Will the dentist be horrified at my teeth?

It has been years since I have been into the dentist. My dental health is getting worse, but I am so embarrassed and ashamed because as a kid my dentist always made me feel guilty. I feel like the dentist will look in my mouth and run. I cannot look at my teeth without thinking about how ugly they are but I am scared it will be downright awful and painful!

– Michael in New Hampshire

Michael,

The most important thing is to be open and honest with your dentist. There are many dentists out there that will take a non-judgmental stance to you examination. You would be surprised that most dentists don’t want to make you feel guilty. They only want the best for you and want to help you take care of your needs in a timely and economical fashion. The right dentist will use gentle dentistry techniques if you are anxious and will stop as needed if you are concerned or nervous.

If it turns out that you have extensive work that is required, you may want to also find a dentist that offer sedation dentistry. There are many sedation dentist techniques that will put you at ease, from nitrous oxide to help you relax to oral sedation which involves taking some medication before your appointment. If you are very fearful, sedation may be the way to go. It is likely you won’t even remember the appointment.

Don’t be embarrassed! Dentists have seen all kinds of cases. Keep in mind that if you have extensive work that needs to be done, it may be in your best interest to phase treatment out overtime. This may help manage your anxiety, as well as helping with cost.

This post is sponsored by Cleveland dentist Hylan Dental Care.

Honey in a broken tooth from homeade toothpaste. Will I end up with botulism?

I bet you haven’t heard of a question like this because I’m kind of quirky but I have a broken tooth and it is hollowed all the way into my gums and maybe even further than that. I hate, hate, hate going to the dentist. I’m pretty much petrified! I also do not use toothpaste because there is an ingredient in it that make me end up with terrible canker sores. So I make my own toothpaste from a fifty percent mixture of baking soda and coconut oil. I put some peppermint extract in there recently to spice it up but the taste was horrific. So I was researching ways to improve my homemade toothpaste and decided to use honey. It now tastes great, but I have noticed some blood on my tooth brush. It wasn’t bad but the next night I used this I had blood literally dripping out of my mouth. When I figured out the source it was my broken tooth.

Why is it bleeding so badly? Is it from this new mixture? I’ve also researched that an infected tooth can move to your heart and bloodstream very fast. Do you think I gave myself botulism from the honey in the toothpaste? Am I in trouble?

I know I sound crazy because the last time I visited a dentist was over five years ago. The dentist had to sedate me to clean my teeth, so I just cannot fathom having to go in. Maybe I need to work up my courage to just get the tooth pulled. Any advice?

– Kendra in Michigan

Kendra,

Your fear of the dentist sound pretty intense. But you need to put this aside and get into a dentist as soon as possible. If you continue to delay it, your options will become much more limited, the risk for complications goes up, and frankly it will  be more expensive.

It is difficult to determine exactly what the increase in blood is from, as for botulism, that is unlikely for that kind of a condition to take root so quickly. But tooth infection is quite likely if your tooth is hollowed out like you have described. And you never mentioned how long this tooth has been broken. But if it has been years since your last appointment, the tooth may be beyond repair.

The pulp of your tooth may be dead by now, but that doesn’t mean that the tooth infection has been taken care of. Your research is correct that infection from a tooth can spread into other areas of your body and if left untreated can even be deadly. You may need to have a root canal treatment done.

There are many sedation dentistry options available to help you deal with your fear. With oral sedation, you won’t even remember your appointment and it will feel like you were sleeping during the appointment. You need to schedule an emergency dentist appointment, right away.

You are long overdue on having that broken tooth treated.

This post is sponsored by Cleveland dentist Hylan Dental Care.

 

I’m pregnant and want to know if this is a dental emergency?

I have had a toothache and am trying to find out if this falls into the category of being an emergency? My tooth is sensitive and hurts on and off. I’m in the last trimester of my pregnancy and want to know if I should get my tooth taken care of or if it can wait until after the baby comes.

– Millie in Illinois

Millie,

If you are experiencing severe pain that keeps you up and night, than you probably need to schedule an emergency dentist appointment to get checked out. Pregnant or not, the sooner a toothache is looked at, the more economically and conservatively the need can be addressed.

