I hope you can help me. It seems like every dentist I see has a different opinion about how to fix my teeth, and it really makes it confusing to know what to choose.
I have one, seemingly minor issue with my teeth. The tooth right next to my right front tooth is crooked, and way out of alignment with the other teeth. Other than that one tooth, the rest of my teeth are pretty straight and line up OK. But that one tooth IS pretty noticeable, and as I am about to change careers, I decided to get it fixed so I look my best in interview situations.
I’ve talked to three different dentists, and received three different treatment options. One is a well established orthodontist. He recommended traditional wire and bracket braces. The next dental professional I saw was a general dentist, but she said she also does Invisalign, and had all kinds of glowing information about “invisible braces”. It all sounded almost too good to be true. The third dentist suggested a porcelain veneer or crown to create the appearance of a normal tooth in that space. That one I am least sure about, largely because the dentist himself did not seem to sure that he could work with the tooth in the position it is in.
What do I do? Should I keep seeking opinions until I at least get a consensus? This is very confusing.
Libba in New Bedford, CT
What you have discovered is that dental issues often have many possible solutions, and a dentist’s particular comfort level with various forms of treatment will influence his or her recommendations for treatment.
The established orthodontist suggested the treatment he is most familiar and comfortable with, and traditional braces would very likely yield a very satisfactory result. The dentist who does Invisalign probably told you that Invisalign works faster than traditional braces, and that is generally true.
The dentist we suggest you avoid is the one who seemed unsure of his treatment recommendations. If your dentist is uncomfortable with the treatment plan, you should be, too. It is true that porcelain veneers can create the appearance of straight teeth without orthodontic treatment, but if, as you state, the tooth is extremely out of alignment, that might not be a viable option for you.
You do not mention whether or not anyone has suggested pulling the tooth. Unless there are extreme circumstances, I would not let anyone pull the tooth. A less than reputable dentist might suggest a dental implant to replace the extracted tooth, but this would be a very long and expensive process, and few good dentists will suggest pulling a perfectly healthy tooth that is merely out of alignment.
If another opinion would not cause even more confusion, it may benefit you to seek out a skilled, experienced cosmetic dentist who is also certified to do Invisalign. A professional with experience and talent both in porcelain veneers placement and in the use of Invisalign will be able to give you a sound, educated opinion on the benefits and drawbacks of both types of treatments.
This blog produced courtesy of Grosse Pointe Woods cosmetic dentistDr. Hadgis.