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29 and probably getting dentures

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sincitysoul

Member
Joined
Nov 16, 2011
Messages
32
Location
Middle of Illinois, USA
I decided it was finally time to go ahead and make a "Journal" here, rather than continuing to make a new post and recapping everything every time I freak out :grin::grin::grin: It's lengthy - Sorry in advance.

As a kid, I legitimately never wanted to brush my teeth - less out of a "it hurts" or "It's difficult" position, but purely from laziness, I think. Unfortunately, I am as stubborn as I was lazy and no matter how much pushing, prodding, threatening, or begging my parents did, I wasn't budging. I brushed them every now and then, and for the most part, I made it through my childhood with nothing too terribly traumatic. I had cavities, but my brother did as well - and he actually DID take care of his teeth (We've since learned that people in family have notoriously weak enamel and there's probably a genetic component at play, but none of us have ever bothered to pursue it). The dentist we went to until I turned probably 16-17 years old was.....terrible, to put it frankly. In addition to ripping off her patients financially, she performed subpar work and a lot of unnecessary work, as confirmed by several dentists that we've seen in the years since then.

I had my first root canal done when I was 14 or 15 years old, which was probably the first traumatic incident. A small piece of the root file used broke off in my tooth and to date, I don't know if it ever was removed or not; No other dentists have mentioned it and it didn't present any issues during an MRI I had a few months ago, so I'm assuming so. That same year, I went to my original dentist and requested the "laughing gas" as had become standard procedure. The problem is that they had the ratio of gas to oxygen set too high and the mask was strapped so tightly to my face that I couldn't remove it or wiggle away. I was just a few seconds from passing out when someone finally noticed me frantically trying to wave them over. That was probably the jumping point for my dental phobia, if I'm being perfectly honest. We let Dentist #1 finish a bridge of mine that she had started (an anchor tooth on each side of a missing tooth), but none of us have gone back since.

We switched to a new, lovely dentist (henceforth known as Dentist #2) when I was either 17 or 18 who immediately noticed that I had a molar tooth that desperately needed a root canal due to massive infection. The endodontist he sent me to told me that the infection had been there for so long that it had essentially calcified the root and made a root canal next to impossible (He was flabbergasted at how Dentist #1 had managed to miss it for so long). Because of the extent of the damage, the root canal took several hours before she finally called it quits, put some kind of material in to help loosen things up and had me come back the next week where her father (who was the head of the practice) would finish up. Her father, while a funny person, lacked a certain bedside manner. After about an hour and a half, the numbness wore off and I could feel a lot of pain. Rather than immediately stopping, the dentist said "Oh, I'm almost done, can you just sit tight?". Now, when someone says that, you'd assume like maybe 5-10 more minutes, right? Wrong - An excruciating hour later, he finally wrapped up.

Not too long after that, my father was diagnosed with cancer - so our own dental health fell to the wayside while we tended to him. It wasn't until after his passing (and the subsequent move) that I was able to find a new dentist and get in to be seen, so at this point nearly three years had passed since I had been to the dentist. To be honest, my teeth were still in mediocre shape, but nothing terrible - a couple of fillings, and I needed a root canal in a front tooth. We handled it and went on our way.

When I was about 25-26 years old, I was diagnosed with Hypothyroidism and had to begin treatment that consisted of replacement thyroid hormone. That, in combination with Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) and teeth clinching that developed as a side effect to a different medication, was the tipping point. My teeth have gone to utter and complete trash over the last 3-4 years. Small cavities rapidly grew into craters, fillings began falling out and breaking off. I developed abfraction leisons on both of my top canine teeth, as well as the two teeth directly below them in my bottom jaw. I'm sensitive to both cold and hot foods, as well as anything too sweet or rich. I last went to a dentist in June of 2018 who quoted me well over $4000 in dental work (and that's just his part; He didn't factor in how much an endodontist was going to charge, considering he referred me to one that was NOT in my network). I can barely afford $400, so $4000 is out of the question.

