Q: As a kid up till I was out of university I saw the dentist and hygienist regularly – Mom insisted. Even in university Mom made sure, when we got home, we saw the dentist. I had great teeth.
Once I was off the plan and on my own it wasn’t as important to me. I worked at a number of outdoor jobs; I was too busy for my teeth to be a priority.
One day as I was visiting home, mom asked how long it had been since I’d seen the dentist. It had been five years. I had started smoking on the job and even got into a marijuana habit. The money was good and I was having a good time. I promised I’d go but didn’t. Then one day, for the first time, I had a toothache.
I couldn’t believe it. It surprised me so I found a dentist. He said, “You’ve got a couple of molars that need root canals.” “Can’t you feel holes in your teeth when that happens,” I asked. “Your decay went straight through the top of your teeth into the nerve,” he explained. Well, I had to have the root canals so I did. “Those teeth should be crowned,” he said. “Next month,” I stalled. Next month turned into next year when one day I bit down and heard a great crack. What was that! I sifted through what I was eating and pulled out most of one of the root-canaled teeth.
“Can’t fix it,” said the dentist when I went back, “and the other one is gone too. They’ll have to come out.” That was a shock. Out they came. “How will I chew on that side,” I asked. “Implants, except you don’t have much bone.”
That was ten years ago but I’ve been told implants can’t be put there. Is that right? It’s really embarrassing. I’ve cleaned up my act and go regularly to see the dentist and hygienist. I feel I let my folks down because they took such good care of me growing up and I kind of threw it away. No way for implants? Really?
A: You’ve experienced what some have, when upper teeth are extracted. That is – very little bone under your sinus. Historically, bone thickness in that area needs to be at least five millimeters thick for the shortest of implants to be placed to avoid the sinus.
In the last five years, however, great breakthroughs have advanced in sinus bone grafting. New technologies let us place implants the same day as bone augmentation occurs. Having said that, it is important the dentist is able to do traditional approaches to sinus augmentation (bone grafting) in the small chance that the newer technique can’t be used.
Yes, there is a way for your missing teeth to be replaced with implants.
If we can help, we’d like to. Call 778-410-2080 for a consultation or visit us today.
Based on actual patient cases
© Calvin Ross Crapo
Victoria Implant Centre