How To Treat Myself Right?

Mrs. Wang has had pain in the lower left molar over 10 years (Fig.1: #19).   There is a large bone infection after root canal (arrowheads).  The tooth should be extracted and replaced by an implant.  She has kept postponing the treatment.  Finally the pain is so severe that she has to get it done.  When the tooth is out, the bone infection is huge (Fig.2 arrowheads).  The neighboring tooth (#20) has almost no bone to support.  It is loose and sensitive.  Ten years ago, the same tooth had a lot of bone (Fig.1 *).  What a loss!

What is more is that she has much more pain than anybody else associated with extraction and implant placement because of the severe bone infection.  After repeated injection of anesthetics, pain is fully under control and she falls into sleep in dental chair.  When the implant is placed (Fig.3 I), the empty space is still enormous (arrowheads).  Plenty of bone powder has to be used to fill in the gap (Fig.4 *).  An abutment (A) and a temporary crown are placed to keep the bone powder in place.  Finally our body has to work hard to regrow our own bone in the gap.

If Mrs. Wang had listened to our advice 10 years ago, everything would have been much easier.  Because of complexity of diseases, some of patients just cannot make right decision.  In the end, they suffer more.  It appears that they are considerate, but in fact they do not treat themselves right.

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Xin Wei, DDS, PhD, MS 1st edition 07/18/2016, last revision 07/20/2016