Bone Spine 

A 77-year-old lady has suffered a lot due to missing teeth.  She has pain pretty soon after extraction.  She needs surgery to remove remaining root tip and bone chip.  Finally the jaw heals (Fig.1) and she wears a comfortable denture (Fig.2,3).

One and a half years later she has new infection under the denture (Fig.4 black >, probably corresponding to > in Fig.1).  Surrounding tissue is swollen (white >).  She cannot wear the denture.  X-ray shows that a bone spine (Fig.5 >).  The bone spine has to be removed surgically immediately.  Fig. 6 is taken during the surgery.  It shows that the bone spine is gone.  Although most of readers do not like the bloody image, the pain and infection is gone miraculously 4 days after the surgery (Fig.7).  Wound appears to heal completely.  After the checkup, the patient puts on her beloved denture without any discomfort.

In all, we should take care of our teeth while we are young.  It is never too late to improve our oral hygiene.  Missing teeth is not fun.

Xin Wei, DDS, PhD, MS 1st edition 10/19/2012, last revision 10/19/2012