I grew up with a horrible fear of the dentist. I do not even remember how it all started. Unfortunately, this fear carried over into adulthood and I no longer had anyone pressuring me to go. Now my mouth is a mess and hurts more often than it doesn’t. I think I am to the point where I just want to have my teeth removed and get dentures. It sounds like a dream to think about not being in pain every day. In that case, do I see a dentist or an oral surgeon to remove my teeth?
I am sorry for what you’ve been dealing with your entire life. Often, these dental phobias start after a particularly traumatizing appointment with their childhood dentist. Before we go into the procedure for getting rid of your teeth, I want to suggest that you try to save them. I know. I know. You HATE dentists, and given your life experience I completely understand that. However, I know something that can change your life.
As you’ll have to see a dentist no matter what decision you make, I am going to suggest you see a sedation dentist. First, schedule a consultation. Talk to the dentist about your anxiety and ask for an appointment using oral conscious sedation. This is sometimes called sleep dentistry because it is so strong that patients often sleep completely through their appointment. Patients who have dealt with a lifetime of anxiety suddenly find they can go to the dentist again without any fear.
Are Dentures REALLY What You Want?
The thing about dentures is that they can often be just as miserable. They move around in your mouth and rub up against the ridge of your jawbone. Even the best fitting dentures will reduce your chewing capacity by 50%. However, the worst part of this is that the moment your teeth are removed your body recognizes that and immediately begins to resorb the minerals in your jawbone to use elsewhere. After ten or so years, you will no longer have enough jawbone left to even retain your dentures. This is known in dental circles as facial collapse.
My suggestion is you see if the dentist can save as many teeth as possible and just replace those which cannot be saved. If it turns out none of your teeth can be saved and you have to get dentures, then I recommend you get implant-supported dentures. The dental implants will keep them secure and prevent facial collapse. I am hoping that will not be necessary.
See that sedation dentist and then we can go from there.
This blog is brought to you by Hoffman Estates Dentist Dr. William Becker.