My teeth are literally falling out and crumbling because they are in such bad shape. So I have been looking into getting complete dentures. Over ten years ago, the dentist told me that I didn’t have that much enamel left on my teeth. This might have had something to do with me vomiting through two straight pregnancies. I literally puked multiple times every day for the entire duration of each of these pregnancies. Well, that has been over eight years ago now, but my teeth are so brittle and cracked and have ugly cavities.
The dentist removed one of my teeth last week because it had cracked in half. Five other teeth have eroded all the way to my gums and I have had one crown and post fall out too. The dental insurance I have isn’t doing the trick, since it only covers about $1000 annually. And you know how expensive good dental treatments are. Sadly, it looks like complete dentures will only cost about $1400 for me, but I am torn because my bottom teeth are now as bad as my upper teeth. The cost for getting root canals and crowns was closer to $5000 and I just am having a hard time justifying that much money be spend on me. I haven’t been able to get any loans either. So are dentures really my only option at this point?
I also had meningitis as a baby so maybe some of the medicines given to me have played a role in how terrible my teeth are. You may not believe it by looking at my teeth but I swear I have brushed and flossed regularly ever since I was a kid. Any insight or advice would be so greatly appreciated. I feel like I only have one option – dentures.
– Pat in Arkansas
From what you have shared it sounds like you are completely frustrated with your teeth. Dentures are an option for you, but not necessarily your only option. You need to be fully aware of the denture problems and underlying ramifications in moving forward with dentures though. Denture patients are often times very disappointed because they can be very uncomfortable, they reduce your chewing efficiency, and they can fall out at embarrassing times. Another very serious condition that someone as young as yourself needs to fully understand is what is called facial collapse. What happens when all of your teeth are removed is that the bone that used to support the teeth is re-absorbed so the minerals can be used in other areas of the body. Then, your jawbone shrinks and over the course of ten to twenty years can shrink so much that you may not even be able to keep your denture in anymore. Facial collapse patients look much older than they are and their face looks sunken in.
Another thing you need to know is that losing your bottom teeth is much more of a serious situation than losing your upper teeth. An upper denture is easier to maintain and adjust as time goes by. This is also due to the fact that the upper denture uses suction to stay put. This means it is much more stable than the lower denture which kind of floats on top of your lower jaw. Your tongue and cheeks also help to keep the lower denture in place.
So although dentures seem like the most affordable option now, down the road you may end up spending more to take care of the ramifications of facial collapse. And we haven’t even begun talking about your quality of life.
So if there is any way that any of your teeth can be saved, even with crowns or root canal treatments, that truly is the best in the long run. This is because the longer the tooth roots are still anchored into your jawbone, you are avoiding the devastating facial collapse. Dental implants also prevent facial collapse because the surgical post is placed directly into your jawbone. Again, these treatments are more expensive now, but do you want to trade the quality of life over the long run?
I hope you find a dentist you can trust that can effectively provide you will all of your options. There are affordable dentist options out there. You would be surprised how many dentists truly want to make a difference and will phase out treatment plans over time, sometimes over many years. That way you can pay as you go. Or others have access to low financing payment plans or other ways to arrange payment. Don’t set yourself into thinking dentures are your absolute, only option.
This post is sponsored by Cleveland dentist Hylan Dental Care.