This question and slight variations on this question are very common in our practice. Sometimes it comes from a patient who is almost joking around, perhaps frustrated with recent dental problems in their life. Occasionally it comes from a patient who is half joking and half serious, not really sure where they stand and truly wanting some advice. Often times, it is from a patient that is completely serious and already knows that it is likely the next or only option up for discussion. Every case is different and every patient is different.
Rolling Oaks Dental is not a discount denture focused practice. We are a privately owned dental practice focused on building long term relationships in our community. We believe in treating people right, and from there good things happen for everyone. All new patients at Rolling Oaks Dental that are interested in dentures receive a comprehensive exam and complete set of x-rays. Before any treatment plans are proposed, we discuss with patients their goals and expectations when it comes to their oral health. What “should” you do? It is our philosophy that that is up to the patient. It is our job to examine patients and present them with a clear account of our findings. If patients want to know what treatment options exist, we go into as much detail as someone wants. What “should” they do? Patients “should” do what they want. The days of “doctor’s orders” and “my dentist told me I have to do this” are gone. We’re all adults and no one needs to be told what to do! We provide patients with all of the information to make the best choice for themselves.
For a patient with natural teeth that are failing, a denture can be a healthy, pain free, and infection free alternative. Many patients don’t realize how infected teeth in their mouth are dragging their body down. Others don’t realize that their lack of confidence to smile is dragging their spirit down. If you don’t have your health and you don’t have your spirit, what are you left with? Not much.
For a patient with only a handful of dental problems that can be easily solved with other treatment alternatives, a denture may not be appropriate. A denture is a great treatment idea for a patient with no other alternatives. For patients that still have many teeth and restoring those teeth is possible, this is usually the best way to go. Nothing can ever truly replace your natural teeth, and dentures should only be considered if they are the best long term treatment option.