I was born with a small "club" like tooth on one side of the my two front teeth. My story begins in my early 30's at trying to get cosmetic work done on this tooth. One dentist put a brace on my front tooth and the canine tooth to "make room" for crown. In the process he pulled the front tooth up and over, then placed the crown on the small problem tooth after prepping it down to a small nub. He then placed a crown, but it was not anywhere near what the other side looks like and one front tooth was shorter than the other. He said don't worry it will fall down. Well it couldnt because there was not room for it to fall. Fast forward about 5 yrs, and I go to another dentist who said the only way to fix the short front tooth was to put a veneer on it. So he prepped that one and put a veneer on it, but now I have a tooth the length of a horse tooth when I smile because of how far the tooth had been pulled up by the brace.
About 5 years later,my large crown chipped and I go to another "reputable cosmestic dentist". He assures me he has vast experience in these issues, but refuses to put a crown on the tooth until I have surgery to repair the gum line, which I guess is a good thing. 1200 dollars for that and to repair gumline on old club tooth area. He assured me I could get a carbon copy of the adjoining two teeth. Not. The big tooth was too wide and the gumline was overcorrected, so now the big tooth looks too short. And the baby club tooth looks a little better, but is not aligned correctly, so it is still off. Club crown came off a couple of times, had pins put in for some structure to hold onto. But I stressed everytime I had my teeth cleaned for fear it would loosen it up and fall out the next day. Then came the day recently when the club tooth just finally broke off at the gumline. I have found a new dentist I like that I had researched online with certification thru AAID (American Academy of Implant Dentistry, among other certifications). It told me what training he had, that he had been certified by his peers and met national standards of education and practice. He is certified in comprehensive and reconstructive dentistry, which was the most important for me, and general dentistry. Upon discussing my long history of issues with dentists who called themselves cosmetic dentists, he informed me that any dentist can put "cosmetic" in front of their names although they have had no formal training in the area. It is big business and everyone wants a part of it. He further told me he was selected to attend a conference in Washington to speak regarding changes in laws requiring dentists to provide documentation of formal training in the area, or they cannot perform or advertise such. As recently as today, he advised these laws shall take affect in approx 6 months or so. Which is good news for consumers, particularly me. He has been in practice for over 30 yrs.
Anyway, back to my story,club tooth finally breaks off at gumline. Now other than wisdom teeth, never had an extraction, so that stressed me, then he was placing an implant, which stressed me even more. Amazingly, he removed the club tooth, taking his time not to break my bone,or break the tooth off in my bone, and did so while working in a very small space. The implant was nothing that I thought it would be. I couldnt even tell he was screwing it into the bone. I was told it is like taking a tree out of the ground, you have a hole already, and just replacing it with a implant. Thought for sure when the numbing wore off I would feel like I had been in a train wreck. But a couple of hours later, nothing. Never had any pain, throbbing or discomfort. I have to wait approx 4 months for a cap to be placed on the implant, and then a few weeks later my crown will be placed. This dentist sat with me for over an hour showing me before and after work he had done on hundreds of other patients, from difficult to easy. I feel comfortable I have finally found a qualified dentist to work on my teeth.
He, his wife, and teenage children travel every spring to Guatemala to provide free dentistry to citizens. They created G.A.P.(Guatemala Awareness Project.) I wrote this in hopes it will save some people money and disappointment. Do your homework before you let someone touch your mouth. Even this dentist admits he let dentists in his mouth in his younger years, after being in a car accident, that did terrible work on him and he still suffers from some of it today.