Dark Root Filled Tooth

October 30, 2011

This fellow’s tooth was wacked when he was young. Wear a mouthguard when playing sport please guys! The existing filling was leaking and broken and the tooth had gone dark.  The blood in teeth stains when the nerve dies, and also the medicaments used in root fillings may stain the tooth.  Ideally the tooth would be bleached as a conservative option.  The filling was failing so the next best option would be a crown.  Unfortunately this tooth is on its way out – it is so hollowed an weak it wont hold a crown but we had to do something because the current filling is failing.

We built him a new tooth using a carbon fibre post into the root, and bonding dental composite resin over the top.  It is much cheaper than a crown, and if the tooth fails he is looking at a gap, denture, or implant.  Hopefully we have delayed these options for some time to come and given back a smile.


Composite Bonding Rehabilitation

October 30, 2011

This lady had worn and chipped her upper teeth on the inside until they were so thin they were about to break. The yellow tooth on the right second from the middle is an old crown which the patient couldn’t afford to redo so we had to match it in colour and shape. Crowns are hard and durable but bonding often means less tooth needs to be removed and they are cheaper. Because all of this patients teeth had worn we were needed to build them all up (or at least 10 of them) – compare $250-$300 per tooth for bonding vs. $1500 per tooth for crowns. They may not last as long or be quite as perfect in appearance but they can be a great low cost option without losing teeth and getting dentures. It was done in one day and crowns would take weeks or even months.  I would be happy to get 5 years up to 10 years for this kind of procedure.  Despite the cost, in the long term I would still prefer porcelain crowns.

Loose Dentures? No worries

June 6, 2011

Over the years I have been grateful to have studied under some great professors regarding denture making because full dentures.  Many newer graduates are seeing fewer cases of full dentures and find it harder to gain experience.  Nevertheless, even well made full dentures are often a nightmare for both dentist and patient.  Bottom dentures especially have little going for them – the jaw atrophies when you loss teeth which leaves no support to bite against, no jawbone left to hold the dentures firm, and the end result is poor diet, discomfort, ulcers and unhappy people.

I have been excited to see mini dental implants as another option for us to help retain full dentures.  Traditionally, full implants were required at great cost, and many patients don’t have enough bone to support these implants, or the money to pay for them.  The mini dental implant is an in between option – aimed at stabalising the denture against loosening or falling out, but still being removable.  I have just finished a case and the patient is thrilled.  he lost his teeth 3 years ago and hasn’t been able to wear a denture since – now he is regained his confidence an smile.



August 9, 2009








It’s so sad to see unfortunate cases such as this.  Mostly because it is preventable, and secondly because it is a long hard road to any future recovery.  The causes of such extensive damage are many – fear of dentistry, poor diet, poor hygiene, lack of understanding the process of decay, medical issues such as reflux or bulemia, drug use, or a lack of access to a dentist.  Treatment will depend on what this person wants, can tolerate, and can afford.  I always quote my favourite three C’s – Comfort, Cosmetics, Cost

Comfort – the best option would be to save all the teeth possible, and replace the missing teeth with implants.  This would look and feel like a full set of natural beautiful looking teeth.  The problem is each tooth is so damaged it would probably need a root treatment and crown, and at roughly $5000 per implant tooth, this patient is unlikely to be able to afford such a complex treatment.  This is why I do my best to educate and help people understand the need to prevent this damage in the first place.

Cosmetics – the above result can look perfect, but so can a really well made denture.  I see very few people that can eat well with full dentures, although some tolerate a full upper denture reasonably well.  I emphasise tolerate – most people with dentures have forgotten how good it used to be to have teeth and just deal with it as best they can.  As they get older, the bone in their mouths becomes less able to support the denture, and I end up seeing many older people with intolerable dentures – usually blaming the fact that they can’t eat, have pain, and blame the fact on not being able to find a dentist that knows how to make a denture that fits.  These people really need an implant to help stablise the denture – back to cost.

Cost – it is all about balance at the end of the day.  If I was the above patient I would want to save whatever teeth I could – depending on my finances.  We could probably patch the decay and slow the breakdown process.  make some partial dentures to replace the spaces and build up the teeth which have worn down from the incredible workload.

The bottom line is – if you have teeth, prevention is better than cure (see my segment on general dentistry).  If you have damage to your teeth, the sooner you get them looked at the better.  If you have damage to your teeth, there are many options to get your mouth back on track.  You need to find a dentist who can discuss the options with you.  Finally – you have to be realistic – about your future level of care, or your budget, or what expectations you have.  You can’t get complex treatment, implants, and crowns for the price of a denture, and you can’t get a denture that feels like your on teeth.