I hate my teeth. They are so ugly. I have had chipped, yellow teeth and now recently, I have some missing. I feel like no one wants to help me and they all want to do partial dentures. The word ‘dentures’ makes me think of my grandparents. So, I really don’t want to go that route because I’m too young for that. Are there other permanent options that I can have done at least on the front teeth?
The dentist I’ve been working with doesn’t seem that interested in anything other than partial dentures. They don’t sound good to me. He keeps telling me it’s time to take out the bad teeth and get partial dentures. I was really hoping there would be some other more permanent options. I’m only in my thirties!
Please tell me you have some other options to help fix my teeth.
-Jenna in New Jersey
Every dentist has a different treatment philosophy when it comes to saving teeth. Some dentists are passionate about saving as many of your natural teeth as possible. While, some dentists would rather pull teeth and replace them with other treatments. Just because this dentist has determined that your teeth are not salvageable, it doesn’t mean that another dentist will feel differently. Most teeth with tooth decay can be fixed. The question often becomes about budget. Dental implants are a permanent replacement to missing teeth. They look, feel and function just like your natural teeth. However, not every dentist has the skill or experience to do them successfully. This is because these techniques are not taught in dental school.
Implant dentistry isn’t a regulated field within dentistry. However, there are implant dentists out there who will go to great length to save teeth, and who have the skill to do it. So, don’t settle. You are young and if you are feeling that a partial denture isn’t right for you, there is likely a reason for that. Also, once a tooth is pulled, bone loss occurs at the extraction site. This can complicate matters for the surrounding teeth. It sounds like it’s time to seek a second or third opinion before you move forward with treatment.
You also mentioned chipped and discolored teeth. There are several different ways to fix teeth with cosmetic dentistry techniques. But again, not every general dentist has the skills and experience to be successful with cosmetic dentistry. It takes extensive skill and training beyond dental school. There are dentists that not only are excellent at replacing missing teeth with dental implants, but who can also help improve your smile without invasive or aggressive treatments, like tooth extractions.
The good news is that your dentist is insistent on partial dentures because at least they aren’t willing to go out of their comfort zone. The bottom line is that you shouldn’t be the one recommending treatment to them. And you wouldn’t want this dentist to do dental implants or cosmetic dentistry if they aren’t recommending it. You really wouldn’t be happy with the end result because it doesn’t sound like their expertise lies there. You would be wise to talk to some other dentists and explore your options.
Listen to your gut on this one. If you don’t want to have the teeth pulled, then it’s time to move on and explore other options. Also, you never want to push any dentist out of his or her comfort zone. You can mention some other options, but since your current dentist is pushing a partial denture, it may be time to move on. Look for a dentist that likes to save time versus replace them. They will be passionate about this philosophy and will present other options beyond partials.
Thank you for your question. Don’t feel trapped by what your dentist is telling you. Once the teeth are pulled, you cannot get them back. So, at the very least, explore your options. Then, you will be able to make an educated decision on what it best and right for your particular case.
This post is sponsored by Petaluma dentist Dr. Rick Lane.