About ten years ago I had crowns placed on all my teeth because my dentist said I ground them down. I appreciated what he was trying to do, but it seemed to not work. I ground those down, but then my bite became slanted like one side was shorter than another. I decided to try another dentist because of the pain I was feeling. He said I needed an orthotic device, which I paid for. This seemed to open up my bite too much and I am in even more pain than ever. I honestly don’t know what to do from here. I’ve spent a fortune and I am in a worse position than when I started.
You have a serious situation on your hands. You have had the misfortune of being treated by two dentists who are in over their heads. Let’s start with the full mouth reconstruction. This is one of the most advanced procedures a dentist can do. I am not sure why your original dentist didn’t protect you from the tooth grinding. A simple mouthguard would have been advisable and saved you another fortune. I wish I’d seen your case before the crowns were ground down. It is possible they weren’t done properly to begin with.
Then, when your second dentist entered the picture it made things even worse. An orthotic device is meant to be temporary. When worn too long it will open up your bite too far as yours did. What you need now is a dentist with true expertise in TMJ Disorder. This is what they’ve left you with.
TMJ isn’t a recognized specialty. Because of that you have to be careful. Look for someone who has exentisive post-doctoral training. Among the best schools for this are:
- The Pankey Institute
- The Kois Center
- Dawson Academy
- Las Vegas Institute for Advanced Dental Studies
When you look on the pages of dentists who treat TMJ Disorder, if they don’t list some training such as this, they probably don’t have any. Be wary.