My Teeth are Failing; What are my options?

smoker with damaged failing teeth

So you have been diagnosed with failing teeth or you have had a multitude of dental problems and you’re not sure where to turn or what to do? What’s next? What are my options?

It’s a scary thing having someone tell you that your teeth are failing and that you need either teeth removed or that it’s time for a complete overhaul. I’ve seen that glazed look from patients in the chair, like a deer caught in headlights. They knew something was wrong, but they just didn’t know how bad, and that’s the problem with dental issues. Most dental problems are chronic issues and surface over time. The acute problems, unfortunately, rear their ugly head quickly and painfully though dental abscesses, toothaches, and facial swellings and are usually dealt with in such a manner. However, it’s the slow, festering problems that cause the most damage and go either ignored or undiagnosed for quite some time.

Chronic problems such as gum disease (periodontitis) or dental decay (cavities) are slow processes that cause damage and destruction to the mouth at varying rates in different people. Factors that can be an influence include, a patient’s genetics, the bacterial makeup of their mouth (oral flora), nutrition, prescription medications, dry mouth, tooth grinding (parafunction), failing dental work, and oral hygiene just to name a few.

A lot of the time there are a handful of factors we have no control over and we just have to be aware, but education regarding factors we can control such as dental hygiene, nutrition we can optimize whatever solution with can come up with for that patient and help ensure we have long-lasting solution.

Solutions for Failing Teeth in Scottsdale, AZ

But before we dive into options to fix the problems, let’s pump the brakes and talk about the steps as we are working through this problem. Here are some things to consider.

  1. Getting a good diagnosis: it’s imperative we get a clear and accurate diagnosis about the existing condition of the teeth and bone that makes up the jaws.
  • You should have a clear understanding of the condition of the teeth
  • You should have a clear understanding if any teeth can be saved and what would need to be done to save any of the remaining teeth.
  • You should have a clear understanding of the cost-benefit and prognosis of the remaining teeth and how many of the remaining teeth may fit into the overall treatment plan.

Saving teeth in most cases is the best option as few materials that are as strong as enamel; however, sometimes dental heroics don’t always provide the patient with the most predictable outcome and can lead to further, extensive treatment or poor future planning.

  1. Your dentist should have a clear blueprint or treatment plan about the direction your treatment could proceed.

One option is a no option, two options is a dilemma, and three options we start having a few choices available. Sometimes there are limited choices in what can be done but more importantly, understanding the pros and cons and why it will help alleviate any fears.

Make sure you understand the limitations of any dental prosthesis or work that is to be performed. Dental prosthesis are a replacement for missing teeth and not a substitute. There are limitations with dental materials and even anatomical limitations that vary from patient to patient. These limitations can severely restrict the options and ability to rehabilitate a patient. Your dental professional should be able to help guide you and provide clear explanations to their thought process.

Options for restoring failing dental work can include a multitude of services such as extractions, dental implants, root canals, new crowns and bridge, and even fillings. Sometimes here at Scottsdale Dental Solutions we can give patients a new smile in one day. We will discuss different treatment options in upcoming blog posts.

  1. Don’t be afraid to ask questions- if you are unclear about your choices don’t be afraid to ask. Most dental problems are complicated problems and require some thought. Sometimes the dentist may need some time to lay out different options for you and get clarity on the problem at hand. Don’t be alarmed if the dentist has you come back to discuss your different options or put together a couple of different plans. Just don’t be afraid to ask questions, there is no dental question that is too stupid.
  2. Get a clear understanding of the cost of your treatment. Understanding the worst-case scenario regarding treatment can help you prepare financially for the dental work you will need. We have found that dental insurance covers little to no benefit when problems typically involved two or more teeth because of dental policy maximums and limitations. Sometimes treatment can be staged over time or performed in sequences and sometimes not.
  3. Feel comfortable and confident in the recommendations your provider is presenting. If you don’t feel comfortable, seek out a second opinion or find a practitioner you are comfortable with who can provide the services you need.
  4. When requiring a lot of dental work, the number of visits can vary from treatment option to treatment option. Patients can have a more pleasurable experience with dental sedation. IV Sedation and general anesthesia are just a few options in relieving dental anxiety.

Contact Our Scottsdale AZ Dental Clinic

Hopefully starting with these basics will help provide for a better structure when presented with different treatment options. If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to Scottsdale Dental Solutions in 85254 with questions or to schedule an appointment. 

With love and gratitude,

Dr Rajan Sheth

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