When to keep damaged teeth

Every effort should be made to save all of your original teeth, no matter how decayed or damaged. Original teeth, no matter how badly damaged, can help give integrity to the structure of your partial dentures, and also help keep the lower jawbone or ridge from becoming flat from excessive wear.

Some people who have avoided dental treatment for many years, and are already missing most of their teeth, go to the dentist and ask that the rest of their teeth be removed. Their teeth are often broken and have very deep cavities (Possible root canal required), and the situation seems hopeless. In some cases, removal of all remaining teeth is necessary, and then replacing them with dentures or veneers. Usually though, most or all teeth can be fixed and used to help hold partial dentures. A full denture is a removable device that replaces all of the teeth on the upper or lower jaw, and a partial denture replaces some of the teeth.

Though partial dentures are used for the lower jaw and upper, if there are only a couple questionably weak teeth left on the upper jaw, it may be better to have all the remaining teeth extracted and a full upper denture constructed. Weak teeth are those with deep cavities extending under the gum line, or those that have lost a large amount of the supporting bone around the tooth’s root(s). Upper dentures are usually stronger than lower dentures, because they get extra strength from the palate.