Too Young to Lose my Teeth
I’m twenty-eight years old. My parents have been very careful to have my dental care taken care of since I was a child and I have followed suit. My dentist has seen to my dental health and it’s been a challenge because I have dental genetic challenges. I required a root canal on one of my front teeth when I was a young teenager because of the way my tooth developed.
The enamel didn’t quite close shut when it was forming so bacteria invaded that microscopic opening. Then, as I got older, my dentist found that I didn’t have enough strong gum around my teeth because my gums were receding. I then saw a dentist who grafted some gum so my recession on the bottom teeth wouldn’t recede any further.
I digress for a moment to say that I had braces as a teenager because I had bad crowding. I thought I’d done everything but no. On my last check-up, my dentist was surprised that my bite seemed off, so back I went.
A very thorough exam of moulds and new x-rays were taken. A couple weeks later, I went back for the news. I’m mechanically oriented so I was interested in the dynamics of “this bite problem” he’d referred to.
“When I saw your bite was not hitting as it should, especially when you ‘moved your bite’ side to side, I saw movement of your lower incisors. That movement is contributing to bone loss around those teeth,” he said. “Every time you chew, your lower front teeth are stressed. Along with the genetics, this force, is causing rapid bone loss for your age.”
“What do I do?” I said. “We must change the way your front teeth hit and glide. We must also make many teeth share the load of one,” he said. “What does that mean,” I asked. “Through the use of crowns joined together in an invisible way, we can ensure that no one tooth will take the pressure of the whole mouth during chewing.
Immobilizing your teeth is important because when teeth get loose and even if there is the slightest inflammation, bone loss proceeds at a greater rate,” he said. “Does it mean crowning all my front teeth?” I asked.
“Yes, your teeth must be in the right place three dimensionally and they must be joined invisibly (process called splinting) so they look natural. Each tooth will be supported because ‘tying teeth’ together means forces hitting on one tooth are shared by the others.”
“It’s a lot to take in,” I said, “will this save my teeth? And for how long?” “It is the only way to ensure you’ll keep them for an indefinite period of time. I have several patients that took this treatment over twenty years ago. They have lost some bone but have retained their teeth to this day,” he said. I can live with twenty years, hopefully more.
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Based on actual patient cases
Calvin Ross Crapo