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Question
Hi Dr. Mosery,

I'm 34, and I live in Illinois. I have a question about restorations for my top teeth. The bottom ones are all right, but the top 8 are really messed up. They've been filled and refilled, and next week I'm going back for yet another round of fillings. My dentist says he's "about to give up", as there's hardly anything left--my top teeth are almost all filling material.

Over time the material has yellowed, and there are light brown lines showing the edges of the fillings. It looks really bad. I honestly don't remember the last time I laughed or smiled in public. It's been at least 10 years, and I don't really like going out anymore. Thank goodness for an understanding and loving wife who thinks I'm handsome no matter what!

My dentist says I can whiten the bottom teeth (never had cavities in them) and replace the top fillings with new white ones to match, but he says they'll probably just turn yellow again even though I have pretty good brushing habits, and then I'll be out that money and right back to the same problem again. Frustration!!!

I'm on a limited budget, especially because insurances won't cover cosmetic procedures. I just can't afford 5-10k for crowns or implants. Is there ANYTHING I can do, or are my days of smiling just over with? I've looked into low-cost dental clinics, but most have bad reviews and besides, they don't seem to offer cosmetic work like crowns, implants, or veneers. I've even researched dental tourism, but I'm wary of scam dentists in Mexico and the costs of travel and lodging are pretty high too.

I've seen ads for these Snap-on Smile and Press-on Veneers things, and they seem to have mixed reviews. Your thoughts on this as an affordable alternative?

PLEASE tell me all is not lost! I'm desperate!!

Thanks,
Chuck

Answer
There is really no substitute for quality dentistry. I would stay away from snap on smile since the funds could be put towards a definitive long lasting restoration. You may be a candidate for porcelain laminates which are more conservative than crowns . You need a good exam and guidance from a dentist that does this kind of work. No shortcuts are worthwhile .

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Rafael Mosery,D.D.S.

Expertise

I`m a practicing general dentist for 29 years. Member of ADA,NYSDA,SDDS. In addition I am a fellow of the ICOI.My emphasis is on Implant Dentistry .I would be happy to answer questions regarding implant dentistry as well as general dental questions. Ofcourse within the limitations of no clinical exam and the absence of radiographs .

Experience

Private practice for 29 years. Have kept up to date with continuing education throughout that time.




Organizations
ADA,NYDSA,SDDS,ICOI fellow,Penninsula Hospital Dental Society

Education/Credentials
NYU College of Dentistry DDS 1984 NYU College of Dentistry Surgical and prosthetic implantology program 1999-2001

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