I think I like your implant dentist :-)) I am SO glad that he was not intimidated by your questions and SO proud of you for asking them!!! It sounds like he gave you alot of his time to discuss your options and ordering the CT scan was a smart thing to do. I have to laugh that he wanted a copy of your questions.....I'm glad they were so helpful!
The reason he confidently talked to you about the downside of root canal therapy is because he is the one who replaces the infected root canaled teeth with dental implants. So he's well aware of the residual infection that is present in the jawbone as he deals with it all of the time.
With regard to the UR side:
If the implant dr is telling you #2 (which has been root canaled) is on the fence...... in dental jargon, this means it's bad and he probably wouldn't be comfortable placing an implant next to it in his own mouth. So I agree with you to have #2 removed and replaced with an implant.
Let's talk about tooth #4. Hear me when I tell you that in all probability this dr is looking at you and thinking ...... how do I tell this guy that #4 ain't that great either after he just paid to have a second root canal done on it. He knows it's just a matter of time before this tooth blows up, but thinks he'll lose you or you will lose interest if he tells you it should go too.
Shelley, at this point #4 is just a shell of a tooth and is not in a healthy state. Radiographically it may look "ok" at this particular time, but pathologically, it's a different story. This tooth (#4) can cause failure of any implants placed in that upper quadrant because of the residual bacteria that still remains in the tooth in spite of the root canal therapies.
About the sinus infections:
Many people have low sinuses that hover over the roots of their posterior teeth and never have a sinus infection. I am one of those people! Sinuses become infected becaue of a chronic bacterial irritant that sets up house in the lining of the sinus. The origin of the bacteria can come from many different things, but many times, it comes from an infected tooth!!
If you are going to have sinus lifts and dental implants placed in your UR quadrant please consider all of your options. I know the dr gave you one, here is another:
Remove #'s 2 and 4, ensuring yourself that the sinus lift and the implant surgeries will be done in cleaner, healthier tissue/bone allowing the areas to heal better and healthier. I cannot tell you how many people I've seen in your situaiton who undergo the implant surgery only to have the implants become infected because of that remaining root canaled tooth. It's alot to go through to only end up having to readdress the area all over again. Not to mention the burden that all this infection has on your immune system.
Do you have an opposing tooth under #2 in your lower right quadrant? If not or if the bottom tooth will be occluding with the implant in #3 space, then you may not need to replace tooth #2 with anything. Did the dr talk to you about that at all? Maybe I can make this clearer..... how many molars do you have in your lower right quadrant?
With regard to your LL..........
If you had the teeth removed 6 or so years ago and no bone graft material was placed in the sockets, then the bone loss is most likely severe and the ridge is too flat to hold an implant. This would require extensive oral surgery to replace the missing bone and it would be best to see an experience oral surgeon. These guys have different preferences to which donor sites they prefer to use and much of it depends on the health of the patient. There is no guarantee it will work or heal adequately to hold an implant. The younger we are when this type of surgery is done, the higher the success rate........ I know, but I just thought you should know that :-(
I think the more conservative approach to the issues on your LL are a removable appliance called a nesbitt (similar to a retainer with teeth). This is an acrylic half partial denture that replaces missing teeth in one quadrant of the mouth. If you also had missing teeth on your LR side, the partial denture could be made to replace all of the teeth on both sides of the jaw which is called a full lower partial.
With regard to the sinus lift surgery.......
Most dentists who do alot of implants or do alot of oral surgery are very familiar with sinus lift surgery. If he wasn't comfortable doing that, he would have told you without hesitation. There would be no need to have an ENT do the lift.
I hope I have not confused you...... please let me know if you have any other questions or I need to clarify something. I may not be able to get back to you until sunday/monday as I am going bridal gown shopping with my daughter this weekend!!!
Have a happy 4th!!
Originally Posted by shelley
I wanted to follow-up now that I have had my appts and give you a status of where I stand.
I went to see the implant dentist 2.5 weeks ago. And boy was he impressed with my list of questions. He actually asked if he could copy them and give them to all his patients.
And he is the first dentist that agreed with you on root canals and that they are not perfect and there is bacteria and continued infection in there.
He said tell your friend she is super smart so
So we talked about the upper right teeth 2, 3 and 4 where I had the old bridge and a temp sits now. Tooth 3 is gone. And tooth 4 had the reroot canal and tooth 2 had a root canal.
First he checked over my whole mouth, every tooth. Said for the mount of crowns and root canals (old soccer accident were 8-10 front teeth broken in half) that my mouth was actually in pretty good shape.
He said he thought tooth 4 was good, that I likely could do an implant at tooth 3 and that even though tooth 2 had the root canal that it was on the fence in terms of lasting long. We talked about the cost benefit of doing an implant in that one now or 5 years from now if it fails.
I also have a space on the lower left jaw where some teeth were taken out 6 plus years ago.
So he sent me for a CT scan for both the uppper right and the lower left. For the upper right he wanted to see if there was a need for a sinus lift since it looked like my sinus dipped down between teeth 2 and 4 because of the lack of tooth 3. That explains some of the sinus infections since it is so close to that tooth.
So he called last night (what a nice guy) to go over all the results and he is sending my main and cosmetic dentist a note.
Here is his take...
The upper jaw implant is possible. He would have to do a sinus lift surgery at the same time. He still felt that tooth 2 is on the fence and I need to weight the cost benefit of having to retreat that tooth later. Is it better ot have him do a sinus lift or my ENT?
My inclination is to do an implant in teeth 2 and 3 and a crown on tooth 4. And then in a couple months do the crowns on 2 and 3.
ON the bottom left he says I have drastic bone reabsorption. And this guy will not touch that, its beyond his expertise. He is comfotable doing the upper right and the sinus surgery but not a surgery for I guess bone grafting?
So I would have to go to a oral surgeon that is a specialist that can take a piece of bone from my chin or hip or back jaw and graft it and then see if they can do the implant.
This doc did say that the specialist could also do the lower left and the upper right at the same time.
He also said that my main dentist would be able to make some prostetchic device with teeth that would fit like a retainer and that might be a better option.