Q: Eight years ago, life was a dream. Family was good, job was good, marriage great. Then out of no where an illness came and put me in the hospital for four months. All so a sudden I was on medications one after another each one managing a different problem. I became a walking pharmacy.
Since that time, I haven’t been able to work. In those seven plus years, I seem to be destroying my teeth. It seems that every week I break off a piece somewhere. Four months ago, I had fillings put in my front teeth. The dentist said at the time he didn’t think they’d last long and they didn’t. I broke those fillings out in three months. I didn’t mean to and I don’t even know how I could. The dentist I’m seeing has been kind and helpful but he said I needed to get an opinion for the way I treat my teeth so I did. I went through the process of getting molds/impressions done and seeing and hearing the results.
My sweetheart husband works two jobs and I feel like a burden. I also told the new dentist that did the evaluation that I have dry mouth. I’m on about a dozen meds that control my symptoms. I don’t know why these things are happening and I don’t know how I’m going to get my teeth fixed. The doctor said my roots and bone are really strong and it ‘s worth fixing my teeth. It’s a dilemma. Any suggestions would be appreciated.
A: Yours certainly is a complex situation, one exacerbated by the medications you must take. Many medications cause “dry mouth” and some cause their recipients to clench and grind their teeth far beyond the biologic limit of teeth, gum and bone, so it’s good you have great root and bone support.
At this point the coordination between your muscles, your joints and their ligaments and your teeth is completely gone. This can be re-established and should be.
Front teeth and back teeth must be coordinated and they must be balanced and aligned with your joint and muscles.
In your situation, your front teeth will need to be returned to their proper length and position. This done, the dentist can then establish proper contact in your posterior teeth. Done properly, your joints and muscles will be coordinated with your bite.
In your situation, this provisionalization state should be tested and monitored for at least six months. A splint system should be in place for night time and for checking yourself for grinding during the day. In the short run this will lower your cost and may allow phasing of the final treatment so a payment plan can be arranged.