I had an accident and pretty much landed on my face. One of my front teeth that I had to get dental bonding on years ago, ended up breaking nearly all the way off this time. I went to see a dentist who wants to pull the remainder of that broken tooth and also pull other front teeth so I can get a partial denture. I am in my thirties and my gut tells me that there has to be other options. A removable partial denture for my front teeth sounds mortifying. There has to be another option. I am willing to pay whatever it takes. Do I need to see a cosmetic dentist for other options? The dentist wouldn’t listen to me when I said I do not want my teeth pulled! Am I right in thinking that my other teeth that don’t have other problems shouldn’t be pulled out? Please tell me you have another option for me!
-Rebecca in Indiana
Dentists vary on their experience and philosophies when it comes to saving teeth. This does not sound like the right approach or the right dentist for you. There are other options. But, it would not be in your best interest to try and convince this dentist of another treatment plan. He sounds pretty convinced that you need a partial denture. It’s time to get a second opinion because there are other ways to treat a situation like this one. Some dentists are happy to pull a tooth, since providing another treatment plans requires a higher skill level and in some case it means added risk. In other words, it’s time to move on.
It is difficult to give you specific recommendations without having seen your case in person. A partial denture is an inexpensive solution and since you mentioned you are willing to pay for the right treatment plan, you definitely need to explore your options. An expert cosmetic dentist may be able to put a porcelain crown over the broken tooth. But, depending on the complexity or severity of the tooth in question, a dental implant may be the best choice.
A dental implant is a permanent solution to replace a missing tooth. So, if it turns out that the tooth indeed does need to be extracted, an implant will look, feel and function just like a natural tooth. Also, it will not impact any of the surrounding healthy teeth. So, here’s what you should do. Get multiple opinions from reputable implant dentists in your area. Many will provide a free consultation for something like this. So, get at least a couple different opinions to determine if the tooth is salvageable or not. Then, you’ll be able to compare treatment plans and find a dentist that you can trust.
A broken front tooth isn’t an easy fix, but you don’t need to feel like you don’t have any options. You can rest assured that you have options. Don’t settle for substandard care or feel pushed into any kind of treatment.
This post is sponsored by Petaluma dentist Dr. Rick Lane.