A Medical Component of Why You May Need a Denture.
By Dr. Max Zaslavsky
The economy has turned (if you haven’t noticed), and people’s lifestyles as well as their priorities have changed. Sometimes a root canal can’t be afforded and we have to take the tooth out. Generally if there is one tooth that needs to be removed, there is always a second one that needs attention as well.
At times, there are years of neglect, poor dietary habits and smoking that lead to a patient needing a full mouth extraction with a denture to follow. Dentures are not limited to the “old.” People who I have done dentures for have been as young as 21 years of age. Yes, he was drinking 12 Mountain Dews a day.
For whatever the case, it seems to go hand in hand that a patient with a denture tends to have some component of medical issues. As part of our services, we are here to accommodate and attempt to make something not only that looks like a natural part of your body, but also is capable of chewing. Dentures will never replace your natural teeth (I wrote a blog post on that some time ago about a patient who wanted me to take everything out).
Diabetes and dental problems are big. When a patient with gum disease/inflammation that can’t be controlled is upon our office, we make a concerted effort to send our patient to their physicians to see if they are diabetic. Increased blood sugar content will decrease your chances of healing not only in the mouth but the rest of your body as well. In extreme circumstance, uncontrolled diabetes not only can lead to limb and vision loss, but to tooth loss as well. Dentists more often than not can be the first line of defense in evaluating whether a patient is diabetic or not or has other medical issues.
I see all these advertisements where you see things like “gentle dentistry” or “no pain dentistry” and I get it… People have a legitimate fear. Furthermore, people have a tendency to postpone even an evaluation due to fear of what they may find out. If you are reading this, you are a step ahead of the person next to you who goes to the dentist because you, as a patient needs to realize a big proponent of what my profession has forgotten- A dentist is also a doctor. Beyond the treasure chests, the gimmicks, and coupons, I am a doctor with a degree and the subsequent malpractice insurance.
When you are searching for a qualified dentist, what you need to look at is a qualified doctor to help you eat, digest and live a better life. Find someone who wants to save your mouth and create a solid long term foundation for you, because he or she cares. I want every one of my patients to have good oral health. I want to educate them on preventing them from ever needing a denture.