I am looking for a dentist that doesn’t use mercury.

I am in search of a holistic dentist that does not use mercury in the fillings. I have heard that amalgam fillings are dangerous and are at risk for leaking. My dentist still uses amalgam and I am ready to find a new one.

– Tina in New Mexico


Although amalgam fillings have been deemed completely safe by the American Dental Association, you are not alone in being concerned about the safety of fillings with mercury in them. There are no special credentials or designations required for a dentist to be considered a holistic dentist. When you search on the web or call in to find out more information, you need to ask if they place composite fillings or what are commonly called white fillings. There are many benefits of choosing white composite over silver amalgam fillings. There is less post-operative sensitivity, less of your natural tooth structure is drilled away, and they look nicer too. There are mercury-free dentists out there that no longer use amalgam. Some holistic dentists also offer sanitary amalgam removal services if you are interested.

Hopefully that helped to answer your question.

This post is sponsored by Cleveland dentist Hylan Dental Care.


A piece of my tooth is missing.

Let me start off by saying that I really don’t like going to the dentist. And last week I noticed that my tooth felt kind of sharp. When I checked it out in the mirror, it appears that a small portion of the tooth is gone. I have never had a filling before and I’m terrified of needles. It isn’t hurting me or anything so I just try not to eat on that side. Do you know if a temporary filling can be done?

– Natalie in Virgina


You are not alone. Did you know that there are millions of Americans that get anxious about dentistry. There are dentists out there that use gentle dentistry techniques and sedation dentistry for fearful patients. Sedation dentistry is safe and simple and many patients will tell you that they don’t remember anything at all about the appointment. You are conscious but will be put into a sleepy, indifferent state. Oral sedation has helped many people deal with and manage their fear of the dentist and only involves taking a pill prior to your dental appointment. If you are just a bit anxious, nitrous oxide is a milder form of sedation dentistry. It is a relaxant gas that is breathed in during your appointment and may work for you.

But to answer your question about the broken tooth, it all depends on the severity of your case. A composite filling may work to fill the space. Or if more than half of the tooth is damaged than a dental crown may be the more appropriate treatment. It doesn’t sound like you need to schedule an emergency dentist appointment if you are not in pain. But this issue should be taken care of as soon as practical. It sounds like you may be a good sedation dentistry candidate.

This post is sponsored by Hylan Dental Care.


I am in pain after my appointment

I’ve been on the search for a new dentist and tried a new one out today. I am very unhappy with the appointment. I had to wait for over 30 minutes and when it was finally by turn, she was very rough during the checkup. My previous dentist would hurt me a little bit but would be more gentle when I told her about it. Today I even yelled out, “ouch” in the middle of the cleaning. She didn’t even stop or ask if I was okay. Then when I checked out, I was charged for a filling. This angered me because I didn’t even know the dentist was doing a filling, I wanted a cleaning. Then, after I got home I had pain on the opposite side from where the filling is. Do you know if it’s difficult to change dentists? And how long do I need to wait to call in about this pain?

– Michelle in Kansas


So sorry to hear about your negative experience. If the pain does not subside in the next couple of days, you need to call back in to let them know about it. Your jaw may be sore or tender from begin open or in an uncomfortable position during the appointment. Sounds like a lot of miscommunication though. You need to consider seeing a new dentist. This dentist should behave ethically and willingly transfer over your dental records / notes to the new dentist.

There are many other dentists out there that are very compassionate and understanding, especially if you are anxious or deal with any kind of dental fear. There are many gentle dentist techniques available today and many dentists actually cater to cowards with their approach. If you are really scared or nervous, then you may even consider sedation dentistry. This simply involves taking a pill before your appointment. Many say they can’t even remember their appointment after it’s done. Or if you are just a bit anxious, maybe nitrous oxide can help you relax. Bottom line is that you need to find a dentist you can trust and that will stop and be more attentive to your concerns and needs.

This post is sponsored by Cleveland dentist Hylan Dental Care.

Is it okay to put off a root canal?


I am just trying to find out more information about a root canal treatment. Do you know how long I can wait to have this done?
– Paulette in Nebraska


It is difficult to answer your question without having seen your tooth. If it is causing you pain, you probably need to get it taken care of immediately. Even if the pain has subsided or gone away it does not mean that the infection has been taken care of. There are many emergency dentists that will get you in right away. And if you are at all scared or anxious, many dentists also offer sedation dentistry.

If you are dealing with an abscess or what looks kind of like a pimple near your tooth root, than you also need to get in right away. This means the infection is still active and a root canal treatment needs to be done.

If the tooth isn’t causing you any pain and hasn’t for a fair amount of time than you may be able to put it off for awhile. Sometimes patients get what is called an arrested infection that affects the body, yet doesn’t seem to cause much in the way of a toothache. For example, many years may pass without a patient being aware of the cause of the infection. And when the  root canal treatment iss finally done, it can improve the overall health of the patient.. You just don’t want to mess around with any kind of infection. What happens in the tooth is that the infection can slowly decay the tooth and it may not be salvageable or it very well could spread to other areas of the body.

This post is sponsored by Cleveland dentist Hylan Dental Care.