Saving Natural Teeth If Possible

All in all, a true patient success story doesn’t always mean we were the ones to provide the treatment. Sometimes an accurate diagnosis and referral to another dental specialist provides the best solution for our patients. We are not hesitant to refer for services we don’t provide (and “losing the business”) if it is in the patient’s best interest. Here’s one recent example:

Lauren’s Chipped Tooth

 Lauren fell at a wedding and chipped part of a front tooth. She found an available dentist on the weekend who “made me look like a human” by bonding the tooth. When she subsequently developed an abscess, Lauren sought additional advice. She was told she would need to replace the tooth as well as one or two adjacent teeth. When she came to our office, we told her we disagreed with the suggestion solution.

Dr. Aranguren saw her, noted conflicting information and findings and got opinions from Drs. Ganeles and Norkin who thoroughly discussed Lauren’s case. They determined the next move in her best interest would actually be for her to see an endodontist, a specialist in saving natural teeth with root canal treatment. This was not an obvious recommendation, as the endodontist was very reluctant to do the procedure, but ultimately agreed after Dr. Aranguren strenuously advocated for him to do it. Ultimately, endodontic treatment was the right call and even the endodontist called it a “miraculous result.”

“Lauren could have spent upwards of $25,000 for implants, bone grafts and crowns. At the end of the day she spent about $1,500, most of that with an endodontist who was able to perform root canal and save the chipped tooth without the involvement of adjacent teeth. She’s a success story for us, even though we didn’t really do anything other than offer the right advice.”

The Appropriate Approach

Without a doubt, a goal of modern dentistry and periodontics is to help you keep your natural teeth for a lifetime. If natural teeth can’t be saved, implants are today’s best option for tooth replacement. Our practice boasts a 95%+ success rate, with thousands of successful, healthy dental implant placements.

Keeping your natural teeth is always the best option, and one of the ways of doing so is by maintaining good oral hygiene habits, such as:

  • Maintaining a healthy diet
  • Not skipping twice daily brushing and flossing
  • Avoiding carbonated, citrus and sugary drinks – acid and sugar strip your teeth of important minerals which help protect teeth from decay
  • Visiting your general dentist twice a year for preventative care
  • Visiting your periodontist as recommended if you have gum disease
  • Trying not to chip your teeth (sorry, Lauren!)

Remember, dental implants are meant to replace missing teeth, not to replace your natural teeth unless they are beyond repair. Take care of them!

Note: If you experience an emergency tooth situation, please don’t hesitate to call our office immediately. With a team of periodontists on board, one of our doctors is always available to speak to a patient and discuss treatment options. Contact us today and leave a message. One of our doctors will get back to you!