I mentioned to my dentist that I wanted to whiten my teeth. Everything sort of spun out of control from there. He started messing with my jaw and told me my whole bite was off and I’m getting something called TMJ. He wants me to crown every tooth. He said that will take care of both the bite and the whitening. I am really worried about this. I had braces as a teenager and my bite has always felt fine. How do I know if I’m getting TMJ?
I’m quite concerned by what I’m hearing here. When you have TMJ Disorder, there are symptoms. Here are some of the most common:
- Popping or Clicking in the Jaw
- Migraines, especially in the morning
- Facial Pain
- Jaw Joint Pain
- A bite that feels off
You haven’t mentioned any of these. However, let’s say for argument’s sake that you did have these symptoms. Crowning all your teeth is known as a full-mouth reconstruction. It would be one of the last treatments tried. Not the first.
There are many treatment options for TMJ disorder. A good dentist would start with the most conservative treatment to allay the problem. It might be a simple matter of wearing an corrective orthotic device for a few months.
To get a full-mouth reconstruction, you’d want someone with significant TMJ training. This isn’t something taught in dental school so they’d need to have invested in those studies on a post-doctoral basis.
Not only does crowning all your teeth cost a fortune, it can actually cause TMJ problems if it is not done properly.
Here’s What You Should Do
Without having any symptoms, I find it hard to believe you have TMJ Disorder, but if you are worried get a second opinion from someone who has done the requisite training. The Dawson Academy is a good learning institution for this. So is the Las Vegas Institute for Advance Dental Studies (LVI).
As far as the teeth whitening goes, this is a simple and inexpensive procedure. Any dentist can do this for you. It certainly does not require you to get crowns. The exception to that would be if you already have a dental crown. In that case, you’d still whiten your teeth normally. Then, if the crown is visible, you’d replace it to match the new whiter color of your teeth.
My takeaway here is get a second opinion… and a different dentist.
This blog is brought to you by Hoffman Estates Dentist Dr.William Becker.