I’m confused and unsure of what to do. I’ve had orthodontics done. Over two years of braces AND I was the good girl who wore her retainer the whole time she was supposed to. My teeth look fine to me, but my dentist says my bite isn’t right. He wants me to get crowns on ALL my teeth to fix it. In all fairness, I’ve already had a couple of cavities, and I think we got on this because I said I wanted my teeth whiter, but getting crowns everywhere seems excessive to me. Should I get a second opinion from a TMJ specialist or is what he’s telling me on the up and up?
Stephanie – Boston
We need to reign this in very quickly. And, yes, a second opinion from a TMJ specialist would be a good idea. I haven’t the slightest idea why your dentist is recommending a full-mouth reconstruction. You haven’t indicated any TMJ symptoms. Usually, patient’s mention jaw pain, popping, grinding, clicking, or generalized mouth pain. Even migraines can be a symptom of a TMJ problem. If you have these kinds of severe symptoms, you should have a consultation with a TMJ specialist.
As for having the crowns done, this is one way to go about correcting bite issues, but there are also less invasive and less expensive ways to go about doing it, too. In fact, the simpler solutions should always be checked first. Crowns aren’t the solution for whiter teeth either. The simplest solution would be teeth whitening. It will do the job beautifully while preserving your healthy tooth structure. Like a full-mouth reconstruction, it’s way too large an overtreatment. Unless you’ve already got crowns on your front teeth, you can have whitening done.
If you were suffering from TMJ issues, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s because of your bite. Like I said earlier, there are many other TMJ treatments (and causes). However, let’s say for arguments sake you have TMJ and your bite is the problem. It would require someone with serious expertise in TMJ. Someone who has undergone additional training and routinely performs full mouth reconstructions. It’s an advanced procedure. When done incorrectly can cause more problems than it solves.
My bottom line on this is ALWAYS try to preserve healthy tooth structure and get a second a second opinion.
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