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FAQ:  Implants

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I received a new crown for one of my upper front teeth just four months ago, and it has already become loose. The crown it replaced was only one of several that I have had in the past ten years. My problem, as I've been told, is that the post length is inadequate for a really strong hold.

My current dentist will not remove it for fear of damaging the core. However, the sensation of the crown moving when I talk or eat is maddening! Should I be looking into implants? ... Visitor from CT

Having a loose front tooth can really make you crazy and this needed to be dealt with right away. When the crown is loose the bacteria can "leach" down the center of the tooth and have a very bad effect.

The first thing that can happen is a problem called percolation. The root canal will basically fail and an abscess can reform and you will loose the tooth.

The second thing that can happen is that the remaining tooth structure can decay or soften so that it is no longer any good and the tooth root may split. When the bacteria sits in the tooth it can generate an odor and really cause bad breath.

Having said all of this, you need to see a dentist. It is usually possible to remove the core of a tooth by using ultrasonics. Your dentist of course needs to be familiar with these methods. There are some wonderful cements now available that can really bond short posts so they will hold.

The final thing is that the dentist must check your bite very carefully because that could be the very reason that your tooth is not holding. As far as implants, if your tooth is not restorable perhaps because you have crowns on either side of the tooth in question, maybe a cemented bridge could be considered.

We can usually replace a front tooth with an implant and get a very nice result but the bite again is really important. I understand that this is a long answer and of course I can not see you tooth or an Xray of the tooth. The bottom line, do not wait too long before someone helps you take care of your moving front tooth. If you have any other questions please feel free to ask.

Editorial Staff

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