Most of my life has been spent with me uncomfortable about my smile. I have trouble speaking certain letters. My jaw hurts a lot, and you can’t even see my teeth most of the time. I wear a night guard and that does help with the jaw pain but obviously I’d love to be able to speak normally, not have pain, and for people to be able to see my teeth. Is there anything that can help me?
There is definitely hope for you, but you have to be extremely careful about who you let work on your bite. Bear in mind, I haven’t examined you, but based on your description it sounds like you have a collapsed bite with a sprinkle of TMJ Disorder thrown in for good measure.
What you need is a dentist who can open your bite. However, beware. This is one of the most advanced procedures out there and you need a dentist with the right training. Look at some of the credentials Dr. Cha has to get an idea of what type of dentist you are looking for.
Restorative dentistry is a wide field. You are looking at what amounts to a full mouth reconstruction. To do this properly, it has to first be developed in a way that isn’t permanent, so that necessary changes can be made without further damage to your bite.
This means a dentist will do temporary crowns, called provisionals, until you have a successful outcome. What does a successful outcome look like?
First, it means your jaw no longer hurts. You are completely comfortable. There are no longer any speech problems, you can see your teeth when your mouth is in repose, and you love the way your smile looks. That last part not only requires someone who understands restorative dentistry, but is also a skilled cosmetic dentist, such as you’d get with someone who is AACD accredited.
Please don’t let just anyone work on this. There are countless horror stories of patients who spent years in constant pain trying to fix what an inexperienced dentist did to them.
This blog is brought to you by Tulsa Dentist Dr. Jerome Cha.