Q: I’m in my sixties. I have all but two of my teeth. The two I’ve lost are in the back and don’t bother. I can manage. It’s my front upper teeth and the side back teeth I can’t stand.
I’ve had decay and cavities from a child. As I grew older, my fillings got bigger and rougher – yes rougher. I can’t floss without tearing the floss and having it get stuck. It’s such a pain!
Now the teeth are mostly fillings and every colour under the sun – mostly grey with dark brown accents. I saw a dentist and he said my roots are good and the bone is good. He said he could crown them and they’d look good and I could eat and clean them no problem.
Then I asked him what about decay.
Could he guarantee I wouldn’t get decay around the crown edges? He said he thought if I cleaned really well and flossed it would all work out.
The problem is that he’s not me. I’ve thought a thousand times after seeing the dentist and getting new fillings that I’d be ok. But then six months went by and more cavities. I’m worn out trying to muster hope and I’m finished with these teeth so what do I do? I don’t want dentures, I want teeth that I can eat with, speak with, and laugh out loud without holding my hand over my mouth. What about it? Can I get something like that done? I read about implants – tell me more.
A: Implants are great and the record of well-placed, well-cared for teeth on implants is a proven long-term gold standard. You must realize, however, that implants are the last resort to replacing one’s own teeth.
If you have good bone support around good roots, crowning your own teeth may well be the best solution if you have normal quantities and quality of saliva. Dry mouth can lead to decay even around well-placed fillings or crowns.
If you’ve exhausted the reasons for keeping your teeth and it is not a solution for you, then implants may be your best choice. When decay has destroyed the crown portion of all or most of your teeth, reconstruction of each tooth involves root canaling and well-placed foundation material so that the remaining tooth and root is strong enough to support a crown. This, of course, increases your cost.
So, if you’ve decided that implant supported teeth is the course you’ve chosen, careful extraction of all these teeth is performed. Implants are placed and the teeth fixed to them can provide a very desirable result. New technology allows us to do this in about four hours while you are in a safe and easy twilight sleep.
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