I hate the thought of wearing dentures at 50, but most of my teeth are missing. The few that are left have deep decay. The drama with my teeth comes from years of neglect when I was younger. Now I’m stable and can afford to do something about my teeth and smile. I guess I have a little less anxiety about dental appointments than when I was younger, but I’m concerned about having any type of surgery. I’m wondering if I should see an oral surgeon first and get the remaining teeth pulled or if I should go to a dentist and let him refer me to an oral surgeon. Thanks. Brad from AR
There dentists who can do both—extract your teeth and provide you with dentures. Extractions before dentures are not complicated, and many general dentists do both.
- Search online for a dentist with at least several years of experience.
- Call their offices and ask how the dentist handles cases when a patient needs extractions before dentures.
- The office representative’s answer will explain if the dentist completes extractions and provides dentures.
- If you choose a dentist who refers patients to an oral surgeon for extractions, he or she will coordinate your care.
Relieving Your Anxiety
As you call dental offices, ask an additional question: What does the dentist do to calm anxious patients? Many dentists are gentle and successful in helping patients relax and receive painless treatment. Others offer sedation dentistry, which is anti-anxiety medication—varying in different strengths depending on your anxiety and the procedure you’ll receive.
Some Advice on Stabilizing Your Dentures
A common source of anxiety about dentures is fear of them clicking, sliding around, or falling out. If your budget allows, consider stabilizing your dentures with dental implants.
What Are Implants?
Implants are small screws that are embedded in your jawbone like tooth roots. But when all your teeth are missing, implants are used to support your denture. Your implant dentist can attach an arch of replacement teeth—or a denture—to at least two dental implants.
Benefits of Implant Overdentures
- Minimize denture movement. Dental implants anchor a denture. And with four to six implants, you’ll have minimal movement with your denture, and it will feel more like your natural teeth. It’s much easier to bite and chew food with stable implant overdentures.
- Preserve your facial features. You’re only 50 years old. The longer you wear dentures, the more your jawbone will shrink. Natural teeth stimulate the bone and prevent it from shrinking. But dentures don’t stimulate your jawbone; they put pressure on it and make it shrink faster. Dental implants rescue your jawbone from shrinking away and making your face sag prematurely.
- Provide a better experience overall. Most fears about wearing dentures are related to how much they will move and shift in your mouth and how they will look. Cosmetic dentists are skilled at providing dentures that look like natural teeth.
If you search for and find an implant dentist with cosmetic dentistry skills, it will erase most—if not all—your worries about dentures.
Take time to find a dentist who will correctly and beautifully restore your smile.
Steven Brooksher, DDS is a cosmetic and implant dentist in Baton Rouge, LA. Read about his credentials and visit his smile gallery. It will give you ideas on what to look for in a dentist in your area.