March 11, 2013

How Did this Happen?

I just saw a new patient, referred by a dental clinic.  She's 41 years old, last having had a "deep cleaning" about five years ago, which was painful, so she didn't go back.  Her chief complaints were a couple of spaces, a couple of teeth with holes that "may" be cavities, but no pain....  After examining her, we sat down in front of her panoramic radiograph and looked at it together.  

This is what we saw: 

two upper right molars decayed, two upper left molars decayed, and two lower right molars decayed, some also infected and all six needing to be removed.  Four lower front teeth with bone loss so great they are loose and need to be removed.  Moderate to severe gum disease around her other teeth, which will require extensive periodontal therapy and then continued maintenance if she wishes to keep them.  How did this happen?  She said both her parents had dentures in their 30's, so maybe heredity played a part.  Maybe the pain medication she is on for chronic foot problems and failed surgeries contributed.  Maybe fear kept her away.  What can be done?  The bad teeth have to be removed, the good teeth brought back to a healthy state and the missing teeth replaced.  She wants to look good, be healthy and feel good about herself!  She's going to talk to her husband about what we saw and recommended.  She still has a chance to save many teeth for a long time.  We see so many people, who, after the fact, say they didn't know why all  their teeth were removed. We hope we have the opportunity to help this lady now to prevent that from happening to her.  She deserves it.  

Robert G. Tupac, DDS, FACP, Inc., Diplomate, American Board of Prosthodontics (661) 325-1275 | 5060 California Ave., #170, Bakersfield, CA 93309

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