This is a question I hear often. Worse yet, some people say should I pull all of my teeth and get dentures?
Most of the time the answer is no! BUT…sometimes it IS better to pull your remaining teeth and have full mouth dental implants.
Many times people present with either all of their top decayed and/or infected with gum disease. Many times these teeth have already had root canals, crowns, and tooth bridges in addition to bone loss.
Sometimes fixing all of those bad teeth costs more than replacing all of the teeth with a fixed porcelain dental implant bridge with gum colored porcelain.
This woman is a good example. She had cancer, and her lower teeth were a constant problem for her during chemo. Other dentists she saw suggested she try to save the lower teeth with crowns. She wanted to keep her upper denture, though.
In the final result picture you can see the difference between what a typical denture looks like and the fixed porcelain bridge I made for her on 5 dental implants. Unfortunately, most dentures look like this after about 2 years because they are made of plastic.
Even more convincing than having a lower total cost is the fact that the teeth that were “saved” are likely to go bad again in just a few years. What many people do not realize is that crowns get cavities too! Root canals often leak and become infected. Unfortunately, even the best dentistry will eventually fail.
It comes down to predictability and how long each option will last.
The cost difference can be quite substantial most of the time. I am often able to save the patient between $5,000 to $20,000.
Most of the time, I extract the remaining teeth, place the implants and make temporary teeth all on the same day. Of course, there are a few visits before this procedure so I can take molds of your teeth, take a 3-D x-ray scan and carefully plan the implant teeth. In fact, the final teeth plan is made before any teeth are even removed.
It’s not the scan, it’s the plan. A diagnosis and treatment plan is the most critical step of all.
Another factor for you may be your appearance. Rehabilitating the bad natural teeth may not look as good as the types of dental implant bridges that I make.
I’m sure you can see that the implants look much better than the upper denture!
Please comment below or ask questions.
Ramsey A. Amin, D.D.S.
Diplomate of the American Board of Oral Implantology /Implant Dentistry
Fellow-American Academy of Implant Dentistry