I’m almost 50 years old. I have avoided the dentist my entire life because of a bad experience in my teen years. Now I’m paying the price for that. If I could turn back the clock and make better choices I would. Now, I’ll just have to move on from here. I’ve lost most of my teeth and the rest aren’t going to last much longer. I need to have them removed and get dentures. My question is do I need to go to an oral surgeon before getting the dentures or does a dentist do both?
In your place, I’d go to a dentist who can do the pre-denture surgery and the dentures. There’s much less of a chance for communication errors. Plus, there are immediate dentures which can be placed that keep you from having to wait six weeks for teeth.
Even if you decide to get dentures which do require the six-week wait, the surgeon can do stuff to prepare you gums for that to make a better fit. An oral surgeon won’t be as familiar with that.
The pre-denture surgery isn’t a difficult one and any dentist who does that will be skilled at it.
Because of your dental anxiety, it’s going to be important that you see a sleep dentist. This way you don’t have to deal with your anxiety while being treated.
An Important Consideration with Dentures
You mentioned wishing you could go back and do things over correctly. I’m hoping to keep you from making another decision you’ll regret. Once you remove your teeth, your jawbone starts to shrink. That happens because your body recognizes you don’t have teeth anymore and reassigns your minerals in the jaw to be used where they’re more useful.
After about ten years, you won’t have enough jawbone left to retain your dentures any longer. This will leave you with no way to chew food. You won’t even be 60-years-old and you’ll be on a liquid diet. This is known as facial collapse.
If you want to prevent that, it’s important you place implants in your jawbone to trick your body into thinking you still have teeth in your jaw. The best way to do this is with implant overdentures, pictured above.
This has many other benefits too. Your dentures will be fixed, which will keep them from slipping or falling out. It will also increase your chewing efficiency.
This blog is brought to you by Tulsa Cosmetic Dentist Dr. Jerome Cha.