The category of “hopeless” teeth was used to designate teeth that had lost 50% or more of the bone around them. It is a category from an older system, and it is being slowly phased out, but it’s still in common use.
The term was used because by the time a tooth had lost more than half of the bone that supported it, it became very vulnerable to multiple causes of damage and loss.
First, reinfection of the area around the tooth, vacated by the gums and bone, was very common. This made it hard to stop or reverse the course of gum disease. Second, exposure of the tooth root made root cavities more likely. Root cavities are harder to treat than crown cavities, develop more quickly, and are more likely to lead to an infected tooth. Third, without bony support, these teeth were more likely to get knocked out, even by normal biting and chewing forces. Finally, it was felt that these teeth could pose a risk to your other teeth, so it was better to remove them.
With new advances in techniques and technology, none of these characteristics of hopeless teeth are as true as they used to be. However, it’s still important to consider them and how much they might affect your teeth.
If your teeth are hopeless, it might be time to stop fighting to preserve them. In many cases, preserving natural teeth in this condition is likely to be expensive and time-consuming. And your results won’t necessarily be great. Your teeth might hurt and you might have limited function. It might be time to remove your teeth and replace them with dental implants.
Dental implants give you the ability to start fresh with a new set of teeth. These teeth will look and function just like natural, healthy teeth. In some cases, we can give you a completely new set of teeth in just one procedure. Other times, we might need to remove your teeth, treat disease and restore bone, then place dental implants. We won’t know until we evaluate your condition.
But what we do know is that most people currently struggling with “hopeless” teeth can enjoy a beautiful, functional, healthy set of new teeth with dental implants. In fact, many people find that when they give up their teeth, they actually have the best smile of their life.
If you are tired of fighting with damaged and unhealthy natural teeth, it might be time to remove and replace them with dental implants. To learn whether this is the best course of action for you, please call (803) 781-9090 today for an appointment with Columbia implant dentist Dr. Adam Hahn at Smile Columbia Dentistry.