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Another Crossroad in My Life – How About Some Help

Q: I’m nearing my eighth decade. I’ve cared for my teeth in the best manner I could but at this point I find myself at a crossroads. I have lost all my molars, top and bottom. On the lower, I had implants and a bridge put in some time ago, but then my upper molars on that side got loose and they had to come out. The other problem I have is that I have a deep overbite. When I put my teeth together, my upper front teeth completely cover my lower front teeth. My dentist and hygienist say they can see me wearing my teeth away. The wear seems to be going more quickly as I can’t remember anyone saying that only eighteen months ago. I guess it makes sense since I’m chewing everything on my front teeth because I have no back teeth.


I’ve had moulds taken and seeing what’s left is kind of demoralizing. I can see the extreme wear on the remaining teeth. I understand that this deep bite means that the teeth skid along each other all the way up and down the slopes of my teeth until I hit my final bite. That is a wear factor, I get it. Now my problem is, what to do. The remaining teeth – ten on the upper, seven on the lower, have good roots. So, do I have all my teeth built up with crowns and implants added to the missing teeth areas or do I get implants and bridges or dentures? What do I do?


A: First of all, dentures should not be considered. The effectiveness of chewing is drastically reduced. Natural teeth or implants do not move, as does a denture (more particularly the lower). This allows greater forces in chewing and biting your food thus better function.


Deciding whether to restore your own teeth or go to implants has a number of considerations. There are many reasons one loses one’s teeth: decay, gum disease, etc. Those diseases in conjunction with a bad bite or damaging bite only make things worse. Your bite may have been part of the reason you lost your molars. That being said, it would be necessary that the deep overbite be corrected, or the deep bite forces mitigated (softened) if you’re going to keep your own teeth. This would require crowning your remaining teeth in such a way that the bite works harmoniously in its functional chewing. This can be done but it’s important that a mock up and the rationale be seen and explained.


In response to ‘getting implants’ and teeth made the same day, that is also an option. That treatment is very predictable, but you should feel that removing all the remaining natural teeth is what you want to do.


If you have good bone support around your remaining teeth and if the bite can be corrected properly, think seriously about the two solutions before committing.


In your case, these reconstruction options of your bite might well have similar fees but check that as well. Well-restored, well-functioning natural teeth are beautiful and relatively easy to maintain.

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

Based on actual patient cases

@ Calvin Ross Crapo



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