Dentistry/bone loss

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Question
Hi Dr Spindel,

I was told yesterday during my dental cleaning visit that I have 10 (4mm pockets) I also have a few 5mm pockets. No 6mm's. I have moderate gum recession.
I am not worried about losing my teeth, as I am about the tremendous cost of keeping them. I have spent 30k on my teeth over my lifetime with veneers, crowns, fillings and if I lose my teeth do to bone loss and have to get dentures like my grandparents --- then so be it. At least the dentures will look better than my real teeth. The problem is my veneers need to be replaced again due to gums pulling away from my teeth and staining around the veneers.

I was told I will lose my teeth due to grinding and having braces as a kid. I do wear a night guard every night. I was diagnosed with "maintenance periodontitis." It is currently inactive.

6 months ago my pockets were a 1's, 2's, 3's. I had a few 4's.
Can bone loss occur that quickly in 6 months?
Additionally, I asked hygienist if I needed a deep cleaning? She said no since my periodontitis is inactive and I didn't have a lot of plaque build up nor bleeding. Then I was told to replace the veneers. Why replace the veneers if I am going to lose my teeth? Too costly.

I brush, floss, and use Listerine twice a day and with no bleeding.

Why the rapid bone loss if my teeth have little plaque? I want to shrink my pockets.

Answer
Although patients can experience rapid bone loss , your 4 mm pocket readings do not necessarily indicate that you have experienced bone loss recently. Probing depths can vary from time to time and also different examiners can record slightly different readings. Having some 5 mm pockets and a bunch of 4 mm pockets doesn't usually indicate someone who is in imminent danger of losing their teeth.

Veneers do not need to be replaced unless they are experiencing recurrent decay or excessive leakage. If yours are in need of replacement then assuming your bone levels are ok,it is alright to replace them.

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Lawrence Spindel DDS, www.lspindeldds.com

Expertise

Cosmetic Dentistry, Endodontics, General Dentistry, Preventive Dentistry, Comprehensive Dental Care

Experience

Former Clinical Instructor of Comprehensive Dentistry, and Prosthodontic Department New York University School of Dentistry. Also former instructor of Preventive Dentistry Columbia University School of Dentistry.

Publications
Ask Dr Spindel Dental Blog also numerous articles on http://www.lspindeldds.com (over 100 pages of original content)

Education/Credentials
1980 DDS New York University College of Dentistry 1981 GPR Manhattan VA Hospital

Awards and Honors
OKU 1980 Honor Society 1980 Long Island Academy of Odontology award for highest combined Academic and Clinical Achievement.
In 1997 he was elected to Fellowship into the International Academy for Dental Facial Esthetics

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