I have always had problems with some teeth grinding. I wear a mouth guard at night as a result. That is the only time I feel like people can see my teeth and my jaw even hurts less. When I am not wearing it, my jaw hurts, you can’t see my teeth even when I smile, and I’m having trouble pronouncing some letters. My dentist is suggesting porcelain veneers. I just want to make sure I understand all my options. Is this the way I should go?
I want you to be very careful here. While porcelain veneers could improve the appearance, if your dentist has artistic skill with cosmetic work, it will not solve the pain your are in. It sounds like your bite has collapsed as a result of the teeth grinding. This is going to lead to TMJ Disorder, which will put you in even more pain.
The solution in a case like yours is to have a full-mouth reconstruction, which means putting a crown on every tooth in order to build your bite back into the right position. However, this is the single most advanced procedure in general dentistry. It is not taught adequately in dental school. You will need a dentist who has invested a lot of post-doctoral training in both TMJ Treatment and Reconstructive Dentistry.
If this is done incorrectly, you will end up in more pain than before. In your position, I would look for a dentist who has significant training in one of the following institutions.
- The Pankey Institute
- Dawson Academy
- The Las Vegas Institute for Advanced Dental Studies
The first two are located in Florida. The last one is (obviously) located in Las Vegas. They will have the knowledge necessary to make sure when they do build up your bite, they do it correctly.
This blog is brought to you by New Orleans Dentist Dr. Duane Delaune.