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I recently saw a new dentist, someone I generally trust since my family has gone to him for some time, but got some unusual advice I'd like to know does or does not make sense. I was told .... I had a terrible case of grinding away at my teeth. I'm 42 with the teeth of a 70 year old. I've lost much of the enamal on many teeth and are chewing away at the "denteen (or something like that)." I have 6 crowns already all of which are damaged and need to be replaced. Other crowns are needed. Instead of just replacing all crowns and fixing things up, dentist recommend I consider "gnathological reconstruction". I can afford despite the expense ($55,000) but I'm not sure if this is truely "best practice" of dentistry or if this is some kind of unusual non-standard non-fully-approved/tested idea. The procedure would take up to 9 months, involve many many dentist visits, result in crowns on ALL teeth, realign my jaw, and lots more. I don't really understand it. Is this advice technically sensible, could it be required?

Gnathological reconstruction IS a proven and valid treatment for many situations. It is used to correct a person's bite, or occlusion. When you grind your teeth over the course of many years, your teeth become shorter and shorter. This can create stress on your jaws, muscles, and joints. Now that it has become necessary to replace many of your crowns, a decision needs to be made about what height to make them. If we keep the crowns at the height they are know, you may develop problems such as the ones listed above, and then need new crowns made again! If we design your crowns at their 'appropriate' height, then you will need full-mouth gnathological reconstruction to equilibrate the rest of your bite. You may always seek a second opinion from another dentist, or a Prosthodontist, if you are still concerned about the appropriate steps to take. I hope this helps.


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Last revised: January 03, 2005.