Review on Clear Choice.

I am extremely worried about the business policies of this practice. In order to proceed with my care, the office demanded $1000.00 plus 1/2 the cost of the procedure. Now they are demanding that I sign a promissory note (actually four notes) for the rest of the work. I have not had any work done yet. What was supposed to be in August (they cashed our check on the 9th) is now put off until mid September) their choice. I am being strong armed to pay the next installment, which would be two weeks before anything is done. I am extremely worried about my decision and that I may never see my money again.
– Maureen in California

Maureen,
Thank you for your Clear Choice Dental Center review. Clear Choice centers in various cities have been criticized for their sales tactics and some of their business practices. But I am confident they aren’t going to try to do anything illegal like just taking your money. I’m confident you don’t have anything to worry about there.

But when you give them the money up front like that, you ARE limiting your ability to complain about the results or anything that happens during your appointment. I would feel uncomfortable with that, too. And a general suggestion I would give to anyone who goes to Clear Choice would be to get a second opinion. They tend to have certain standard procedures that they do, and they do everyone the same way. In implant dentistry there is almost always more than one way to solve any dental problem, so there is more than a “one size fits all” approach.

With such a major investment with dental implants, do your research to avoid more costly mistakes in the future.

This post is sponsored by Cleveland dentist Hylan Dental Care

How teeth can be affected by bulimia.

I was a bulimic for over 10 years and my teeth are in terrible shape. Any advice to give to others that are going through it now? I’m helping out with a support group and want to help others through it.

– Sandy in Alabama

Sandy,

As you know bulimia is a potentially life threatening eating disorder, with ramifications to an individual’s physical, emotional, and dental health. Dehydration from the excessive vomiting can negatively impact vital organs like your hear and kidneys. But in regard to your dental health, all of the purging can cause teeth to erode. Sometimes patients with severe erosion will have issues with the way their teeth come together, which could negatively impact the TMJ over time as well. But the most common issues are with the erosion of the tooth enamel, typically on the back of the upper teeth. This is the area that is the most affected from excessive purging and patients that have recovered or are still bulimic also complain about tooth sensitivity.

Another issue is that the swollen salivary glands cause the mouth to be extremely dry which increases and progresses tooth decay. Over time if this disease isn’t cured, patients may sadly end up dealing with tooth loss. And at that point if the teeth are not salvageable, dental implants will be the way to go to replace the missing teeth. But first and foremost a patient needs to get the bulimia under control.

Here are some helpful tips you can pass along to those you are working with in your support group:

  • Do whatever it takes to stay hydrated. A dentist can even prescribe a saliva replacement if an individual suffers from an extremely dry mouth. Gum chewing (sugarless) can also help produce more saliva.
  • Fluoride can also be prescribed by your dentist to help prevent the common tooth decay and erosion from bulimia.
  • Drink as much water as possible after purging. This will help to keep the harmful acid under control. Brushing right after is also helpful in minimizing the damage to the tooth enamel.
  • Brush and floss normally, and keep up your regular preventive maintenance at the dentist. Find a dentist that wants to partner and help you overcome this condition versus one that will make you feel guilty.

Most importantly encourage those you are supporting to seek professional help. You are a testament to one that can break this cycle. Congratulations and thank you for reaching out and being willing to be vulnerable. You will make a difference. The more bulimics know about the long-term damage to their overall health may help more than you know.

This post is sponsored by Cleveland dentist Hylan Dental Care.

A possible charity case for affordable dental implants?

Hello,

I totally need dental implants, but there is just no way I can justify the price tag. As you know they are just so darn expensive. Do you have any idea if a cosmetic dentist would do pro-bono for a case like mine? I hate my teeth and hide my smile all the time and I’m only in my thirties. My teeth cause me great pain and hinder my eating. In fact, I am losing weight. My jaw seems to be getting messed up and my teeth seem like they are shifting around too. Please help!

– Jo Ann from Illinois

Jo Ann,

Unfortunately, cosmetic dentists that do nice, quality work have clients where everyone will pay that hefty price tag. So it is highly unlikely that a qualified cosmetic dentist would pursue your case on a pro bono basis.

It may be tempting to jump at affordable dental implants. But be forewarned! Implants are notorious for dentists cutting corners and doing sub-par work for a lesser price. Even if you went with a steal of a deal, if they break or fall out in five years, they are worthless. Then you will end up spending more to solve the problems down the road.

Although the price tag is expensive, think about the cost of not pursuing quality work. Consider pleading your case to a trusted, experienced implant dentist. You may be surprised that many dentists will go out of their way to help out and work with you. Some will work on payment options that are spaced out over time or allow your to utilize some low-interest payment plans. But please don’t compromise on quality when if comes to dental implants. You absolutely do not want to go with a dentist that is going to cut corners.

