2nd Opinions Sought: Even American Legends Need Counsel, Yo.

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bvb

Social climber
flagstaff arizona
Topic Author's Original Post - Jan 17, 2012 - 04:58pm PT
Not that I can expect a straight answer from a bunch of f*#ked-up lunatics like you guys, but whatever...

So I was born with shitty teeth. Luck of the draw. I've had 8 teeth crowned and three root canaled/Crowned. Throw in four years of braces and innumerable fillings and I've easily got $30,000 invested in my choppers.

When I was 18, I got my first two crowns. They were full gold crowns, and after all these years they are still going strong. Since then, I've had crowns of composite resin, ceramic porcelains, CAD/CAM's (Spendy, fast, and failed in, like, three years) and so on. Over the years many of these crowns failed and had to be replaced. I'm lucky so far -- I've still got all my teeth, but the f*#kers are cobbled together with the world's most expensive duct tape and baling wire.

With the exception of those gold caps, the failure rate on these spendy little units has been mind-blowing. They crack. They break. They leak. They pop off. They suck, but wadda ya gonna do?

So, now I need another crown, pronto. Problem is this is a front-and-center tooth (#7, upper jaw, between the big center choppers and the canine.) I am loath to use anything but gold anymore, but on the other hand I'm not exactly sure I want to look like...whatever the hell it is you look like when you flash a gold tooth everytime you smile.

I've got full dental, so cost is not an issue. I'm just afraid of scaring my kids..!

What would YOU do, in my situation?
Roger Breedlove

climber
Cleveland Heights, Ohio
Jan 17, 2012 - 05:03pm PT

Interesting, Bob. My wife and I both have good teeth, but have needed a few crowns. They are all the synthetic type. We haven't had any issues. I have no idea why the gold crowns would last longer. I think they are make the same way and glued on. Have you always used the same dentist?
Gary

climber
That Long Black Cloud Is Coming Down
Jan 17, 2012 - 05:03pm PT
Go for the gold, baby!
divad

Trad climber
wmass
Jan 17, 2012 - 05:08pm PT
become a hockey player...
JEleazarian

Trad climber
Fresno CA
Jan 17, 2012 - 05:11pm PT
I've also "earned" a mouthful of crowns and, like Roger, have had very few issues with them. Several have lasted more than 20 years, and all since 1982 have been of material other than gold. I wonder if there are other issues at work here.

John
Reeotch

Trad climber
Kayenta, AZ
Jan 17, 2012 - 05:13pm PT
Yeah! go for the gold!
Maybe you could get the little dollar signs etched in at no cost.
(or better yet, an engraving of some dude in suspenders bouldering . . .)
bvb

Social climber
flagstaff arizona
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 17, 2012 - 05:21pm PT
Roger -- All my work has been performed by a menagerie of dentists from coast-to-coast over the decades. Noble Gold is universally regarded as the finest material for any dental work, but is generally reserved for the back teeth, for the obvious cosmetic reasons.

Looking like Flavor Flav is EXACTLY what spooks me. Not that appearing strange has ever bothered me in the past...but this is sort of irreversable. It's not like getting a poorly fitting suit, or an unfortunate haircut.
bvb

Social climber
flagstaff arizona
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 17, 2012 - 05:24pm PT
It isn't like you have job interviews 'n sh#t.

True dat, Wes. It's a little embarrasing to even have the self-absorbed narcissistic luxury of vexing over this. But I really do wonder if, like, Hanna will be embarrased to be seen with me. Truly.

Kyle, I already know he's just gonna think it's bitchin'.
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Jan 17, 2012 - 05:44pm PT
Isn't Micronut a dentist?
WBraun

climber
Jan 17, 2012 - 05:48pm PT
Hanna will be embarrassed to be seen with me.

WTF ???? Having an American legend next to her.

WTF do they teach these modern "Golden Age" kids these days anyways ....
The user formerly known as stzzo

climber
Sneaking up behind you
Jan 17, 2012 - 05:50pm PT
Tooth is a dentist, I believe.
Mighty Hiker

climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Jan 17, 2012 - 05:52pm PT
Is it obligatory for those who climbed in a golden age to have golden teeth?

tooth is a dentist also, IIRC.

If you have a gold crown/cap replaced, get the old one from the dentist - there are several grams of gold, and bits of other precious metals, in each, and with gold at US$1,700/ounce, you can get something for it.

