Why Do We Splint Loose Teeth?

Mr. Wong is 44 years old, but his gum disease is severe, especially in the bottom four front teeth (Fig.1: I, incisor).  They have lost a lot of bone and are loose, particularly the one with <.  There are thick tartars around these front teeth (*). 

In spite of effort from the doctor and the patient, tartars are not controlled very well (Fig.2: >).  The teeth are still loose.  It is very difficult to clean loose teeth.  Finally we decide to splint these four front teeth together with canines on the either side (C).  Bone loss around the canine is not as severe as that of the incisors.  The canines are very solid.  We use them as anchors.

Thin wire and white filling material (Fig.3: >) are used to tie four incisors and two canines together.  The wire wraps around every one of these teeth (Fig.4: >).  Individual tooth is not loose anymore.  We hope that Mr. Wong can brush his teeth easier from now on.  Small toothbrush is used to clean the space between the teeth.

Xin Wei, DDS, PhD, MS 1st edition 09/15/2011, last revision 09/15/2011