I went to a dentist for the first time in a while. He told me I have gum disease. I don’t have money right now so am waiting on getting dental insurance. Now one of my teeth is loose. What can I put in its place if I lose it?
Dear Mary Lou,
Gum Disease is serious. You cannot afford to wait on your dental insurance. You need to get in to be seen right away and see if there is a dentist near you willing to work out a payment plan for you. Preventing gum disease is not that difficult as long as you go in for cleanings and do your oral health care at home, such as brushing twice a day and flossing nightly
Once a tooth is loose, you are at a very high risk for losing it. Other teeth will not be far behind. Replacing teeth is much more expensive than regular maintenance.
Tooth Replacement Options
- Dental Implants: This is the ideal tooth replacement because it mimics the function of your natural tooth. However, they are not cheap.
- Dental Bridge: This anchors a false tooth between two dental crowns. The crowns are anchored on the adjacent teeth. However, if you have gum disease this will put additional stress on those teeth and could cause them to come loose as well.
- Removable Partial Denture: This is an inexpensive option for a single tooth.
The Danger of Complete Dentures
You didn’t mention how old you are, but unless you are in your 80s, complete dentures will be a disaster in the long run. Once your teeth are removed, your body begins resorbing the minerals in your jawbone to use elsewhere in your body in places it feels the minerals will be more useful. After all, you don’t have teeth to anchor.
After ten or so years, you will have lost so much of your jawbone structure that it will result in facial collapse. You won’t even have enough jawbone left to retain your dentures.
This is why, if you lose all your teeth, most dentists will recommend implant-supported dentures. The implants serve as prosthetic tooth roots and signal to your body that you still need your jawbone. However, this procedure is very expensive.
You will save a lot of money by getting your gum disease under control as quickly as possible.