Tag Archives: dentures

Can I get dentures instead of implants?

I didn’t go to the dentist for most of my life, but was having so much pain that I had to go in a few weeks ago. My dentist says my teeth can’t be saved. I’d actually already lost a few of them before already. He wants me to get implants, but I don’t want to have surgery. Why can’t I just get dentures?

Ben F.

Dear Ben,

I’m sorry to hear you are having so many problems with your teeth. Without seeing your case, I couldn’t give an assessment as to whether any teeth can be saved, but I can address the dental implant question. Yes, you can get dentures instead of implants. However, there is a serious issue to consider before making that decision. When all your teeth are removed, your body has a remarkable way of absorbing the minerals from the jawbone to use elsewhere. This is what is known as facial collapse. Your jaw will sink in on itself causing your face to look distorted.

Dentures cannot prevent facial collapse, but dental implants can. The implant is surgically placed into your jawbone, mimicking the root of your tooth. Your body is fooled into thinking the tooth is still there, so your jawbone is not absorbed. Even if you are not concerned about the aesthetics of your appearance, after about ten to twenty years wearing dentures the facial collapse will get so bad that you will become a dental cripple, negating even the ability to wear removable dentures.

Would a Snap-On Smile Help My Crumbling Teeth?

How are the Snap-on Smile appliances fitted for my mouth? My teeth have always been in good shape until I had to have chemotherapy for 2 yrs. Dentists would not even clean my teeth during that time. Now my teeth are crumbling and crackin apart. I asked my dentist to pull them all and fit me for dentures but he insists he can save them. At his rate it will cost several times over what dentures would cost. So will the snapons work in my case? Thank You.
– Buck from Georgia

I wouldn’t recommend putting a Snap-On Smile over broken or decayed teeth. It can be a nice affordable and temporary solution for missing teeth, discolored teeth, or an otherwise unattractive smile. But it won’t arrest the decay or keep additional teeth from breaking.

It sounds like your dentist has your best interests at heart. It’s definitely best to save your own natural teeth when that’s possible.

This blog sponsored by Naperville cosmetic dentist Dr. Karen Blair, who practices in Hinsdale and Naperville.