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Dr. Crapo

Life on the Road

Question: 

Dr. Crapo: I’ve worked in the logging industry since I was nineteen. I started on the ground for a while but within a year or two I got into equipment and found I had a talent for it. By twenty-six I had my first truck – a big one, not for commercial and highway transport, only for logging roads. The days were long and I’d eat on the road. I say this to say that the body takes a beating and less than optimum care overall. It’s unusual if the mouth sees a toothbrush more than a couple times a week – toothpicks after a lunch on the road but never good dental care. Forty-five years later and sporadic efforts to hang on to my teeth, I find it a lost cause. Ok, I’m not giving up easily, I’ve been chewing with what’s left but it’s looking pretty bad with back teeth missing, some broken off at the gum and lately some aching to the point of not being able to chew. I’ve got lower front teeth and a few lower back teeth but they’re the ones that are hurting, so I’m eating on the last of my front teeth. I’ve got three good upper front teeth but my upper eyeteeth are broken off at the gum and so are some of the back ones up there. It’s overdue to get something done but what to do. Do I save the good ones? I’ve thought about that but I’ve had root canals and crowns only to have them break off or get rotten underneath. I don’t want dentures, so I’ve been thinking about implants. I just don’t know if I should keep all my good teeth and implant the rest or if I should get them all out and go with implants all the way. I’ve also been told I’ve got a very harsh bite and forty-five years of intense work may have contributed as well. I’m now retired and need to get my mouth taken care of.


Answer:

Your present with some important challenges that should be accounted for. The first is, how is your dental hygiene now? If it’s the same as when you were on the road you will continue to experience decay and tooth breakdown. The second challenge is your bite. If it is as harsh as you say but also in a bad alignment, it may not be possible to build into your teeth, the mechanics necessary to prevent breakage of crowns and/or the porcelain like materials used to restore your mouth.


If decay is likely to be in your future, the full implant reconstruction is a better option. If decay and a bad alignment are both your presenting problem, then full implant supported bridges will allow for a well balanced and aligned bite and a set of teeth not susceptible to decay.


If we can help, we’d like to. Call 778-410-2080 for a consultation.


Based on actual patient cases.


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