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Question:

Dear Dr. Crapo: About a year ago I noticed pain in my lower left molar, so I decided it was time to see a dentist. It had been some years, but I thought I was doing fine. When he saw me he suggested a full set of x-rays. When they were processed he said I had decay everywhere. I couldn’t believe it. I mean I brush every day, so I thought because my teeth weren’t sensitive I was okay. He told me I needed several root canals and about ten crowns. I couldn’t get my mind around that. I didn’t think he was necessarily having me on, but going from thinking I was okay to root canals and ten crowns! I decided to think on it a bit. Well the fall came, we were looking for a house (which we bought), then spring … the time melted away. Finally two months ago I go get a second opinion. I had some of my x-rays transferred but when the second dentist looked he said we need an update. He said my condition had gotten worse and he couldn’t make a correct diagnosis without new x-rays. He also took molds and a C.T. scan of my mouth. He delivered the news about two weeks ago, saying I had advanced rampant decay. What’s that I asked? It means that the decay is encompassing most of your teeth and the speed at which it is doing it is much faster than usual. I told him the guy I saw last year said I needed two or three root canals and ten crowns. He said you’re past that. If you want to save your teeth now, you need six or seven root canals, several extractions and some bridges. But, he said, with the amount and speed of your decay you need to think dentures. I’m only fifty-six. I don’t want dentures. When he told me the price of eight implants and bridges I said man I just bought a house, I can’t do that. I was hoping I’d get fixed up for 25-30 thousand, but this was way more. Is it really denture time? How’s this happening?


Answer:

It’s time for an evaluation of the type of food and drink you consume, the pharmaceuticals you’re using, the recreational drugs, to say nothing of your brushing and flossing technique and the frequency you seek out preventative dental care.


It may be time for an upper denture. That is usually well tolerated and stable. On the lower, if several implants are well placed, you can have a stable denture and down the road when finances permit, you can convert both top and bottom to implant bridges that are fixed in your mouth. In the long run you’ll pay a bit more just like your mortgage, but decay and abscesses will no longer haunt you.

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


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