Dear Dr. Crapo: A number of years ago I retired from a busy, large law practice that I established. Running the company and being part of a very active practice, being in court, dealing with clients was at times, a heady, challenging experience. During that time it was always business and sometimes personal things suffered. I now am unable to do many of the things I used to do. My health is plagued with conditions hard to pronounce. I’ve had to put aside smoking, caffeine, alcohol and the doctor is on me for weight control that went to heck once I stopped smoking. Recently I was forced to see a dentist. He said my years of smoking have played havoc with my teeth and gums. I’ve known for years that these teeth weren’t the best, but who had time for that? Now I have nothing but time. Anyway, he said I had six or seven teeth that were loose and had to come out. Some are on the side and some are in the front. I suffer from diabetes though I take my meds every day and I test daily. The doctor says my readings are high but consistent. I also have COPD so walking any distance is fatiguing. The dentist seemed capable but he said I just might have to have my teeth out and get dentures. He was kind of ambivalent on that issue because he said I’ve got some solid teeth too. I’m now on a fixed monthly budget, so that may be a problem. I asked about implants but he said it’d be important for him to get records of my mouth and speak with my doctor before giving me some options. What about implants? Can I still have them?
The advice you’ve received is right. Consulting with your medical doctor is as important or perhaps more so than any dental treatment/surgery you’ll receive. Diabetics may receive implants if their blood sugars are not too high and consistent. Usually consistent readings mean the disease is being managed and your ability to heal is in the normal range.
Historically dentures were prescribed for health/dental problems you’ve cited because bacterial invasion into the blood stream is significantly reduced when loose diseased teeth and their roots are removed.
The problem with dentures is that they reduce chewing efficiency by 60 to 90 percent because they are not anchored as are your own teeth.
With the diseases you’ve presented, have your dentist work closely with your medical doctor, listen carefully to the options he, (your dentist) gives you after he has all the molds, x-rays and CT scans necessary. It will take time and patience on both your parts, but you’ll find yourself feeling better once the infected teeth are gone and you have cleanable, well-functioning teeth.
If we can help, we’d like to. Call 778-410-2080 for a consultation.