Crowns and caps need to be replaced when broken or worn out, but also if the gum surrounding the base of the tooth has receded. So a lifetime of 20 years may be reasonable, although many things might shorten it. Gnashing your teeth at SuperTopo, for example.

Dentists usually prefer gold crowns on the back molars, as they get more wear and stress.
Off White

climber
Tenino, WA
Jan 17, 2012 - 08:26pm PT
Oh, but can there be any question what you should do?

Jim Brennan

Trad climber
Vancouver Canada
Jan 17, 2012 - 08:42pm PT
I bought 2 gold crowns so far and have found them superior to the ceramic porcelain crown on 1 of my 2 front teeth. The reason I was counselled to go with gold, was that gold is softer and much closer to the hardness of regular teeth. The ceramic front has proven to be a dental bully and push the lower teeth around it aside.

Even before all of this, my MOM used to joke that my teeth were thrown in from 40' away. All you can do is smile...
Mungeclimber

Trad climber
sorry, just posting out loud.
Jan 17, 2012 - 08:52pm PT
Uh, Cadillac grills Cadillac mills
Check out the oil on my Cadillac spills


nah, ludacris grill ain't the way to go. Just normal people will gawk at the gold, nevermind the fam. Seen it happen with hispanic folks that have gold in the front. People may respond negatively.



if'n yer grindin the toofuses at night, maybe see if they can make the tooth a bit shorter than the others to alleviate pressure and reduce the risk of a failure down the road. Trouble is that's foolin with your normal bite pattern.

aside from that, don't chew on ice.





johntp

Trad climber
socal
Jan 17, 2012 - 08:59pm PT
Talk to hummermachine, a DDS. If you need his email address, send me a PM.
gonamok

climber
dont make me come over there
Jan 17, 2012 - 09:41pm PT
get em yanked out. Youd look very attractive as a toothless geezer
bvb

Social climber
flagstaff arizona
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 17, 2012 - 10:50pm PT
C'mon Ron, we all know you're just fishin' for a Gummer Hummer. ;-}

BOOM!
Wayno

Big Wall climber
Seattle, WA
Jan 17, 2012 - 11:01pm PT
Maybe you grind your teeth at night. Get a nightguard. Reduces snoring too. Ask your dentist.
BBA

climber
OF
Jan 17, 2012 - 11:26pm PT
The Zirconia crowns are supposed to be the hardest and best lasting. They are expensive. You may need to get that night guard or eliminate internalized stress/fear/rage from your life. I speak from experience.
Ghost

climber
A long way from where I started
Jan 17, 2012 - 11:40pm PT
You may need to get that night guard or eliminate internalized stress/fear/rage from your life.

Eliminate stress/fear/rage from his life?

You mean get LEB off Supertopo?
nick d

Trad climber
nm
Jan 17, 2012 - 11:43pm PT
I've had a bunch of ceramic crowns and my experience is they crack when I hit my head on the ground hard enough. Your mileage may vary.
happiegrrrl

Trad climber
www.climbaddictdesigns.com
Jan 17, 2012 - 11:48pm PT
This might sound wasteful, but if you have dental coverage, then getting the non-gold replaced if it fails isn't as big an issue as it would be if you were paying out of pocket.

So - durability then becomes more an issue of convenience, no?

I am guessing you might feel uncomfortable with the gold tooth in front, even if some of that discomfort comes out of a concern your child might be embarrassed.

So why not go with the less durable option, even with the knowledge you may be replacing it?

Admittedly I know nothing whatsoever about crowns. I suppose it is probably a PITA when one fails, so maybe that is more a problem than I imagine.
klk

Trad climber
cali
Jan 17, 2012 - 11:54pm PT
one word: dentures.



seriously. grab yr vicegrips, yank the useless f*#kers, and embrace the polygrip.



bvb

Social climber
flagstaff arizona
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 18, 2012 - 12:15am PT
Happi -- crown failure is a MAJOR pain in the ass, especially if you can't get to a dentist, like, ASAP.

The other advantage to gold over anything else is that they remove way less of the tooth when prep grinding for the crown, so you wind up hanging on to a lot more of the "historic fabric", as it were. Always a plus!

This issue has forced me to examine my not-so-surpressed vanity. If I weren't concerned about how the thing is gonna look, there would be no question, I'd be 18K all the way. Irony is in many cultures gold teefz are considered a status symbol. Maybe I should move to Bulgaria.
bvb

Social climber
flagstaff arizona
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 18, 2012 - 12:18am PT
Sick, as in for God's sake DON'T DO IT, or sick as in, "Hey, why not?"

