My mom is 83. I have recently taken over her care. I was appalled at the conditions of her nursing home my siblings had her in. I’d been out of the country for about 7 years. I’ve moved her into my home and have a nurse here for her. One thing I’m not sure what to do about is the condition of her teeth. She recently had two teeth just fall out. I’m wondering if I should get her two dental bridges (because they are in different parts of her mouth) or two dental implants. I know the implants are superior, but they are way more expensive. All my money is currently going to her nurse. Are there affordable implant options or is the bridge the better way to go at this point?
First, I just want to say that the care you are giving your mother does you credit. I’m sure she’s much more comfortable with you. As for her dental care, I’m a little concerned because it sounds like her teeth are just falling out. This suggests she has very advanced periodontal disease. Your first priority will be to get that under treatment or she will continue to lose teeth. Get her in to see a good periodontist who can treat both her gum disease and her missing teeth.
Yes, dental implants are a superior treatment, however, if she’s losing her teeth you may end up with her needing a full-mouth reconstruction. This can cost between $20-$40 thousand dollars. While there are some affordable dental implant options, I don’t think you will need this for your mother.
The biggest benefit to implants is the prevention of facial collapse. This is the gradual loss of jawbone. However, at your mother’s age, this is not likely to be a big issue.
Replacing Your Mother’s Missing Teeth
I’m not going to recommend a bridge, though. A bridge puts pressure on the remaining teeth and that is the last thing your mother needs right now. My recommendation to you is going to be a special type of denture. Cu-Sil Dentures, leave space for remaining healthy teeth.
If she ends up losing one of those teeth it will simply be a matter of closing that space and adding another false tooth.
Best of luck to you and your mother.
This blog is brought to you by Atlanta Periodontist Dr. David Pumphrey.