Isaac Menasha, DDS - Cracked tooth & Dental Implant

I was eating my lunch when I bit down on something hard.  OUCH!! My tooth is hurting me now.  I figured by the end of the day or so, my tooth would feel better. The next morning I try to eat with the tooth again, but it still hurts and it feels sensitive now. I wait a few more days hoping that I don’t have to call the Dentist, but now the tooth is hurting me even more and I have no choice but to call.  At the dental office, they take an x-ray and tell me that my tooth is cracked and it will have to be come out.  Even though I don’t visit the dentist too often (I know, I know! I should go twice a year for a cleaning and checkup), I still have all my teeth. Now I am about to lose one.  I can’t go around without a tooth.

I learned something today at the dental office.  The dentist explained to me that we can replace my cracked tooth with a dental implant.  I liked the idea of only replacing the tooth that is broken and not having to touch my other teeth.  I learned that after an extraction, our bodies heal and as part of the healing process, the bone around the pulled tooth starts to shrink.  The Dentist told me that in 3 years, 40-60% of the bone will disappear and the area where my tooth is missing would be very narrow.  40-60% sounded like a lot to me.  I asked what could be done to prevent this and he suggested what was called a bone graft.  Basically, after the tooth is removed, the dentist would fill in the hole with a bone like material and this would minimize the shrinkage and preserve of the bone in my mouth.  This will allow me to get the treatment that I want and get an implant to replace my missing tooth.         

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