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Mark Bornfeld, DDS
Mark Bornfeld, DDS, Dentist
Category: Dental
Satisfied Customers: 6021
Experience:  Clinical instructor, NYU College of Dentistry; 37 years private practice experience in general dentistry, member Academy of General Dentistry, ADA, American Academy of Oral Medicine
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Dr. bornfeld, i have missed my scaling/periodontal cleanings

Customer Question

dr. bornfeld, i have missed my scaling/periodontal cleanings for 4 years (great results) due to finances. started again 2 months ago with full mouth complete. my lower front tooth was a touch loose with a healing gum abscess at the base. i just went for a follow-up, because the tooth is now significantly loose. x-ray shows no bone attachment and deep infection. can this tooth be attached to the others and saved?
Submitted: 2 months ago.
Category: Dental
Expert:  Mark Bornfeld, DDS replied 2 months ago.

It is my experience that splinting the lower front teeth is not a particularly good option. True, by splinting a loose tooth to a stronger tooth, it can be held in place. However, a tooth that is conspicuously loose and has no supporting bone will continue to be infected, and no amount of antibiotic will change that. Particularly in the lower front area, splinting the teeth creates a very unsanitary environment; this location tends to develop the heaviest tartar deposits in the mouth, and connecting adjacent teeth together only serves to impede oral hygiene efforts. So, although splinting can retain a loose tooth in the mouth, to characterize that as "saving" it would be inaccurate; such a tooth will continue to be infected, and the splinting will only serve to hasten the loss of the adjacent teeth.

A better approach would be for your dentist to formulate a more comprehensive treatment plan, in which the prognoses of the teeth can be assessed. Those teeth that are too far gone should be removed, and efforts should be directed at minimizing the progression of gum disease on the others. An interim prosthetic device can in the meantime be made to replace the teeth that are deemed too far gone, until other more definitive plans can be made, contingent on your response to periodontal treatment.

Hope this helps...