I Was Good and Then I Wasn’t
Q: I have had a good long life. That is until I had a stroke. My mind is still sharp but it’s a trial to get my body to do what my mind still thinks it can do.
Locomotion, hand-eye coordination are things of the past. I can still tell a good story but I start laughing before my mouth can get to the punch line.
And that brings me to my mouth and more specifically to my teeth. Flossing is impossible to say nothing of brushing. It’s a trial to have someone else do for me what just yester year was easy. In the past few years I’ve tried to care for my teeth but decay is taking them faster than I can fix them. Two are broken right off.
Fortunately, I don’t have pain yet but I’ve got to act. I don’t want dentures, I’d probably not be able to chew with them anyway. I need something that stays put and allows me to chew. I have one implant but I don’t know if that’s good or bad in the whole scheme of things. What will work given my coordination challenges. My teeth are crumbling so I need to get going.
A: Three solutions come to mind that would certainly give you wonderful function.
As I think about your hand eye coordination my mind goes to ease of cleaning for you or your wife. With teeth beyond repair you could undergo their removal and implants placed the same day. On that day, a bridge could be fitted to give you function. Once healing has occurred a titanium bar could be constructed. It would be anchored to the healed implants and a denture constructed that snaps onto the bar. This would give you great stability and chewing function. Between meals or at the end of the day removing the denture and “Water Piking” the bar would be great home care.
The second is similar but instead of a denture a bridge fashioned from a denture and supported by titanium would be fixed in your upper and lower jaws and be as immovable as your own teeth. This version requires Water Piking under the bridge and may be a bit more difficult but you never have to worry about dropping your denture.
The last is teeth and bridgework constructed like bridgework on your natural teeth. These teeth either anchor to the implants or are bridged to the anchor teeth. These teeth clean much like one’s own teeth. Flossing is important but “Water Piking” will do most of it.
All options still require frequent visits to the hygienist and your dental team but decay is a thing of the past and your function excellent.