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Significantly short root on front teeth

User Level:
Patient
Posted by: ECT100pa  (4 years ago)
Per my recent X-ray, my dentist said I have very significant reduction on front two teeth (top row) roots. When I push the teeth with my tongue, I don't think I feel mobility. Overall, I don't think I have noticeable mobility on my affected two front teeth. I had braces to adjust these two front teeth about 25 years ago which seems to be the only culprit for the root length reduction.

Is the best thing to do will be to be avoid biting and getting hit on these front teeth, and be careful when brushing? (The dentist said implant would be the best option in case the teeth fall out because dental bridge requires shaving off adjacent teeth.)
User Level:
Dentist
Per my recent X-ray, my dentist said I have very significant reduction on front two teeth (top row) roots. When I push the teeth with my tongue, I don't think I feel mobility. Overall, I don't think I have noticeable mobility on my affected two front teeth. I had braces to adjust these two front teeth about 25 years ago which seems to be the only culprit for the root length reduction.

Is the best thing to do will be to be avoid biting and getting hit on these front teeth, and be careful when brushing? (The dentist said implant would be the best option in case the teeth fall out because dental bridge requires shaving off adjacent teeth.)


I have had short-rooted patients maintain the teeth for years.

If you do not still wear your orthodontic retainer, having a bite guard constructed to wear at night will minimize the force on the teeth, and might go a long way toward preserving the life of the teeth. Certainly avoidance of trauma will also. But I really cannot imagine damaging them by brushing too hard.

It the teeth are eventually lost, which is doubtful, I would certainly favor implants over doing a bridge.
Posted 4 years ago
User Level:
Patient
Posted by: ECT100pa  (4 years ago)
Thank you for your professional opinion Dr Henry.

However, I have two more questions so I can be prepared for the worst.

In case the teeth start swiveling/moving, is it better to at that point get them extracted, and get implants as soon as possible? (Given this is upper front teeth meaning this is the esthetic area) Or is it better to let the teeth fall out by themselves over time once they start swiveling, and then go to the dentist to get the implants? I would want to give my gums the most chance to take on the implants with natural look as much as possible.

If the teeth fall out at a time when I can't get in touch with any dentist, should I still go to ER or Urgent care with the teeth in some sort of a container? Can they do anything about this kind of issue at ER or Urgent Care?
User Level:
Dentist
Thank you for your professional opinion Dr Henry.

However, I have two more questions so I can be prepared for the worst.

In case the teeth start swiveling/moving, is it better to at that point get them extracted, and get implants as soon as possible? (Given this is upper front teeth meaning this is the esthetic area) Or is it better to let the teeth fall out by themselves over time once they start swiveling, and then go to the dentist to get the implants? I would want to give my gums the most chance to take on the implants with natural look as much as possible.

If the teeth fall out at a time when I can't get in touch with any dentist, should I still go to ER or Urgent care with the teeth in some sort of a container? Can they do anything about this kind of issue at ER or Urgent Care?


If it is clear to your dentist that the teeth will be lost, it is better to extract them and have implants now. Mobilities are measured by millimeters of deflection. Usually a class 3 mobility is hopeless.

However, never having examined you, nor even seen any x-rays, I cannot make the call as to whether your front teeth are on their last legs.

A possibility is to have a cone-beam scan to estimate available bone, then have a surgical guide constructed, then extract the teeth, do supplemental bone grafts, and place implants all at the same appointment.
Posted 4 years ago
User Level:
Patient
Posted by: ECT100pa  (4 years ago)
Hello Dr Henry,
I currently wear a over the counter night guard that I molded with hot water to fit my bite as best I can. Can this kind of night guard still help in prolonging the life span of short rooted teeth? Or if the bite mark is off on the night guard, can it actually be damaging to the short rooted teeth? Thank you.
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