I feel absolutely helpless at the moment. I feel like my teeth can’t be saved and trying to has almost bankrupted me. I had seven children and vomited almost daily during my pregnancies, which did a number on my teeth. Then, as soon as I was done having children, when I thought I’d get to take a break and take care of myself for a change, I was diagnosed with cancer. The radiation and chemo have also done a number on my teeth. They are literally crumbling. My dentist said I need to get dental implants but there is no way I can afford them. What if the only thing I can do is afford dentures? Will it be as horrible as my dentist is hinting?
I am so sorry for all you have been through. Let’s see if we can figure out some helpful solutions for you. First, understand the reason your dentist is pushing you toward dental implants.
When your teeth are removed, your body recognizes there are no roots of your teeth to support. In order to be as efficient as possible with your body’s resources, it will then start to resorb the minerals in your jawbone in order to use them where they are more needed. This has the unfortunate side effect of shrinking your jawbone. After about ten to twenty years, you will no longer have enough jawbone left to even keep your dentures in. This is known as facial collapse.
Having dental implants placed signals to your brain that you still have teeth that need to be supported. As a result, it leaves the minerals of your jawbone in place. This is the ideal solution. Rarely, however, is life ideal.
One thing you can do is only get implants on your lower arch. This is the most important when it comes to facial collapse because the dentures actually rest on the ridge of your jawbone. Your upper arch is held in by suction so you are safer to leave those with dentures.
If you can’t afford to do full implant overdentures on your lower arch, then maybe see if snap on dentures are a possiblity for you. This can use as few as two dental implants and will at least preserve some of your jaw.
I hope this helps and that the remainder of your treatment goes well.
This blog is brought to you by Duluth, GA Dentist Dr. David Marion.