There are three common reasons why people lose their teeth. 1) The tooth is ruined by decay. 2) The bone support is destroyed by periodontal disease. 3) The tooth is knocked out by some trauma. I lost my tooth due to another, less common, cause. I was having intermittent mild pain in the tooth so we took an x-ray which revealed a condition called external root resorption. Essentially the root begins to dissolve for unknown reasons. This is different from erosion or abrasion which causes notching of the root surface usually at the gumline. My root dissolved below the gum and bone level. Treatment for this condition does not have a good success rate so instead I decided to have it removed and move the other lower front teeth together to close the space.

Dr Munib Derhalli, a periodontist, removed the tooth. He is an excellent surgeon, and because I may have lost bone around the problem area, I wanted him to be able to place a bone graft immediately if needed. The root was compromised because a portion of it had dissolved. So it was no surprise that it broke during the extraction and Dr Derhalli had to carefully remove the root tip without damaging the bone. Fortunately, no grafting was required so I moved on to the next phase.

Dr Michael Brown placed braces on both my top and bottom teeth because there are some other irregularities to correct. I will be wearing them for about 18 months and I will have rubber bands on the back teeth on one side. This is the third time I have worn braces and I hope it is the last. I have had the appliances on for about three weeks now. My tongue is still sore, and I still bite off chunks of my cheek when I try to chew. So I can be very sympathetic with all of you who are going through the same experience.

If you are wearing braces now, let me know how your experience is going.

With Care
Dr Stafford