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Implants versus false teeth

Sunday, May 25, 2008
I think the idea that the rest of his teeth "aren't that flash" and so it's not worth the investment, is probably a little harsh.

Question:
Hi, my 21-year-old son has two missing eyeteeth, two missing bottom teeth and a few missing at the back — adult teeth just didn't grow after the baby teeth fell out. For the last eight years he has had false teeth connected to the other teeth by wings, however these are being continually dislodged while playing rugby. We have now looked into implants but have been advised that he will need braces for two years to make room for the implants — and the cost will be about $40,000. As his other teeth are not that flash either and he will continue to play rugby, I think it might be better to just have false teeth. What would you advise?

Answer:

Of course, while your son continues to play rugby and continues to damage his teeth, it would be best to defer treatment until his rugby career has ended or at least become a little more injury-free. I think the idea that the rest of his teeth "aren't that flash" and so it's not worth the investment, is probably a little harsh. His teeth are meant to be there for life, and with that attitude, his partial denture is like a cancer; it keeps on growing to eventually become a full denture.

Your son is in the prime of his life. What he does now with his teeth will dictate what happens in the future. Being resigned to the fact that they're not that good anyway, will only lead to worsening problems that will become more difficult, if not impossible, to manage properly in later years. Even at the cost you mentioned, remember that as he gets older, his dental condition will only worsen. A $40,000 reconstruction can easily turn into a $60,000 and $80,000 one.


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