I Just Want to Take Things Slow
Q: My teeth have never been my strongest suit. I’m seventy-four and I have a full upper plate (denture) and a partial. When I got my upper plate, I thought, I’m just at that time of my life (twenty-five years ago) when these things happen. I got used to it and didn’t think much about it. A number of years later, I lost some lower front teeth and a couple of back teeth (one on each side). So, I had a partial denture made and it has worked. Like the top, I didn’t think about it. However, a piece or two broke off and it doesn’t work like it used to. It’s starting to slip and then puts pressure like it’s jamming my teeth apart. I saw a dentist and he said that the pieces that make the partial stay on my teeth have broken and so they don’t hold onto them like they used to. He also said I’ve got loose teeth in the molar area and when I asked about a new partial, he told me that too much bone was gone around the back teeth that would partly anchor the partial and that it wouldn’t be secure. I told him I didn’t need anything fancy, just something to chew with but he said, “even if I make you the best partial possible, it will only work as a long as the teeth are secure and they’re not secure now.” He mentioned implants but I’m not ready for that. I’m just going to take it slow and easy. What do you say?
A: The difference between good and bad decisions is often in the deciding; indecision is a decision. Waiting for loose teeth and an insecure partial denture to make that decision for you may lead to anything from inconvenience to extreme pain, bone loss, and fewer options. When it comes to one’s health, acting in good time with trusted providers will always be the best decision – no matter what the health issue is. We live in a privileged time where solutions have never been better. Getting loose teeth, which by definition are infected teeth, out and implants in can be done in one day and your body will thank you. The inflammation that is allowing bacteria into your body affects vital organs (heart, kidney, etc). You will feel better, too. The mouth harbours an increasing number of strains of bacteria as infection progresses. Some of the strains rely on other strains for growth, propagation, and change that makes them more self-reliant and virulent. I understand not rushing but make it a priority to learn all you can, then decide in good order. Better health, better function, and better well-being are a good decision away.
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Based on actual patient cases
Calvin Ross Crapo