I would love some advice. It is almost impossible to see my teeth, even when I smile. I don’t know what is causing this but I am so embarrassed by my smile. My dentist said that porcelain veneers might help. That is a pretty expensive procedure to get a might. Here is some more information and maybe you can tell me if that maybe leans more toward a yes or no. When my lips are in repose, you cannot see my teeth at all. When I force my smile as big as possible, you can see a bit of my teeth. I have jaw pain and wear my night guard. When the night guard is in, you can see my teeth a bit better. What do you think?
I am going to right off the bat tell you that porcelain veneers are NOT the solution for this. In fact, it is so much not the solution to this that I think when you get the actually procedures you need, it will be important to find another dentist to do it. While porcelain veneers might help your appearance, if he is a skilled cosmetic dentist, it could potentially make your pain significantly worse.
Based on your description, it sounds like you have ground your teeth down, which has caused them to be overclosed. That kind of positioning could lead to TMJ Disorder. The fact that you’ve been having jaw pain makes me think this is what is happening. I’m glad you have a nightguard because that could help prevent further damage. However, the damage already done needs to be dealt with. This will require a dentist who has training and understands TMJ Disorder and the different type of treatments.
I believe you are going to need a full mouth reconstruction which means crowning each of the ground down teeth. It needs someone with training far above what most general dentists have.
I would suggest doing an internet search for “TMJ Dentist.” Then, check that they have post-doctoral training in TMJ. It’s not a recognized specialty, but general dental school is not enough. Ideally, they would have gained additional training at one of these institutions:
- The Dawson Academy
- The Pankey Institute
- The Las Vegas Institute for Advanced Dental Studies
Then, take the additional precaution of checking out their smile gallery to see if they have some artistic skill with cosmetic dentistry and can create beautiful smiles. You do not have to choose between form and function. Find a dentist who can do both.
This blog is brought to you by East Cobb Dentist Dr. Cristi Cheek.