I've been hemming and hawwing about getting dentures for awhile now. I think the biggest road block is a mental one, that I don't necessarily want to be a 29 year old with no teeth, who will begin losing bone and look old as sin by the time I'm 40. I just don't have many options, as I know myself well enough to know that even getting crowns/bridges/fillings would just be placing a temporary bandaid on a gaping wound; Sure, it'd look okay for a little while, but it'd eventually crumble. I'd love implants, but due to the health conditions and the clinching, I don't think I'm even a candidate (not to mention that I can't afford nearly $2000 per tooth when it's typically recommended to get several implants per arch).

When I managed to pull another filling out a couple nights ago, I decided that enough was enough and reached out to get the ball rolling.
 
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sincitysoul

Member
Joined
Nov 16, 2011
Messages
32
Location
Middle of Illinois, USA
I had been planning on going to a local chain dentist office (They have AMAZING reviews and have offered to work with my dental phobia), but when I emailed them about needing my remaining 22 teeth/stubs pulled and getting dentures, they dropped the bombshell that they don't DO dentures at this location, despite telling me last year that they did (They apparently only do overdentures and implant-supported dentures).

I've found another, lesser known place nearby that looks to take my insurance - and might even be a step up, if they offer IV sedation (or if they'd be willing to have a mobile anesthesia service come to their office, unlike the first chain; I'd even be willing to pay for that part out-of-pocket, if it meant I didn't have to be awake to have my teeth yanked).
 
C

comfortdentist

Well-known member
Verified dentist
Joined
Jul 19, 2009
Messages
2,883
Location
Miami, Fl
Since you are so young strongly consider having non-resorbable bone grafting done. It will help maintain a ridge for the denture to hold onto and facilitate getting a couple of implants one day in the future to help hold in the lower denture.
 
S

sincitysoul

Member
Joined
Nov 16, 2011
Messages
32
Location
Middle of Illinois, USA
That's definitely something I'd be open to doing, if I was able to get the IV sedation and get it done at the same time as having the teeth extracted. I think it all boils down to the level of sedation I'd be able to get, since I don't know if I'd be able to tolerate more than 1-2 teeth getting pulled at a time if I only had local anesthetic.
 
Freyja

Freyja

Member
Joined
Jan 29, 2020
Messages
24
Location
Australia
have you considered the laughing gas as a option? I imagine it is a bit cheaper and while it doesn't put you to sleep, it certainly makes tooth extractions super easy to deal with. You know its happening but don't really care and don't feel anything except for some pressure and that really isn't bad either..

I hope you find something that works out for you and you can stress less about it all
 
M

Munchkin

Junior member
Joined
Jan 17, 2020
Messages
2
Location
Indiana
I had all of my teeth extracted on the 24th, now have full denture on top, partial on bottom. I was terrified of getting them out, I cried a little, paced for 2 weeks before my appt, made myself so sick I didn't think I'd be able to do it. Let me tell you, it was so easy. They gave me Halcion aka Triazolam to take an hour before my appt, they only do conscious sedation, no IV sedation. They also gave me gas in addition to the halcion.

By the time I got there I was pretty out of it. They came in with a large swab and rubbed numbing gel all over my gums then the dentist left for a little while, had to give the gel time to work, I remember the assistant standing around the room doing paperwork and getting the tools for the job ready, and then nothing other than her saying my name a couple times. I woke up after what seemed to be only a few minutes and it was 2 hours later. They had surgically removed all but 2 teeth and I didn't feel a thing, I didn't even know it happened. I was awake only for the last two and I felt some tugging, felt a twinge of pain so they injected me again to numb it up. Then it was all over, they placed the denture and partial in my mouth and sent me on my way.

I would recommend finding someone who at least does conscious sedation. It was a godsend for me. I felt no pain, I experienced no stress or anxiety during the procedure. It was amazing. I don't think I could have done it with only gas. Many of my teeth needed to be surgically extracted and I had a frenectomy done along with alveoloplasty so there was a lot going on.

You are in Illinois? I'm in Indiana. I'm not a rich person, I do have dental insurance but didn't think there was any way I could afford the cost. There's a place called Afdent, they have offices in several areas throughout Indiana, it's not a dental mill or a chain, and they have set me up to where I will be paying about $150 a month til it's all paid off. They work with your budget, they don't turn anyone away, and they are very good.
 
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