Infections in other parts of the body usually cause pain, discomfort and concern. Not so in the mouth. Pain usually doesn’t occur until the late stage of decay and gum disease, and when it does, it hits hard, fast and unexpected.
Modern dentistry changed this person’s life. He went from having a seriously infected mouth to an infection-free, beautiful smile. And he never went without nice looking teeth.
An example: Before treatment, this one patient had tooth decay and gum and bone disease, as shown in the first picture. His lower front four teeth had nothing holding them in but gum tissue. The teeth moved when he touched them! His gum tissue was red, swollen and infected but there was no pain. Because there was no pain, there was no action for treatment, and everything just got worse.
Because gum and bone disease spread infection to other parts of the body, this condition can be considered a severe medical problem – one that only a dentist can treat. Giving these patients antibiotics would be like pouring a bucket of water on a forest fire.
Being a diabetic, this patient knew his life was in danger and wisely sought help to learn all the options available.
Severely infected teeth need to be removed. Once a certain stage of tooth infection is reached, the body starts rejecting them just like it would a dirty thorn or splinter.
Option one for most dental problems is to do nothing, but nothing was not an option from a medical/diabetes perspective.
Since the invention of electricity and the blender, humans, unlike animals, don’t need teeth to live. Option two is to take out all the bad teeth, leaving the good ones and not replace the missing teeth. This would have left huge gaps in the teeth, but at least it would be healthy. Being toothless was not an option for this person.
Option three is to go for function and the natural look and replace the missing teeth with an upper denture and six porcelain crowns and a partial denture on the lower. The six crowns act as stabilizers for the lower partial
Dentistry is something people tend to put off for reasons of time, money, fear, and trust. Modern dentistry is nothing like it was in the past. Yes, comprehensive dentistry is very expensive, and so-called dental insurance is not going to help with procedures this complicated.
If fear is the problem, sedation dentistry works great. If time is a problem, you can always find a dentist that will accommodate in some fashion.
Trusting your dentist or physician is critical for a positive outcome. With some research, a trustworthy and skilled dentist can be found, and it is certainly worth the effort.
The bottom line is that with today’s modern technology just about anything can be done to restore a mouth to a beautiful, healthy, functional state.
If you or your loved ones are concerned they may have dental problems, pick up the phone and get help. You can start with us!
Dr. Andrea Stevens is a cosmetic and family dentist in practice in Kanata, Ontario. If you have dental questions, you can call her at 613-271-7091 or visit her at kanatacosmeticdentist.com Please also feel free to leave comments or questions below, and Dr. Stevens will be happy to answer!