Have you ever wondered why people seem to have more issues with their back teeth than their front ones? It is true that a lot of people lose their back teeth more often and one of the chief reasons for this is bone loss around these teeth. This is preventable and the dentists and dental hygienists at St. Lawrence Dentistry have a major focus on diagnosing and treating molar ‘furcation’ bone loss around teeth.
A furcation defect is bone loss around molar teeth which has exposed the root trunk where two or more of the molar roots meet. In other words it is the exposure of the base of the tooth just before the roots start. The most common cause of furcation bone loss is periodontal disease which is inflammation of the bone and tissues surrounding the teeth. Periodontal disease can be caused by genetic factors as well as environmental ones like the presence of dental plaque.
There are 4 classes of furcation involvements and each involve a different level of treatment.
CLASS I is beginning involvement. The concavity of the furcation can be detected with a dental instrument such as an ‘explorer’ but it cannot be entered. At this stage St. Lawrence Dentistry will bring awareness of the condition to the patient and advise to focus plaque control of the area. Often times a ‘rubber tip’ cleaning instrument is given to the patient to help clean Class I furcations.
CLASS II is where the clinician can enter the furcation from one aspect but cannot penetrate with the dental instrument to the opposite side. In addition to augmenting home care, Dr. Hawryluk will often suggest the dental hygienist do more extensive ‘scaling and root planing’ in the area. Scaling is the removal of any dental plaque and root planning is the process of smoothing the surface so plaque is less prone to adhere to the surface.
CLASS III is a through on though involvement, but still the furcation is covered by soft tissue. A definite radiolucency in the furcation area is visible if an x-ray were taken. Treatment here may involve soft tissue grafting of the gum tissue, cleaning our any granulation tissue in the defect, and packing the area with bone chips to restore the bone loss. St. Lawrence Dentistry uses only the finest products for this type of dentistry produced by BioHorizons corporation.
CLASS IV is a through on through involvement that is not covered by soft tissue. Clinically it is open and exposed. The prognosis of these teeth at this stage is typically guarded to poor. Treatment to prolong these teeth with this condition can be carried out but they may ultimately need extraction.
The Dentists at St. Lawrence Dentistry are able to diagnose and treat furcation bone loss around teeth at an early stage and prevent or greatly slow bone loss. Our goal is for our patients to always retain their teeth and this is possible with proper planning and treatment. If you have any questions about bone loss around teeth please call our dental office in Mississauga Ontario.