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overbite, bad teeth, bad gums, need more info and options.

J

JoeShmo

Junior member
Joined
Dec 22, 2013
Messages
2
Location
Virginia, USA
Havnt been to a dentist for about 20 years, it was always just too painful, even cleanings. For extractions, I had to find someone who would knock me out completely, rather than just novacain.
My gums bleed throughout the day, even tho I have been brushing more and more lately (about 3 times a day for the past few months; its better than what I used to do, which was "every once in a while, or every few days"). I had been using an oral-b vibrating brush, but have moved to a sonicare proseries. Both cause bleeding, due to probably periodontal disease. Gums are receding, bottom teeth show that black plaque buildup, which sometimes I can finally chip off.
Overbite is about an inch (25mm) (if I stick a tape measure in my mouth). Normal resting position, my top teeth rest on the front part of my lower lip. My two front teeth on top only angle out a little, so even if they were straight, there would be around a 3/4 inch (19mm) overbite. The two lateral incisors are set back a bit, one is broke off at the gum. then the cuspids are aligned where they should be (compared to the central incisors, and the rest of my teeth anyway). My front teeth are starting to get cavities at the gumline, and its only a matter of time until they break at the gumline as well. Cavities on my upper and lower molars as well, which cause bad breath, and brushing doesnt seem to help much with the breath (for a long time).

SO.. thats the sort of background. I'm not sure what my options are, I have been trying to read about dentures, and maybe that would be my solution; getting all teeth pulled, and getting dentures. I do want the overbite corrected, or at least gotten better. Any possibility of fixing that issue too, without mandibular advancement? What other options are there for teeth? I've heard of all-on-4 (implant method), but dont know much about it other than the obvious. My main fear with partials is that since I obviously havnt taken care of my teeth in years, its only a matter of time until teeth that I keep go bad, and I have to get them pulled or something. And I'd like to only go through this pain once.

Any thoughts/ideas? I finally have a better job where dental insurance is a bit better, and am saving money for building up my project car, but I feel that I don't want to do any major financial spending until I get something done about my teeth. I hate smiling, and have hated my teeth for as long as I can remember. Its a constant burden on me.
 
Steve In Cleveland

Steve In Cleveland

Well-known member
Forum Buddy
Joined
Apr 10, 2012
Messages
565
Location
Cleveland, OH (USA)
Hi JoeSchmo (if that is, in fact, your real name;))

It may sound obvious, but what you need to do is make an appointment for an examination by a dentist. So much depends on information that can only be identified with some good x-rays.

The initial exam isn't a time for actually doing any work on your teeth. The dentist will be very professional and friendly and will have a look around and take some x-rays. And then he/she can have a conversation with you about what your options are. For most of us, this is a very stressful appointment because we're ashamed of our teeth, and afraid of what we'll hear. But, dentists look at damaged mouths all the time, so any dentist with any experience will have seen lots of mouths like yours, so they won't be shocked or disgusted. I like to think of it as having a plumber in for an estimate. It's just another day for the dentist.

I can't offer any diagnosis, but I will say that modern dentistry can correct a lot of problems that seem unsolvable, and most people here go in expecting to lose all their teeth, and are pleasantly surprised that most or all can be saved and fixed. I started out with bleeding gums and half a dozen teeth broken in shards or to the gumline, and lots of other ugliness. But my dentist saved and rebuilt almost all of it, and now my gums are healthy and I'm a regular brusher and flosser (and smiler).

All of the options you are considering are within the realm of possibilities, but you may also be able to save and restore more of your teeth than you expect. Partials, bridges, implants, and crowns can really do wonders for a smile.

I don't personally have any experience with major overbites, so I don't know what all is involved there, sorry.

But bottom line, a dentist can get you started with some ideas of what your options are, short and long term. Usually, even if there's a lot of work to be done, it can be done over a period of time. So once you know where you stand, you can figure out the costs and make a plan for how and when to finance it.

I should point out too, that most procedures can be done completely painlessly, even big procedures. And, various sedation options are sometimes available-- just be aware that if you start small and work with a good dentist, it actually is much easier than you'd expect (spoken as someone who up until 18 months ago would rather have died than sit in the Chair). So try to keep an open mind to non-sedation options as well.

Good luck on your journey. It's never too late to get started on fixing your smile, and it can make a huge difference in your health and self-image. What's done is done, so try to be kind to yourself and forgive yourself for what's in the past. It's not exactly a fun journey, especially at first, but it's really rewarding and will some day soon be a source of pride for you. And congrats on getting started: it takes a lot of courage just to come here and tell your story.

Take care!
 
J

JoeShmo

Junior member
Joined
Dec 22, 2013
Messages
2
Location
Virginia, USA
Thanks for the calming info. One of my concerns was should I go see a Dentist first, or an oral surgeon, or maxillofacial whatever-type-person, as I've heard things in the past that each type would provide or push for a different type of solution. I'd much rather go to one place, and know all the options/thoughts. If at all possible, was hoping to get most everything done at once; the whole "get it done and over with" attitude. Sure, if I went the denture route, and had to go back a few times for re-fitting the dentures, that'd probably be ok. But realistically, I dont think it'll just be a one visit thing for the actual procedure.

The other issue would be trying to find someone good to go to. Recommendations dont really carry much weight with me, as so many people just go to the same Dr for years, and think he's great, not knowing if he's screwing up. But a recommendation from people on here, or someone who has a similar story to yours or mine, with a happy ending, that would hold some meaning. I read on here, and other stories of people having to go to 4 different dentists till they find one that actually looks at the problem, and will correct it, using a custom plate size, rather than say "well, you're just going to have to get used to these dentures". Definitely alot of FUD... (Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt).

I'll get there eventually... I hope...

And no, Joe is not my real name.. lol...
 
Steve In Cleveland

Steve In Cleveland

Well-known member
Forum Buddy
Joined
Apr 10, 2012
Messages
565
Location
Cleveland, OH (USA)
Start with a general dentist. Regardless of what you do, you need to get a good all-around diagnosis of your dental health. An initial exam should be comprehensive, fairly cheap, and will give you a starting point.

I can't stress enough not to get too attached to your own self-diagnosis. Only a dentist (or other dental specialist) can tell you which teeth can be saved or repaired, and which need to be removed. With that information in hand you can figure out what the best restorative options are for you. That may involve getting assessments from other specialists. But first find out where you stand.
 
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