Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Menopause and dental care

Well, the implant surgery is over (3 weeks now) and I'm able to chew again. I did lose 12.5 lbs so far and if I can manage not to blow it, I will lose at least another 10. Need to start walking and then I'm sure I could lose 20! Not going to promise anything at this point, just try to eat right.

I don't know how many of you have dentures or have been told you NEED dentures, but I would say the dental implants are the way to go IF you can afford it. I really didn't think I could, but when I was told that wearing dentures would make my gums and bone deteriorate faster, I decided to make the investment in me. It's bad enough having dentures before I'm even 60 (in 1 1/2 years), so I wanted the stability of the implants, which will help protect my gums and bone.

We have to remember that as we lose estrogen, our bones are not as dense as before and that includes the bone in our jaw. Teeth can become loose and disease can set in. I have a great article on my site by a dentist. You can read it here

I had to have all my teeth pulled, so I had to get full dentures and man, has that been a trip getting used to. I knew I would get bottom implants because bottom dentures rarely fit well. The way the dentist described it to me is if your natural teeth are 100%, then dentures are at 10% and dentures with implants are 90%. This means stability and comfort for chewing, talking, whatever. Here's a good site to get an overall picture about dental implants. And here's some photos of what they look like.

Since I have no insurance, my surgeon offered his services at half price if I went to the dental college to have it done (he would still be doing the surgery, but the students would be observing). I agreed to do it and then he decided to do it in his plush office and have the student there to observe. Great for me! Instead of $1200 each, I paid $600 each and had 4 done. It was $280 for the anesthesia, so altogether I paid $2680. That's JUST for the surgery and the implants, not the rest of the hardware and the dentures. That's another $4000 unless I can get my other dentist to give me a hefty discount.

Please let me know if you have any questions...there's lots of stuff I haven't mentioned.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

When your kids aren't kids anymore.

I just had a visit from one of my "kids"....he's in his mid 30's and still hasn't figured out how to make his life work. It is SO hard not to enable him and this visit was no different. He needed money, so I compromised (with myself)I gave him half of what he asked for and I told him I can't keep doing this, that I'm short on $$ myself. He says he'll pay me back, but I've come to know that he basically a "black hole" when it comes to money.

Tough, very tough to not help your kids, but I KNOW that little bit of money is not going to help. I hide the fact that I did it from everyone because I know I should have had the courage to say no.

This is a part of middle age I could do without. I've got my own parent problems....with my Mother and I don't want the same kind of relationship between me and my kids. But it doesn't help make my life easier to not be able to say how I feel.

This is not about "menopause", but definitely something our age group has to deal with. How do YOU do it?