Home > Uncategorized > Five thousandths of an inch can cost you a tooth

Five thousandths of an inch can cost you a tooth

November 24, 2010

One of my upper lateral incisors is shaky.  It is painful and sensitive, so I went to the dentist yesterday.  Its lower counterpart was colliding with it in the bite, causing strain, and the x-ray shows the ligature space between the root and bone has eroded noticeably in the two months since my last checkup.

That tooth is already “compromised” which is a way of saying it has history.  Years ago it needed a root canal; years later it split vertically and had to be capped.  Then it was one of the four teeth that broke in my bike accident six years ago and the crown had to be replaced.  So yeah, it ain’t the best, but it’s an important tooth and I really want to keep it.

Anyway, the dentist removed between five and ten thousandths of an inch of material from the inside surface of the crown to provide clearance between the teeth; he called this; “adjusting the bite”.  I guess my skull is changing shape as I get older, so the teeth are moving a bit. We might have been too late, it’s wait-and-see.  In a week or two, we’ll know.  Improvement, if any, will be gradual and today it hurts just about as much.

Categories: Uncategorized
  1. November 24, 2010 at 16:59 | #1

    You might want to check your long term blood sugar levels for incipient diabetes. LHA1b <6.8 ?

  2. Ray M
    November 25, 2010 at 00:16 | #2

    When I was very young, my mother used to say “teeth are a nuisance before you get them, a nuisance when they’re growing, a nuisance when you have them, and a nuisance when you lose them”. I think that pretty much sums up my feelings.


  3. November 25, 2010 at 01:54 | #3

    Yeow. I hope ye olde dentist caught the problem in time. Mouth pain sucks. So do teeth. Too bad dentures suck worse, or I’d be a huge advocate for plastic teeth.

  4. dof
    November 25, 2010 at 03:41 | #4

    Stu; I’ll do that. I assume those are numbers I should watch out for?

    Ray, Dana, my mother advocates plastic teeth but I’ve been holding on to my own with constant vigilance and no small expense. When I was a kid, the philosophy was “drill and fill” but dentistry has improved so much.

    Today things took a turn for the worse; I called my dentist at home and asked him to call me in a scrip for antibiotics. If that fails I’ll be looking at an implant.

    Thanks everyone.

  5. Karen
    November 26, 2010 at 04:31 | #5

    Teeth do move around as you get older. I had to have a new night guard made last year because the old one just didn’t fit anymore; my front teeth had shifted just a bit, but the night guard fits fairly tight and was just not fitting anymore.

  6. Rod Clark
    December 10, 2010 at 15:55 | #6

    In 1970 I got a newly-graduated dentist (here in Toronto, CANADA) and we had a conversation about philosophical approach to dentistry. Knowing of my grandparents’ and my parents’ trials and tribulations with false teeth, dentures, and bridgework, I decided that I wanted to keep my own teeth as long as I could almost regardless of discomfort and cost. Well, 40 years have passed and I still have all of my original teeth, albeit with a few root canals and some crowns. They aren’t beautiful, but they are mine, and any discomfort is minimal. Used to be I had a few spots that required special really thin dental floss but lately those gaps seemed to have opened up a bit…I’m 63 now… and its actually easier to floss now than it was 10 years ago.


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