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There’s No Easy Answer

Dr. Crapo

Q: I’m terribly hard on my teeth. I’ve destroyed my natural teeth and now have a mouth full of implants. I wear my teeth down badly, I break the screws that attach the teeth to my implants. I break the foundational structure that holds teeth to the titanium bar that connect the implants in my mouth. This on the lower bridge. On the top, everything was fine and then I bit down on something hard and felt two teeth or implants give way. It startled me so I went to the washroom to see if what I felt was possible. As I examined myself, I could see that two teeth were definitely out of place. Then I tested the teeth to see if there was any movement, there was. I called the dentist and to make a long story short, he confirmed what I feared. He also found that my bite was contributing to this problem. I just don’t know when I do this. As I said, my teeth take up more time than just about anything. It’s frustrating and yet it’s me, I’m killing them. The question is then how do I deal with implants sitting in broken bone? We started by adjusting my bite so I couldn’t grind the teeth supported by the implants that broke away from the bone. I hoped they’d heal like a broken arm or wrist. The dentist agreed to wait but long and short, they haven’t healed and there are signs of infection. I’ve got to do something. I’ve contacted the dentist who placed the implants where I once lived to get his take but there’s no easy answer that seems to fix the problem. Ideas?

A: Yours is not an easy fix. First of all, your bite strength may present the biggest challenge. At the outset, it’s important to deal with the space that will be created once the implants and teeth that are involved are removed. You will have to have a provisional (temporary) bridge constructed which means removing crowns, at least on two implants on either side of the two coming out. This temporary bridge must stay in place for a good period of time while the bone is rebuilt that has been destroyed by breakage and infection. If the bone can be satisfactorily rebuilt, you can have new implants placed. The challenge comes if you don’t realize when you put so much pressure on your teeth, you may break your temporary bridge more than once. These are labour intensive to make, if you break more than two temporaries, expect an additional cost. The total time involved will be approximately a year: six to eight months for bone graft maturing, three months for implant fixation, and three to six weeks for new bridgework. In your case, maybe more for implant strength. Your new teeth should be all tied together for strength (like a bridge). Six implants (two new and two on each side) will be strong enough even for you.

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

Victoria Implant Centre 778-410-2080


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