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Dentistry/Bad teeth, need crowns, have 2 options.


I feel there are some things I need to explain that might help, so this will be a bit long. I am 22 years old, and I have very bad teeth. I don't know why, but my dentist says that you can see its not my fault, that it's not just because of bad hygiene. i have many other health problems, that seem to be connected maybe, somehow, but no one can figure those out either. The latest thought is that it might be Lyme disease untreated since around the age of 13. no tests have been done yet but its a big possibility. around the age of 14 all of my tooth enamel somehow was destroyed, dissolved or something, but its just gone. So my teeth have been slowly getting worse, until a few years ago they started rotting no matter how much i tried to brush and clean. I have been to many dentists trying to find one i can trust and have found 2, each in a different city. I don't live in the USA or UK or a big country.
The situation is about like this, I got some teeth fixed before 18, when it was for free, but then it got worse after 18, so I started going regularly to dentists when i saved money, since because of my situation I live abroad and it's much too expensive there and my job doesn't offer insurance or anything. one winter, I found a nice dentist. He fixed some teeth while I was in that city. So the next summer, I spent about 3 times the amount of a normal salary to fix my teeth, fixed almost all of them. sat in the chair 2 hours a day for a couple weeks. And even then, there were quite a few cavities left. Tiny ones. So I kept going to the same dentist about 3 times a year for quite a bit of repair, and she just said one day that this isn't worth it, since i already have had i think about 10 teeth pulled out because nothing could save them, they just rotted. luckily, they are all in the back. I now have teeth closest to the front on top and 12 on the bottom. the ones on the end have no use, as they now just touch my gums on top, and sometimes make some places inside the mouth raw, and I can't chew with them either since there are no teeth on top.

So the dentist, let's call her dentist A, said to get crowns on all my teeth, or they will all fall out, no matter how much i clean them and others have said the same. they are also discolored because of all the fillings in different colors on them. I went to the other one i trust in a different city, dentist B to ask about what he offers, and He looked at my teeth and said that it looks like i haven't done a single thing to fix my teeth since the last time i was there more than a year ago. I had almost every tooth fixed in that time as i mentioned. That just shows how fast they are decaying.

So I kept trying to save money to get zirconium crowns on my teeth, and it seemed impossible, since I had to fix some things in between, because of pain in cavities that kept showing up. And even here in my country, it's not cheap and I don't have the best job abroad. Recently, I came into some money, from my parents who sold some property, just for this lone reason to fix my teeth. So since it's their money, they looked around a bit, and dentist A has an ok price, and the other dentist i trust, dentist B, also has a similar price. I wont say the currency, but here are their plans. I don't know what one to choose, since i can only stay her a month or 2 before going back abroad. they both have different methods.

Dentist A wants 300 per each zirconium crown, including all the fillings to fix the teeth and temporary crowns and the end result. For some teeth, the ones in back she wants not zirconium but something a bit cheaper, since you cant see some of the ones on the bottom. also, she wants to use something, I don't know the name in English, but the exact translation would be a half bridge or something, to add another crown, tooth, on each side on top, so the bottom ones have something to touch. Though when I am smiling, or talking  even now you cant see that any teeth are missing.
She wants to do the top teeth one month and the bottom the next month. the method would be to have me sit there for a couple hours or more each day for a week, while she fixes, takes the mold or however its done, and puts on the temporary crowns, all at the same time, so a week, til all the temporary crowns are on, then I would check back with her once a week to try them on as she said. Also, I know she has a good reputation for crowns, they seem to hold for a long time and though not healthy, my mom has some temporary ones that have had no problems for almost 4 years now so she hasn't changed to real ones yet though shes thinking of it, just my teeth come first she says.

