Should a prosthodontist or a cosmetic dentist replace my crowns?

Can you help me determine whether I should see a prosthodontist or a cosmetic dentist? In 2005, I went to the DR and got 6 new crowns. I didn’t like the way my teeth looked and I had visited several dentists in IL and couldn’t part with the money they were asking for. Since I got the crowns not a year has passed that I didn’t have problems with them. I am certain my bite is off. My neck hurts all of the time and I get toothaches almost constantly. I can’t floss between the crowns and I am beginning to wonder if there is an infection. I have been dentist hopping in nearby towns because I am always told that I need to replace the crowns. I didn’t think crown replacement was the problem but now I know it must be done. I recently saw a dentist who did digital x-rays and displayed them on a monitor in front of me while I was in the dental chair. I could see the mess my teeth are in. Now the dentist I saw has good technology in his office but I don’t trust him with the crowns. He does CEREC and I don’t want CEREC. I almost feel like he is being a little pushy, maybe to pay off the high price of the technology he probably went into debt for. I’m going to see a dentist who knows a lot about crowns. I’m not sure if a prosthodontist or a cosmetic dentist is the right way to go. Or does it matter? Thanks. Klaude

Klaude,

It’s good that you’re seeking options to restore your teeth. The longer your faulty crowns are left in place, the more you put your oral health at risk. Your experience is a reminder of how risky it is to get dental care outside of the U.S. When there is a problem with the dental work, return trips can become expensive and frustrating.

Your issue is related to function and appearance of your crowns. A prosthodontist is a specialist in tooth restoration and proper bite. A cosmetic dentist is an artist who will produce a beautiful smile.

The issue with your bite requires a dentist who can address the esthetics and the function of your crowns, and a prosthodontist is efficient at both. Here’s what we suggest:

  • Look for a skilled prosthodontist with extensive training in cosmetic dentistry.
  • Ask to see before-and-after photos of patient cases similar to yours.
  • Check patient reviews and ask friends or family members if they are familiar with the prosthodontist you choose.
  • Schedule a consultation with two or three prosthodontists, and compare your options, as well as the fees, before you move forward.

This post is sponsored by Naperville American board-certified prosthodontist Dr. Anthony LaVacca.