Q: Dr. Crapo: I try to avoid the dental profession as much
as possible. Despite that, I do have my share of crowns, root canals etc. About fifteen years ago I had two veneers done on my two lower front teeth because of severe chipping. They lasted about twelve years before they began to chip away and my upper front teeth started to wear badly, so the veneers were replaced. In the past year, my upper front teeth chipped beyond minor filling repair, so
I had to go in for that. The dentist said I had several problems – ones that he
did not know how to fix. He said there was little room to do veneers or crowns
because my teeth were so thin and he also said my teeth were getting loose. I
asked how loose – like falling out loose? He said no, but it could go that way.
I’m very upset! I know I’ve not been the keenest to follow every development in
my mouth, because – well I’ve had a great set of teeth and a good-looking
smile. What can be done? Am I going to lose my teeth? Please suggest something.
I’m ready to do whatever it takes.
A: The shortest answer to your dental condition
is that you are biologically overpowering your teeth and their support system.
If you are not eating or drinking things which are caustic and erosive in
nature, then proper mechanics may be all you need.
While the process is straight forward it is not necessarily easy. Determining the
forces in your mouth will require the restoring dentist to examine which teeth
are loose and which teeth are breaking. He’ll have to take into account the
thinness of your teeth, to see the best way to return them to their original
shape and size. This must be worked out in the laboratory before anything
happens in your mouth. You must know “going in” that even the best dental
insurance may not cover much of the costs of this diagnostic work up and may
even say that the scope of your needs is beyond the contract you have with them.
I cannot say what you need, but it occurs to me that your entire mouth (all your
teeth), may have to be remade in order to redistribute the forces correctly,
stop the chipping and breaking, and also correct the forces that are causing
your teeth to become mobile. Mobility is probably the most serious of your
problems and it is imperative that it be corrected. Looseness of teeth caught
early and treated, can often return them to their original tightness.
Act now and there’s a good possibility that these destructive forces can be eliminated
and your beautiful smile made pristine.