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Q: I hope you can help me. I am so embarrassed by my mouth not to mention the pain I am in because of continuous infections. I am 45 years old and have gotten to the point where I have to get my mouth taken care of.
My husband and I have just moved to Citrus County and before I start looking for a job I want to get my teeth fixed. All of my back teeth have already been removed two years ago. All I have left are my front teeth on the top and stubs for my bottom front teeth. The top teeth are badly decayed and the bottom ones get all the infections.
I am afraid to take the first step to go to the dentist, so I thought I would write to you first. I want my teeth out and dentures made. I might want implants in the future, but have to figure out how to afford this first. I hope you can help me get over my nervousness.
A: First of all, thanks for sending this question in. It is the start of something very exciting for you.
I know the thought of all of this can be overwhelming to you. However, I have seen many people with your exact circumstances have a life-changing event surrounding the restoration of their mouth.
The end result can be incredible. Patients have gone from ignoring their appearance to wearing makeup, going to the hair stylist and starting a whole new wardrobe.
As far as the implants go — don’t worry about them yet. In the event you need or want them, they can easily be incorporated in the future. You have the right idea: focus on the dentures for now.
From what you have described, it sounds as though the best plan for you will be to have what we call immediate dentures made.
What this means for you is your dentist takes impressions of your teeth and gums as they are and makes you a set of teeth. You and your dentist will choose the color and shape of your teeth.
Pictures of you with your teeth before the decay you now have can be very helpful. You can point out things that you liked about them and things you would like to see different. You can also bring in magazine photos you like and show them to your dentist. In many cases, things you like about smiles and appearance can be incorporated into your smile.
Once all of the details are worked out, your teeth will be removed and the dentures put in. By doing things this way, you never go without teeth.
There will be a period of adjustment to your new teeth. During this time, your dentist will make any necessary adjustment to the dentures for your comfort. At some time in the future, your dentist will either reline or remake your teeth. This decision depends on many factors.
I hope this has helped put you at ease. If you focus on the end result and not the steps to get there, you will do great. I have been witness to so many success stories.
Like so many things in life, if you know where you are and where you want to be, all you have to do it take the right steps in between and before you know it you are there. The neat thing here is your dentist can help you with the steps necessary. Don’t worry — you can have an awesome smile and feel great about yourself!
Dr. Frank Vascimini is a dentist practicing in Homosassa. Send your questions to 4805 S. Suncoast Blvd., Homosassa, FL 34446 or email them to him at info@MasterpieceDentalStudio.com.