Five Lone Peaks
Dear Dr. Crapo: I was raised to make do, you know fix it up, wear it out, that kind of mentality. I’ve learned a lot over the years and saved a lot of money. As for doing it with my teeth, it hasn’t worked so well. Last week I broke the last tooth that was holding in my lower partial, so its got nothing to hang on to. What’s left is five jagged spikes sticking out of my gums. My dentist said it’s denture time. On top, I’ve got four crowns over teeth that have been canaled and posted. My right front tooth broke off about a month ago, so I’m looking – well not my best. I asked if I should have a partial up there and my dentist said no just get them all out, wait for healing for about 3-4 months, then have dentures. My brother did something like that and he didn’t like going around with no teeth for four months. I don’t want that either. I’d like something right away so I can at least not feel self-conscious in public – I mean right now it looks bad but no teeth?! I’ve been told this could be a lot of money, which I’d like to know about beforehand so I know my options.
Answer: As much as this seems a dilemma and I admit it is a real personal dilemma, your choices are quite straight forward. For your upper jaw a denture can be made to fit quite securely on the day your remaining teeth are removed. Make sure your surgeon places grafting bone in the extraction sockets. Your upper denture will act as a perfect band-aid and the grafting will ensure you don’t lose bone. The lower jaw requires implants to ensure the teeth are secure. You have several options that will hold the teeth in place so that eating and speaking is easy. The first option is to place 4 or 5 implants and secure teeth on the day of surgery. This is the most expensive, but also the easiest to get used to. This requires one surgery, heals faster and allows you to eat almost immediately. The second option, while less expensive, requires the same number of implants. The implants act as anchors to a titanium horseshoe shaped bar that has securing attachments for your denture to clip to. Time frame – 4 months. The third option is the least expensive, it requires 3 implants. A denture is secured to the implants which have attachments that fit into the lower denture. Both option two and three involve wearing a denture while healing takes place. After installation, their advantage is ease of cleaning. Their disadvantage is struggling with a loose lower denture for 4 months and in option three seeds can still get under the denture and give problems.
If we can help, we’d like to. Call 778-410-2080 for a consultation.