I had a problem with grinding my teeth. I did not realize it was a problem until I switched to a new dentist. She showed me how much tooth structure I had lost and asked if I’d been having any jawpain or headache. I had and she explained that having my bite so far off could be leading to TMJ disorder. Her suggestion was that we crown the teeth that have been ground down. I went ahead with that and not sure I want to finish. My jaw is not hurting as much as it used to. I was really emotional about how perfect the bottom teeth were. I miss the quirky nature of my original smile. Can I just stick with my upper teeth as they are? I am a bit embarrassed that the upper teeth will be darker than the bottom teeth, but maybe I can whiten those. Yet, that causes problems of its own because I used zoom once and my teeth were super sensitive. Help!
While you can just stop with your bottom teeth, I want to make sure you understand all the things that come with that. First, your dentist likely designed your full-mouth reconstruction to include both arches. Doing just one, limits its effectiveness. However, the thing that worries me most is the impact on your upper teeth. The ceramics on the bottom teeth will be tougher on your upper teeth than natural tooth structure. If they are already damaged from grinding, this will damage them further and could acerbate your TMJ Disorder issues.
Your main concern seems to be the appearance of the bottom teeth being too perfect. If you are seeing a great cosmetic dentist the teeth can include that quirkiness you are missing. In fact, most cosmetic dentists would jump at the chance to do something other than a Hollywood smile! Communication with your dentist is key.
If you still do not want to complete the upper arch, that is totally within your right and your dentist should respect that. You’ll be more comfortable with your smile if you do go ahead with teeth whitening. Zoom is a pretty strong way of doing that. If you had sensitivity last time, I would go with a different option. There are plenty of take home, yet professional strength, options that are more gentle but will still give you a white smile.
Hopefully, your dentist has already done this but if you’re not wearing a night guard, you really need to. It will protect your teeth from your grinding.
This blog is brought to you by Hoffman Estates Dentist Dr. William Becker.