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FAQ:  Dentures or Implants?


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Question:
I am 26 years old. I had extensive damage to my upper and lower teeth due to lack of care when I was a child. I brushed and brushed but my family could not afford to take me to the dentist. Now I have had all of my teeth in the back pulled 3 weeks ago.

Upper and Lower are gone completely. I will have the rest of the upper teeth taken out in a few months to receive an immediate upper denture then a partial lower. I plan on getting implants but they tell me I may need a sinus lift.

Can you tell me what that entails and what if any thing I will have in my mouth after the procedure is done and how it will affect my looks. Also, what are the chances that due to my age I will not have to have a sinus lift. I am currently under the care of the OSU Dental Clinic in Columbus OH.

I have noticed that my jaw looks like they are sunken in a little now. Will this continue to get worse over the next few months or will it practically stay the same until I get all surgeries done? With the sinus is it better to have a general anesthesia or just IV sedation?

I am extremely afraid of dental work and I shook so bad last time they had to give me IV as well as the gas plus a valium. The dentist thought she had the gas up too high until she noticed it got worse the less I got. I want to be healthy again, but I am so afraid of being uglier during this process and loosing my job as a waitress. ... Visitor from OH

Answer:
I understand your concern and it is challenging for someone so young to have to experience this. Implants have come a long way and can restore a mouth to a very healthy and beautiful smile.

The sinus lift is when they move the sinus membrane up so that there is more room for the implant. This procedure is best done with IV sedation and not general sedation because you do not want the intubation tube.

The sunken-in look will probably remain the same until you get new teeth. The teeth support the cheeks and add to that filled out look. The sinus lift is often employed for situations when the teeth have been removed for awhile (years)> If the extractions are new then the odds are in your favor for not having a sinus lift.

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