Makes my mouth hurt just thinking about it
July 2, 2007 9:50 PM   Subscribe

Where does somebody with a mouthful of rotten and broken teeth get it fixed in New Zealand (Auckland)?

An older family member has (through a combination of self-neglect, low prioritisation of health, smoking and constantly-present candy in his mouth), a dentists' worst nightmare. Broken/snapped off teeth, huge cavities in what is left; he's spent several years tugging out chunks of teeth himself.

Nobody is allowed to look but the whole nightmare is obvious now, with broken front teeth.

He is still reluctant to get anything done (take usual shame at presenting to dentist and multiply it times infinity) but something has to happen. He needs the whole lot extracted and to get some some dentures, but our uninformed opinion is that because of all the broken teeth and neglect, it will take a general anaesthetic to drill out all the bits trapped inside, and his jaw is probably in horrible shape due to untreated abscesses and infections etc

Is there something apart from just turning up at an ordinary dentist? This seems to be beyond their scope. Are there specialists in this kind of situation that we can approach directly? The emergency dental service at hospital just does one extraction if you turn up there.
posted by anonymous to Health & Fitness (3 answers total)
Lumino (formerly Geddes) has surgeries in Auckland. I expect he will need orthodontic surgery, but he should get a referal from a dentist first, from there it could progress to something more serious, maxillofacial(?) work.
posted by chrisbucks at 10:05 PM on July 2, 2007

I agree, see a normal dentist. You will most likely need a referral from them to go through to that oral surgeon stage.

Ordinary dentist: I have had amazing service from Proudmouth (in Takapuna and Albert St, City) but I'm sure you could find a good dentist locally.

A recommendation for the surgeon (often you have to choose yourself) would definitely be Dr. John Edwards who is based at Quay Park Health. He is a miracle worker. I've had two separate operations with him (multiple teeth being extracted each time), under general and they were both smooth, easy and truly professional experiences. He made me smile again!
posted by teststrip at 10:23 PM on July 2, 2007

Yup, you'll need a referral from a standard dentist so they are the place to start. They'll be able to assess what is going on and give treatment options. When you ring to make the appointment they should ask what it's for, give them a heads up about the extent of the issues so they can schedule extra time or give you a more experienced dentist or whatever.

Lumino are very good but are expensive. Overpriced even. You can definitely get a better deal elsewhere.

You don't mention if your relative has a community services card or similar. If he does then ask about a referral to the dental unit at Greenlane hospital. They only do the surgical stuff (according to their website) but this stuff can be significantly cheaper done via the public health system than by your private dentist. It would be nice if more dental services were covered by our health system, but I've found many people don't even know about the small parts that are. I had surgical extractions done in the public hospital in Palmerston North (via my community services card) and saved a couple of thousand dollars, and the dental surgeon was excellent.

Treating all this is beyond the scope of a standard dentist, but diagnosing what is wrong, drawing up a list of work to do and giving appropriate referrals is not.
posted by shelleycat at 11:55 PM on July 2, 2007

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