I Can’t Get No… Satisfaction
Q: I am very frustrated about my teeth. I am first generation here in Canada so it may be hard to ask what I want and even then to know what I need for good chewing. I guess I am hard on my teeth, that’s what they said, so I lost about five teeth. The worst was on my upper left so my dentist said I should go to a specialist to get implants. I went and he put in two implants and later on, my dentist put on the crows. I was expecting to have my good chewing back but no, I was disappointed. I thought I would get all my back teeth but no – just two behind my upper left eye tooth. I spent a lot of money so I went back and back but I always got the same answer. Everything is fine, they say. But to me, everything is not fine. I can’t chew like I used to with my own teeth. After several years of frustration, I saw another dentist. He took a lot of x-rays and moulds of my teeth. When he showed me my teeth, I saw I was grinding them down because I have crowns in some areas on the top teeth and he said that was contributing to the extreme wear on my bottom front and side teeth. He told me that the teeth have to be built back up. He showed me that I need another implant so my chewing will be better but because I’ve worn the teeth down so much, there wasn’t much room to put another implant. This is the first I’ve heard of this. I want it to be what I need and I want to be able to really chew my food like before.
A: Teeth that are badly worn naturally or more rapidly worn down by abrasive porcelain may well need restoring with crowns. This should be carefully analyzed on a bite simulator known as an articulator. This instrument allows the treating dentist to do a three-dimensional analysis to ensure proper diagnosis before treatment starts. Tooth-size, shape, length, angulation, and position are worked out on this instrument. This gives the dentist a blueprint of what the final result will look like and how it will function in your mouth. You may well need a total functional reconstruction of your teeth to help all the elements of your mouth work in harmony with one another; i.e. teeth, jaw relationship, muscles, joints, etc, but this must be carefully analyzed first. The dentist doing this can show you how that will work. If you take this approach in your research, you should experience a return of excellent function and proper wear.
Based on actual patient cases
Calvin Ross Crapo