Q: I worked in the dental profession for many years so I’m absolutely committed to not ever having dentures. Over the years (I’m 75 now) I’ve had good dental specialists work on me. I don’t know if it’s my personality but the treatment was difficult. I had extreme pain with two implants on my lower right side. I lost one, but the other one took and I’ve got a bridge attached to it. I’ve had thimbles or copings put on my back teeth before crowns were placed, because I had to have my crowns splinted together.
I was told I needed to have these crowns removed from time to time and re-cemented with temporary cement to make sure there was no decay setting in. Now I feel like one of the crowns which is splinted to several others is loose. The dental specialist tried to get them off, but they wouldn’t come off. He’s kind of lost patience with me but I’m paranoid that I’m going to get decay and lose my teeth. Also, I have a six-unit upper anterior bridge. The eye teeth anchor the bridge and they’ve been root canaled and posted. When my bridge was made, the teeth were made too long so I’m all teeth.
Lastly, I’m a class II bite and my lower anterior teeth are getting longer, so I really do look long in the tooth. I know this is a lot to ask but can you help me?
A: This is quite a list and your knowledge of treatment is impressive. Let’s look at your concerns.
When there’s pain after lower implants are placed, it means the nerve may have been slightly damaged through pressure or nicking – further damage would have produced complete numbness.
Thimbles or copings are like a thimble Grandma placed on her finger to push a needle through heavy cloth. A thimble is a very thin metal cap that covers the tooth completely. It has many purposes but in your case by covering your tooth completely, it helps to prevent decay when an overlying crown gets loose. Clean the area thoroughly and you should be fine.
A class II bite means you have a deep overbite. It could have been dealt with during the original treatment. Your lower front teeth have over-erupted (grown longer into the mouth) because they weren’t hitting the upper bridge properly.
These lower front teeth may need to be crowned and re-angled to hit the backs of the teeth in your bridge. You may need to redo your upper bridge in order to “normal size” it. Adding an implant to each side of the eye teeth will give you strength, longevity and peace of mind.
In the past month, I’ve had two similar class II situations. Both are over-the-moon, happy with their new look and function.