Tooth replacement the finale…

Chances are that you have come across many people in your life that have “summer teeth”.  It’s our

cheeky term to define people who are missing teeth.  What we mean by summer teeth is “summer here,

summer there, summer gone”.  As a person who grew up in the dental field, I don’t find this attractive.

It was one of the points I had on my list of things for my future husband.  He had to have all of his teeth,

or if he lost a tooth, he’d have it replaced.  (as I’ve said before, I have actually lost a tooth!)

Being in the dental field so long, my favorite saying when people come in and don’t want to get their

teeth worked on is “I’ll just get dentures”.  That is your choice, I can’t enforce a different idea on you.

But as the example with the prosthetic leg, dentures have their problems. They are not the end of

dental treatment.  You have to have them replaced.  The teeth wear out, the acrylic wears out, you gain

weight, you lose weight, they break.  Your mouth and jaw bones have changed so much that they no

longer sit in your mouth.  There’s going to be problems.  If you had the experience of your Aunt Bertha

had the same dentures since she was 30 and she does perfectly fine with them and eats whatever she

wants.  I’m very glad your Aunt Bertha had that experience with her dentures.  Not everyone does, and

your Aunt Bertha might not be complaining about her problems to you because she’s just grown to live

with her denture problems.  Those senior citizens you see with their jaws thrusted forward, lips too big

to be held together and slurring all of their words have ill-fitting dentures.

Then, once you’ve had all your teeth pulled out, there is no going back.  The lower jaw dentures are

especially the hardest to use and get used to.  The upper denture has some suction with the roof of your

mouth, but the lower denture just floats and relies on your tongue and cheek muscles to use.  Implants

can be used to hold the lower denture in, but you still have a denture.  The only way out of a denture is

full mouth implants and bridges, which cost about as much as a low end Lexus or a Porsche (or more

depending on how many implants you have placed).  That’s why I always recommend investing in your

teeth throughout your life so you’re not in this situation.  I personally know I can’t have an upper

denture, I have a bad gag reflex when I get dental impressions, it’s only going to be worse with an upper

denture.  So I go to the dentist and get my teeth cleaned very regularly.  Something needs fixed, I get it

fixed.  It’s easy to care for them, it’s A LOT harder to replace them.

Are there any dental topics you’d like to hear about?  Let me know!  And stay tuned for next week’s