One Step Back...Three Steps Forward
Q: Dr. Crapo: About five years ago I had an upper denture made. My upper teeth weren’t good so I needed to do that. I had lost my molars on the top and bottom, but my lower front teeth and small side teeth seemed okay, at least to me. I saw a dentist to see about implants for my lower back spaces but was told I didn’t have enough bone. I decided to get a second opinion and was told that I’d need special bone grafting to make enough bone for the implants. At that appointment, he found I had quite a bit of work because of decay. I got that fixed up and then not knowing what to do; I stayed away from the dentist for four years. Two days ago, I went back because I needed my teeth cleaned (they were overdue). When the dentist saw me, he found I had more serious decay. I was surprised but not shocked. He told me that in as much as I had quite a bit of decay since the last time, it might be throwing good money after bad to fix things up because I seem to get cavities faster than most. He told me that to avoid decay in the future and have good teeth, I’d best sacrifice the teeth and put in implants. I don’t quite understand. He showed me how it worked but I’m not sure I could explain it to my husband. He said it could be done all in one day. Is that possible? I’m in my early seventies. I want back teeth on the bottom to better chew my food. Will this procedure do it?
A: From your history it would seem that tooth decay has been a lifelong problem. If this is the reason for the loss of your teeth over the years, and you find yourself with a “heroic”, expensive fix of your remaining teeth, then I agree, an implant bridge is a good way to go.
If I have understood you correctly, you have ten lower teeth remaining. Because they are in a poor state of repair, they would all be removed in order to place the implants. It is because you’ve got these ten teeth that you have enough bone to place the necessary implants. They will be placed in such a way that molar teeth can be added to the lower bridge, so you can have teeth in the lower jaw to function against your upper molar teeth. It is an innovative design that allows this to be done when bone in the molar area is inadequate for implants. Another great blessing is that you are never without teeth – and
teeth that are fixed in place never come out!
If we can help, we’d like to. Call 778-410-2080 for a consultation.