I am only 42 and have been diagnosed with a severe calcium deficiency. As a result, my dentist said I need to have the remainder of my teeth removed and replaced with dentures. I do have a remarkable amount of trouble with my teeth and I guess this explains why. My biggest concern is facial collapse. Is there any way to prevent this given my situation?
I am glad you wrote. I think I can help you. First, however, for those who do not know what facial collapse is I will give a brief explanation. When your teeth are removed, your body recognizes there are no longer any roots of the teeth in your jaw. As a result, it begins to resorb the minierals in your jawbone in order to use them elsewhere in your body where it percieves they will be more useful. While a remarkably efficient design, it does have the side effect of shrinking your jawbone. After about ten years or so, you will no longer have enough jawbone left in your body to retain the dentures. Additionally, the compressed look will make you look at least two decades older than you are. In dental circles, this is known as facial collapse.
The only way to prevent this is to substitute your tooth roots for something else. This way your body recognizes there is still a need to support teeth. Dental implants will do that. You can have a fixed implant bridge placed, sometimes called implant overdentures, though technically this is for something else.
What this does is place six to eight dental implants and then, after the dental implants have had time to integrate with the bone, the denture is anchored to the implants. You will have a completely secure bite without the worry of facial collapse.
To be honest, though, I don’t think you need to extract all your teeth. A calcium deficiency as an adult has no impact on your teeth. Your teeth were already fully formed before this diagnosis. As an adult, calcium deficiencies can lead to cramps, nerve problems, and even osteoporosis, but will not impact the health of your teeth.
I suggest getting a second opinion. It may be that your dentist is one of those who has a low tolerance for working at saving teeth and just prefers to replace them. I am also concerned that he suggested removable dentures for you instead of fixed implant denture. This will secure the denture as well as protect you from facial collapse.
Before moving forward, get a second opinion and try to save as many teeth as possible.
This blog is brought to you by Des Moines Dentist Dr. Phelan Thomas.