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I know dental issue are about the last things on a caregivers mind and i don't need to list the reasons why but now my 88 yr old family member is losing tooth after tooth despite attempts to save them with rooth canals and crowns would not wear a partial. Has been able to eat fairly well with just a few teeth on the bottom but is losing more. can an elderly person still eat with only five teeth on the bottom. not steaks, but things like bread, vegetables, soft meat. does the gum become hard and act as a chewing surface? looking for answers from those who have experienced this problem and anyone with experience with implants or mini implants with dentures attached, assuming you can get them to the numerous appointments? thanks.

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My dentist does mini-implants to use with dentures. The full implants are better, especially for younger people, for individual teeth. Yes, this is surgery, but they don't have to put a person totally out. The person needs reasonably good health. I wish this had been an option for my dad who, because of health problems in his 30s, needed to have his teeth pulled. He went through many sets of dentures. However, as he aged, the bone to support the dentures diminished (no "exercise" through chewing because there are no teeth with roots). Keeping his dentures in for eating, during his later years, became a huge problem.
If your dad's health can stand it and the money is there, I'd ask about mini-implants (cheaper) to keep in the dentures. If the dentist/oral surgeon says mini won't do for him, you could get a second opinion or go for full implants.
Good luck with this. I hope he gets some help. Getting rid of tooth pain and being able to eat with comfort is huge.
Take care,
Carol
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My 88 year old Dad had rotting teeth, and dentures that couldn't stay in his mouth because the anchoring teeth were rotten. We did a lot of research and decided to go the route of dental implants. There are lots of versions, but we went with the least expensive version where the teeth are in one unit for the upper and one unit for the lower -- they make them so the teeth can be individual so they look more like teeth, but his goal was for utility not looks. There was a team that specializes in this stuff, meaning that's all they do. His health profile was good and he really wanted to be able to eat the things he liked, so we went forward. They had us come in for a loooong appointment while they made molds and did X-rays. Then, a few weeks later , we went back and in one day they: pulled the rotten teeth, put in implants and attached the false teeth. For six months he could eat soft foods but not stuff like steak or apples, as the bone heals around the implants. This six months is up in about 3 weeks. Then we go back, they check to see how the bone has adhered to the implant (so far, so good) and swap out the first set of teeth for the final, "looks really real" set. This all cost $25,000 -- so not an an option for everyone, I know. But it was an all-in price, no surpasses, and they will guarantee the teeth for live. Which, I see as I type this, is a more meaningful guarantee for someone of lesser age, but it made my Dad happy!

The pain wasn't worse than what he was already experiencing with the rotten teeth. He is eating better than he had been for years before. After a few weeks, he was no longer experiencing pain in his mouth, and it had been years since that was true.

You'll have to make sure her health is good enough for this to be an option, but from where I sit -- even if my Dad died tomorrow and never got to the six-month mark, he would have spent his money in a way that made him more sociable (he was embarrassed by his teeth before) and it improved his nutrition because he was willing to eat more. Good luck, whatever you decide.
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There is no answer I can give I am 88 have four teeth left, was just wondering if they can insert an implant when I lose one tooth. I had one extracted and cannot keep my dentures in the bottom of my mouth, I am desperate what can I do. Any answer?
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Thank you for taking the time to write such a detailed and informative answer. I am glad the procedure is helping your dad. Do you know if these were full implants or mini (MDI) implants?
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My dad came to live with us 3 weeks ago. He asked to see the dentist because he said his top teeth were ground down & he had trouble eating things like steak. Turned out dad's top teeth were rotten to the gum, he needed 2 root canals & 5 teeth filled. We went the denture route. All but 2 of his top teeth were pulled. We are having to wait until the swelling goes down before they can put his denture in. The dentist also repaired & modified his bottom partial plate. All of this cost about $10,000. Right now I am running some of dad's food thru the food processor & that is working just fine. I was worried if dad's teeth were neglected, he would get an infection. My dad has Alzheimer's & went thru all the procedures just fine until a day after the oral surgery. He became very aggressive & even violent. This was the first time ever this happened. Although we kept asking him if he was in pain he kept saying no. I think the procedure upset him. Dad is ok now & will be eating steak next week! Good luck to you. Finding a gentle & compassionate dentist is the key.
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My Dad had 8 teeth left, and none of them opposed each other. In other words, they were worthless for chewing anything. One by one, he had kept getting toothaches and having them pulled. Finally, I talked him into getting the rest pulled and getting dentures. The dentures looked good and worked well, but in a very short while, he quit wearing them, and just started eating without. When I suggest that he wear his teeth, he has no idea what I'm talking about. His memory has gotten so bad that he doesn't remember that he HAS dentures at all. And when reminded, he won't put them in. I'm glad we got his bad old teeth removed, but it was a waste of time and money getting dentures. If your loved one doesn't care about their appearance, and if they're not capable of remembering to wear and care for their dentures, don't bother.
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My dad is not capable of removing, cleaning & inserting his denture. My husband does this for him. Dad is thrilled with his new teeth!
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My mother is 88 yrs old. A year ago we had about 6-8 teeth removed. She had already lost numerous teeth and had a partial. After the last extractions there were no teeth for it to attach. She has now lost all her teeth except for 2. They have broken off at gum due to decay. She has some dementia, is in an assisted living facility and doesn't brush her teeth even when reminded. She doesn't like the way she looks and can't eat well. She is losing weight, so her nutrition is not good. What can be done so she will feel that she looks better as well as being able to eat more? She thinks she can have dentures but I've been told by my dentist that they can almost never be made to fit properly under these conditions. How can she be helped?
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