Cosmetic Dentistry Blog Cosmetic and General Dentistry Questions Answered

June 7, 2012

Why do these dentists just want to pull teeth?

Filed under: Fractured teeth — Tags: , , , — mesasmiles @ 5:38 pm

Dr. Hall,
I’ve been to two different dentists lately because one of my front teeth, that had previously been bonded, broke almost completely off. Both dentists wanted to pull most of my front teeth and get a PARTIAL! I am a single 35 year old woman and the thought of having removable teeth horrifies me! Please help! Money is not a concern. What can I say to get it through a dentists head that I DO NOT want my teeth pulled?? My teeth do not hurt in anyway, even the one that chipped off doesn’t hurt.
– Donna from Kentucky

Don’t try to convince either of these dentists to save your teeth. That would be a mistake, even if you could convince them to try. Dentists vary greatly in their commitment to saving teeth. If a dentist doesn’t believe in saving teeth, there is a reason for it. Often it’s that he or she just doesn’t want to bother. It’s riskier to try to save teeth – you might not be successful. And pulling teeth and replacing them with a partial denture is much easier. Or it could be that the dentist doesn’t have very good skills for saving teeth, so I wouldn’t try to push them at all in this.

I wonder, when I get a question like yours, if the situation isn’t that the teeth are truly hopeless. But I’m inclined to believe, in your case, that is not the case, for two reasons. First, you seem very committed to saving your teeth, so I can’t believe that you’ve been neglectful. And you mention that money is not a concern. And then both dentists are recommending removable partial dentures, which is a really low-class way to fix your mouth, even if the teeth were hopeless. So that suggests to me that these dentists are both looking for easy solutions. Why no mention of dental implants, which is a far superior way to replace missing teeth?

Have you checked with Dr. —? [the recommended dentist closest to where Donna lives] That’s where I would recommend going. [He] believes in first class solutions. From what I know of [him], I think that [he] would try to do whatever [he] could to save them. To save yourself some money and some time, I would call the office and be very up front about what you want – you want a dentist who believes in saving teeth. And if they tell you over the phone that [this dentist] is strongly committed to saving teeth, tell them that Dr. David Hall recommended [him] and said he thought [he] would agree to a quick complimentary meeting where you could ask [him] about that, face-to-face. If you like what you hear, you could then schedule the exam.

Your case doesn’t sound simple. This front tooth, if it had been bonded, must have broken before. And now if it has broken almost completely off, that may mean that you have a very strong bite, which would require extra expertise to get your teeth fixed so that they will withstand those biting pressures. You really need to get away from dentists with this small-town-dentistry mentality and into a higher level of care. And by small-town-dentistry mentality, I don’t mean to imply that dentists from small towns aren’t good dentists. I have a great affection for small towns and some small-town dentists are among the best in the country. I refer to a mentality of doing patchwork dentistry, or low-tech dentistry, or avoiding difficult things.

– Dr. Hall

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About David A. Hall

Dr. David Hall was one of the first 40 accredited cosmetic dentists in the world. He practiced cosmetic dentistry in Iowa, and in 1990 earned his accreditation with the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry. He is now president of Infinity Dental Web, a company in Mesa, Arizona that does complete Internet marketing for dentists.

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