I have had trouble with my teeth my entire life. I started needing root canal treatments in my teen years. My dentists always assumed I was not taking care of my teeth. This was absolutely not true. I brush my teeth twice a day AND floss. I have done this since I was a kid. Despite that, I always have tons of cavities. Yet, friends of mine that hardly care about their teeth seem to skate by cavity free. One of my low points was my sophomore year of college. One of my front teeth had a root canal treatment in my teen years. However, my parents could not afford to get a crown put on it. Here I am, year two in my university with a tooth which had turned gray. As if that wasn’t bad enough, my tooth literally crumbled. I was humiliated with half a tooth in the front of my mouth. I was afraid to speak and never smiled. Eventually, I saved up enough to get a dental crown from a dentist within walking distance of my dorm. But, the crown doesn’t match any of my other teeth and looks obviously fake. Fast forward. I’m married and my husband has some dental insurance. I went to see a dentist and he said that my mouth was a mess and I should consider just extracting my teeth and getting dentures. I’m only 27 years old and have spent the last two days crying at the idea. Is there no other solution for someone in my situation?
I am sorry you have been faced with either lazy or judgmental dentists. Believe it or not, most dentists went into their field because they want to help people. You’ve seemed to have gotten a couple of duds. I am going to be honest with you and say that your current dentist is not going to be the best dentist for you.
Some patients, like yourself, can do everything right and still end up with high maintenance teeth. It’s the genetic lottery and you didn’t get the big prize. However, there are a few things you can do to help yourself.
Do NOT Get Dentures
Whatever you do, please do not get your teeth extracted and get dentures. Once your teeth are removed, your body will immediately begin to resorb the minerals in your jawbone to use elsewhere in your body.
This will have the side effect of shrinking your jawbone. After ten or so years, you will no longer have enough jawbone left to keep your dentures in place. Not to mention that it will age your appearance by decades. This is totally avoidable and I don’t want you to have to face such severe consequences when there are options.
Find a Sedation Dentist Willing to Invest in Your Teeth
The first thing I want you to do is find another dentist, one who is totally willing to invest as much work as necessary to fix your teeth. Ideally, you should look for a sedation dentist. The benefit to this, aside from anxiety-free/pain-free appointments, is that it will allow you to get more work done during each appointment. This enables you to catch up faster.
A Simple Step You Can Take
Most people think oral hygiene is all they need to keep their cavities at bay. The truth is, however, that brushing generally only gets to the smooth surfaces of your teeth. In order to get into all those cracks and crevices, you need your saliva to have time to do the beavy lifting. Our saliva is loaded with bacteria fighting minerals. However, if you snack a lot it doesn’t have enough time to do the work. If possible, limit your eating to three times a day and only one snack. This gives your saliva more time to work. Doing this simple step will allow you to reduce your chance of cavities.
This blog is brought to you by Lafayette, LA Dentists Drs. Foreman and Thimmesch.