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Dr. Katz
Dr. Katz, Dentist - DDS
Category: Dental
Satisfied Customers: 3520
Experience:  Dentist and Anesthesiologist for 37 years.Anesthesiology Fellow-Johns Hopkins School of Medicine.Evaluator for Maryland State Board of Dental Examiners.
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To summarize as briefly as possible - I grew up in the

Customer Question

to summarize as briefly as possible - I grew up in the country on well water so no flouride, and was never taught to brush or otherwise take care of my teeth. When I learned how and started myself as a teenager, I already had a lot of decay. Early dental experiences ranged from mildly unpleasant to highly traumatic, and I developed a near phobia about going to the dentist. I am now 48 and have managed to mostly stay on top of dental care as needed, but it has been a struggle my whole life. I now have Sjogren's syndrome, which has once again escalated the rate of decay. With a poor start in life, weakly formed & fragile teeth, and now additional health issues I feel like I cannot get ahead of the decay. I have had so many fillings and root canals over the years it is crazy, and I feel like every time I turn around there is more decay again in the tooth that was just filled. No matter what dentist I go to, they are always all about 'saving the tooth' but I don't really understand why. If I have had a root canal done on a particular tooth, and it has been filled so many times that there is very little original tooth left, then I feel like I am just throwing good money after bad to continue efforts to restore that tooth. I am saying 'tooth' singular but there are actually several teeth in my mouth that are in that situation. The question is, all things considered, at what point does it become a better choice to give up on those teeth and get a partial denture? I know that implants are an option, and that is what all the dentists I have seen have been pushing, but I am not sure that I want to go that route due to the expense, pain and inconvenience. I have been unable to find a dentist that I trust to advise me based on MY best interest and not their bot***** *****ne, and so any objective advice you could offer would be greatly appreciated!
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Dental
Expert:  Dr. Katz replied 2 years ago.
Welcome .I will do my best to answer your question.I am not a great typist,be patient and feel free to ask if anything is unclear.Without seeing the xray of your whole mouth,it would be difficult to say which teeth are not worth saving and which ones are not.The idea is that the most important part of the tooth ,is the root that is in the bone,the part that you cannot see.Even if the tooth looks totally destroyed,the root can support a post on which a new core or tooth can be built.An implant is essentially an artificial tooth root.They are expensive.If you already have a natural root and it has good bone support,implants would be a waste of money and time.If you have missing teeth already,you have options of making a removable partial denture or permanent bridgework.A bridge is like a crown and it will cover the tooth completely that will protect it for decades.In situations like yours,most people opt for crown and bridgework because it is permanent,allows you to keep your natural teeth,is less expensive than implants,looks good and will last a very long time.I would be happy to look at your xrays to give you some more specific information on your case if you have them to upload.
Expert:  Dr. Katz replied 2 years ago.
Do you need any more information? If not,can you please supply a rating so that we can maintain good quality control? Thanks