I can't beleive I am actually factoring your opinions into this. After spending so many years among climbers, I've clearly lost my mind. But not my teeth...YET!
edejom

Boulder climber
Butte, America
Jan 18, 2012 - 08:52am PT
If cost isn't an issue, go for implants with titanium posts--first rate all the way for the American Legend !
bvb

Social climber
flagstaff arizona
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 18, 2012 - 10:29am PT
The idea is growing on me. This and a pierced nose, and I'm set. In any event, I have to decide today. The tooth is about as solid as a fisher tower chossheap.

Credit: bvb

Bling Bling, pinkie ring.
Wen

climber
Jackson, WY
Jan 18, 2012 - 10:57am PT
Chicks don't really like gold teeth,. Not sure if that's important in your thinking process.
micronut

Trad climber
Jan 18, 2012 - 11:02am PT
Bob,
You have sought wisdom from the almighty oracle of The Taco. I love the answers you have recieved so far from so many who deeply care about you. If you want to follow their advice, I have a catalog of gold tooth decor to accent your new bling. You can have the tooth inset with a fake ruby, lined with cubic zirconia or impressed with an image of a martini glass, american flag, or a playboy bunny. (A common selection honestly).

Heres the dealio. Dentistry can be a real drag. Its no fun and its expensive. But if its done well it can be something you really appreciate and value. The lifespan of ones dentistry is typically directly proportional to the skill of the dentist and the environment its placed into. Nothing lasts in a mouth full of plaque and filth, not to mention the massive forces we can generate with our chewing/clenching/grinding. If the dentistry is done by someone well skilled and you take good care of it, it can last a lifetime......especially if you are old and a "lifetime" isn't all that long! I see crummy dentistry in peoples mouths every day and it bums me out when I know that if stuff is done well by a skilled and honest dentist, it can last a long long long time, much of it for a lifetime. But you gotta take good care of it. A well made front tooth crown, made of something like emax, if the bite is adjusted properly, can last the rest of your life. It all comes down to the skill and knowledge of the cat who puts it in and how well he undestands occlusion. (Assuming you take care of it and you dont have underlying gum disease). Im a periodintist, so I dont do crowns, but i'd love to be a resource for a legend. I can add you to my growing list of alpine legends I've coulseled in the ways of the tooth. Some dentists become "Dentist to the Stars" and make billions of dollars drilling on Hollywood's finest. Living near The Valley, I'm quickly becoming "Dentist to the Dirtbags". Oh well. I love helping out climbers when I can. Shoot me an email or respond here or just go for the gold and make sure to post a photo for us.
Scott
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Jan 18, 2012 - 01:22pm PT
I think a gold tooth will give you the player/hater look that you've been missing. Is white gold an option?

A tiny Hello Kitty or Smiley Face might take the edge off...LOL
WBraun

climber
Jan 18, 2012 - 01:33pm PT
Bob

Remember Bachars gold tooth?
bvb

Social climber
flagstaff arizona
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 18, 2012 - 01:37pm PT
No Werner, where was it? If it was good enuf for BachStar, it's good enuf for me.

Wen: I got so royally burned in my Divorce, I just don't see any relationships in my near future.
Wen

climber
Jackson, WY
Jan 18, 2012 - 02:44pm PT
But don't seal your fate...leave options open! Just because you're not ready now doesn't mean anything about a few years (months?) from now. Plus, you're a legend, or so they say, so odds are in your favor.

I'm voting for plain ol' white, as a boring white regular climbing chick who doesn't get out nearly enough. The pirate look just isn't that attractive.
Off White

climber
Tenino, WA
Jan 18, 2012 - 03:05pm PT
You should pay attention to Wen buddy. The tragic poet pose these days mostly makes you look homeless, and face it: its just not that fun. You need more fun in your life.
WBraun

climber
Jan 18, 2012 - 03:10pm PT
Bob

Bachars gold tooth was his front upper incisor.

When John first arrived in the Valley, Pettigrew always asked "who's that guy with gold tooth?"

John later had it removed for some reason.

I can't remember why.
gonamok

climber
dont make me come over there
Jan 18, 2012 - 11:00pm PT
Bob, if yer gonna get the teeth replaced, do us a favor and get the whole face replaced - youre not exactly easy on the eyes ya know.

