How My Recent Dentist Visit Can Help Your Spondylolisthesis Therapy

Dentist & Spondylolisthesis

Like most people, I am not a huge fan of going to the dentist.  For some reason I have never enjoyed the trips to get cavities filled, teeth cleaned or any kind of work done.

Luckily, through trial and error, I found a great dentist I trust and on top of that, I love the service his practice provides.

Last year an insurance change forced me to venture out and find a dentist that accepted my new dental insurance plan.  Regretfully, I found another dentist who on my first visit told me I needed a crown put on one of my teeth.

I had no pain and no problems, but was told it was a preventative measure and if action wasn’t taken the tooth might need a root canal.

I was not very fond of this dentist, his explanations and how he described my issue made no sense to me. This led me to ignore the suggestion and carry on with my busy lifestyle and plans of finding a new dentist when my next visit was due.

A few months later I started getting a painful sensation in the area around this tooth (back left side of my mouth), I also was getting a similar painful feeling in one of the front teeth.

Worried that the dentist was right, I headed to another dentist to see if his opinion was different. Unfortunately this dentist was short, offered little explanation and simply told me the nerves in my teeth were irritated and swollen and I needed a crown and two root canals to take care of the problem!

I nearly flipped out. Root canals sound painful and I certainly hadn’t planned for this much dental work in my budget.

When I asked the dentist what could cause this he simply said….


“I don’t know, it’s rare”.


His only answer was expensive surgery.

I was mad, frustrated and worried.  Did I have some rare condition that could make all of my teeth fall out?  Was it something worse that needed immediate attention?

Not to mention the work would run over $2,500.

I left that dentist and went home to call my old dentist.  I didn’t care if I had to pay out of pocket, I wanted good quality care that I could trust and I was willing to pay for it.  Something inside of me told me the care I was getting was not right.

I scheduled an appointment with my old dentist only to find out that my new insurance was out of network, but they still accepted it….PHEW!

On my first visit my old dentist took a look, tested my bite and simply asked if I grinded my teeth.  I was confused at first, but then remembered my wife telling me in the middle of the night to quit grinding my teeth.

Upon further examination the dentist told me I was grinding my teeth, which lead to inflamed nerves and irritation.

I was fitted for a simple mouth guard for around $100 and told that root canal’s were not necessary at this time.  My dentist explained to me that his belief is to exhaust all options before performing such a large procedure such as a root canal.  My nerves and teeth seemed healthy and surgery was not yet in the cards.

Sure enough, I have not had any pain since.

My dentist explained everything in detail, and even explained what the cause was and how to fix it.

Now, you might be thinking…..”How can this help my spondylolisthesis or spondylolysis?”

This story simply shows you that you have to fix the cause of the pain not just the site of the pain.  And many professionals in certain fields are quick to want to fix the site of the pain before looking at the big picture and attacking the cause of the pain.

Yes my teeth hurt, yes I had inflammation, but I didn’t need drastic surgery to relieve it.  The site of the pain (teeth) was caused by inflammation of my nerves which was cause by grinding of my teeth.

Solution = Fix the grinding to calm the inflammation and reduce the pain.

Two out of the three professionals I saw wanted to take steps that could have been avoided.  And they were BIG expensive steps.

Spondylolisthesis therapy can be expensive

The sad thing was I would have had these surgeries and kept grinding my teeth, leading to more inflammation and probably a mouth full of root canals and an empty wallet.

Your spondy should be looked at and treated the same way.  Even though you have back pain, hip pain, or pain in your legs dosen’t mean drastic measures should be the first thing you should do to relieve them.

Perhaps you have inflammation due to improper movement.  Fix the improper movement and you may see a reduction in painful symptoms.

You should have someone take a look at your body as a whole and see how it moves to see if any glaring weaknesses are present that might be leading to your spondy pain.

Perhaps you have tight hips and underactive glutes, or maybe you have poor mobility in your upper back leading to spondy pain.  It could be one, two or even more of these types of issues that are leading to your pain.

You should try every measure possible to help fix the cause without taking drastic measures. Sometimes this might require one of more visits to different doctors, therapists or trainers to find someone who is willing to go the extra mile and put in a little effort to help you out.

Just because someone is labeled a professional in their field does not always mean they are right or even an expert for that matter.  Don’t be hesitant to get a second opinion if you are not happy with the first one.

Having a spondylolisthesis is painful, stressful and sometimes depressing.  But I can tell you there are ways to feel better and a majority of the time it starts with moving better.  However, many professionals will NOT go that extra mile for their clients.

Not all professionals are like this and I am certainly not blaming people or pointing fingers.  I am simply stating what I have seen and witnessed.  I have experienced multiple doctors, therapists and trainers in my battle with spondylolisthesis.  Some were great, some ok and others were just plain bad.

Do your best to educate yourself on your condition and don’t be afraid to get a second, third, or even fourth opinion.  Especially if you don’t feel comfortable with what the first few have told you.  Arm yourself with knowledge about your body, doing so puts you on the right track to a healthy recovery.

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