I have lost most of my teeth and the rest are about to come out as well. I want to just get dentures, but he said he will only treat me if I get dental implants. I have priced that and I just cannot afford it. Can he refuse to treat me?
I’m sorry you are facing this decision. Some dentists will only do the best-case scenario. In a way, they see it as a reflection of their reputation. Either they do the ideal or nothing.
Fortunately, not all dentists are like this. They realize that is unfair to patients. Not everyone can afford the ideal. It would be as if a car salesman would only sell you the Mercedes or nothing. How many people would have to go without a car? At least then there is public transportation. We don’t have any public teeth, thank goodness.
In your place, I would do an internet search using the term “affordable dentist“. They are much more willing to work with patients.
Being Careful with Dentures
I don’t know if your dentist explained why dental implants are the better option or just demanded you get them. I am of the opinion that patients need to know the pros and cons of all their options.
When your teeth are removed, your body begins to resorb the minerals in your jawbone recognizing you no longer have teeth there. It does this in an effort to be as efficient as possible with your body’s resources. This has the unfortunate effect of slowly shrinking your jawbone. Eventually, you will no longer be able to keep your dentures in your mouth. This is known as facial collapse.
Using dental implants “tricks” your body into thinking you still have natural teeth there, which in turn means it will leave your jawbone intact.
Affordable Dental Implants
Knowing the benefits of dental implants and being able to afford them are two different things. However, there is a way to work “up to” the ideal. You can get something call snap-on dentures. This will work with as few as two dental implants, instead of the traditional eight to twelve (for two arches). You would only place them on the bottom jaw which is the most at risk of facial collapse.
Then, as you are able and finances change, you may be able to add more later. Whatever your decision, find a dentist who is willing to do his best for you no matter which procedure you choose.
This blog is brought to you by Auburn, AL Dentist Dr. Raymond Bolt.