So… What is “major dental work?” It’s actually not a term we dentists use. You won’t find it in a dental textbook. But I know it’s a term that people use. In fact, you may have landed here by searching for those terms on Google. Let’s face it… “Major dental work” is needed when a patient has “a lot of dental problems.” You may not be able to define “major dental work,” but you usually know it when you need it.
You know you need “major dental work” because you can see it and feel it:
Your teeth are worn down to “nubs.”
You have multiple broken and chipped teeth.
Your teeth are discolored.
You have multiple cavities or holes in your teeth.
Multiple teeth are missing.
You have loose teeth.
Many of your teeth are painful.
You noticed bleeding and swollen gums.
You may have even had it confirmed by a dentist already. But, you haven’t done anything, yet.
You may have been putting this off for a number of reasons including:
I haven’t found the RIGHT DENTIST.
It costs too much.
I’m too old.
I’ve waited too long. It’s too late.
Maybe I don’t really need it.
My insurance won’t cover it.
I’m afraid it will hurt.
However, something has changed and now you’re looking into it again. You’ve come to the right place!
This patient was 72 years old when he realized he had to do something about his teeth. This is the same patient’s smile up close. Click on these photos to see more actual cases.
How do I find the right dentist?
This is an important question. Dentists range in training, experience, and interests. It’s no different than any other profession. Not every dentist is comfortable taking on patients who need “major dental work.”
It’s also important that you do your homework and ask questions. Whether your concerns are primarily cosmetic or you just want to be able to chew your favorite foods again… Ask about experience. Ask the dentist to show you pictures of actual cases he or she has done.
I am a general dentist who has spent his career focusing on what we dentists have come to call “big case dentistry.” I’ve invested over 2,000 hours in continuing education, and I have now passed 25 years of experience with many “big cases” done. If you look around my website, you’ll find many photos of cases I’ve done. I took all the photos, and they are all my actual patients. There are no store-bought or “stock” photos on my website.
Does the dentist have photos of cases he or she had done? Any dentist who focuses on cosmetics or reconstructive dentistry should have examples of his or her cases. Do the restored teeth look natural? Do they look like they belong there?
These are a combination of crowns and veneers done at Palm Beach Smiles. Close-up photos like this leave nothing to the imagination and demonstrate what is possible with the right dentist. Artfully executed porcelain crowns and veneers can be made to look very natural.
Where do I begin?
We begin at the beginning! I know that sounds trite, but it’s true.
Your first visit at Palm Beach Smiles may only be a consultation. A “meet and greet.” Besides finding a dentist with the right experience, you’ll want to find one that simply makes you feel comfortable. Trust your instincts. Do you connect? Does the dentist listen? Do they take their time with you? Or are they rushed? Were your options explained in terms you can understand?
After that, we will start with an appointment for a comprehensive examination. That will include the usual “poking around,” X-rays, charting, photos, and models of your teeth. Once I’ve gathered all the “data,” I’ll have to spend some time reviewing it and formulating your treatment options. We’ll have a follow-up consultation a week or so later. Then we can review my findings and your treatment options together.
The foundation of a great smile is HEALTH. Before we redecorate the living room, we should put out the fire in the kitchen. “Major dental work” starts with a healthy foundation. Putting out the fires means getting rid of infections and issues causing pain. This may include gum treatment, root canal therapy, and extractions of teeth that are beyond saving. Once the fires are put out, we can rebuild your smile (aka Full Mouth Reconstruction or Smile Makeover) and know that it will look good, feel good, and last a long time.
What about insurance? What about the cost?
The reality is that dental “insurance” isn’t really insurance. Most have the same $1,000 maximum annual benefit. That’s the same maximum benefit they had in the 1960s. Fifty years ago! No kidding.
So, it simply doesn’t cover major dental work. That doesn’t mean we can’t use it. It just means that your insurance benefit will amount to a small percentage of the overall costs.
“Keeping it real” means recognizing that major dental work means significant expense to you. “Major dental work” may include root canal treatment, crowns, bridges, and implants. Being brutally honest… It’s not cheap. However, that expense can be spread out if needed. Oftentimes, the treatment is spread over a period of time, and your costs are also spread out that way. Also consider that there is almost always more than one treatment option (ranging in cost). There are financing options available to you, as well.
Is it too late? Am I too old?
It’s really never too late. The vast majority of my “big cases” are middle age and senior citizens. It becomes a matter of quality of life. Today’s dentistry can greatly enhance your quality of life by enabling you to smile and speak confidently. You can eat anything you want. Even kissing is better with nice teeth!
We offer a no-charge initial consultation (meet and greet). Give us a call and Jo-Ann will set that up for you! We are conveniently located on Boynton Beach Blvd, right off I-95. So, it’s a short trip from West Palm Beach, Lake Worth, Delray Beach, or Boca Raton.