A Boatload of Trouble
Q: I just visited the dentist and I’m nervous, confused, and angry. I guess at myself. I’m nearly fifty and I go to the dentist because I have a feeling of sensitivity in one of my teeth – first check-up for a while, and he takes a look and says we need several x-rays. “Ok,” I say. So, after he gets the x-rays, he asks, “How long has it been since you’ve been to the dentist?” I think and say, “Just over a year, I guess.” Then he says, “Did you have cavities that needed fillings?” I say, “No, not that I remember,” and he says, “Has your diet changed, your brushing and flossing?” “I don’t think so,” I say. “Well,” says he, “you’ve got decay in almost every back tooth in your mouth.” Then he says again, “Do you have toothaches?” “No, never,” I say. “Well then,” he says, “we must treat this very seriously and get all the information we can.” “Okay, if we have to,” I say to which he holds back and says, “See that black spot – here and here and here,” pointing to my teeth? “Yeah,” I say – “That’s decay and in some teeth very bad decay.” So, I go through all the dental recording stuff and then he says I have to come back after a few days so he can put together a plan. So, I go back a week later, and he shows me what needs to be done. One of the things I see when he shows me my teeth on an analyser is that my teeth don’t meet in the front – well, I’ve always known that, but he also shows me they need to meet because I’m chipping away my back teeth. He says, “Your bite is off so you’re destroying your teeth. With all that decay, they’re breaking faster.” He also says I need like four root canals and I see that now. Last year – nada! Anyway, he shows me what can be done to fix the teeth and my bite but it’s a boatload of money. I told him, “I don’t want any root canals, take those teeth out.” He says okay and I say, “Doc, I gotta think about this.” He explained it very well, but I’m blown away. He says my teeth can be saved and my bite made right but I’m in shock. What do I do?
A: All right – first, decay happens for a reason and that kind of decay happened for personal reasons; neglect, eating habits, drug intake habits (prescription and/or street), stressful lifestyle (work, finance, relationship), etc. If your tooth decay has gone from no decay to “blow out” decay, then step number one is finding out why and following a strict regimen of health oral/tooth care while having the disease eliminated (i.e., getting your decay removed). Following that, the functional dentistry – “putting the bite right” as it were, will be necessary because weakened teeth (by decay and then large fillings and root canals) do much, much better when the bite is well-balanced. To keep your teeth, you will spend a ‘boatload’ of money but only after you’ve proven to yourself and your dentist you can ensure decay won’t happen to that extent ever again.
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Based on actual patient cases
© Calvin Ross Crapo
Victoria Implant Centre 778-410-2080