I never went to the dentist growing up. I have a couple of missing teeth, two chipped teeth, and what I assume is some decay. I decided to bite the bullet and see what I’m looking at to give me smile a decent chance. I went to see a dentist. He said the easiest thing to do is crown all the teeth I have and get bridges put in where there aren’t. He called it a full mouth reconstruction. I liked the idea, but it would cost a small fortune. Is there an affordable way to deal with this?
While this dentist may think a full-mouth reconstruction is the easiest thing, it is certainly not something I would jump into lightly. This isn’t something taught in dental school and it requires a serious amount of post-doctoral instruction in both reconstructive and aesthetic dentistry, requiring dental crowns being placed on every tooth. If it’s not done properly, you can completely throw off your bite, even leading to serious TMJ problems.
It’s also not something I’d price shop for. There is a huge difference between cheap and affordable dentists. An affordable dentist will work with you on options and payments. A cheap dentist will cut corners that end up costing you a fortune with infections and faulty work.
However, this dentist jumped right to what most dentists would consider a last resort. I doubt it’s the right course of treatment for you based strictly off what you mentioned above.
Before You Get a Full-Mouth Reconstruction
I’d like you to get a second opinion. I find it hard to believe all of your teeth need to be crowned. You would have been in massive pain. The first thing I’d check for is the health of your gums. If you have gum disease, that is priority number one. Leaving it untreated will cause you to lose more teeth as well as bone.
While you’re dealing with that, you can also have any teeth filled that need to be. In most cases, you’ll only need a crown after a root canal treatment or if your decay is over a 1/3 of your tooth. Decay less than that can usually just be filled. I always recommend white composite fillings over silver amalgam ones. They are mercury-free and strengthen your teeth, the amalgam fillings are the opposite in both cases.
To make this more affordable for you, have whatever dentist you settle on make a list of all the work you need, using the most conservative methods possible, starting with the most urgent. This way you can phase your treatment in more do-able installments.
It’s great that you’re trying to get your oral health in hand. Don’t let this one dentist who jumps to the most expensive solution right away discourage you. Get that second opinion. Some dentists even do free second opinions.
Replacing Missing Teeth
You mentioned some missing teeth, which I’m sure you’ll want to replace eventually. The ideal tooth replacements are dental implants. However, if the adjacent teeth need crowns, then a dental bridge would make more sense. Your dentist can go over all the options with you as well as his recommendations for your particular situation.
This blog is brought to you by Decatur, AL Dentists Drs. Drake and Wallace.