And whats this!? You cant see yourself in another relationship?! Geez after that long, cold bivy at santee i thot we had something special, but now i see you were only after my chalk....

tooth

Trad climber
B.C.
Jan 18, 2012 - 11:25pm PT
Bob,


I recommend pressed ceramic, like eMax, like Micronut says for the front tooth most the time. Problem is, a lot of dentists do not have experience with it yet. It gets the fine fit like gold, so you don't have as much space to fill in with glue, which washes out and fills with food, then starts cavities in. Gold is soft, you can burnish it over the edges and voila, lifetime restoration.

The other stronger option is full zirconia. Like all other options but gold, the hardness is much higher than enamel, so it will wear your bottom teeth down if your dentist has to adjust the bite.

What I do in this case is use the best lab I can in Canada. They make the thing perfect, and so polished (2000 degree heat melts it smooth) that it no longer acts like sandpaper against the opposing teeth. I have only once had to adjust the bite after I delivered it, and so I had the lab re-finish the crown before delivering it.




And then I warranty the work for my patients. My lab warranties everything they do for me, implants and abutments included. Now days, our materials have evolved to the point that there is no reason why we shouldn't have warranties for crowns. Providing, of course, that you come in regularly for cleanings and check ups, and that you do not host decay in your mouth that could spread to my work. Skipping an appointment voids that warranty as well!
bvb

Social climber
flagstaff arizona
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 18, 2012 - 11:47pm PT
I've located a crown specialist and will be seeing him on Friday. He called me on the phone today (! how often does a dentist to that?) and we talked for about twenty minutes. He wants to try to figure out what it is about my teef that results in such frequent crown meltdowns before he offers any recommendations or remedies. The digital x-rays from my previous dentist got e-mailed to his office today.

According to several independent sources this guy is the bomb. He's spendy, but I view this as a long-term investment.

Still want that gold bling, though! I think. Maybe. Maybe not. Maybe. Oh, what would Jesus do!?

Got some outstanding feedback from some lurker dentists here on the Taco (Thanks guys! that will help me have an informed discussion with this guy. One of 'em has a classic story regarding crown work he did for a Golden-age type back in the day, but I'm sworn to secrecy...
Hummerchine

Trad climber
East Wenatchee, WA
Jan 19, 2012 - 01:51am PT
Bottom line, you need a great dentist. The newer dental ceramics are awesome in the right hands. If you pay more up front for excellent work it will be a fantastic value in the long run. Personally I use a CEREC machine to mill crowns right in my office. This is one way to achieve outstanding results.

Sorry, I don't know any dentists in Flagstaff to recommend. I have had patients move elsewhere and want to find a new dentist; one suggestion is to look at the website for the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry:

http://www.aacd.com/index.php?module=aacd.websiteforms&cmd=memberreferral

This is an excellent organization, I know not a perfect way to find a dentist but hard to imagine being a member without being WAY into being a honed dentist!

Or for a CEREC dentist:

http://www.cereconline.com/cerec/cerec-doctor-locator.html

Sounds like you may have found someone, pretty awesome that he spoke with you on the phone. Best of luck!

Tom K. Michael, D.D.S.

bvb

Social climber
flagstaff arizona
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 19, 2012 - 02:27am PT
No, this guy has a pretty full plate. I got onto him through personal connections (family friend of close co-worker) so I consider myself lucky. I felt like I was being interviewed, to see if he'd take me on. Getting in to see the top docs in their fields can be a real chore, if not impossible.
Patrick Sawyer

climber
Originally California now Ireland
Jan 19, 2012 - 06:57am PT
Gold and porcelain/ceramic mix perhaps? Something like that. I see my dentist tomorrow (dentists in the Republic of Ireland are very expensive, a lot of people go to Northern Ireland where it can be up to half as expensive, or 'dental holidays' to Budapest are also very popular - cheap flights, discounts on hotels and less expensive treatment).

He just finished an endo (root canal) and now I need a crown. He saved the gold (24 carat) overlay I had and tried to refit it but no dice, so there is a jeweler - JJ Murhy - here in Dalkey (he's not a retailer but makes his own stuff for the likes of me, but also Bono, Enya, Maeve Binchy and other local celebs, of which I am not).