There are other options too if dental implants truly will not work for your budget. A lesser expensive treatment is a removable partial dentures. Although not the ideal treatment for missing teeth, there are many patients that have had them function and look just fine if they are done right.

Best of luck to you.

This post is sponsored by Cleveland dentist Hylan Dental Care.

Scared about going to the dentist for my gray tooth.

So the last time I went into the dentist (about a year ago) my dentist was watching my gray tooth. I have never even had a cavity so so I must say that it kind of made me nervous that she wanted to watch this tooth. I’m not sure if it will need a filling or if she was thinking a root canal was needed? Anyway, she wants to see me again but I have been putting it off. It is one of my big molars in the back of my mouth. And I guess it is gray. How serious is this? I actually have an appointment but I have cancelled it two times because I’m scared!

– Lola in Colorado

Lola,

The gray color may be a good indicator that the tooth is actually dying. If the dentist didn’t make it clear to you that it was a cavity is is likely that it didn’t show up on the x-ray as a cavity. I know it is hard to believe but sometimes teeth can die for no real reason. Most often there is some kind of issue, like extensive tooth decay or a trauma to the tooth. But in those cases you would be experiencing some kind of toothache, sensitivity, or throbbing. So if you haven’t dealt with any of those symptoms, then the tooth could be dead. This means that the nerve tissue inside the pulp of the tooth has died. Sometimes even hard chewing can negatively impact the tooth and cause this too. But if it is actually dead than then you may be at risk for the tooth to become infected. There could be bacteria inside the tooth and your dentist will not want your tooth to become infected. If it is infected a root canal treatment may be the way to go.

So don’t be scared. At this point, your dentist needs to take a new x-ray to see if there is anything else going on with the tooth. An Endodondist specializes in root canal treatments. But some general dentists also perform this service. And if you are really scared about the dentist, you may want to talk to your dentist about any gentle dentistry techniques that they offer. Or maybe even sedation dentistry if you do end up needing a root canal. Your dentist can’t help you if she doesn’t know how you feel though. So be open and honest about your anxiety so together you can put a plan together that you are comfortable with. If you don’t get the feeling that your dentist will work with you on this, there are many dentists in your area that cater to cowards. You are not alone! Millions of people deal with dental fear.

Best of luck!

This post is sponsored by Cleveland dentist Hylan Dental Care.

 

What if all I can afford is dentures?

My teeth are literally falling out and crumbling because they are in such bad shape. So I have been looking into getting complete dentures. Over ten years ago, the dentist told me that I didn’t have that much enamel left on my teeth. This might have had something to do with me vomiting through two straight pregnancies. I literally puked multiple times every day for the entire duration of each of these pregnancies. Well, that has been over eight years ago now, but my teeth are so brittle and cracked and have ugly cavities.

The dentist removed one of my teeth last week because it had cracked in half. Five other teeth have eroded all the way to my gums and I have had one crown and post fall out too. The dental insurance I have isn’t doing the trick, since it only covers about $1000 annually. And you know how expensive good dental treatments are. Sadly, it looks like complete dentures will only cost about $1400 for me, but I am torn because my bottom teeth are now as bad as my upper teeth. The cost for getting root canals and crowns was closer to $5000 and I just am having a hard time justifying that much money be spend on me. I haven’t been able to get any loans either. So are dentures really my only option at this point?

I also had meningitis as a baby so maybe some of the medicines given to me have played a role in how terrible my teeth are. You may not believe it by looking at my teeth but I swear I have brushed and flossed  regularly ever since I was a kid. Any insight or advice would be so greatly appreciated. I feel like I only have one option – dentures.

– Pat in Arkansas

Pat,

From what you have shared it sounds like you are completely frustrated with your teeth. Dentures are an option for you, but not necessarily your only option. You need to be fully aware of the denture problems and underlying ramifications in moving forward with dentures though. Denture patients are often times very disappointed because they can be very uncomfortable, they reduce your chewing efficiency, and they can fall out at embarrassing times. Another very serious condition that someone as young as yourself needs to fully understand is what is called facial collapse. What happens when all of your teeth are removed is that the bone that used to support the teeth is re-absorbed so the minerals can be used in other areas of the body. Then, your jawbone shrinks and over the course of ten to twenty years can shrink so much that you may not even be able to keep your denture in anymore. Facial collapse patients look much older than they are and their face looks sunken in.

Another thing you need to know is that losing your bottom teeth is much more of a serious situation than losing your upper teeth. An upper denture is easier to maintain and adjust as time goes by. This is also due to the fact that the upper denture uses suction to stay put. This means it is much more stable than the lower denture which kind of floats on top of your lower jaw. Your tongue and cheeks also help to keep the lower denture in place.

So although dentures seem like the most affordable option now, down the road you may end up spending more to take care of the ramifications of facial collapse. And we haven’t even begun talking about your quality of life.

