My son is a recovering drug addict. He’s still struggling and many people have given up on him. I feel my dentist is one of them. He wants to extract the remainder of my son’s teeth in one sitting and give him dentures. He’s only 22 years old. I have two questions about that. First, that seems like a LOT of teeth to do at once. Second, he’s so young to be in dentures. Will he look like a grandpa?
I’m going to agree with you that your dentist doesn’t seem to care about your son. What he’s suggesting is super easy for him, and will cause your son a lifetime of grief. I’m going to suggest you find a different dentist for him. Here’s what I want you to look for in a dentist to treat your son.
I want him to believe your son is worth helping. By that, he or she should be willing to save as many of your son’s teeth as possible. That is the most important thing you can do for your son.
The Danger of Facial Collapse with Dentures
Once teeth are removed, your brain recognizes that and, as a means to be efficient, will resorb the minerals in your jawbone to use elsewhere. This will shrink his jaw. The image above shows the effects of facial collapse on a woman’s jaw. By the time he is in his late 30s, he’ll likely be a denture cripple. This means he will not have enough jawbone left to retain his dentures, putting his nutrition and health at risk.
Let’s say you have a worst case scenario and none of your son’s teeth can be saved. What you need is something that will protect his jawbone. The best way to do this is with dental implants. Because these use a prosthetic tooth root, your brain thinks you still have your teeth and leaves your jawbone intact. Obviously, the more dental implants you have the better. However, a one-to-one tooth replacement option is usually financially unfeasible.
There is a great solution for this though. Implant overdentures can be made with four to six dental implants that anchor your dentures to your jaw. It will preserve your son’s jawbone, keep his dentures completely secure, and improve his chewing capacity simultaneously.
One word of caution. If his teeth can’t be saved, doing all those extractions at once is too much. Again, better for the dentist than the patient.
This blog is brought to you by Tulsa Dentist Dr. Jerome Cha.