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Dentistry/Need crowns, I 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 :)

Well you are definitely in a very difficult situation.
There are a couple of things that you have to put in mind.
1. You are only 22.
2. The problem on your teeth is not that you're not taking care of your teeth, but is the structure of your teeth. This same weak structure is what is going to hold the crowns and/or bridges that both dentists are proposing.
It doesn't matter whether they use zirconium or metal, place the crowns all at once or in a month, what matter is how long are the crowns going to last. That should be your question to the dentist.
In my opinion they are not going to last long. So why spend all the time and money on something that's not going to last you long. The better option for you would be implants. I'm not sure if you're familiar with implants or not, but these are titanium post that replace the roots of your teeth then crowns or bridges would be connected to them. They don't decay but you still have to brush and take care of them obviously.
You should consider spending your time and money on having all teeth removed and have implant restorations. Money-wise it should close to what you're going to spend now on all teeth but, again they should last forever, if you take good care of them.

Hope this helps.
Dr. Elsafi


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Mohamed Elsafi, DDS, MS, FACP


I am a board-certified Maxillofacial Prosthodontist. I do head and neck prosthetic reconstruction for patients with congenital and acquired defects. This also includes trauma and cancer patients. I can answer questions about prosthetic rehabilitation of the head and neck area. I am also a board-certified prosthodontist and can answer questions about dental reconstruction including crowns, bridges, veneers, partial and complete dentures and implant restorations. I can also answer questions about TMJ problems. I can not answer about surgical reconstruction.


I am a board-certified prosthodontist and maxillofacial prosthodontist and have been practicing denitstry for over 15 years.

American Academy of Maxillofacial Prosthetics. American College of Prosthodontists.

I received my dental degree from University of Southern California. I did my prosthodontics residency at University of Florida and my maxillofacial prosthetics fellowship at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston.

Awards and Honors
Chief Fellow at MD Anderson Cancer Center.

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