Many people are affected by bone loss in the mouth. In many cases this may not result in loosening of teeth however, in severe cases the effects of bone loss can be significant. The teeth may become loose and teeth may also become more prone to infections as a result of bone loss.
In some patients, the pattern of bone loss is such that only a few teeth in the mouth are affected at first. We find that prompt treatment on these localised teeth can slow down, or even halt, the spread of bone loss to the other ‘healthy’ teeth in the mouth. Unfortunately, when prompt treatment is not performed, many more teeth may become affected which can lead to the loss of many more teeth.
In this blog I will discuss treatment performed on our patient to treat localised bone loss and prevent the spread of this problem to the other teeth.
Hanging on to a loose tooth, bone loss and infection
This patient, like many, had ‘held on’ to this failing upper central incisor tooth. Despite repeated infections, the patient relied on antibiotic therapy to ‘treat’ the infection. Unfortunately, in this situation, antibiotics only temporarily reduce the infection, the bone loss continues to get worse.
Once the patient had visited our clinic, we explained the dental problem in detail and suggested the prompt prompt treatment of this tooth to minimise the risk of further bone loss affecting other teeth.
As can be seen in the picture below, The failing tooth shows sign of discharge (pus) around the gum line and the gum appears more ‘bluish or maroon’ which indicated the presence of an abscess underneath the gum. The radiograph image also indicates the presence of bone loss and an old root filling associated with the tooth root.
The recommended treatment in this situation is to remove the tooth so that the infection and bone loss can be contained and treated successfully. Only by removing this tooth can we aim to prevent the pathology from spreading to neighbouring teeth and beyond.
The tooth can be immediately replaced using a temporary bridge following removal to ensure the patient’s smile appearance is maintained.
Following tooth removal, the pictures below clearly demonstrate the amount of bone loss associated with the area of the mouth:
The bone loss is a direct result of the long lasting pathology and infection associated with the failing upper central incisor which was ultimately removed.
Replacing missing bone
The most natural form of tooth replacement is a dental implant. Bone is required to ensure the optimal placement of a dental implant and also the long term success.
By replacing the missing bone and placing a dental implant in this missing tooth space, we can also ensure the stabilisation of the bone levels associated with the neighbouring teeth. The overall health of the mouth is significantly improved, as well as the patient being able to have a strong and aesthetic tooth replacement.
The pictures below show how the horizontal bone width is significantly improved following bone grafting treatment. All of the missing bone has been replaced:
Replacing the missing tooth – Dental Implant
Following successful bone replacement, The tooth and root can be replaced using a dental implant. The implant is carefully placed exactly where the tooth replacement needs to be fitted, within the ‘new’ bone. The result is shown below:
With careful planning, and artistic design, the failing central incisor has been replaced in the most safest and effective way. Not only does the tooth look identical to the neighbouring teeth, but the dental health of this patient has been significantly improved using skilful bone grafting treatment.
The outcome is one that the patient has been delighted with.
I am very proud of the treatments our skilled team are able to perform and this is an example of high-end dentistry that can only be performed at this level with a quality dental team.
Thank you for reading
Mohsin Patel BDS MJDF RCS (Eng)
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