I am in a similiar situation, w/ my bottom teeth. Runs in my family, too. If I hear the word "investment" from another dentist, I might scream. I have had alot of crap done, crowns....that don't last....partials that won't fit, bridges that broke, yada yada yada. I have bought partials twice and would't....Couldn't wear them in any comfort whatsoever. They are in the bottom of my pocket book right now
My Dad had his all pulled at 30, too. But he talked me out of dentures. He said "don't think your troubles are over w/ dentures" My advise is absolutely SAVE what you can! It is soooo expensive to do anything, I know, I could have put a kid through dental school cheaper than what I've spent and still have to spend.
Implants are a fing joke! Who has $50,000 for those! Dental schools are also a joke, they don't want any 'guinia pigs' with real problems...at all. To find this opportunity is harder than winning the lottery.
Here is about the only thing I have found, which is still very expensive, but not as bad. If you live near or can get to Canada, the dollar is worth more there. Some of the dental work is much less. Check around, though. There are wealthier cities that may not be any cheaper.
If you live near Las Vegas, there is a school there that I have heard of, it's for advanced studies. I don't know how hard it would be, but you could check. It's called LVI (LVIDocs.com)...I think. I don't think you can find out to much from the site, but it can tell you where the school is etc.
I tried the route of having one thing done at a time. By the time I was abble to do something else, I was fixing what had already been fixed! So now, after a total of $12,000+, My teeth still look like crap.
There are partials that are made from a flexible material, Valplast, I have been thinking about them, for my bottoms. The bottoms are the most uncomfortable and hardest to ever fit, dentures or partials. But, a big part of that is because they are so darn HARD! Check out the web for info on Valplast, I'd put a site addy here, but it would get erased.
Just make sure you find out all options for yourself BEFORE you decide on dentures. You can't go back. Much, much luck ! Don't forget the Canada thing. Maybe a 'poorer' area.