Are there any laws, restricting me from ordering my own crowns or veneers in the state of Louisiana ? Why is there virtually no affordable comprehensive dental care in the USA? I am a Lupus patient, after many years of treatment my teeth have also suffered. I have done a good job of caring for my teeth through the years. I still have my back molars on three sides and financially unable to continue the treatment, even after spending thousands of dollars for restorative work at the dental school. All I want is to restore my smile. Can you help me and millions of my fellow Americans? I really don’t want dentures.
Mary from Louisiana
The laws on ordering dental crowns, veneers, or dentures, is that the dental laboratory by law is restricted from doing anything, only under the direct authorization of a licensed dentist. They are not permitted to do anything directly for a patient without a dentist being involved.
The reason for those laws is that the bulk of the work is in preparing the tooth for a crown and then taking an impression that accurately reproduces the prepared tooth, and then in fitting the crown to the tooth. If there is the slightest gap of even 1/100th of an inch between the tooth and the crown in any one place, food particles and bacteria will leak in and decay will destroy the tooth.
And unfortunately, dental care is expensive. You mentioned that you have been going to the dental school. Since dental schools have students working on you, they don’t need to pay those students and they don’t need to make a profit. Still, as you say, the costs are high. That is because the equipment and materials involved in dentistry are very specialized and are manufactured to very high standards, so they are expensive. But in many cities there are charity clinics and programs that will help people in financial difficulty. Check with your local dental society or ask at the dental school if there are any such programs where you live. And if you find such a place, realize that there are some people who are being very generous in order to make those programs available. My impression is that dentists, for the most part, are caring and generous people who truly want to help others.