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Trauma & Dental Repentance

Question:

Dear Dr. Crapo: I was born into a working family – construction of all kinds. It seemed to me that my parents did nothing but work and that meant we kids worked. As a teenager, it never occurred to me that I would do anything but follow. My parents didn’t take time for themselves, so doctor’s appointments, dentist appointments, were only for deep cuts, broken bones and toothaches that wouldn’t stop. The result of that philosophy has been for me and my siblings, mostly rotten back teeth. Up until about a month ago, I still could chew and my front teeth looked okay except for some stain, so seeing the dentist wasn’t on my radar. Then about four weeks ago, I was unhooking a piece of equipment when a shift of the equipment broke loose a chain that came whipping around headed for my face. I got out of the way mostly, except three of my front teeth got hit by a big link that broke them off so fast I didn’t even feel it until I realized I had a mouth full of teeth – tooth fragments that I started spitting out. In the next 30 seconds, I realized I must have opened my mouth just before the chain hit because only my teeth got it. If I hadn’t seen the chain whipping around, it would have taken my head off. It left me with quite a smile…two teeth broken off 1/8 of an inch above the gum in front and broken off flush with the gum on the inside, or that’s what it feels like. What do I do? I realize my back teeth are a mess and now my front teeth are gone. I saw an emergency dentist and he said I could possibly save the front teeth with root canals and crowns. I do want to save my remaining teeth that are good, even though the molars are gone or have to go.

Answer:

No one factors accidents into life. Thank goodness for various forms of insurance that mitigate expense and inconvenience. If it’s work related you may get some help.

If your teeth broke cleanly, didn’t sustain vertical fractures through the length of the root and didn’t break below the boney root socket, you can probably save them. Careful evaluation will assure this is the case.

It might be wise to have the root canals done and provisional or temporary crowns put in place and then a thorough assessment made to plan for a future that may include bridgework and implants.

We live in a great time – dental repentance allows nearly everyone to have a beautiful, well-functioning dentition.

Take care of you – now’s the time.


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


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