I am a 50 year old man who grew up with a fear of dentist. At an early age I was “freaked out” by a dentist and never really wanted to go to them – unless it was to have a tooth pulled.
Now that I am older most of my teeth are broken or missing. I need to get dentures – my question is how do I know if I need a dentist or an oral surgeon to remove what teeth I have left? This is rather embarassing for me and it keeps me from a lot of activities involving my daughter because of the embarrassment.
Can you tell me which I should look for so I can have my teeth fixed and once again be able to smile in public?
Thanks in advance – I would appreciate the help.
Robert from Ohio
I would go to a dentist who can do the tooth extractions – the surgery AND do the dentures. Doing pre-denture surgery isn’t complicated, and there are many general dentists who do it. Just call the dentist’s office and ask what the dentist USUALLY does. Don’t give any hint as to your preference before you ask the question. You just want to find out how the dentist usually handles cases like that. A dentist who usually does the surgery, too, will have plenty of experience at that.
And since you have this dental fear you talk about, you’ll also want a dentist who offers sleep dentistry. In Ohio that shouldn’t be a problem, as there are a number of dentists there who do sleep dentistry.
The reason is that there is a certain amount of coordination that is needed between the surgery and the denture. You may, for example, choose to have the denture placed the same day as the teeth are coming out. This is called an immediate denture. This eliminates the embarrassment of going for six weeks or more without any teeth. Even if you don’t do that, there are certain things the dentist can do during the surgery to help the dentures fit better and be more comfortable, and general dentists are more familiar with those things than oral surgeons.
But even if you did have an oral surgeon take out the teeth, you’d still want to go to the general dentist first, because the general dentist will coordinate the procedures.
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