Dental Education Lecture: Rapidly Loosening Tooth
Sometimes the tooth may become loose in a pretty quick fashion. This happens to Mrs. Liu. She came to our office two years ago. We did exam, cleaning and X-ray. The latter shows that the half of the roots of the bottom front teeth has lost bone support (between two arrowheads in Fig.1).
She returned for cleaning a year later. We took panoramic X-ray, which shows vaguely that the tooth #26 has lost more bone support (Fig.4). The blow-up image show bone loss a little bit better (between arrowheads in Fig.2). Due to dental insurance limitation, we could not take another X-ray in the same day. We advised her to return for further investigation sooner.
As usual, she returned one year later. But she had a problem now. One of the bottom front teeth is loose and tender. New X-ray shows that the tooth #26 has lost almost all of the bone support (Fig.3).
We need to do root canal, and splinting. Without immediate attention, the tooth is going to come out itself.
Xin Wei, DDS, PhD, MS 1st edition 12/21/2009, last revision 06/29/2010