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Dr. Crapo

Monsters of Tooth Destruction


Question:

Dear Dr. Crapo: I’m coming to the final years of a wonderful professional life. The work is always challenging and interesting. I would say I have an even personality and big challenges inspire me. I’m not a person who is easily upset. It’s not that I’m boosting, it’s just the way I’m wired. I’m grateful for that. Having said that, I find that I spend a lot of time at the dentist. I seem to wear things out, chip things, or break things off. I’ve got a good dentist and he always seems to put me right. I’m sure I’m a challenge for him when he has to figure out what to do when I show up with a break, a chip, or a sore tooth. I’m amazed at how it all gets fixed. 


Not too long ago, over a period of a year, I had a tooth out, a bone graft put in and then when the graft got hard I had an implant put in. Once the bone was set around it they joined the implant with three other teeth on either side of the implant, in a way that made a very strong and pleasing situation. It has looked great and felt really strong. It’s the best that side has ever felt. I’ve really enjoyed my new chewing ability. About two months ago, I started getting food jammed between the end tooth on this bridge and the tooth behind it. When I went in and told my dentist he looked and his face fell. “I asked what it was”. He said “you chipped the porcelain off the back side of that end tooth so there is a gap that allows food to jam in there”. “What to do” I asked? “We’ve got to remake the bridge because it’s all attached and because those teeth depend on each other to counter balance the force you put on them”. He was unhappy because the bridge is less than two years old. Is that the only thing that can be done? I broke it, so I’ll have to pay.


Answer:

There are, in the general population, a small number of folks, often the nicest you’d ever meet, that are just monsters of teeth destruction. It seems that they can destroy the best efforts of man and technology.


That being said, there is a solution that can work. Because it’s porcelain that’s been broke, there is a porcelain replacement that is stronger than porcelain itself. It is called Zirconium. Your dentist can actually trim away the better part of the porcelain that remains on that terminal tooth. Once he has done that, he can take an impression or mold and have the laboratory construct an “over-crown” that can be bonded to the remaining porcelain that is fused to the underlying crown.

Once it’s well-adjusted and fits your bite guard (I’m sure you have one to protect it), it will last better than the original porcelain.


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

Based on actual patient cases


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