Theriot Family Dental

Dentist Said to Get Rid of All My Teeth

Posted by writeradmin

I’m so upset. I grew up in a poor family that could not afford dental care. It was a long time into my own adulthood before I could afford to see a dentist, but I’ve finally been able to get a college degree and a good job. I’m in my 40s and the first thing I did was go to see a dentist. My teeth have never really bothered me except they are not as attractive as I want. I wasn’t expecting perfect teeth but the dentist’s reaction dishearted me so much. He told me going a lifetime without dental care means I need too much work. It would cost me too much time and money and I should just extract them and get a nice pretty set of dentures. While I would like pretty teeth, I would like them to actually be teeth. I am so upset. Is there any way out of this? I don’t have a ton of money, but have enough to do some work.


Dear Valerie,

A woman sitting in a dental chair with a thumbs up

I am sorry for how this dentist responded to your genuine desire to get a healthy smile. I think sometimes dentists forget that not everyone has access to care they actually do want. When you have to choose between paying your electric bill or seeing a dentist, then something has to give.

I would not jump right to extracting all of your teeth and getting dentures. Every dentist is different. This means some are more willing to put in the effort needed to save teeth than others. For some dentists, they would rather extract them then fix them. For others, extraction is the last of all the options and he or she will put forth every effort to save natural tooth structure.

Have the dentist triage your teeth. This means he or she will make a list of everything that needs to be done with your teeth, starting with the most urgent all the way down to what can wait. This will help you prioritize your procedures. It may not be as bad as this particular dentist says, especially if you’ve not had any pain.

Two tips that may help. First, an affordable dentist will be more likely to work with you on payments. They’ll also work to keep their prices affordable. Bear in mind there is a difference between cheap and affordable. Cheap dentists usually end up causing more problems than they solve. Second, if you can, dental sedation will allow you to get more work done in each sitting than would be otherwise be possible. This will allow you to catch up on your dental work more quickly.

This blog is brought to you by Youngsville Dentist Dr. John Theriot.