally cried. Fast forward seven years. I’m married and we have dental insurance. The problem I am facing is my teeth need so much work I just can’t seem to keep up. My dentist seems to have given up as well. He even suggested we just extract them and get dentures. I’m barely 26 years old! Is there any way to save my teeth?
You have had a rough go of things and I am sorry. I did love the story about your caring professor. The compassionate people in this world give us hope, don’t they? While you have a tough situation with your teeth. It doesn’t sound like you have anything unfixable. The first thing I would do is look for a dentist who is willing to work to save your teeth. It sounds like they one you are currently with may not be the best fit for you.
Whatever you do, don’t let him extract all your teeth and give you dentures. When teeth are removed, your body begins to resorb all the minerals in your jawbone, the result of that is the shrinking of your jaw. In about twenty years, you won’t even have enough bone left in your jaw to retain your dentures. There is a way to preserve that bone, using dental implants, but it is very expensive and I don’t think you truly need your teeth extracted.
There are two things you can do to get a handle on this quicker. The first is at home. Most people think brushing is what keeps their teeth healthy. While it is a major contributor, if you are someone who snacks throughout the day, you are inadvertently sabotaging your efforts. Your saliva is a tremendous weapon against oral bacteria because of the minerals contained in it. If you limit your snacking, then you will give those minerals their best chance of fighting decay.
The second thing is to get as much work done as possible at each visit to try to get ahead of this situation. As I am recommending you find a new dentist anyway, look for one who offers dental sedation, specifically something like oral conscious sedation. This will completely relax you and even allow you to sleep if need be. Patients who use this are able to get significantly more work done at each visit.
Before you know it, you’ll be caught up on that dental work.
Hopefully, this helped.
This blog is brought to you by Gilbert Dentist Dr. Matt Roper.
I took my mother in for a filling a couple of weeks ago. She is 87 years old. Today she called me and told me a tooth just fell out. I called her dentist and they want her to come in and they’ll do a dental bridge for her. I’m a bit concerned, though. They didn’t even seem to wonder why her tooth fell out. Will this keep happening? Is there an affordable way to help her?
It is wonderful that you are doing your best for your mother like this. Like you, I am concerned about some of what I am hearing. I want to make sure I understand that you said her tooth just fell out. Is that right? For that to happen, it would mean your mother has very advanced periodontitis (gum disease). It would have to be as advanced as it gets. If this is the case, there should have been intervention quite some time ago. I don’t know what your mother’s dentist has been waiting for.
I don’t like the idea of a dental bridge if this is her situation. A bridge is made by suspending a false tooth between two dental crowns that are anchored to the adjacent teeth. This will put additional stress on those teeth, causing them to fail sooner.
I want you to take her to a different dentist and have her evaluated before moving forward. If it is periodontitis, as I suspect, she is going to lose all of her teeth. Ideally, you’d replace teeth with dental implants. However, she is 87 years old and you asked for an affordable dental solution. In her case, I would suggest extracting the teeth and getting her completely removable dentures.
Normally, I do not like to recommend removable dentures because of the bone resorption. However, at your mother’s age it will not have much of an impact on her.
I absolutely hate going to the dentist. Like HATE it. Every time I go in, he causes me more pain than I was in when I got there. Do you think the dentist will just take out all my teeth and give me dentures? I think it will solve a lot of problems.
Elizabeth M. – Tennessee
You may find a dentist willing to do that, but I don’t think it will solve your dental problems. Instead you will find every day difficult, instead of just dental visits. Even the best dentures drop your chewing efficiency to about twenty percent.
Plus, they are uncomfortable and will eventually start to slip and slide because your jawbone decreases the longer you wear them. Your other option would be to spend thousands and thousands of dollars getting dental implants. That will solve many of the above mentioned problems, but they’re still not the same as having your own teeth. Plus, it will require surgery and months of healing.
There is a simple solution to your problem. Have you considered sedation dentistry? That will enable you to get your teeth worked on in a pain free way. It will also allow your dentist to do more work in one sitting. It will let you catch up on any dental work you’ve neglected out of fear.
I am not in the best dental health and have many problems with my upper teeth. I’m missing three in the back and have a bridge that is over 30 years old. It’s time to have my upper teeth replaced and I would like to get denture implants.
I also have issues with periodontal disease and am required to get scaling / root planing twice a year. I tried a partial dental plate and didn’t like it. It was very uncomfortable, I had difficulty eating, and it made me gag.
I was wondering if my medical insurance will help pay for the dental implants? I think I need an estimate so it could be considered a medical condition. Also, do you know if implants are routinely covered with under dental insurance?
– Dolores in Oregon
There are many advantages of dental implants over partial or complete dentures. With an implant there is no extra hardware in your mouth. This will help with the gagging. Dental implants are the closing thing to having your natural teeth, you can eat and talk normally, and they also prevent a serious condition called facial collapse where your jawbone can shrink over time.
In regard to the medical insurance, it is unlikely dental implants will be covered. Your best bet will be to go through your dental insurance for assistance. It is a common question to inquire if “your teeth are affecting general health.” The expectation is that the medical insurance would help. Unfortunately, a medical insurance contract almost always has an exclusion for all dental issues. If they didn’t, individuals could potentially misuse it even for a simple cavity since it is considered to be an “infection” thus affecting your overall physical health.
Although, medical insurance will very likely cover any dental damage or complications from an accident. For example, if you fell down and broke your tooth off, medical insurance may help.
Lastly, you will need to contact your local dentist for a specific cost estimate. Total costs vary greatly from each individual case to case. So schedule a consultation with your dentist of choice to obtain a detailed estimate for your budgeting purposes.
Good luck. Hopefully this information was helpful to you.