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Dr. Crapo

The Golden Gate Bridge?

Question:

Dr.Crapo: Over twenty-five years ago my dental issues came to a head and I was forced to do some major work or go dentures. I didn’t want dentures, so I worked with excellent specialist. He had just six teeth to build me all my upper teeth. On my left side, I had only my six-year-old molar, then my eyetooth, so I was missing the two teeth behind my eyetooth back to that six-year-old molar. Then I had no front teeth but I had a right upper eyetooth and three teeth back. He put in permanent bridges linked in some precision way, so the teeth could get the most support from each other. I’ve been very happy for all these years, until ten days ago, when I discovered I had a pus lump on the outside of my upper left eyetooth. That’s one of the key anchors. When I saw the dentist, he said the root on that tooth was cracked and I was going to lose it. If I lose that tooth then it’d be like taking out one of the post struts that goes down into the ocean to support the Golden Gate Bridge. I know that sounds dramatic but for me I would lose three quarters of my teeth, so it’s a big deal. I was told that I need grafting for implants for me to get bridge work in place after the cracked root is gone. I don’t know how that’s going to be done. What about the crack? Is it going get worse? The thought of wearing a removable denture during healing isn’t very appealing and to tell the truth I have a gag reflex that makes this all very daunting. I need some ideas.


Answer:

This can be a challenging time but there are solutions that we didn’t have twenty-five to thirty years ago.

In order to place implants, which you will need, the bridge sections must come off. In some situations, these can be dismantled and used as temporary bridges while the grafts and implants are healing. A cracked root does not necessarily mean a loose tooth or a painful tooth. If the bridges can’t be dismantled, a temporary bridge will be created if the affected tooth is not loose. On the day that a temporary bridge is created, grafting could be placed or implants and grafting placed, whatever is needed and the bridge could then be temporarily cemented.

Once the implants are ready, (usually three to six months – longer if separate grafting is required) a new bridge would be constructed that would be stronger and as serviceable as your bridge has been for these past twenty-five years plus.


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


Based on actual patient cases.


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