"Sorry. I'm breaking in a new pair of lips!"

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Bochawa!!!, Jan 26, 2014.

  1. Bochawa!!!

    Bochawa!!! Forte User

    Nov 4, 2007
    I know there are a number of medical doctors on these forums, but are there any dentists?

    When I was 17 I came out on the short end of a meeting between a moped and a ¾ ton pickup. The worst of it was the impact slammed my jaw shut with enough force to break off my front right tooth, knock out the tooth beside it, and leave a hairline crack in my left front tooth. The resulting dental work was a bridge mounted on my right canine and a peg inserted into what was left of my front right tooth. This work was completed over a few months.

    Being somewhat psychologically crushed and afflicted with the impatience of youth I went ahead and started playing on the temporary plastic teeth given to me so as not to frighten the young ladies in my life. Because these were loosely attached I shifted my embouchure to the left on the top. When the bridge was finally cemented into place I went back to my old spot, which unfortunately was not the same as my original. To this day I have been left with an anchor on my bottom lip and two positions on the top. It is something I struggle with as if I let down my guard I tend to drift to the left. I don’t even know I’m doing it until finally sometime later I realize and then move back to the right. Call it lazy if you will, but it is very frustrating especially as it renders both set ups less than satisfactory.

    Twenty-eight years later the bridge gave up the ghost and it was replaced by a two-tooth bridge fastened with crowns on my left front tooth and right canine. This time I was smart enough to put the horn down until all the work was completed. When I went back to playing it was a strange sensation. It was like I was playing with someone else’s mouth; someone who could play the trumpet, but not nearly as well as me. With practice I overcame this feeling, but I am still cursed with two set ups.

    Ten years later I am now faced with a permanent (hopefully) fix. This March work begins on the installation of implants. The upside is I will not have to worry about another bridge wearing out. I am not sure what the down side is. I am planning on not playing until the work is finished which could be as late as September, at which point I imagine I will be starting over again.

    I guess I’m worried about this and wonder if there is anyone out there who has had a similar experience, or perhaps had a student like me, and can offer words of advice, or tidbits of wisdom?

  2. bobd0

    bobd0 Piano User

    Jan 10, 2009
    Well, if this makes you feel any better, I hope, I have one implant, further back, two teeth back of my eye tooth, and that implanted tooth is as strong or stronger as any natural tooth in my mouth. It's anchored in there so well, like a real tooth, that it's hard to tell the difference.

    I have a very good dentist and my procedure went very smoothly but it took over four months for the entire process. Good luck with your procedure.
  3. musicalmason

    musicalmason Forte User

    Dec 14, 2003
    I'm not a dentist, and I don't have any good advice for you. But, I do have a good friend/local pro player who has gone through many chop issues, and is now also dealing with extensive dental work. If you want, feel free to pm me your contact info. I could forward it to him and maybe he'd reach out to you. It looks to me like you have many things in common and might be valuable resources to each other.
  4. Dupac

    Dupac Fortissimo User

    Aug 19, 2008
    Bordeaux, France.
    Same story, same teeth, and same comments here!
  5. macjack

    macjack New Friend

    Oct 15, 2012
    I am a dentist. I think the right way to do any "replacement" dentistry on brass players, especially on front teeth, is to find a dentist who understands that there are important factors that must be addressed, more so that in non-playing patients. I always work out all situations concerning size and shape of teeth by working with the temporary (plastic) dentistry and refining it until all is fine. Then I take an impression of the approved temporaries and send it to the lab that actually makes the teeth. They must be instructed to duplicate exactly what the dentist and the patient have worked jointly on. There should be no surprises, no need to modify embouchure or palying technique. I don't understand why you were instructed by the dentist not to play while the temporaries were in place. Temoraries should be made in such a way as to withstand the moderate pressure of proper playing.

    I think implants are definetly the way to go, but whoever places them must know exactly where the teeth belong, since a poorly positioned implant will not permit a properly placed replacement tooth. If the restorative dentist and the surgeon are not the same person, they must communicate very well. Usually, the restorative dentist dictates where the implant(s) belongs and the surgeon makes sure to place it in exactly the right spot. Make sure your dentist understands the importance of replicating what was there before.

    That being said, brass players can drive dentists crazy.http://www.trumpetmaster.com/vb/images/smilies/icon_rolleyes.gif
  6. Bochawa!!!

    Bochawa!!! Forte User

    Nov 4, 2007
    I believe!!!

    Thanks for the reply Doc! My dentist(s) have never instructed me not to play. This is something I have determined after my first experience might be prudent. I wish I had waited back then. If I had I might have had to "rebuild" my embouchure, but I may have not wound up with two like I have now. Actually, if anything positive came out of my first round of dental work it is that it cured me of my fear of dentists. By the end of it I could just lay back and let Dr. Hardy do his thing. Before that I used to be a neurotic mess in the dental chair. Now I have a much more pleasant and congenial relationship with my dental professionals. Still, I'd rather have my first set of chops back, but as it's said, "It's an ill wind that doesn't blow some good!"

    Keep those replies coming. I am interested in anything that you think is relevant.
  7. And3

    And3 Pianissimo User

    Oct 7, 2013
    East Sussex, UK
    How many of us trumpet playing dentists are there here on TM?
    Dental implants will hopefully finally give you a permanent solution to your problems, as long as your dentist follows the advice given to you by macjack. ie use the temporary crowns on the implants as a test situation to determine the best shape and position of the teeth being replaced to give you the embouchure you desire. If these provisional crowns are made of a ceramic, composite, material they can be added to and altered in shape in the surgery depending on your playing experiences. In this regard you are to be encouraged to play whilst in this provisional stage, albeit without too much pressure whilst the implants integrate into you jawbone. This obviously will require extra time in surgery for these adjustments and will undoubtably increase the overall cost. It is also an advantage to have a brass playing restorative dentiist:roll: Also assuming that you are also male and not a face model you may consider having these ceramic crowns longer term. Modern materials mean that they still look good, just not as good as porcelain, but they have the major advantage for you they can be adjusted and added to by you dentist in his surgery. I have several patients with composite screw retained crowns on implants replacing front teeth.
  8. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 23, 2006
    Parts Unknown
    I've seen players with a chipped front tooth lose their range when the tooth got capped. My right front tooth overlaps the tooth to its right a bit, and that is where I anchor and where my permanent scar exists. When and if it comes time to replace it, I'll drive my dentist (and his tech) crazy to get it matched up perfectly.
  9. Ed Lee

    Ed Lee Utimate User

    Aug 16, 2009
    Jackson NC
    I've got my dentist on the comeback trail playing his cornet after I checked it out (clean & lube) and gave him a new cork on his spit valve. All I know is that it is a York. Too, I gave it the aluminum foil-baking soda tarnish remover treatment. Anyway h now claims he' back where he left off and may buy a trumpet this coming summer. He sold the one he had to one of his patients.
  10. Bochawa!!!

    Bochawa!!! Forte User

    Nov 4, 2007
    It may be a worthwhile thing if brass players had an impression of their teeth made and kept by their dentist. I wish I had. After I lost my teeth the replacements were built by the lab as a mirror image of my remaining teeth. The finished product was, indeed, symmetrical and very good looking, but was not a match of my original teeth at all.

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