Sometimes the dentist is also the patient, and we have teeth that fail too.
Yes, that’s me – immediately after having a tooth removed this week. My face was still frozen. And I was sad, but I knew this would happen eventually. You see, this tooth had a LOT of work done to it, all starting in my early 20s. Root canal, gum surgery, tooth crown… then that failed, so another root canal and another crown… and then more gum surgery and ANOTHER crown! In my business, we call this “Hero-Dontics”, or heroic dentistry – trying to save every single tooth.
To be fair, when I was initially having this tooth fixed, dental implants were NOT a routinely-done treatment like they are now. AND I was super lucky to have gained 20+ more years with this tooth. However, the longer I practice dentistry, the less likely I am to “wear a superhero cape” and try to save every tooth. Now dental implants are such a predictable, everyday procedure in the dental world, there is no reason to invest time and money in a failing tooth.
I called upon my colleague, Dr. Sandra Chong, to remove the tooth and place a bone graft in the area, and in 4-5 months I will have a dental implant placed, followed by a crown. The tooth beside this one has also been heroically-treated over the years, so I suspect that it too will soon fall to the same fate.
You may wonder why I wouldn’t just leave a space there, instead of having a dental implant. The answer 2-pronged. Any time a tooth is removed, the surrounding teeth will inevitably shift and there will be loss of supporting bone as well. Therefore, a dental implant is logical remedy, as it helps keep the other teeth in their place with good bone and gum support. Secondly, it helps to bring back chewing efficiency.
And bonus! It looks better than the alternative.