I need some advice. About nine years ago, I had dental crowns placed on all my teeth because of a teeth grinding habit that wore down my natural teeth. Now those are ground down too. I’m not sure the crowns were placed correctly because my gums have hurt and had problems since they were placed. Recent developments, though, have me more miserable. My jaw is slanted and aches all day. It clicks every time I move it or chew. I went to see a dentist who called himself a TMJ Dentist, not realizing that was not a real specialty. He put me in an orthotic device for two years. Now my lower jaw is more forward that my upper arch of teeth and I am in constant pain. Where do I go from here?
You were on the right track going to a TMJ Dentist, but as you learned it is not a recognized specialty so any dentist can call themselves a TMJ Dentist. It does require some extra training and understanding of bites and dental crowns. Currently, you are dealing with a serious case of TMJ Disorder and will need to start over on treatment. Look for someone who has done post-doctoral training. That second dentist left you in an orthotic way too long and threw off your bite. I think he should take some responsibility for your re-treatment.
Crowning all your teeth, as your original dentist did, is called a full-mouth reconstruction and is quite an advanced procedure. I would want a prosthodontist to do that. They have specialized training in dental crowns. I’m curious about the fact that you were able to grind down the dental crowns as well. Did your dentist provide you with a mouth guard? This should have protected your teeth from any nighttime grinding, which is when most people grind their teeth.
All in all, it sounds like you’ve had very poor care from your dentists. I want you to make sure you ask about credentials and also look at reviews before moving forward with another dentist.
I am sorry this has happened to you.
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