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Dentistry/Cavity under fairly new bridge

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Question
I had a bridge done in the back 3 years ago. I went to a different dental office ( not the one that did the bridge) for a cleaning. The dentist said he highly suspects a cavity under the crown of one of the supporting teeth. He suggests replacing the crown or cutting off the crown entirely & fixing the supporting teeth with no bridge. Both costs were almost equal of $1,500. no dental insurance. I just bought a new upper denture a year ago from him. I had a very hard time adjusting to the bridge the first time because it was so sensitive that I could not bite down. It took about 18 months before I could actually bit down & even now it is sensive. I am somewhat adverse to a new bridge for that reason. I really would like to not go through all that again. The dentist did say that the bridge failure was nothing I had done, but for what ever reason the cement came lose or was not done right. Having the 2 supporting teeth pulled & putting in implants for at least 10 grand sounds pretty awful to. Do you have any suggestions? I am not a rich woman but middle class at best. 65 years old, which is another thing. I bet between my husband & I we have spent about 15 grand on dentists in the last 5 years. I would appreciate a realistic answer. Thanks

Answer
Hi Judy,

The dentist that did the cleaning....did he take an x-ray?  Maybe he can see the cavity under the crown a little better that way.....perhaps there will be more certainty in identifying the problem....less guesswork.

Your description sounds like a lot going on there.  How about this....why not tackle the issue incrementally....do it in pieces.  Start by just addressing the primary cavity issue under the crown, and then put back the bridge that has been there.  Maybe the sensitivity you have been experiencing is because of that cavity??

And don't worry about having no dental insurance.  Most dental plans are worthless anyway.  If there is a $200 deductible and a $1,000 cap, then paying the premium every year, never made sense to me.

So again....I think I would do the job in pieces if it were me.  That way you can make  better decisions along the way.  Plus, it will also help to spread out the costs of the job.

What I would also do, is first ask the dental office how much it would cost to do the work.  Once you have the cost of the work, you can then ask if you can spread the costs over 6 or 12 months.  Most dental offices have a benefits/money person that you can talk to that can help figure out how to pay.

Hopefully this has been a "realistic" answer.

Best regards,
Jonathan
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Dentistry

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Jonathan at PatientBabble

Expertise

My area of expertise from the patients point of view would be Dentistry/TMJ plus the speech challenges that these jaw and bite problems sometimes represent. Over the years I have seen a multitude of dentists, orthodontists, oral surgeons, speech therapists, neurologists and other health professionals who all had an opinion about my TMJ/bite problem. I AM NOT A DOCTOR...but would purely be a patients point of view type person. I "get it" when people say they tried to explain to their dentist what their TMJ/bite problem is and that they are misunderstood. I can listen to people's trials and tribulations and there is a good chance I have been down that road before. I can make suggestions as to what people can do at home, or what questions to ask their doctor or dentist when they visit. I will try and recall information or experiences that may be helpful to you.

Experience

About 25 years ago, I had my wisdom teeth out and since then my bite has never felt "normal." For whatever reason, the first sensation I remember was not that my bite was off.....but rather that my normal tongue and speech patterns had been impeded. I spent years going to different dentists, who lumped me into their generic version of what they knew about TMJ. The majority of dentists believe they can treat TMJ, but only those whose primary focus is TMJ treatment, are really any good at it. Any dentist, can take an impression of your teeth, send that impression off to the lab and have them make a night guard. That is the easy part. The tricky part is what the dentist does with the night guard, once receiving it from the lab. The dentist has to do a "fitting" where they tailor the night guard to be evenly balanced and comfortable in your mouth. Sometimes it can take a few visits, because further adjustments need to be made to the night guard appliance, to get it just right. I have found that dentists, who have had the most practice, do a better job at fitting your appliance. It's almost like an art form.

Organizations
Jonathan's Blog is: https://patientbabble.squarespace.com/jonathans-blog

Education/Credentials
College Graduate with Bachelor of Arts Degree

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