Q: Well,here I am, an older retired senior with “gas in the tank,” a great wife, and a set of teeth so bucked out I could eat a pie out of a milk bottle.
I kid you not, people see my teeth before they see me. “Must be Bob, here come his teeth.” Well, you get my drift.
And it seems they’re getting worse. The colour of my teeth is getting darker and darker and my wife even says I should do something. At the outset I should say that I’ve got some gaps in every area of my mouth, behind my front eye teeth are gaps and that compounds the appearance problem. I’ve got a broken back tooth and one that’s got so much decay that it’s a goner. I don’t know what to do.
I know I don’t want dentures, so I put it to my dentist and he said I had a bad jaw relationship that is higher on one side than the other and he said it’s hard to make me an even bite. When I smile my lower teeth jut way up on the left side and slump down on the right. While we were talking, he said, “You really are doing some tremendous grinding. You’re wearing your gold crowns down like nothing else. We’ll have to protect against that when all is done.”
Somewhere in the conversation, I told him I was going through sleep apnea diagnosis and treatment. “That’s one of the causes of excessive grinding,” my dentist said. “We’ll work with your doctors on the sleep apnea and take that into consideration if we fix up your mouth.”He told me it would be expensive so I’m wondering what’s the best to do.
A: At your age with lots of decay a problem, it’s time to seriously consider not only the aesthetics but the question, after all is done am I going to lose my teeth to decay?
Seniors can get a decay syndrome known as senile caries. In this condition, decay pops up everywhere so that you are doing fillings under crowns, replacing crowns, doing more root canals, and just hating your dental visits.
It is less expensive in the long run to go with teeth supported by implants. They accomplish many things: no more decay, bone that's harmonized so that it’s level and can receive teeth that are in the right place functionally and aesthetically.
These teeth are fixed bridges that allow great function. If grinding is a problem, bite splints can be made and should be, to make life easier on your joints, save your new teeth, and maybe even help the sleep apnea.
Look seriously at this option because it has a great track record and will solve the three serious problems you’re experiencing (decay, jaw alignment, and aesthetics).