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Question:

Dear Dr. Crapo: Over the past six years I’ve had braces and bite opening appliances to correct a very bad bite. Years before I had to have surgery to correct a jaw alignment problem. They are still trying to get some of my molars aligned properly. My problem is that the molars are not touching at all. The front teeth are now nicely aligned and I’m happy with the way they look but because my molars don’t touch, I have to eat with my bite opening appliance in. The appliance moves so it’s a terrible balancing act just to eat. The food gets under it, seeds pinch when I bite down – it’s very painful so I’m left eating mush! The plan has been to get everything aligned and then use crowns to make my bite hit right. I’ve been told that when that happens I’ll have my bite back and that I’ll be able to chew normally. I can see how that will work but I have a big problem. My dental plans run out in three weeks. After that even if I know what to do I won’t be able to do it because of the cost. The dentist doing the braces hasn’t really said anything - he just says we’re making good progress. My big problem is I won’t even have this chance again to get my teeth fixed. I don’t know if it can even be done. I need HELP! This has been going on for six years!


Answer:

Let’s deal with the emergency first. It is possible to do this work in three weeks but will require intense effort on your dentist’s part (the one doing the crowns), his office needs to get the preauthorization sent off; dental plans will have to authorize electronically so the approval can be expedited and a very good technician who will work to get your work done before the plans run out.


Another important consideration which can’t be stressed enough is the state of the orthodontics (your braces). If they are in a holding pattern so that they’ve been acting as retainers, then your teeth will be relatively stable and you could undergo this procedure; if however the braces are in an active state it may be unwise to attempt to rush this treatment. The only way to know is to have a thorough assessment by your doctors. If the one doing the braces says your teeth are stable (firm in their position) and the one doing the crowns can work-up the required bite and shape of your crowns, then you are okay to proceed.


This work can be done if it meets these criteria but time is of the essence.


If we can help, we’d like to. Call 778-410-2080 for a consultation.


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