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Question:

Dear Dr. Crapo: I’m forty-five and have started a company that’s looking successful. I love the work and we’re growing. Up to this point I’ve had some good business training and decent jobs but not anything that gave me benefits or extra money to spend on myself. A month ago I had a terrible toothache so I saw a dentist. He said I needed a root canal so I said “let’s do it and I think we need to look around because I know there are other things not right”. When he got into the root canal he found the tooth was cracked and said I needed to have the tooth out and an implant placed. I saw another dentist who not only took out the tooth and put in the implant immediately but put in another one just in front because I had a space from a tooth I got pulled years ago. He told me I was very hard on my teeth and I needed the same treatment on the other side, plus he said I was breaking down the edges of my front teeth so badly I’d need crowns on those teeth as well. I can handle the cost – at least I think I can, but in stages. I like to keep up with my bills. Is there a way this can be done? I’ve put myself off, not getting my teeth fixed but now I want to get the best job possible. I’d like to look better but I want back teeth to chew my food first. He said once the crowns are done on these implants I’ll have good chewing ability on the left side but I need three implants on the right side to bring my back teeth up to function. He said my front teeth are very important too, so I need some direction. 

Answer:

It sounds like you’ve got a number of challenges so let me offer some observations. In healthy individuals implants can be fitted with crowns after 2 ½ - 3 months. If your front teeth can be reinforced by filling them, then do that while you’re waiting for the implants to integrate with your bone. Front teeth are essential to guide your bite while you’re chewing your food and usually an appointment or two will allow the dentist time to remove decay and strengthen them to provide this important function.

By April or May you could have your new back teeth on your implants so you’ll have one side to chew with. At this point you could have the three implants done on the right side. This will give you “cost spacing” that may work or you could take a few months to absorb and handle the costs and then place the implants, so that by Christmas of this year your mouth is in good functioning shape.

If we can help, we’d like to. Call 778-410-2080 for a consultation.


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