Dear Dr. Crapo: About a year ago I had to have my bottom left molars and another tooth out because they were broken off and decayed down into my gums. Everything has healed but now I can’t chew anything on that side. I’ve been chewing on the right side. I had some temporary crowns on the right that came off and now I can barely chew. I went to see a dentist and he said I needed a lot of work to get my chewing back. He said the molars on the upper right side were all but gone. I also have a tooth on the lower right back that’s snapped off. It appears that my front teeth just past my eyeteeth are good on the top and bottom, but I can’t chew anything heavy duty on my front teeth! The dentist suggested I get a partial denture for the bottom after the broken tooth is pulled and the same for the top when the molars are yarded out. Obviously I get decay and it gets away on me before I can get something done. I’ve been reading about implants, so I saw another guy and he said I had good bone where the teeth were pulled last year, so he said I could get implants. After he got finished with his inspection, he said I needed about five or six implants and about ten crowns. He told me insurance wouldn’t help put the implants in but might help with the crowns. I’ve got a dental plan and my wife is allowed to put me on hers, but it is still going to cost a bundle. Also the guy found I needed a root canal, so that’s another thing. Where do I start?
Start where your body needs you to start and start as soon as you can arrange financing for that part of your mouth that will give you the most chewing function. In your case, the sooner you put implants on the lower left side, the better, because implants prevent bone loss.
From your description, you’ve got “good teeth” in your upper left molar area. That will allow great function once the implants receive their crowns.
Treatment on half your mouth won’t be inexpensive, but it will give you excellent chewing function and make it easier on your finances than tackling the whole restoration at the same time.
Once the left side is done, have any compromised teeth dealt with on the right, so that you’ll be ready when your finances allow, to restore it too.
If we can help, we’d like to. Call 778-410-2080 for a consultation.