Sunday, June 7, 2009

Ask my dentist

Ash ask : Hi Dr Chan,

I am 54 years old. Lost most of my upper teeth save for two back molars and a canine due to extractions when I was very young. Currently using upper denture. I notice that that when I position my teeth such that the upper and lower front teeth are barely touching each other, I look fine but the moment I attempt a full bite, ie letting my upper and lower molars rest on each other, I look old with two severe lines (& folds) running down from the corners of my mouth to my jaws, and the lower portion of my face from my mouth to my chin appears to have lost much height compared with my younger days. Will asthetic dentistry or implants correct the problems so as to attain a younger appearance? Would appreciate your advice. What will be estimated cost of such procedure? Thank you.

Dr. Chan answer : Hi Ash,

The key concern here is to open up your bite. Your remaining teeth could have been shortened or moved such that when you bite all the way, your mouth becomes overclosed.

We’ll need to examine those remaining teeth to see if they are worth saving. If not, a set of full dentures will open up your bite. Bear in mind, however, that we may have to make 2 or more sets of dentures of gradually increasing height so that you can get used to your new bite.

Implants will certainly help hold your dentures, but if you have adequate ridge height, they may not be necessary.

Extractions aside, a full set of upper and lower dentures (acrylic) cost S$1200. Extractions will cost S$80 each. If the remaining teeth are not to be extracted, crowning will probably be necessary. Each porcelain fused to metal crown will set you back S$600. Then, you would also need partial dentures which will cost a little less than full dentures.

You can consider doing implants after you’ve gotten used to your new bite. To improve function and retention of your dentures, you would need 2 implants on your lower jaw and 4 on your upper. They will cost you S$3000 each.

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