I have a situation that I want to fix. Even when I smile, it is almost impossible to see my teeth, this is especially true of my upper teeth. My jaw hurts quite a bit and there are times (especially in the cold) where everything tightens up so much that I have trouble pronouncing words. It almost looks like my mouth has collapsed. My dentist is suggesting we try porcelain veneers. However, as expensive as they are I don’t want to just “try” something. I want to know it will work. Is this the right way for me to go?
You may have a well-meaning family dentist, but he is out of his or her depth on this one. While porcelain veneers can help with your appearance issues, it is likely to make the other issues, such as the jaw pain and speech issues worse. I have not examined you, but based on the issues you are describing, it sounds like you ground down your teeth to the point where your mouth has over closed. This can lead to TMJ disorder. You do have several symptoms of that.
Your average family dentist cannot handle this. You are likely going to end up needing a full mouth reconstruction in order to build back your teeth to their correct positioning. This is one of the most advanced procedures in dentistry there is. To make matters worse, it is not taught in dental school. You will need a dentist who has invested in a significant amount of post-doctoral training in both TMJ and cosmetic dentistry. You don’t want to have to choose between form and function.
There are three particular schools that are fantastic in this type of training:
- The Las Vegas Institute for Advanced Dental Studies
- The Pankey Institute
- The Dawson Academy
This blog is brought to you by Hilton Head Dentist Dr. Bonnie Rothwell, an AACD accredited dentist.