I’ve been grinding my teeth for years without realizing it. My dentist said my teeth are really worn and they need to be crowned. I started the procedure. We did the bottom arch first. The procedure was much harder on me than I expected it would be. Emotionally, I don’t feel like I recognize my smile anymore. Physically, my gums are hurting. The whole procedure was aggressive. I told the dentist I wanted to stop, but he just kept going. I’m not sure I want to finish this. Is there a reason this has to be done?
Chelsea M. – New Jersey
I haven’t examined your smile, so it would be hard to say whether or not it HAD to be done. If you’ve got worn teeth, through grinding, both arches would have been affected. Depending on how bad the wear is, you’ll likely need to do the upper arch as well.
There is good news, though. I can help you with the struggles you faced with the procedure.
The first thing I’d address is the aggressiveness during the treatment. If you’re finding the procedure emotionally traumatic, and your dentist is refusing to stop when you need a break, you may want to consider switching to a more compassionate dentist. A gentle dentist will have techniques to help with the pain, as well as the kindness to give you a break if you’re frightened. Often, you can have the procedure done with sedation, so you don’t feel anything.
Secondly, if you’re not happy with how the crowns look, that can be addressed as well. Talk with your dentist about what you were hoping to get out of the makeover. Do you want them to be exactly the same as your natural teeth, or were there improvements you wanted to make to your old smile. Whichever you want, a good cosmetic dentist can make a smile to order. However you want it to look, it can look.
However, you’d have to address it before they’re bonded on. If they’re already bonded, the procedure will have to be totally re-done.
If you decide you want to switch dentists, you can do that, even in the middle of a procedure. Your dentist is under an ethical obligation to supply the new dentist with all the data on your treatment, including x-rays.
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