You don’t appreciate them until you lose them
Sometimes it takes a conversation with someone who has lost all their teeth to realize how much they value their teeth and how important they are. Let me tell you what it’s really like. Losing all your teeth is a big handicap. It is not only losing teeth, but also the jawbone that will affect the functioning of dentures over time. If losing all your teeth is not pleasant enough, you must add to that the fact that your dentures are wandering around in your mouth, giving you only 10% functionality. A nightmare for most people!
Imagine if you get used to this minimal 10% functionality for a few years. Then you must make replacements due to wear and tear only to find out that it is not possible. How would you feel? All too often, people have a horrible lower jawbone. As time goes by, they stop wearing their lower dentures and get used to functioning that way. Virtually all patients with lower jaw prostheses reach a tipping point where nothing works anymore, and reality hits them.
At least once a week I must tell a patient that he or she has reached that decisive point where they can no longer wear their dentures as is. They either have to deal with the bone and create an anchor point or go without their teeth. It’s sad and unfortunately, I have to explain it too often. I wish I could tell them that we could just make them dentures and everything would go back to the way it was, but the reality is that the bone shrinks until there is nothing left.
Fortunately, for the past 80 years, we have had systems to anchor dentures to make them much more functional. And in my opinion, this is what all patients who have dentures should have in their mouths. This way, many disappointments and difficult decisions in the long run can be avoided.