My dentist begged me not to get extractions and dentures for missing lower teeth. He promised that he could restore my teeth and use an implant bridge to replace five missing teeth. He did what he said, but my bite is off. When my dentist first checked my bite, I told him that the right side top and bottom teeth do not feel right. The bite paper showed it, too. He did some grinding on the crowns, but it still is not right. What are my options? – Thank you. Lincoln from GA
We are sorry to hear about your frustrating experience.
All our teeth should meet at the same time when you bite down. Otherwise, you can develop jaw pain and stiffness, earaches, headaches, and other TMJ (temporomandibular joint) disorder symptoms.
Reasons that Bite Problems can Occur with an Implant Bridge
Sometimes an oral surgeon or periodontist (gum specialist) places your implants, and a dentist restores the implants with crowns, a bridge, or a denture. But a dentist can make a surgical guide for implant placement to ensure the surgeon precisely places the implants to fit your crowns, bridge, or denture. But many dentists do not make the guide. And one issue that results is a problem with your bite.
We recommend that you schedule an appointment for a second opinion and an exam. Look for a dentist with advanced training in dental implants and occlusion and bite (the way your teeth fit together). The dentist will identify the problem and recommend treatment options.
- Problem with the dental bridge – A cosmetic dentist may be able to correct the bridge. Or, the dentist may need to replace it.
- Problem with implant placement – Unfortunately, the implants must be replaced. And you may need bone grafting to build up the bone before you can get new implants.
If the work to correct the issue is extensive, you may want to ask the dentist and surgeon who did the work to pay for or absorb the cost of repairing it. It is possible to save your teeth and not get extractions for dentures. We hope that your negative experience will not make you regret your choice. Take your time to find a skilled dentist who can help.
David Finley, DDS, a Monroe, LA fellow of the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, sponsors this post.