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FAQ:  Dentures

The Perfect Denture

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Dentures Ask The Dentist Corinne Scalzitti Question:
Denture Implants? I'm 22 years old and just had all of my top teeth removed.

I cannot eat or talk, it is impossible. I know I will adjust, but I would like implants for the top. I have plenty of bone, many dentists wouldn't take my teeth out because of the amount of bone I have left.

I asked my dentist, and he is trying so hard to stop me from getting implants. I don't understand, other than the cost, won't these benefit my situation? .... Visitor from MI

I am sorry for your troubles. I can't see you or your situation before the teeth were removed.

Normally dentists will not remove all upper teeth in so young a person, but I did full upper extractions and a denture for a 21 year-old girl recently because none of her teeth were able to be saved.

We had to cancel the first appointment because she arrived sedated with her mother and they were both in tears. We regrouped and decided that this was the only financially feasable solution to keep her healthy and pain-free. She is now in a denture and looks beautiful and functions well. She smiles a lot! Now you have new problems with your denture. It may be possible to have the denture fit better. I would recommend a second or third opinion to find comfort.

I use a soft liner for immediate dentures called Lynal. Because it is soft, it is very comfortable and is able to cling to the tissues of the palate and stay in place to talk and chew. This may allow you to function for now.

Also, the denture may not be in a proper bite, or the teeth may be too long to allow you to function. It sounds like you shopped for a dentist to remove your teeth, so you must have been psychologically ready for a denture.

I would look for somebody who is proud of his or her denture-making abilities, or a prosthodontist (a person who specializes in replacing missing teeth). Where ever you go, take along models of your natural teeth or a photograph to show how they looked before they were extracted. This will give the dentist an idea of where nature intended you to be.

If you still want implants, this is probably possible. There are many forms of implants to replace all upper teeth. You could have 6 implants and a cast framework to which a denture would clip, or you might be able to have 4 locators (Zest brand is something you can research on the internet) and a palateless upper denture. Or, maybe mini-dental implants (research Imtec) would be a less expensive solution.

Whatever the case, somebody as young as you should not be in a position where she cannot function. There are compassionate dentists in every state who will go the extra mile to make you comfortable. Shop and interview somebody who is interested in your well-being.

Corinne Scalzitti, DMD, MAGD

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