So if there is any way that any of your teeth can be saved, even with crowns or root canal treatments, that truly is the best in the long run. This is because the longer the tooth roots are still anchored into your jawbone, you are avoiding the devastating facial collapse. Dental implants also prevent facial collapse because the surgical post is placed directly into your jawbone. Again, these treatments are more expensive now, but do you want to trade the quality of life over the long run?

I hope you find a dentist you can trust that can effectively provide you will all of your options. There are affordable dentist options out there. You would be surprised how many dentists truly want to make a difference and will phase out treatment plans over time, sometimes over many years. That way you can pay as you go. Or others have access to low financing payment plans or other ways to arrange payment. Don’t set yourself into thinking dentures are your absolute, only option.

This post is sponsored by Cleveland dentist Hylan Dental Care.

What would be considered a dental emergency?

Can you tell me what qualifies as a dental emergency? I want to know if I need to call in for an emergency dentist appointment or if I can wait a few months until it’s time for my regular check-up.

– Amber in New York

Amber,

A dental emergency can happen anytime, day or night. An accident that knocks out one or several teeth, throbbing tooth pain that keeps you from eating or sleeping, and a broken crown or filling are all emergency situations. If you should find yourself in acute pain, you should contact your local emergency dentist.

Many people may not be sure what comprises an emergency dental situation. Though every patient will have a different threshold of pain. The rule of thumb is, if you’re in pain, call the dental office immediately. A dentist who does emergency dentistry should be able to help you, if not see you immediately. Trust that your dentist will have the ability to identify and remedy your problem right away.

Pain in the teeth or mouth can be attributed by many things. Most emergency dentists will treat the following issues:

  • Pain Relief
  • Common/Surgical extractions
  • Root Canal Treatment
  • Tooth Infection
  • Re-Cement Crowns
  • Fillings
  • Trauma/Injury
  • Broken Teeth
  • Objects caught between teeth
  • Denture Repair

Any injury or pain to the teeth or gums should not be ignored. The difference between acting quickly and delaying contact to your dentist may mean not being able to save the tooth, minimizing further damage, or preventing infection. Don’t suffer! Let your dentist handle your emergency.

This post is sponsored by Cleveland dentist Hylan Dental Care.

Can dental implants be used to replace baby teeth?

Hello,

I have canine teeth that are still baby teeth on both the top and bottom of my mouth. I’m almost an adult, 17 years old. I really don’t like the way my smile looks and I’m embarrassed by it.

I was wondering if I can get dental implants to replace them?

– Jossalyn in Illinois

Jossalyn,

The question needs to be asked, have you been in for regular dental treatment throughout your childhood and teenage years? Your regular dentist should have addressed this issue long before now. Dentists are taught how to address these types of issues in regular training at dental school. What you have described is not really that uncommon.

Dental implants are a possibility to replace your canine teeth, if you don’t have any impacted teeth behind them. A simple dental x-ray should answer this question. Sometimes individuals are born without certain permanent teeth. Although, it is pretty rare that this is the case. So an x-ray needs to be done to find out where those teeth are if they haven’t yet erupted. If you really are missing teeth, you could be a dental implant candidate.

In some cases, a simple surgical incision will help to stimulate the adult teeth into movement. Or in other cases orthodontics can be used to help them surface. You may need to see an orthodontist to go that route.

So the first step is to find out what is going on with your adult teeth before forming a treatment plan.

This post is sponsored by Cleveland dentist Hylan Dental Care.

Possible malpractice? The tooth roots are still there after an extraction.

Over a year ago now, my husband had two tooth extractions. He was having some issues and when we returned to the dentist today, the discovery was made that the tooth roots were both still there. How does this happen? Have you ever heard of this? We are wondering if this is a possible malpractice suit? We asked the dentist if the roots would be okay or if they had to be removed and he said they need to be out. Do we trust this guy?

– Natalie in Idaho

Natalie,

This is difficult to assess without having seen your husband’s specific case, x-rays, or notes from the file. There have been tooth extraction cases where a small fragment of the tooth or bone chip, or the tip of the root remains in tact in the socket of the tooth. It is not unheard of in cases where the tooth to be extracted is very decayed or fractured. If the fragment is not infected it is possible for it to remain in the jaw. This may also be the best way to approach this situation if the procedure is difficult and may cause other issues like nerve damage. The oral surgeon may be able to better make recommendations for you and your husband. In other instances, the small fragments of bone or tooth material can actually work themselves out. But if it is down deep into the socket, it will need to be surgically extracted to avoid possible infection. The root section of the tooth that you are referring to is surrounded by ligaments. This may also complicate things.

Not sure if you have a malpractice suite, but it sounds like a case worthy of a second opinion and assessment from an expert implant dentist or oral surgeon. If this situation is left unaddressed the possibility remains for infection as mentioned earlier, or possible cyst or lesion to form around the impacted roots.

This post is sponsored by Cleveland dentist Hylan Dental Care.