I have just been diagnosed with a severe calcium deficiency. My dentist is suggesting I just go ahead and extract my teeth now and get dentures so I don’t spend a fortune trying to keep them. I have been reading about dentures and came across an article that said my face will eventually collapse?? How do I stop that? Can I stop that? I’ve been crying since seeing my dentist. I’m only 42 and my teeth aren’t perfect, but they are all my own.
I’m going to start with the concept of facial collapse. This is a term given to the result of long term denture wear. When your teeth are removed, your brain notes there are no longer teeth roots in your jawbone that need support. In an effort to be as efficient with your body’s resources as possible, it will begin resorbing the minerals in your jawbone to use elsewhere in your body. This has the effect of shrinking your jawbone as it loses more and more of those minerals. Eventually, you will no longer have enough bone left to retain your dentures.
There is a way to prevent this. You would need dental implants placed in your jaw. These are prosthetic tooth roots and it will cause your body to leave the minerals alone, preserving your jawbone as a result. Then, you can anchor your denture to that in a variety of ways from fixed implant dentures (as the best option), all the way down to snap-on dentures.
Before you do that, however, I take issue with your dentist’s assertion that a calcium deficiency means you’re going to have problems with your teeth. Your teeth have been fully formed for years. A calcium deficiency developed in adulthood will have no impact on your teeth. What you will have to deal with are nerve problems, muscle cramps, and osteoporosis. Those are serious, so don’t minimize this diagnosis.
It sounds more like you have one of those dentists who would rather pull teeth than work on them. This is not the best dentist for people who prefer to preserve as much natural tooth structure as possible.
This blog is brought to you by Duluth, GA Dentist Dr. David Marion.