As a practitioner it is always a difficult situation to have to educate or shed light to the patient that their oral situation has deteriorated to the point of no return.
Although, as practitioners we can never replace what nature had intended, we can recoup quite a bit of the foundation of the lost teeth, and even more from the esthetic stand point.
Patients must keep in mind and remember what has brought them to this oral situation at this time in their lives. Usually lack of dental care/hygiene or a general idea of “one day I’ll get to it” frame of mind will take the patient decades to decide finally today is the day.
Many time patients will just want all their teeth removed because they have become discouraged by the pain or lack of successful treatments and excessive costs for dental procedures that have been short sited.
As a practitioner we remind the patient that saving some teeth in certain situations will pay huge dividends to the future success by supporting their dentures. This is especially true for the lower jaw (mandibular) dentures. Quite often patients need to understand that the lower jaw is the moving jaw, and it is usually the one that provides more grief, social anxiety and pain, than the upper or maxillary denture, which is on the fixed jaw. So it makes sense to keep lower teeth for support if possible, even if they will be lost in the next couple of years, it will still give the patient time to figure out how dentures work, in the eventuality that the teeth are all lost and a full denture is required.
Patients must always remember that a denture is an artificial limb, like an arm or leg or glass eye. Quite often because the esthetic “or look” of the denture is so life like the general public expects them to function like real teeth. Standard dentures in the best case scenario will recoup 15% or so of your biting ability.
More permanent solutions involving implants will provide patients with a more lifelike solution when movement during functions is nonexistent or very minimal.