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Starting Over

Question:
Dear Dr. Crapo: Six years ago I was on top of the world. I was in good health, my job was fulfilling; the family was doing great. Then out of the blue my husband fell ill. We didn’t know why and in a few months he was gone. In a short time my finances fell apart and I withdrew from family, friends and associates. I turned to pharmaceuticals, then other things. I lost a sense of myself and stopped caring for myself. My teeth, which were my pride, began to decay. I lost my front crowns. I had terrible toothaches but was in denial and just “upped” my “painkillers.”

Now six years later I feel I’ve got enough control to start over…slowly. My problem is that I can’t smile and I can’t bite my food off because my upper front teeth are gone, in fact I cover them because they are just black stumps. I really feel this is the next step in my rehab. I don’t know what to do. I’ve got a good dentist but he said this is a real challenge. He said I might have to have a bunch of teeth out and get some implants. I told him I really miss the beautiful smile I had just a few years ago. One thing he did say was that my mouth is terribly dry and if it’s like that constantly it would explain the terrible decay that has just rotted my teeth out from under my fillings and crowns. I really want to get my teeth taken care of and I’m ready to know what can be done and do it.

Answer:
Your concerns present a multitude of challenges. Firstly the technical challenges - what materials to use and how to use them. If you still suffer from “dry mouth” because of pharmaceuticals (your daily medication) then restoring broken down and “rotted” teeth as you put it, is a bad idea even if a great looking result can be achieved. Future decay will undermine your investment. Implants will serve you much better because decay won’t be a factor.

Secondly, more time will be required to complete the treatment as three months of healing/integration will be required for the implants to serve as anchors for your new crowns.

Thirdly, this will require a very healthy financial commitment to achieve the smile and function you once had.

Lastly, your commitment to your own health and well-being along with strong support from family and friends is probably the most important factor.

If these concerns are now or can be solved, you’re ready – congratulations!

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


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