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Dr. Crapo

Loose Teeth and Implants Don't Mix

Q: One of the unspoken but hard rules I learned as a child was that of personal sacrifice. So, as our children needed things we counted their needs more important than our own. This guided our spending so if we as parents had a need it was taken care of in the most economic way.

I give you this background because as my wife and I had tooth concerns we often put them off till the tooth had to be pulled. I have only a few teeth left up top and on the bottom. I saw a dentist and he noted that although they were still functioning some were getting loose. He told me that I had adequate bone for implant supported teeth but I’m getting on in years and as for me these teeth are still working… well almost. Recently I lost a bridge. I don’t have any molars and only one or two teeth past my eye teeth. On my upper left side the eye tooth and everything back behind is gone.

When the dentist told me the extent of the treatment I could and perhaps should have, I thought that was too much for my age so I asked if I could just put one implant in a missing tooth spot in my lower front teeth and a couple on the upper left to replace the lost bridge. He said he’d take a few more records and then we’d talk. I really think at my age it would be foolish to spend a lot of money when I may not be around in a few years. Your thoughts please.

A: The key to your dental problems is the state of your loose teeth. Often time people in and out of the dental profession feel that implants are the answer to making loose teeth more stable. They reason that loose teeth can only be helped by integrating or “slapping together” the loose teeth with solid implants. Experience shows this is not a predictable strategy as loose teeth actually back out of their joining ties. This experience has been repeated many times to the dismay of the dentist and disappointment of the patient.

Secondly, it’s important to know that all teeth move microscopically- even the ones not seen to move as the dentist tries to ascertain tooth stability. When implants are placed between natural teeth and crowns fixed to them, it’s important for the dentist to make sure that that crown supported by an implant only hits when the patient makes maximum biting pressure on the natural teeth. Implants are wonderful but if abused with too much pressure the bone around them will slowly resorb away.

In your case if your teeth are loose they may well move enough to allow extreme pressure on the two or three implants you’re talking about.

Take these facts into your discussion with your dentist. Do what is best for you. It’s your time now.



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


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