Some people finally realize that they are mortal and that they need to start taking care of their bodies before it is too late. Some never do. During my tour in Viet Nam this reality check came in my early twenties. Later, I went back to school and became a General Dentist. Every time I review the medical history of a new patient I am shocked at how complacent most people are about their health and their oral health. “Yes, DrGrumpyMarine, I am healthy.” (They are taking five or more medications, they have diabetes and high blood pressure, etc.) They have lost several teeth and have no clue why.
Usually the main reason an adult will lose teeth is because of periodontal (gum) disease. Once symptoms occur, it often is too late, and an extraction is needed. Get this done before the lights go out.
In the military, we can’t afford to give everyone implants. Military General Dentists replace the hopeless teeth with dentures (all the teeth are extracted) or with partial dentures (some teeth are retained for stability). But in civilian life, the dentists want to place implants. Implants are great, and have a great fee. Implants can fail, however. So if you are living paycheck to paycheck, perhaps you should consider other very satisfactory, less expensive options.
Fixed bridges are just about as expensive as implants. If you lost some teeth already, just putting a bridge on the remaining teeth may be a bad investment. Partial dentures are fine, and are much less expensive, but again, unless you have proper periodontal treatment on the remaining teeth, the partial will fail with time. So what else to do?? Take all the teeth out and have an end to dental problems? That question is asked of dentists daily. The answer is that you are trading one problem for another. Upper dentures work pretty well, but the lower (mandibular) ones usually are a nightmare. Most people usually throw them in the lake and go without a lower denture!!
After 36 years of being a General Dentist and finally a Periodontist, I suggest what I mentioned in the previous articles. Go to a Dentist or Periodontist and save what you can. If you are a Prepper, save as much money for other things, get the healthiest mouth that you can afford. Don’t refinance the house for Implants if you can find a Dentist who will make partials or dentures instead.
Next time I will discuss keeping what teeth you have, and the controversy of Fluoride.