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About 4 years ago mom had almost 20,000 worth of work done on rotten teeth. I wanted dentures, but dentist said real teeth are better, I think I agree.
Fast forward to today: a crown has a cavity under it, dentist is going to try and clean the cavity under the crown.
From what I understand, mom has no teeth left hardly to chew with: all that is left is what is doing the job. She is 93 years old: Options are a tooth implant which will involve bone grafts, and that sort of repeat visits (which in her mind are quite an obstacle: i'd agree.).
What have people here gone through: I am at a loss. If the dentist can clean it out and save the tooth, all well and fine. The other option is dentures which is almost as nightmarish.
Getting old sucks.

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My 95-year old mom's dentist is like Terry512's dentist. He's made my mom two fake teeth when her teeth broke off. He's amazing! He does it in 90 minutes. The last one cost $400.

Even considering an implant in a 93-year old is insane in my opinion. Any dentist that would recommend that would be a dentist I'd never visit again. I'd believe they're just out for $$$$$. It makes zero sense to spend that kind of money at that age IMO.
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93 is probably too old to worry about implants. They cost way too much and she's probably lost so much bone that she wouldn't be able to get one anyway but if you tell the dentist you want one and it doesn't work, you will still be out lots of money for something that won't benefit her. If possible, have the dentist clean it out and try to save it. My dentist made some teeth right there in her office using a mold that she put in my mouth with gunky stuff on it. When it was set, she pulled it out and used it to put the white stuff in to form the tooth. She made 3 teeth on one side and 2 on the other side because I didn't want dentures either and couldn't afford implants which were around $10K for just a few teeth. Check around if your dentist doesn't make teeth in their office and find one that does. I now have teeth in every slot because of her ability to make them. She used the other teeth as a form for width and height. This is much cheaper than implants and they are cemented to the surrounding tooth so they stay in place.
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I guess I don't understand. Four years ago she got $20,000. worth of crowns and now she has one cavity underneath one? If so, I don't see how that leaves her with little chewing surface. What about the other $20,000. worth of teeth? But, anyway, if she can't chew, she can't chew. I would ask the dentist for options that makes sense for a patient her age and with her finances. If it doesn't make sense, get a second opinion. I might get the appointment for a second opinion now, just in case. If you don't need it, it can be cancelled.

Ask details about full dentures. It's not as easy as it sounds. It has it's own set of issues too.
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a) there is almost no chewing surfaces left.
b) dentist has tried to do minimum work because mom really doesn't want the aggravation of grafts, etc.
c) 4 years ago she poured 20,000 in her mouth. personally, I think she should have gotten full dentures back then.
I'll have to wait and see just how bad it is. I do have a vitamix blender.
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Some dentists will do as much work as you can afford. If you say this is all we can pay, what can you do for that amount, they come up with a less invasive solution. I have had extensive cosmetic dental work done, but I chose that and knew what I was getting in to, for the most part.

Most of the seniors that I know, especially those over 80, go as conservative as possible with dental work. Trying to keep the mouth functional is the key.

Why would your mom need full dentures just because one tooth had to be pulled? If most of her other restored teeth are functional, then can't she chew properly with those?
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My Mom is 84 with few teeth left. I know each situation is different but her dentist does the bare minimum just so she can still eat. It's not always pretty work but he will use filling material for repairs, treat infection, and try to avoid complicated and expensive procedures.
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Implants probably will not work. I doubt if there is enough bone mass in a 93 year old to keep the post in place. I would say pull the tooth and avoid further trauma to the patient. Removing the crown and drilling out the cavity and replacing it with a new crown will be well over $1000 and require more than one office visit.
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