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Q: I am a 64-year-old, soon to be 65, in good health and in need of dentures. I have many questions for you.
The first is having only 15 or 16 teeth left in this skull, how long will it take to extract these teeth? I have two of them broken off at the gum line.
I agree with your idea that the gums need to heal before the patient is fitted for dentures. How long would you recommend?
I do not have TMJ. Do you have the Wilcox device to measure the Yaw, Pitch, and roll of the jaw?
My father was hemophiliac, and at my age, if I cut myself, I bleed for a time. I don’t know if I have these traits, but it is something you should know.
One of the most important questions is: Do you have terms for payment? I am semi-retired and have work as a handyman and am licensed to do so. During these economic times, people are reluctant to have work done. I realize that you will have to take full mouth X-rays and analyze them in order to give me a cost. I can afford this procedure.
Are there levels of dentures? i.e. plastic (Volkswagen), porcelain (Mercedes), super dentures (Rolls Royce)???
Please respond when you are able or have the time.
A: This is a great question, one I bet many people wonder about, as well. I am going to take each of your concerns one at a time. If you need further explanation on any issue, please let me know and I can go into more detail.
Regarding the removal of your teeth — you may recall from past columns that I usually remove the back teeth first and allow time for healing. Once healing is near complete, we start the process of making the denture.
Once the denture is made, the rest of the teeth are removed and the denture goes in the same day. This process usually takes between two and three months.
This is by far the nicest way to approach this, though there are times that we do it differently.
You sound concerned with the teeth that are broken off at the gums. Please rest easy, there are predictable ways for us to remove teeth like this.
It is hard to say just how long the extractions will take, but I would plan on one hour for the back teeth and one hour for the front teeth and the placement of the denture.
You mentioned a Wilcox device. I am unfamiliar with this, though it is important that the proper jaw position is recorded and the relationship between the upper and lower jaws is correct. There are numerous ways to do this with each doctor preferring one of them.
Your concern of a bleeding problem is important to address. I would suggest you have the necessary blood tests to rule out any bleeding disorders. Once we know the situation there are ways to deal with it.
As you mentioned, a thorough examination and set of radiographs is imperative. Most dentists have a way for you to keep the costs within your budget. I would suggest you discuss this with the dentist you choose to do the treatment.
You also mentioned different levels of denture quality. Many offices do offer this type of arrangement. I would be careful of this scenario, because it is typically a situation where they get you in on a low fee and then up-sell you, as is done in many businesses.
You would not typically expect this from your health care provider; however, it does happen. If you have read my column in the past, you know my father taught my brother and I to do things to the best of our ability and to do things right the first time. He taught us that cutting corners only ends up costing you more in the long run.
He also said not to forget that your signature is on what you do — be sure that you can be proud of it! Both my brother and I have built our businesses on these principals and yes, we are proud of what Masterpiece Dental Studio and Vascimini Woodworking are known for in this community.
I hope this has helped you in some way.
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.