I’ve just been told I’m going to lose my teeth. Here’s the thing, I’m young. It’s embarrassing enough knowing my gum disease is costing me my teeth and I’m going to need dentures, but the idea of looking like my grandmother is disastrous. I’m hoping there have been advancements enough where dentures can look natural and even attractive these days. Please tell me it’s so. Pretty please?
There are a few things going on here which can help you. The first and foremost is don’t give up on your teeth yet. Even if you have advanced gum disease, with aggressive treatments it’s possible to repair your gums and save your teeth. You may have to see a periodontist to do it, but it’s well worth the effort.
The Beauty Depends on the Dentist, Not the Procedure
You asked if your dentures could be made to look natural and beautiful. The answer is yes…IF you use the right dentist. The beauty of a procedure depends on the skill of the dentist. You could have a total smile makeover done, but if it’s not done by a skilled cosmetic dentist it won’t look natural or attractive.
On the other hand, you could have a pair of dentures made, but if they’re done by an excellent cosmetic dentist they will look stunning.
Finding that skilled dentist isn’t always easy. There isn’t a recognized specialty in cosmetic dentistry so patients have to research a dentist’s post-doctoral training as well as their artistry to ensure they’ll get a beautiful result.
Fortunately, there’s a site that’s done the work for you. I recommend looking on the mynewsmile.com website. They’ve completely vetted cosmetic dentists who want to be listed on their site. You will get a gorgeous smile by any dentist on their “Find a cosmetic dentist” link.
However, before you make a decision on your procedure, it’s important you know about the danger of dentures.
The Danger of Dentures
You mentioned you’re young. You should be aware dentures at your age put you at a high risk for facial collapse. Once your teeth are removed (or lost), your body notices and thinks you no longer need your jawbone to support your teeth and their roots. As a result, it slowly resorbs the minerals in your jawbone to use elsewhere causing it to shrink.
This is known as facial collapse. As you can see from the image directly above it ages your appearance significantly. However, there’s a much bigger problem that develops than just appearances. You’ll no longer have enough bone left to support your dentures, leaving you no way to eat solid food.
Alternative to Dentures
There is a solution. When you asked if there were enough advancements in dentistry to make dentures look natural, there are. Even better, though, are the advancements which allow us to replace them altogether. Dental implants are an amazing solution and the closest thing to having your own healthy, natural teeth back.
An implant dentist will surgically place the prosthetic roots, called dental implants. After a period of healing, he will then fix your dentures to the implants securing them in place, all while your body recognizes the implants as teeth roots, therefore, preserving your jawbone.
It’s a beautiful solution. Obviously, the more implants, the more secure the dentures, but you can get implant supported dentures with as few as four or six implants.
Best of luck to you and please try to save your teeth first.
This blog is brought to you by La Crescenta Dentist Dr. Robert Thein.