The More Use of Our Teeth, the Healthier They are
Mrs. Tai is in her sixties and has some dental problems. The most important is loss of three back teeth (Fig.1,2: 1-3). She has ignored these problems for long time, because she is afraid of dentists. Besides she does not have strong motivation to keep the remaining teeth clean, either. Finally she decides to take care of her teeth by seeing us. We start easy treatment first. She tolerates fairly well. Probably due to neglect, the back surface of the last tooth has a new cavity (Fig.1 *) underneath a crown (C). There is also a big tartar (>).
To get rid of the new cavity, the old crown has to be removed. Root canal is done again (Fig.3 R). New filling (so-called build-up) and new crown are made (C). There is no more gap between the crown and the tooth (>).
Mrs. Tai is scared of implants most. Implants are the best option to replace missing teeth. In the end of the treatment mentioned above, she sees an eighty-year-old lady in our office. The senior citizen has finished implant placement. She tells Mrs. Tai surgery is not so bad. Due to sudden deterioration of health of the senior, we have hard time finishing the rest of treatment.
All of sudden, Mrs. Tai decides to get her first implant (Fig.3,4 I). Five months after everything is done for the implant, Mrs. Tai really surprises us. Her oral hygiene is perfect. Her explanation is with new tooth, she eats well. Just like exercises, the more you do, the healthier you are. Her mouth and teeth are getting healthier by using more. Eating itself, particularly vegetable, is automatic brushing and cleaning. In addition, she uses every means of oral hygiene: brushing, flossing and rinsing faithfully.
Most surprisingly, she decides to have a second implant next week. We wish her well.
Xin Wei, DDS, PhD, MS 1st edition 04/28/2012, last revision 09/30/2012