Today, we want to tell you a story.
This story is about someone who could have saved his smile a number of times. Instead, he ignored his problems until it was too late and ended up losing all his teeth.
Along the way, you’ll see what the man could have done to keep his smile intact. We hope his story will be a cautionary tale to encourage you to keep your mouth as healthy as it can be.
Preventive care, such as routine cleanings and exams, is always your best option, but we know that things happen in life. At the offices of George A. Hoop, DDS, we offer restorative services, so we can save teeth and rebuild smiles that function as well as they work.
We hope you are in a similar situation that you will call 239-734-7737 today. Make an appointment at our either of our locations in Fort Myers and Naples, FL.
Fill ‘em Up
There once was a man who we’ll call Bob. Bob was a nice guy. He brushed his teeth every day, but he wasn’t so good about flossing.
A small bit of food got caught between two of his teeth. Bacteria used the sugars in that small bit of food to form plaque. This kept the bacteria close to Bob’s teeth, and in time, the bacteria cause decay to form on one tooth.
Bob didn’t notice it at first. The decay got worse, and Bob got a cavity.
If Bob had made a dental appointment with Dr. Hoop, he could have gotten a tooth-colored dental filling, and his tooth would have looked and felt as good as new.
Alas, since the cavity didn’t hurt (yet), Bob ignored it. So, the cavity continued to grow, and the bacteria ate deeper into his tooth.
Getting to the Root of the Matter
One morning, Bob noticed his tooth hurt as he drank his morning coffee. After a few more sips, he decided to set the coffee aside and drink water instead.
Over the next few days, the pain continued to get worse whenever he had something hot or cold to drink. Bob tried avoiding those things, but that didn’t help either.
As the pain got worse, he had to stop biting and chewing with that infected tooth no matter what he ate. Again, Bob could have saved his smile by calling his Dr. Hoop that day.
With local anesthetic and some dental sedation, Bob could have had pain-free root canal treatment.
The doctor would have removed the infection from Bob’s tooth. Then, the doctor would have filled the tooth with a special substance called gutta-percha. Then, a dental crown would have been placed on Bob’s tooth. When this was finished, Bob’s tooth would have looked as good as ever, and he could have eaten comfortably once again.
Instead, Bob keeps waiting until the pain was so unbearable that he had to do something. By the time he visited the dentist, the only solution was to remove his tooth.
Rebuilding a Smile
On the day the tooth was removed, the doctor explained what Bob’s options were.
Bob could get a dental implant (which would replace the root of his missing tooth) and a dental crown so his tooth would look and feel whole again.
Bob also could get a dental bridge. This would be made by fusing three crowns together. The outer crowns would be bonded to the teeth on each side of the gap in Bob’s smile, and the crown in the middle would fill that empty space.
This too would have restored Bob’s smile and the function of his missing tooth.
Instead, Bob chose option C: doing nothing.
The doctor tried to discourage this. He told Bob that this could cause him to lose bone in his jaw, that his teeth could move around in this mouth, and that he would be more likely to lose more teeth. By replacing his missing tooth, he would be more likely to keep the other teeth that he still had.
Knowing what you know about Bob so far, what do you think he decided to do? If you said nothing, then you were right.
One Last Chance
Over time, Bob’s teeth shifted. This changed how his teeth fit together. In time, he lost more teeth and lost bone in his jaw until all his teeth had to be removed.
Even then, Bob could have rescued his smile and the function of his lost teeth through full-mouth reconstruction.
This is a more complicated procedure, but it’s one that Dr. Hoop has used to help several patients. With the aid of advanced 3-D imaging technology, Dr. Hoop could plan and carefully place a series of implants or mini dental implants in Bob’s jaw. These implants could support sets of dentures so Bob could have a natural and complete smile.
He would also be able to bite and chew nearly as well as he could before he lost his first tooth.
But Bob never made an appointment. He never found out what could have been done for him.
Over time, Bob stopped doing things that he used to enjoy. He turned down invitations to eat with his friends. He even stopped going to ball games because he felt embarrassed about his missing teeth.
Take Heed to Protect Your Smile
“Bob” from our story isn’t a real person. However, we have helped many people at every stage of what we described Bob going through.
All the consequences we mentioned are really what can happen if you don’t take action to prevent or repair damage to your teeth. It’s also true that the longer you wait to take action, the more expensive your solution will be.
We would much rather help you save money and save your smile at the same time. Getting a filling can help you avoid a root canal. Getting a root canal could keep you from losing a tooth. Replacing a missing tooth can help protect the teeth you still have.
Yet, even if you lose multiple teeth, Dr. Hoop and our team can replace all of them.