Dentist or Oral Surgeon to Extract all My Teeth?

I am sick of dealing with my teeth. I’m just 28 years old and they cost me a fortune. Every time I go to the dentist, I either need a filling or dental crown, even though I brush and go to the dentist twice a year. I’m to the point that I just want to extract my teeth and get dentures. To do that, will I need an oral surgeon to extract the teeth or can my dentist do it?


Dear Ben,

Extractions for dentures should be in the capabilities of a dentist. Therefore, you can have your dentist extract your teeth as long as he does the extractions and the dentures as part of his normal practice. I would ask him what is his normal procedure when someone is going into full dentures. If he usually sends his patients to an oral surgeon for that, then that’s what I’d do. You don’t want him doing something that extensive which is out of his comfort zone.

However, I want to give you some information you may not have before making such a life-changing decision. One thing I would do before removing all your teeth is make sure the number of procedures you’ve been getting is truly necessary. Try going to a different dentist. Show him or her your x-rays and ask their opinion on the most recent work that was required. Some dentists even do free second opinions. Don’t tell them who your dentist is. They may know each other. Though most dentists are honest and went into their field in order to help people, there are some bad apples who milk unnecessary procedures out of patients.

If it turns out you do need all that work, I want you to understand the life-changing aspects of dentures.

Life with Dentures

Before and after images about facial collapse

Even the best fitting dentures will reduce your chewing capacity by 50%. Things you could once eat with ease will be painfully difficult. Additionally, they will move around. The top dentures are kept in by suction. The bottom ones simply rest on the ridge of your lower jawbone. That leads me to a third and most serious consequence of living with dentures–Facial Collapse.

When your teeth are extracted, your body will recognize that and immediately begin to resorb the minerals in your jawbone in order to use them elsewhere in your body where it perceives they will be more useful. After all, there are no longer any teeth roots to keep in place, so why do you need your jawbone?

After ten to twenty years, you will no longer have enough jawbone to keep your lower dentures in. Not only will that cause you to look at least a decade older than truly are, but you will no longer be able to eat anything but mushy foods.

Dental Implants: The Solution to Facial Collapse

Implant overdentures illustration
Implant overdentures

There is a way around this. You can prevent facial collapse by getting implant-supported dentures. You can have four to six dental implants placed on each arch and then anchor the dentures to them. The implants, serve as prosthetic teeth roots and signal to your body there are still teeth there. Knowing this, it will leave your jawbone intact. But, this is quite expensive. I believe it will be more affordable for you to keep your teeth.

This blog is brought to you by Baton Rouge Dentist Dr. Randall Burba.