So he cleaned up the gold overlay and melted it and formed it around a perfectly round opal (very rare he says) and put it in a 'cage' on a pendant. That was one of Jennie's Christmas gifts. She now wears my 'tooth', so to speak.
micronut

Trad climber
Jan 19, 2012 - 11:15am PT
Yo Coz,
Why you gotta hate on a doctor who takes the time to call back? In the words of Cosmo Cramer on Seinfeld...."You're a raging anti-dentite Jerry!"

I make personal follow up calls every afternoon/night after surgery to check on my patients. It kinda freaks them out for a minute because they are so surprised, but it really makes them feel good. I have a policy in my practice that I personally return all calls to the doctor the same day. And I'm slammed with my schedule a month out.

You're right, its not normal, but it does happen. From what I've seen, most of the finest docs out there are very available to talk on the phone. But that's typically the dentists/docs who value people over time and money. Just thought I'd give a thumbs up for that doc taking the time to chat with Bob.
locker

Social climber
CO
Jan 19, 2012 - 11:19am PT
Haven't read much of this thread...

But I also have a FEW capped teeth here and there...

One almost dead center for that matter, NOT gold!!!...

I've had that almost dead centered capped tooth with zero problems for MANY, MANY years...

I DO NOT regret not "Going for the GOLD!!!"...

bvb

Social climber
flagstaff arizona
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 19, 2012 - 11:45am PT
So, Locker...we all know the Chicks Dig Scars. Or so I've heard. Do they dig BlingBling 24K teefz?

I'm very curious about what this Jedi Crown Master has to say. One thing I have noted is that here in Southern California, people have this almost pathological obsession with perfect, sparkly, pearly-white Dick Clark teeth. As though they all wanted to be local affliate TV News anchors. The advertisements in the San Diego Reader seem to be about 50% cosmitic dentistry, as though teeth were a reflection of the soul.

Oddly, I believe if I were in Austin, Texas, NYC, Compton, or the Ukraine, there would be very little discusion on the matter. They'd push gold, if you could afford it. More money for them. Here, people seem aghast -- anything less than unnaturally bright Hollywood Whites are regarded with horror.

Odd how -- in this same apperance-obsessed culture -- garish, irreversable, prominently displayed tattoos are all the rage, with Women as well as Men. Gotta be a Sociology PhD thesis in there somewhere.

As for me, I'm just looking for a permanent fix that I won't have to keep patching up every five years at $1K a pop.
locker

Social climber
CO
Jan 19, 2012 - 11:58am PT

"As for me, I'm just looking for a permanent fix that I won't have to keep patching up every five years at $1K a pop."...



True story!!!...

I just had two teeth worked on last week...

I was given the choice of extraction, CAP or a somewhat TEMPORARY repair...

My answer to her came QUICK!!!...

"I'm 57yrs old, have bad Arteriosclerosis, am turning Type 2 Diabetic, and probably will be dead within FIVE... Go with the QUICK FIX!!!"...


She laughed...

I saved some BIG bucks...

HOPEFULLY I am wrong and will outlive my "temp fix"...

;-)





EDITED:

I DO actually have ONE gold TOOF...

But it's in the BACK...

NOT front and center!!!...

Patrick Sawyer

climber
Originally California now Ireland
Jan 20, 2012 - 02:40pm PT
BVB, I just was fitted with crown (first molar upper left) that had a gold 'inside' with a porcelain outside. Not cheap, but then, I just won 2,000 ($2,576.96) on the EuroMillions. Not the 50m I was hoping for, but better than a kick in the... teeth. So the winnings will pay for the dental cost, and then some. (The most I ever won before was 42 on a ticket.)
nature

climber
Aridzona for now Denver.... here I come...
Jan 20, 2012 - 03:26pm PT
micronut spent a fair amount of time with me on the phone and I never even did visit his office!
kc

Trad climber
the cats
Jan 20, 2012 - 06:15pm PT
Well, as someone who has also had a porcelain crown crack, I am fond of the gold. BUT! I wouldn't do gold on a front/visible tooth. There is far less pressure exerted on your front teeth, so if you aren't a huge apple chomper, etc., a non-gold crown should last you just fine. It sounds kind of fun to do a front gold tooth, but for me, I am just vain enough that the novelty would wear off quickly, and then I'd be embarrassed to smile at people. It would be a bummer to have to edit how you express yourself if the gold tooth isn't really you. If you are questioning the gold at all, and it sounds like you are on the fence for whatever the reason(s),then I'd go for something else first.

Oh--and my brother has had a non-gold crown on his front tooth since high school. Has had it changed out once. He's 51.
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