Q: Dr. Crapo: I’ve come to the point in my life where I’ve got to do something with my upper teeth – well lower teeth too, but I’ll start with the upper. I wear an upper partial and have six front teeth left. They’ve had a bunch of things done including root canals but I was told I’d have to have them out and get implants. I don’t think I’ve got the kind of money that’s needed for implants, especially the kind where I get new teeth in one visit. I’m nervous about having the last few removed but I’m ready. Can I have a new denture made so that I have teeth put in when the teeth are extracted? What if my finances reverse and I get a bit more money – can I have implants then? I was told my bone wasn’t great around my last few teeth so what does that mean in the future? I’m very nervous. Can I be put to sleep and have it all done? I can afford five or six thousand dollars and I think I can afford a denture but I really want some assurance that if my finances become better that I could then get something better. My fear is that I’ll get a denture and that’ll be my fate for the rest of my life. If I can get over that fear, I think I could get a denture now. Please advise if you can.
A: Often one’s concerns lead to good questions and good timing. If your upper six front teeth must go, then I would suggest the following. Molds (impressions) should be taken of your existing teeth and a careful duplication of the way your teeth fit together should be registered so that an upper denture can be made. This will allow you to have teeth on the day of your surgery.
When you schedule your surgery, you can certainly have an I.V. sedation that will put you in a state where you will have no nervousness and not be aware of what is transpiring. You will experience no anxiety, pain, sense of time or memory of the procedure. It is not a general anaesthetic and your recovery will be as easy as waking up on a leisurely sunny morning.
At the surgery, it is vital that bone grafting be placed in the sockets of the extracted teeth. This will keep the width of the bone at its present level, making it possible for implants in the future. It will also protect against the force from your natural lower front teeth as you bite food off with your front teeth. This is crucial.
If you follow these suggestions you should be able to have this done on your budget and keep your future plans for implants in place.