I’m really feeling stuck between a rock and a hard place. Close to fifteen years ago, a really good cosmetic dentist put crowns on all my teeth. I have loved them. A couple of weeks ago, though, one of them started to wiggle. I’ve since moved to another state so I had to go to a different cosmetic dentist. He said the loose crown has a cavity on the edge and needs to be replaced. But, he told me in order to get them to match, he’ll have to replace all of them. While I know they’ll all have to be replaced at some point, I am kind of broke right now. That’s way more money than I have. So, it sounds like I can either walk around with mismatched teeth or go into major debt. Are those truly my only two options?
One thing many patients don’t understand is what the term cosmetic dentist actually means in terms of qualifications. There isn’t a recognized specialty in cosmetic dentistry. A dentist calling himself a cosmetic dentist does not mean he is skilled. Any general dentist can call themselves a cosmetic dentist no matter how little training they actually have.
While it may be true that this dentist cannot match one crown that he makes to the rest of them, that doesn’t mean an expert cosmetic dentist couldn’t. In fact, they can. That being said, if you were in different circumstances financially and could afford it there is a benefit to replacing all of them because of their age. You’ve had them for good amount of time and they will start to fail. Because you’ve only had one show signs of their age, tells me your original cosmetic dentist did a great job. No wonder you’ve liked them so much.
As you’re not able to get all of them replaced right now, it’s imperative you find a skilled and artistic cosmetic dentist who can match a single crown. You’re probably wondering, “Great, so how do I find that type of dentist?” I can help you with that.
The first thing I’d do is see if there is a dentist accredited with the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD). Accreditation is different than membership. Any dentist can join the AACD. Accreditation means they’ve passed stringent exams on their technical knowledge AND have demonstrated their artistry on quite a number of specific cases. Any dentist that reaches that level of achievement can match your crown to your others without a problem.
If you can’t find an AACD accredited dentist within a reasonable driving distance to you, let me know and I’ll help you find your next best solution.
I know you’re satisfied with your current crowns, but if finances ever change for you, I’d recommend you get a complete smile makeover from that same AACD dentist. They can design a smile for you to make you look younger, or more authoritative…anything you’d like. Most of them have beautiful smile guarantees. Though, they’re usually talking about porcelain veneers when they offer total smile makeovers, that’s not an option for you. Once you’ve had crowns placed, you’ll always have to have crowns. They grind your teeth down so much that no other procedure is an option.
This blog is brought to you by Dr. Fred Arnold.