If you are facing the loss of several teeth, the stress of the situation might make you think that the best thing to do is just remove all your teeth and get full dentures now. In some cases this may be the right thing to do, but we have to make the decision wisely.
How Healthy Are Your Remaining Teeth?
The key factor in making this decision is how healthy your remaining teeth are. We know that some of your teeth are unhealthy enough that they have to go, but can the others be saved? Teeth that are infected and damaged by decay might have to be removed, but we should consider whether they can be saved.
Gum disease treatment can be very successful at preserving your remaining teeth, if you are prepared to commit to it. Root canals are also very successful at preserving your natural teeth–they have about the same success rate as dental implants. But we have to look at your teeth carefully and decide whether these procedures are appropriate for your situation.
If it doesn’t look likely that we could preserve your natural teeth, we will recommend that they be removed and you get full dentures.
Are You Getting Quality Dentures?
Partial dentures can have many of the same problems as full dentures–and more. It’s important to make sure that you’re getting partial dentures that will improve your function, look good, and won’t accelerate the decline of your teeth.
Traditional partial dentures are secured with hooks, clasps, and a plastic body that fits against your gums or the roof of your mouth. Because these partials just sit on top of your gums, they don’t stimulate your jawbone, which means that the bone will atrophy and diminish–a process called resorption that affects all denture wearers. This can affect your appearance, but, most importantly, it could prevent you from getting implants in the future.
In addition, the hooks and clasps can cause additional wear and decay on your remaining teeth. This can make them more likely to fail.
Traditional partial dentures tend to have a very low satisfaction rate. They are not especially attractive, and they aren’t very good for speaking and chewing.
Partials That Preserve Your Options
On the other hand, you could get a partial supported by dental implants, also called a dental bridge. This will preserve your jawbone, won’t interfere with your natural teeth, and can be designed so the dental implants can be incorporated into a full denture later. And dental implants can be very successful, even after the removal of infected teeth.
This is an important decision, so always make sure you get a second opinion before you make a commitment. And remember, never make these kinds of decisions based solely on cost, or you’ll regret it. We offer flexible payment options and financing to help you fit the best treatment in your budget so you will be happy with the results for years–even decades–to come.
To talk to an Orange County cosmetic dentist about making this difficult decision, please call for an appointment at Rice Dentistry in Irvine.