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Now That I Can See Myself

Question:

Dear Dr. Crapo: I don’t know where to start. Have you ever been so scared, so busy, so preoccupied, so distracted, that you no longer did anything for yourself. And then when you began to realize your self neglect something came along and plunged you into another round deeper than the next, that sent you helter skelter into barely surviving because there was no time for you. That has been the last ten years. Thank goodness, the ordeal seems to be at an end. I’ve had nearly a year to regain my health or to feel a semblance of normal. When you’re in that state, things go by without you even noticing. I’m blessed to have a great family. Now that I can see myself, I see the product of poor dental hygiene. My teeth look terrible. I saw a dentist and was told that not only the tops that you see are bad, but the roots and the gums and the bone are in terrible shape. He said my teeth, or at least most of them, could not be saved. He was surprised that I was not in pain. He said I had what looked like several abscesses. He pointed out several teeth that were very loose. He said infection had creeped in beside these loose teeth and destroyed the bone and that was the reason my teeth were so loose. I had no idea. I couldn’t believe I could have infection and not feel it. When I asked what could be done, he said I might be able to wear dentures. I might be able to have implants. He thought I should get the teeth out and wait a bit for healing and then have dentures made. Now that I “see myself”, I don’t want to look as I do and I want the infection gone – but I don’t think I can go without teeth. I’d think something else can be done.


Answer:

Actually you have many choices. Before implants and even today, immediate dentures are made and are fitted at the time of total mouth tooth extractions. These work, though the lower denture is not very stable and chewing is next to impossible until healing is complete and one gets used to the reduced efficiency (about 10% of natural and implant teeth) in chewing. The upper denture is usually more secure because of suction to the palate but if there has been significant bone loss around your teeth, it may compromise the suction.

Most of the time even when disease has ravaged tooth supporting bone, there is enough bone left to place implants or at least easily graft bone.

If you have adequate bone, implants can be placed at the time of extraction and bridges fitted securely. You’ll be able to chew, smile, and speak, the same day. Healing proceeds quickly and the disease is entirely gone.

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


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