I’ve had a lifetime of problems with my teeth. Two days ago I went to my dentist and told him I just want him to remove all my teeth and for him to make me dentures. He told me it was a horrible idea and at my age, my face would collapse. I’m just so discouraged. Can you explain to me why it would make my face collapse?
I understand how frustrating it can be to have teeth which constantly cause problems. But, let me assure you no matter how many problems your natural teeth are giving you, it will still be better than what you’ll face with dentures.
What your dentist referred to is facial collapse. It’s a term dentists use to describe what happens after so many years of wearing dentures. Once your teeth are removed, recognizing you no longer have roots to support for your teeth, your body begins to reabsorb the minerals in your jawbone to use where they’re needed most. At some point, you’ve lost so much jaw bone that your face takes on a collapsed appearance, as you can see in the photo above.
They have many other drawbacks too. Even the best fitting dentures reduce your chewing capacity by 50%. Plus they’re not anchored, which allows them to slip and slide, and even fall out. Fortunately, there are alternatives.
Your first step will be to save as many teeth as can be saved. Some may just need crowns to protect them. If you get porcelain crowns, a skilled dentist can make them look absolutely beautiful. Of course, you may have teeth which can’t be saved. In that case, I’d highly recommend dental implants. As you can see from the image above, a prosthetic root is implanted into your jawbone, then a dental crown is placed above it. They’re totally secure, look natural, and are like having your own natural (but healthy) teeth back.
One of the biggest benefits of dental implants is the fact that they will prevent facial collapse. Even though your teeth were removed, because you have the prosthetic roots your body leaves the minerals there to help support the dental implant. It’s a much better option.
This blog is brought to you by Dr. David Potts.