When I smile, you can barely see my upper teeth. Sometimes when the weather is cold, my jaw feels tight, and I cannot pronounce certain words. I am self-conscious about it. I want to do something about it. I wear a night guard for teeth grinding and jaw and neck pain. I saw a dentist recommending crowns, but I would like to know if that is the only option. If I ever get this straight, teeth whitening is next on my wish list. Where do I start? – Cynthia from CT
Your description sounds like your bite collapsed, and you have temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder. A dentist may be able to open your bite with crowns, but you need an experienced dentist for an accurate diagnosis.
Opening Your Bite and Restoring Your Smile
Skilled dentists open your bite with a temporary restoration. If successful, they will duplicate the temporary crowns with the final crowns. What determines your temporary restorations’ success?
- You no longer have teeth or jaw pain.
- You love your smile and how it affects your facial appearance.
- Your upper teeth show when you smile.
- The restoration resolves issues with your speech.
Choosing a Dentist for TMJ and Bite Issues
A general or family dentist must have advanced training in full-mouth reconstruction to resolve all the issues with your teeth, bite, and jaw.
In the United States, several high-quality institutes offer advanced training to dentists on occlusion and bite so your jaw, teeth, and bite are in harmony. Look for dentists with advanced training from one or more of these training facilities:
- Dawson Academy, Florida
- D. Pankey Institute, Florida
- Las Vegas Institute for Advanced Dental Studies, Nevada
We recommend scheduling consultations with at least two dentists with advanced training and experience in full-mouth reconstruction. List your questions and prepare to take notes to compare your options from each dentist. Also, tell the dentist you want teeth whitening as part of your smile makeover. The dentist will include it in your treatment plan.
Metairie, Louisiana, dentist Dr. Duane Delaune sponsors this post.