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Dentistry/canine protected occlusion


Dr. Myerson, I read with interest your answer to a questioner who asked about canine protected occlusion. I've come to believe that this was my norm, and I've been miserably uncomfortable since a dentist I went to 6 weeks ago (asking him to remake a crown started by someone else, on #3) filed down my canine teeth on a "first, let's adjust your bite, and see if this helps" rationale, saying my back teeth had been filed so now my front teeth need to be filed. Mistake, as the problem of incisors clashing was badly aggravated. He immediately afterward called to say he would be declining to treat me, and I should seek someone locally in the Washington DC area (I had traveled back to my home state to see him; I think he is preparing to retire now). I am in severe disfunction, as my anterior incisor #9--a tooth with a crown on it for more than 35 years-- is catching whenever I speak or eat, let alone lie in bed. It has apparently "descended" significantly in the past few months, as it used to be a bit shorter than natural tooth #8, but now is noticeably longer for whatever not good cause. I learned about canine protected occlusion from Internet searches for others with this problem, but so far have not found a dentist who even validates what I'm trying to express about the problem caused by the filing of eye teeth that used to be my default closed mouth resting position. Can you name a prosthodontist in the Washington D.C. or Maryland suburban area who would recognize this concept of canine protected occlusion? I believe it would be beneficial for me if someone would bond back the filed down tops of my lower canine teeth. I've tried two local and recommended prosthodontists so far, and both want to reinvent the wheel with me and first address underlying TMJ problems etc. But I quickly need to have a crown remade before jeopardizing another molar [a very inadequate prosthodontist prepped tooth #3 and #14 for replacement crowns last October, and in the process fractured the root of #14, costing me that tooth]. I now don't want to lose tooth #9, or any other teeth. I believe my TMJ problem will abate if I can just remediate the filing of these teeth. I feel desperate. Thank you for your response.

I'm not able to make a referral since I have no knowledge of practitioners in your area.  I understand that you are seeking a simple solution to what you believe may be a simple problem, and that is the restoration of your situation before it was altered.  You have sought the help of two local specialists who have given you their considered and expert opinions, both of which you reject.  I think your situation may be a lot more complex than you understand it to be and it sounds like the experts are unwilling to take a simplistic approach.  In my experience when facing a complex problem requiring a comprehensive treatment plan, taking a simple approach can often make the problem worse.  You describe a series of inadequate treatment attempts that have not solved the problem.  Perhaps it is time to listen to the specialists and explore a more comprehensive treatment plan before it gets worse again.


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Dr. Randolph Myerson


Please limit your inquiry to questions about orthodontics (braces) and children's dentistry. I am both an Orthodontist and a Pediatric Dentist, having been trained in both of these dental specialty fields. Orthodontics is the dental specialty that treats problems of tooth, bite and jaw alignment using braces and removable appliances. Pediatric Dentistry is the dental specialty also known as dentistry for children, which deals specifically with the dental problems of this special age group from infants to adolescents. I am also experienced in Forensic Dentistry, the application of dentistry to law enforcement and identification using dental records.


I have been in the private practice of orthodontics and pediatric dentistry for over 20 years. Prior to that I served for three years on the Cleft Palate and Cranio-facial Reconstruction team at Children''s Hospital of Philadelphia and was an Assistant Professor of Dentistry at University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine. I also served as a dentist in the U.S.Air Force, stationed at Andrews AFB in Washington, DC.

I am a Fellow in the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, and a member of the American Association of Orthodontics, as well as a member of the American Dental Association and the Dental Society of the State of New York.

I received my BA in Biology from Frankin & Marshall College in 1969, and my dental degree from University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine in 1973. In 1978 I received both my Certificate in Orthodontics from University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine, and my Certificate in Pediatric Dentistry from Children''s Hospital of Philadelphia after completing a three year Teaching Fellowship in Orthodontics and Pediatric Dentistry in 1978.

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