I have a 23-year-old son who is a recovering meth addict. He’s been doing much better and we’d like to get his teeth back in shape to help with his self-esteem. The drugs did a number on his teeth. We brought him to see our family dentist. But he wants to just extract all of his teeth and have him wear dentures. I got the impression he was judging my son. I know he’s had problems, but I think dentures will be the wrong solution. I’m trying to improve how he views himself. Dentures will have the opposite effect. Is that really the only option left to him?
I think you need to take your son to see another dentist. This one obviously doesn’t care about your son. Dentures at his age is one of the worst solutions. The way it comes off to me is he doesn’t feel your son is worth the effort. You can’t tell me that none of his teeth can be saved.
The Danger of Dentures
When your son’s teeth are removed, his body will immediately begin to resorb the minerals in his jawbone. While it does this in an effort to be as efficient with its resources, it has the unfortunate side effect of shrinking his jawbone, as you can see in the picture above, the result will age his appearance several decades.
Not only will that devastate the way he views himself, but it will have a horrible impact on his health. After ten or more years, he won’t have enough jawbone left to keep his dentures in place. Dentists call this facial collapse. This will have a horrible impact on his health because he will be relegated to eating only the softest foods.
The Better Solution for your Son
What I am recommending is you invest in saving as many of your son’s teeth as possible. I’m guessing there are quite a few that can be saved. It always better to have a natural tooth. Always. For the teeth that cannot be saved, I still wouldn’t recommend dentures. What I am going to recommend is you replace whichever teeth cannot be saved with dental implants.
As you can see from the image above, the dental implant replicates a natural tooth pretty well. The implant represents the root of his tooth. These are placed surgically. Then, in addition to a period of healing, there will be time for the bone in his jaw to integrate with the implant. This process, known as osseointegration is what will help his jaw to retain the implant. Then after a period of healing, the dentist will add a dental crown to represent the visible portion of his tooth.
This is hard work for both your son and the dentist. I don’t think your dentist is willing to put in the work. I know there’s one out there who will. In fact, there are quite a few. Most dentists went into their field in order to help people. That is the best type of dentist for your son. Your current dentist just seems to be going through the motions.
This blog is brought to you by Holistic Kalamazoo Dentist Dr. Susan Dennis.