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FAQ:  Dentures



The Perfect Denture

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Dentures Ask The Dentist Corinne Scalzitti Question:
Dentures or implants for Periodontitis: I am 38 years old and have been suffering with peridontal problems for a while.

My dentist recommended a full denture in the top and a partial in the bottom. He said I could have a partial in the top but would probably have to get a full denture in 5 years.

He is worried about me getting used to the full denture and thinks that it might be better to do this in steps. I am worried about the cost and getting the fit correct as I am reading horror stories.

I have been reading about implants - if I go to a full denture can I get implants down the road or would I be better trying for implants now as I know that I will have more bone loss later? ...Visitor from TN

Answer:
You have a lot of choices.

First, you are relatively young for dentures, so I would suggest that you explore the PerioLase non-surgical periodontal treatment to see if you could retain your teeth. You can look at www.millennium.com to see if there is a dentist in your area doing this procedure.

I have had some great results with this in tightening loose teeth that I would have otherwise extracted. If you are unhappy with the appearance of your teeth and would need extensive work after this, it may not be right for you.

If dentures and partials are more practical for you, this is all right. Upper dentures usually stay in pretty well because they have a lot of tissue to adhere to in the palate and seal in on the soft palate.

You will lose more bone with a denture, but implants can be added later. You may be fine with a full upper denture and not need implants.

Adding implants later will probably be more expensive than doing it all at once. A partial on the lower sounds fine.

I would probably seek a second opinion. You have a complex situation and dentistry has lots of different solutions. I don't disagree with your dentist's treatment; just think that this is a big and expensive decision and that a second dentist may be helpful in your decision.

Good luck with this.

Corinne Scalzitti, DMD, MAGD

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