Do I Need All My Teeth Pulled?
If you suffer from chronic oral health issues like excessive tooth decay, tooth erosion or the need for multiple root canals and fillings, you might wonder if getting all your teeth removed is easier than dealing with—and paying for—the constant upkeep of your natural teeth.
Before you jump to discussing this option with your dentist, it’s important you be aware of the physiological and emotional effects of tooth loss. Even if you are replacing your teeth soon after extraction, tooth loss can still create emotional distress in a person’s life—to the point of affecting mental health.
If you are in a place where you need whole-mouth tooth replacement, below are options that are available along with key solutions that may not be as extreme as replacing all your teeth.
Dental implants can be a good choice for adults of all ages, whether you were born without a tooth or have had teeth removed due to injury, infection or decay.
Dental implants are metal posts or frames that are surgically implanted in the jaw that a replacement tooth can then be mounted on. These are a good option when you’re suffering from a small number of problem teeth.
Dental implants feel, look, fit and function like healthy, natural teeth. They’re so comfortable that you don’t have to think about them. You brush and floss them like you do your natural teeth with no need to remove them for cleaning. They also help you retain your natural face shape and smile.
Another option (that commonly costs less than an implant) is a dental bridge. A bridge is made up of two crowns, one on each tooth on either side of a gap in natural teeth. The two anchoring teeth are called abutment teeth and hold a false tooth or teeth in between.
However, unlike a dental implant, a dental bridge might need to be replaced. Its longevity—normally between 5 and 15 years—will depend on your oral health and hygiene.
For many patients, dentures are necessary even if you have taken excellent care of your teeth. If you start to have severe toothaches, gum inflammation or shifting or loose teeth, it might be time to have the conversation with your dentist about dentures. While dentures will restore you smile and prevent your jaw and face from sagging, some patients complain that they never feel like their real teeth.
A denture is a removable replacement for missing teeth and surrounding tissues. Two types of dentures are available: complete and partial dentures. Depending on what type is chosen, getting a set of dentures could take upwards of twelve weeks since, many times, multiple teeth have to be pulled and the gums have to be given time to heal.
Many people are concerned about their ability to eat or speak with dentures in. However, if dentures are fitted properly, patients should be able to lead a very normal life.
If you are wanting to completely make over your smile or are just tired of oral health complications, it’s important to have a serious conversation with your dentist about the many options.