I’m unsure which type of dentist I should be looking for – a cosmetic dentist or a prosthodontist. I have crowns on all my teeth and need more work done. In hindsight, I may not have needed to get crowns on all my teeth. But, I traveled to Mexico to get the work done and didn’t want to have to go back for more work later.
I feel like a fool now because I’m paying for it. My jaw aches nonstop and I get terrible toothaches on the top teeth. I feel like my teeth are crammed in, like the best way to explain it is that they feel tight. I have done my best to put up with the pain because I cannot afford another huge dental undertaking. But, I don’t think I can take it much longer.
The metal is starting to show through on the edges of the crowns now and I’m afraid it’s a pretty bad situation. Do you know if a cosmetic dentist can help me? Or what is the best path?
-Pam in Arizona
Well, thank you for sharing your story. Unfortunately, it isn’t uncommon to experience problems when patients travel across the border to get discounted dental care. Hopefully, this will help reinforce the importance of staying in the United States. Our laws and requirements are much more stringent than Mexico.
You are likely getting contradictory recommendations on which dentist to see. From the sound of it, you are suffering from function and form. Here is an explanation at which dentist may be right for you.
Prosthodontists spend extensive time and effort in understanding how the mouth works and how the bite is distributing forces. It is almost like an engineering mindset for dental work. They thoroughly understand how the bite comes together and functions.
A cosmetic dentist also cares about function. However, they are more focused on the aesthetics and in creating a beautiful smile. A cosmetic dentist would be the right fit for porcelain veneers, porcelain crowns on the front teeth or other dental work that will show when you smile. Think of a cosmetic dentist like an artist.
In regard to your situation, you need to have both of these issues addressed. There may be some difficulty since not every prosthodontist excels at creating a beautiful smile. However, there are some cosmetic dentists that are strong in the function of your bite, TMJ, etc. too. It may take multiple consultations to find the best dentist for you. However, since you are dealing with a lot of functionality issues, the prosthodontist may be a good place to start.
Be sure you research the dentist’s credentials, ask to see their portfolio of cases similar to yours and see if they have testimonials. Your full mouth reconstruction could be quite extensive. So, take the time to find a dentist you can trust and that will help you understand your options.
This post is sponsored by Barrington cosmetic dentist James T. Gavrilos, DDS.