Q: Over the years I’ve been getting myself ready for my teeth to be fixed. I’ve had lots of work but it’s been by drips and drabs.
My bite isn’t right so I ventured to see what could be done. I had a thorough work-up and will go through the process. It was thorough and I’m confident things will work out the way I’d hoped.
It was surprising because it seemed to come out of nowhere and was really painful. Long story short, I went in and got a 3-D x-ray and it showed more problems than I or the dentist had thought.
Three teeth needed root canals. They were very much filled up with calcium so one couldn’t get root canaled but the other two did. There was a hole in my bone under my infected teeth and it was huge. The dentist showed me the 3-D picture. He suggested that when the last bad tooth that couldn’t be root canaled came out and when the disease around the roots was taken out, the remaining hole or cavity should be grafted with bone.
In the original consultation it didn’t look that bad and because I need a gum graft in that area, can that be done at the same time? I really left things too late but I just didn’t have any pain so I didn’t realize what was happening. Does this seem like the right treatment?
A: Teeth that have “quiet” abscesses and then become active (painful) are assessed on a case-by-case evaluation. Most of the time the abscess of the treated tooth is cleared away by the body and replaced with your own bone.
In situations where a tooth is no longer serviceable for one reason or another and the abscess is very large, removing the infection thoroughly, conditioning the bone, then adding bone graft is an excellent way to speed healing and ensure support for the gum tissue and the root socket of the tooth that has been removed.
The gum tissue should heal nicely over the gone graft as it will provide great stability for your gums and the remaining teeth and their roots. Over time the bone graft will become solid bone. With time your own bone will replace it as the body goes through its regenerative process.
Gum grafting needs a good supportive layer of healthy bone for it to develop properly. Let your body heal and the bone mature. Then, after six months if a gume graft is needed, that would be the time.
Reconstruction that requires all the all the elements of the mouth require time. Bone development is very important, be patient and you’ll get a very good result.