I Need a Dentist Interested in Saving Teeth

My teeth are not in the best shape. For the last 10 years or so, they were neglected due to financial reasons. So now I’m pretty self-conscious about the way they look. My front teeth have shifted around and I now have a gap right in the front of my smile.

When I finally went in for an exam and cleaning, the dentist informed me that I have gum disease. He recommended planing and scaling. When I went back in for another visit after those procedures, it sounds like my gums have improved. They told me the bottom teeth were salvageable, but unfortunately they don’t think the ones on top can be saved.

The dentist told me he wants to extract all my top teeth. Then he wants to put in a complete denture. I really don’t want to get rid of my teeth, if there is any way to salvage them. So I have been doing a lot of research. I found this resource that instructs individuals to put white oak bark and COQ10 directly onto the gums. It also recommended using a toothpaste with neem and other herbs. There are mouth rinses with these same ingredients too. It has been a little over three months now and the bleeding on my gums has stopped. Do you know how I go about finding a dentist that is interested in saving teeth versus replacing them?

– Laura in Iowa

Dentists vary greatly in their philosophies to save teeth. There are some dentists that will do absolutely everything possible to salvage the natural teeth. As you experienced, others will make different recommendations. Reasons for this vary, whether a particular treatment is within their comfort zone, or whether they think a patient can afford treatments, or even how much profit margin they will make.

You have mentioned some herbal therapies and toothpastes that you are using. Those regimens will be beneficial to re-establish healthy gums. To save your teeth, you want to keep your teeth as clean as possible. Between regular preventative cleanings, brushing, and frequent flossing, hard deposits can be kept to a minimum. It is recommended that an individual with gum disease see a dentist every three months, without exception.

So how do you find a dentist like this? Ask the dentist that you saw recently for a copy of the x-rays that were taken. Then make some calls. Ask if the dentist strongly believes in saving teeth. If they say yes, ask for a complimentary consultation and second opinion so the dentist can take a look at your specific case. Many dentists will be fine with that. If they agree, take your x-rays and simply ask if the dentist can save your top teeth. If you feel they are sincere in their response, yet honest about your options and condition, it is worth a try. A gum specialist is called a periodontist. That would probably be the best starting point for you.

This post is sponsored by Phoenix dentist Arthur Chal Esthetic and Reconstructive Dentistry.

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