Dentist B, wants to first, fix all of my teeth completely before doing anything more. and then put on the temporary ones and then the real ones. He also wants 200 for zirconium ones and 100 for ones closer to the back. but, he also wants the regular price for fillings and things to fix teeth, and that's about 25-30 per each cavity, and some teeth have more than one, some have even 4 and maybe more, I'm not sure. And he hasn't said if he asks extra for the temporary crowns. If he does it's around 50 for each. And about the half bridge, he says he wouldn't do it that way, he didn't say how, only that the half bridge wouldn't hold too well, that there's a better way. though I do not know what way. He also has a good reputation as a dentist, the best in that city. though I don't know anything about crowns he has done.

So my question is, in my situation, with all of these things, what seems to be the best method, doing it all in one, one half each month and stable price? Or unknown price, and put them on 1 step at a time. I have at most 2 months to stay here.  then next time I can come is only sometime in the winter. So I would like to fix them now.
Thank you very much for reading, as it is quite long, but I didn't know what details would be important and what ones wouldn't. :)
Have a great day :)

Dear L:

A very long question deserves an answer that is short and to the point.  And there are several points:

1. Have you done an intake diary to see if you can find out what is making your teeth decay so easirapidly?  If not, do one.  Then share it with your dentist.  Your dentist may be able to isolate several items that you can avoid.  The columns in your diary should be labelled like this:

Date//Time//Description//how long in mouth//

I have found that, if my patient is willing to make the effort to write down this information, I can usually find the culprit.

2. Have you been given trials of fluoride applied at home?  If not, ask your dentist to make you trays that cover your teeth, then provide you wirh fluoride gel to place in the trays, then over your teeth several times a day.  This can slow the decay process immensely.

3.  Now for the answer to your question:  It is always better to go to the dentist you trust, rather than the one who appears cheapest.  And make sure your dentist cements your crowns with high-fluoride-releasing cement.

But before you go forward with treatment, make sure you talk to your dentist about preventing this from happening again in the future.


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Howard Finnk, D.D.S., P.A., CEO


I am a Family, Implant and Cosmetic dentist. I will answer questions on any aspect of dentistry and matters relating to the smile, gums, jaws and lower face. Member American Dental Association, Florida Dental Association, Broward County Dental Association, and Atlantic Coast District Dental Association. I have served as District Council Member of Alpha Omega, as well as serving for one term as its President. I am also a member of The Vedder Honors Society, Broward Dental Research Clinic, and Mount Sinai Hospital Guild. I have served as a Volunteer for Project Dental Health and The Tri-County Dental Health Council.


Having attained over 30 years of clinical experience in private practice in Michigan, in 2001 I was re-certified by taking and passing the Florida State Dental Board Examination. After moving to Florida, I spent nearly 10 years re-honing my skills while working as an Associate Dentist for several large dental groups. In September, 2004, I was appointed Adjunct Clinical Professor at Nova University's College of Dental Medicine. I am certified in placement of Mini Dental Implants, and I am Director of The Florida Implant Center ( On March 1, 2010, at the age of 62, I began all over again by buying a dental practice near my home in the Fort Lauderdale area. As sole owner and Chief Dental Officer of the new Nob Hill Dental Center (, I can now carefully provide dental care to patients who care, all within a caring, joyful environment. Over my career lifetime, I have provided thousands of diagnoses, fillings, crowns, bridges, root canals, periodontal treatments, TMJ therapies, partials, dentures and extractions, and dozens of implants for my patients. The only aspect of dentistry with which I have very little experience is orthodontics.

American Dental Association, Florida Dental Association, Broward County Dental Association, Atlantic Coast District Dental Society, Vedder Honors Society, Broward Dental Research Clinic, Alpha Omega Alumni Association, and American Association of Dental Implantologists. Formerly, American Academy of General Dentistry, Michigan Dental Association, Macomb Dental Society, Detroit District Dental Society, Tri-County Dental Health Council (a charitable dental care organization)

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Bachelor of Arts and Sciences in Psychology from Wayne State University Doctor of Dental Surgery from University of Detroit College of Dentistry Adjunct Clinical Professor, Special Needs Department, Nova Southeastern University College of Dental Medicine, Fort Lauderdale, Florida

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