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Dentures before 30 - A few questions



Nov 16, 2011
Middle of Illinois, USA
I know I've probably made at least half a dozen posts so very similar to this one already, but it really does seem to bring me a certain sense of relief to have verbal diarrhea (so to speak :)) with people who get it.

I just turned 29 about a week ago, and my teeth are bad - caused by a combination of genetics (my mom and brother also have extraordinarily weak enamel, requiring extensive dental work even though they both take dynamite care of their teeth; My Dad had full dentures at 42), bad previous dental work, and my own neglect. I also have a few chronic health conditions that affect my teeth, and a previous medication for anxiety (Lexapro) that created an issue with grinding/clinching that I have yet to remedy, even though I stopped the medication over 10 years ago. I spent 24 years in a town with water that was so bad that it was actually proven to cause cancer if drank for long enough, so that probably didn't help either :unsure:

The last time I was at the dentist was June or July 2018 for a consultation, and was quoted over $4000 in dental work to try and save my teeth. I say OVER $4000 as it didn't included the cost of the root canal and restoration done by an endodontist that my insurance refused to cover (but was apparently the only one that dentist would work with). I had a couple of pockets around my teeth that were horrible (not helped by previous bad dental work that every dentist I've seen since has said was really poorly done from the get-go), but the majority were measuring at 3-4, which I'm told was okay. The dentist, while a generally friendly guy, made a comment about "I shouldn't care more about your teeth than you do" and it more or less eliminated what gumption I had to take care of the issues. I have a serious issue with being chastized by dental professionals and actually make a note of that on my paperwork that they please refrain from lecturing me as I'm already well aware that my teeth are in bad shape (There's no point in the lecture - It's not like I can rewind the clock 20 years and fix the errors of my ways)

Unfortunately, my teeth have continued to decay (shocking absolutely no one, I knew if I didn't get them fixed, it would just continue to erode). I have 22 teeth remaining (two of which are anchor teeth to a bridge), and of those 22 teeth, maybe 7-8 don't have abfraction lesions or haven't broken in some way.

I've been stalling - both out of fear of the dentist, my panic disorder, and generally trying to navigate insurance and medicaid (since there's only 2-3 locations within an hour radius that accepts medicaid dental) - but last night, I was kept awake until nearly 5 AM with a tooth ache that seemed to migrate between 3-4 of my trouble teeth. It was never excrutiating, but it was obnoxious enough that I just couldn't seem to fall asleep (and I hate taking medication, so I was trying NOT to take any pain relief unless it would have gotten worse)

Now, I realize that some of this could just be my sinuses (I have terrible luck with having immense dental pain caused by sinus issues; This has been happening off and on since I was 11-12 years old) - but it may have been the push I need to call the dentist and get the ball rolling. I'm at the point where I know I can't afford the extensive dental work and have resigned myself to full dentures (I'm also not a candidate for implants, nor could I afford them anyway)

Couple of questions to those who've been there and have managed to read this far:

#1 - Was Valium helpful to help y'all get through your appointments? (That's the only sedation, other than numbing shots, that this office uses)

#2 - Have you ever had dental work done sitting up in the chair? (I can't lay back because of my medical conditions, and while the receptionist said they could work with that, I'm curious about the 'how')

#3 - If I do go the dentures route, I don't think I could handle getting all 22 teeth pulled at once. Would it be possible to do 2-3 teeth at a time?

#4 - With dentures (not implant supported), is it possible to have the palate trimmed somewhat or to not make it as long on the sides to help with the gag reflex?

#5 - What are some of the foods (mainly liquid diet or soft like mashed potatos) that y'all were able to tolerate for the first few weeks of dentures?
Sorry to hear you have been in pain and having to deal with Medicaid. Hope you have better experiences this time and find a dentist who will not lecture you. I don't have personal experience with dentures but there are a some resources here about soft foods, immediate dentures, etc. Also stealing a post from kitkat with links to journals here about people's experiences with dentures.

Dentures FAQ

DFC Journal Links
I am currently in pretty much the same boat, but honestly, finding the right dentist really helps! I had a consultation today with a new dentist and she was fantastic! I am in Australia and my final quote is $5200AU, no insurance either. But we are working a few teeth at a time and will be finished in 6 months. Sounds like a long time, I can't wait!
I have sat up having previous extractions, the dentists haven't had a problem with it, and neither does my new dentist. They just ask you to tilt your head back a little bit. I can't lay right back as I feel claustrophobic and it always causes a panic attack.
I haven't needed Valium before dental work, but I have had it on occasions and it does take the edge of your anxiety.
I am not having all my teeth out, but afterwards will only have 8 top and 8 bottom teeth left, the rest will be partial dentures. I still need 7 extractions, but they will be done in a lot of three, then two and two. I'm not entirely sure what it would be like having them all out at once, we are doing mine in sections just so it's a bit more affordable.
As for foods after extractions, I really enjoyed cups of warm tea with biscuits soaked in the tea. It was actually filling, although I know not very healthy!
Please make sure you get your teeth fixed, your health and self esteem is worth it! It's not a race and we will all get there in the end! And don't be embarrassed, all of my remaining 23 teeth need either extracting or filling bar only one!

:grouphug: You certainly are going through alot , and big decisions to make, the medicaid/financial part too just doesn't make things easy. I so hear you on stalling on things while you can, but now this pain pushing things to the more urgent point . ahhh.

I can't answer all your questions but wanted to give my support , I got partials on my bottom at 31. and all my teeth are crowns , well the ones that aren't missing or partial.. no regular teeth left.. and I have procrastinated things as long as I could in the past. Not sure if they can make them with less of a plate but I would want the same thing. My partial on the bottom is with metal and it fits decently onto my other teeth with out alot of bulk or extra material. which is nice.

I have heard of people sitting up in the chair. I know especially for impressions its way easier for me, but I think if you talk to your dentist about this , they may be really open, some maybe more than others.

I know this is a huge decision. I m glad you are here and talking about it..really wishing the best.. keep us up to date..hope you can get in and get that pain relieved soon.