Tag Archives: problems with dentures

Discouraged About My Teeth

I have had trouble with my teeth my entire life. I started needing root canal treatments in my teen years. My dentists always assumed I was not taking care of my teeth. This was absolutely not true. I brush my teeth twice a day AND floss. I have done this since I was a kid. Despite that, I always have tons of cavities. Yet, friends of mine that hardly care about their teeth seem to skate by cavity free. One of my low points was my sophomore year of college. One of my front teeth had a root canal treatment in my teen years. However, my parents could not afford to get a crown put on it. Here I am, year two in my university with a tooth which had turned gray. As if that wasn’t bad enough, my tooth literally crumbled. I was humiliated with half a tooth in the front of my mouth. I was afraid to speak and never smiled. Eventually, I saved up enough to get a dental crown from a dentist within walking distance of my dorm. But, the crown doesn’t match any of my other teeth and looks obviously fake. Fast forward. I’m married and my husband has some dental insurance. I went to see a dentist and he said that my mouth was a mess and I should consider just extracting my teeth and getting dentures. I’m only 27 years old and have spent the last two days crying at the idea. Is there no other solution for someone in my situation?

Callie

Dear Callie,

Woman with beautiful smile

I am sorry you have been faced with either lazy or judgmental dentists. Believe it or not, most dentists went into their field because they want to help people. You’ve seemed to have gotten a couple of duds. I am going to be honest with you and say that your current dentist is not going to be the best dentist for you.

Some patients, like yourself, can do everything right and still end up with high maintenance teeth. It’s the genetic lottery and you didn’t get the big prize. However, there are a few things you can do to help yourself.

Do NOT Get Dentures

before and after facial collpase
Before and After Facial Collapse
Whatever you do, please do not get your teeth extracted and get dentures. Once your teeth are removed, your body will immediately begin to resorb the minerals in your jawbone to use elsewhere in your body.

This will have the side effect of shrinking your jawbone. After ten or so years, you will no longer have enough jawbone left to keep your dentures in place. Not to mention that it will age your appearance by decades. This is totally avoidable and I don’t want you to have to face such severe consequences when there are options.

Find a Sedation Dentist Willing to Invest in Your Teeth

The first thing I want you to do is find another dentist, one who is totally willing to invest as much work as necessary to fix your teeth. Ideally, you should look for a sedation dentist. The benefit to this, aside from anxiety-free/pain-free appointments, is that it will allow you to get more work done during each appointment. This enables you to catch up faster.

A Simple Step You Can Take

Most people think oral hygiene is all they need to keep their cavities at bay. The truth is, however, that brushing generally only gets to the smooth surfaces of your teeth. In order to get into all those cracks and crevices, you need your saliva to have time to do the beavy lifting. Our saliva is loaded with bacteria fighting minerals. However, if you snack a lot it doesn’t have enough time to do the work. If possible, limit your eating to three times a day and only one snack. This gives your saliva more time to work. Doing this simple step will allow you to reduce your chance of cavities.

This blog is brought to you by Lafayette, LA Dentists Drs. Foreman and Thimmesch.

Should My Husband Get All-On-Four Dental Implants?

My husband needs to replace his bottom teeth. His upper teeth have been gone for a while and he has dentures there. We were told that you shouldn’t do dentures on bottom teeth because they won’t stay in the way the top ones do. Our dentist said he needs to get all-on-4 dental implants. I just want to explore if there are other options before we make a decision?

Pricilla

Dear Pricilla,

All-on-4 Dental Implants

I am curious why that is the only option he gave your husband. A dentist is ethically obligated to give his or her patients all of their options. He is correct that dentures are a bad idea on bottom teeth. While it is true that dentures will struggle to stay in on the lower arch, that does not happen right away. This is an issue because of bone resorption.

When his teeth are removed, his body recognizes that and begins to resorb the minerals in his jawbone in an effort to be as efficient as possible with his body’s resources. The big problem with that is after ten or so years, he will no longer have enough jawbone left to retain his dentures. This is known as facial collapse.

This bone structure is important no matter what tooth replacement option he chooses.

All-on-4 Dental implants (pictured above) are what dentists will sometimes offer to patients who have lost some jawbone structure but still want dental implants. However, there are other options.

Implant-supported denture

The first thing to find out is whether or not he has lost bone structure. If he hasn’t, then his best option is to get an implant overdenture. This uses between for and six dental implants and then anchors a denture to them.

If he is missing bone, depending on the amount, he has two choices. First, he can have the all-on-4 procedure his dentist suggested, as long as he hasn’t lost too much bone. The one downside to this procedure, however, is that if one implant fails, the entire unit has to be redone. A second option, no matter how much bone he’s lost, is to have a bone grafting procedure done to build it back up. Then, he can do implant overdentures if he wants. He could get a denture too, but bear in mind he will end up with facial collapse. Having dental implants in the jaw bone, prevents that from happening.

This blog is brought to you by Lafayette, LA Dentists Drs. Foreman and Thimmesch.

Dental Implants Keep Falling Out

I have dentures and have for the last year. I thought I would adapt to them but really hated them. I finally decided nothing was going to change so I opted to get implant-supported dentures. I had six implants placed. In less than a week two of them have fallen out and I can tell a third one is loose. Here are my questions. Should I have to pay for the ones that came out? Do you think more of them will come out? Is there any way this can be fixed?

Clarence

Dear Clarence,

Implant Overdentures
Implant Overdentures

I will say right off the bat that you made a good choice in what procedure you chose to replace your removable dentures. Dental implants are the closest thing to having healthy, natural teeth in your mouth again.

Your big problem here is your dentist. He doesn’t seem to have any idea what he is doing. With dentists who know what they are doing, there is a 95% success rate. Your dentist has about a 50% success rate and that is just in the first week. Plus, I do not have high hopes for the remainder of your implants. I would not expect them to last.

To answer your questions, no, you should not have to pay for the dental implants that fell out. As I mentioned earlier, I don’t think you should hold out much hope on the others. What I would like you to do is see a dentist with more expertise. I’d like him or her to examine your dental implants and tell you the cause of the dental implant failure.

Reasons for Dental Implant Failure

There are quite a few reasons why dental implants can fail. Here are just a few:

  • One of the major causes of dental implant failure is infection. Often this is the result of poorly fitting dentures.
  • Some dentists try to increase their profits by purchasing sub standard implants from overseas.
  • Inadequate bone support. This is completely preventable if your dentist does the correct diagnostic procedures. If you know ahead of time (as you should from the diagnostics) that you do not have enough bone support, there is a simple solution of having a bone grafting procedure done.
  • Incorrect placement of the implant. It is important that your dentist does 3-dimensional diagnostics, such as a CT scan so that the dental implant is placed correctly. Without that, there can be poor placement that results in serious damage such as damaging a nerve or perforating your sinus cavity.
  • Premature loading—It is important that you wait for your implants to integrate wtih your jawbone. If you don’t and put weight on it with the dental crown before integration, it will cause your implants to fail.

Once you know the cause of the dental implant failure, then you can formulate a plan to get the implants you need for your implant overdentures. I think you will be better off getting a full refund from your dentist and then following the treatment plan of a dentist with a lot more experience who can do this properly.

Then, you will have a stable smile that you will be proud to share.

This blog is brought to you by Lafayette, LA Dentist Drs. Foreman and Thimmesch.