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I’ve inherited bad teeth

I have inherited bad teeth, at age 44 they are chipping, filled and discolored. I have had 3 root canals, 2 crowns and many fillings. Actually so many fillings the tooth walls are thin. I must be very careful how I brush, floss and eat as I never know when one or more are going to break off. (Not to mention the pain involved) I am wondering as the teeth break off or get cavities under the fillings and in one instance under the crown, is it best to have them pulled and replaced with something (bridging, implants, other suggestion) or continue to get them fixed? I have search the internet and haven’t found consistant information. Of course the dentist is going to say it is best to keep your own teeth, but what about just replacing a few? My thoughts are molers, 3 on each side top and bottom over the next 3 to 5 years. Thanks for your time, I am looking forward to hearing from you.
Susan from Wisconsin

I’m not convinced that you have inherited bad teeth. And about inheriting bad teeth. I have heard this from many people over the years, but I’ve never actually seen a patient who inherited bad teeth, so I’m really skeptical. If you have pieces of teeth that keep breaking off, then my suspicion is that your teeth weren’t restored properly. If a tooth has been weakened by extensive decay, it should have a crown. If a filling is placed instead, then you will have that problem of continual breaking of pieces of the tooth. And if you get a lot of decay, the culprit for that is usually too much snacking throughout the day. If you get decay under your old fillings, that’s often a problem with the filling.

Dentists make a lot of money replacing missing teeth, so when we state that it’s best to save your teeth, it’s not from financial interest, but that comes from our experience over the years seeing how people’s mouths deteriorate once teeth are missing. Yes, you can have the teeth replaced with implants and that works well. But that’s very expensive. If you replace teeth with a removable partial denture, it complicates things for your remaining teeth and leads to the loss of more teeth. If you lose all your teeth, then your jawbone begins to shrink until after ten or twenty years there isn’t enough left to support a denture.

I would recommend finding a dentist who is genuinely concerned about your long-term welfare, and then sitting down with that dentist to make a plan that works for you. That may involve removing some teeth. Your situation with your teeth sounds complex, and I can’t give you any specific recommendations without a complete exam.

I hope this is helpful.