My grandmother is 96 yrs old. Recently she lost one of 3-4 lower front teeth, the remaining 2 are loose. Her lower molars are broken. Initially she said she did not want implants. Her dentist wants to pull all her teeth, put full denture on upper; place 2 partial implants (without the actual tooth/crown) on the bottom so as to have something to attach the lower denture. My grandmother only cares about the lower teeth, she was doing fine withs the 4 middle lower teeth. The dentist says her upper teeth are infected, however, when I asked him which specific teeth, he was vague and kept saying the oral surgeon should just take them all out. Furthermore, she has no pain, no fever, and she has NO problem eating. The estimated cost of the dentures is approx. $6600 That does not include the oral surgeon who will extract all her teeth (or just the infected and loose ones) and do any root canals if necessary. My grandmother has a fixed income and the cost of nursing home is about $1000 above her monthly income. She uses the money from the sale of her house to pay the additional $1000. Even though she is 96, she is basically healtthy, I worry about her running out of money if she lives too long. So she doesn't just have that money to spend on things that are not necessary. Since she has to get implants regardless, I asked her if maybe they can place 3-4 implants to replace the loose lower teeth and the ones that fell out. I know implants are more expensive, but the price of 3-4 with crowns might be about the same as the cost of teeth extractions, root canals, dentures, etc + the oral surgeon's cost.. If the infected teeth aren't bothering her or compromising her nutritional status, can't she just leave them alone for now?
considering your grandmother's age, Abbie, and the fact that she is not in pain or having any trouble getting her nutrition, I think you are 100% correct in feeling that they can be left alone.
Forgetting about the great expense, why put her through unnecessary pain? I would do exactly the same if it were my grandmother.
Not sure where you reside, but I would consider a second opinion. The cost of the implants are expensive and your mother being limited on funds, may need to see if there are other options available to her. You may need any X-rays that have been taken should you seek a second opinion in order to avoid them bring taken again, pending the films are recent.
You may also consider speaking with her primary care doctor as well and see what advice he can offer. Surgical procedures for seniors can be risky.
With implants...it is imperative they stay clean and are free of debris They
are more likely to fail as result of poor hygiene, should that be an issue.
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