What is a “Terminal Dentition” or Hopeless Teeth? Is There a Solution?
Currently in the United States fewer than 2% of dentists are trained in IV dental sedation. Dr. Gibbs as such sees many patients who are very phobic, medically compromised, or embarrassed by their current dental condition.
A common fear is that their teeth will only continue to “fall apart,” and that need for expensive and uncomfortable dental care will continue for the remainder of their life. They fear that condition is “hopeless” and that they will continue to waste their money on teeth that will just fail time-after-time.
Good News! Comfortable near “Painless” Dental Visits
The reality is dentistry can be comfortable. Using advanced technology like Wand dental numbing, nitrous oxide, stereo headphones, oral pill dental sedation, or advanced IV dental sedation visits can be made comfortable. Certainly caring, gentle, and understanding staff are also vital.
Hope for Hopeless Teeth!
Advances in dental restorations can make teeth nearly unbreakable. Also, advances in preventive care can make the likelihood of continued decay less likely. Additionally reducing excessive biting forces make teeth less likely to wear or break.
When Should a Patient Give Up? Hopeless Teeth & Long Term Choices
There are actually realities that cause patients, and rightly so, give up hope. People become frustrated when fillings break and need crowns, crowns and become root canals, root canals fail and need extraction, partial dentures and dental bridge fail and repeatedly implants or dentures are required. For many the constant prospects of increasing cost, continued discomfort and time spent fixing failing teeth is frustrating.
If too many teeth are lost remaining teeth have to “work harder” and may be more likely to wear, break (especially if they have larger fillings), to have the bone supporting them resorb and the teeth loosen. Dental implant options have increasingly become the better option if teeth become hopeless.
In some cases if the like hood of continued breakdown is probable, some patients now even choose to have all teeth extracted and to have the teeth replaced with dentures or dental implant bridges placed.
UNFORTUATELY PROCASTINATION IS THE WORSE CHOICE!!! For instance, failure to get a crown after root canals often results in tooth fracture, failure to get an implant after an extraction results in bone loss and more painful/costly subsequent repairs, and defaulting to dentures results in loss of facial muscle and bone loss.
Carefully consult with knowledgeable dental professionals. Patients deserve to know not only the short-term cost, but also the long term costs and consequences!
(see also our article on the “Hidden Dangers of Dentures” and our dental implants introduction page, and dental implant bridges—Teeth Tomorrow pages)