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Dental and Oral Health (Seniors)

(Dental) bite adjustment

11/19/2007

Question:

Dear Dr. I am having a problem with an old root canal bothering me. My dentist tells me my tooth is high and I need an adjustment. I have not yet had it done because I have other problems with my mouth. I have TMJ which is bothering me now, but my real problem is, in the past years I have had extensive work done in my mouth, and during that time I saw a couple different dentists, well one drilled my teeth down so low that my bite dropped (lower), it was something that I had to get use to. It was very frightening. Then during the course of more work another dentist added to this horror, my bite came down even more and as it is now when I close my mouth I feel like I want to bite the side of my cheek. To get back to the start of my letter and the root canal situation I am afraid to having the tooth taken down. I have been thinking of having the tooth removed just to avoid the adjustment. I have heard a prosthodontist might be able to build up your bite again and was wondering if this is posssible? Sorry I took so long to explain, hope it does not sound to confusing. Thank you for your time and answer.

Answer:

Your case sound very complex and complicated. It needs extensive evaluation, correct diagnosis, and a treatment plan. You definitely need to see a specialist. In this case a Prosthodontist. Make sure that you find one with good experience and a good reputation in your community. You may also look for universities with dental schools close where you live. I am sure you will found somebody there that knows what he or she is doing. Look for the faculty practice of the dental school, or if you want to save some money check in to the prosthodontic residency program. The residents always work under the supervision of faculty members. And remember, it is always good to get a second opinion before you make your final decision.

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Response by:

Alfredo  Hernandez, DDS, MS Alfredo Hernandez, DDS, MS
Assistant Professor of Comprehensive Care
School of Dental Medicine
Case Western Reserve University