Q: Early in my life I had a bad dental experience that made me very much fear the dentist. I wasn’t careful with my teeth so I just got cavities. When my teeth were killing me, my wife or friend would haul me into any available dental clinic and under great fear and pain I’d have the bad tooth pulled. The thought, the travel to the dental clinic was so traumatic that I’d break out in sweat, soaking my shirt, so I didn’t seek treatment. About two years ago, my sister began a discussion with me that was very helpful. Over time I realized I needed to do something thanks to her calming influence. Finally, I made a visit to a dentist on the condition he’d just look. He told me my teeth were so far gone I’d need dentures. Then he said “denture work for the top but not the bottom”. “Why” I asked. He said, “you have large bone growths jutting out from the inner part of your lower jaw”. I can’t remember what he called them but I said “yeah, they’ve been there all my life”. He said, “we can’t make a denture with those in place”. “How do you fix that” I asked. “They have to be removed and healing take place before you can get a denture” he said. “How are they removed” I asked. He said a surgeon would remove them so he’d have to refer me. Then when I healed I could get a denture. When I heard surgeon, I started sweating and I haven’t done anything since. My mouth is a mess but I don’t know what to do.
A: The boney growths in your lower jaw are called Tori. It is true that a denture will not function if they remain in place.
In today’s treatment they are removed, healing occurs and conventional treatment (a denture) is delivered. Having said that there is an exciting and innovative way of dealing with your problem.
In this scenario, your treatment starts with models made of your mouth. The models are modified and a laboratory makes a denture to fit on the day of removal.
On that day, you would be sedated and receive local anaesthetic so the procedure is pain free. Your teeth will be removed, the tori removed, implants placed, the denture converted to a bridge and fixed to the implants just placed. The chewing function is immediate, the change in appearance is beautiful and the recovery is relatively uneventful.