Actually the biggest problem with dental work in the third trimester is that you will have to lay on your back for an extended period of time. If you aren’t concerned about that, then you should be able to proceed with regular dental care. That said, the ideal time for dental treatment like having cavities filled or a crown placed is probably in the second trimester. You should always keep up with your regular cleanings and examinations in order to avoid the risk of infection. This is especially important because, as your know, hormone levels are rising during pregnancy and a side effect can sometimes be swollen and bleeding gums. So regular cleanings will help prevent gum infection. And any type of infection is not good during pregnancy. Dental x-rays should not take place during the first trimester of pregnancy due to the vulnerability of the fetus. Also, invasive dental procedures should also not take place during the first trimester.

As mentioned earlier, if you have an infected tooth that requires a root canal treatment it would be good to move forward with having it treated. Just be sure to consult with your doctor about any anesthetics that may be used to numb the mouth during the procedure. Sometimes some numbing agents contain epinephrine which is something you need to avoid because it has the side effect of increasing heart rate.

General recommendations for dental care during pregnancy:

  • ¬†Keep up with regular cleanings.
  • Wait for non-emergency dental work until after the baby is born or until the last trimester if possible.
  • Do not whiten teeth or have cosmetic dentistry work done until after the baby arrives.
  • Avoid crossing legs while sitting or laying in the dental chair.
  • Feel free to bring a pillow for comfort during your appointment.

This post is sponsored by Cleveland dentist Hylan Dental Care.

Looking for affordable dental implants.

So I’m convinced that dental implants area the best way to replace missing teeth but I simply do not think I can afford them. Do you know if I have any other options?

– Sandra in Wisconsin

Sandra,

You are correct in that dental implants are the best way to replace missing teeth. Here is an explanation that may help you to better understand the cost. Dental implants are meant to be a permanent solution that look and feel, as well as function just like normal teeth. When an implant is placed it is actually surgically implanted into the jawbone. So the titanium root acts just like a normal tooth root. Then after a period of healing, a porcelain crown is placed on the titanium post. There is the surgical phase, laboratory fees, and also dental fees from the restorative dentist. All of these services add up sometimes over a few thousand dollars per implant.

The good news is that there are affordable implant options. Sometimes a dentist will accept payment out over a period of time. The whole dental implant procedure spans over six months in some cases. So paying as you go works for some. Or there are financing options that offer zero percent like a company called CareCredit.

If you simply cannot afford dental implants, a denture, partial denture, or dental bridge are possibilities. There are also affordable dental implants called mini implants. There are some major trade offs when selecting an alternative treatment to replace missing teeth. So make sure you work with an implant dentist that is experienced, will be honest and upfront about your options. With implants, cheaper isn’t always better. There are many dentists that cut corners, compromise on materials, etc. to bring down costs. Be very careful when price shopping. And whatever you do, go with a reputable implant dentist even if you decide to do a different treatment.

This post is sponsored by what many believe is the best Cleveland implant dentist Hylan Dental Care.

What kind of anesthesia should I get for widsom teeth removal?

I just found out that I have to get my wisdom teeth out. I am dreading this because I have heard too many horror stories. I guess I just need to get past my fear and get it done. I’m supposed to meet with the oral surgeon soon. Do you know if they will let me know decide what type of anesthesia I can get? What is better in this case, general or local anesthesia? I’m sure the surgeon has his own opinion. Just curious what you’d recommend?

– Sarah in Wyoming

Sarah,

The biggest question is whether or not you want to be coherent and know what is going on. Many fearful patients prefer to be “knocked out” for this type of procedure. Here is a brief overview of your options.

Local anesthesia involves an injection to number the area where the tooth extractions are taking place. You will be awake and aware of everything that is going on. You will remain numb after the procedure, yet shouldn’t experience any pain. Some pros of local anesthesia are that there are no side effects, less pain immediately following the extraction, as well as a sense of being aware of what is going on.

Another option you want to consider is sedation dentistry which works well for more invasive procedures. Or general anesthesia is appropriate for those that do not want to remember anything about what is going on. The medication will be given intravenously and it will feel like you went to sleep. It is very likely you won’t remember anything about the appointment.

There are some instances where general anesthesia may not be the best option for you. You may not be a candidate if you have a family history of negative reactions to the medication used; if you take aspirin regularly; if you are a smoker; have heart or lung conditions; kidney issues; sleep apnea, or if you are overweight.

Oral sedation is an option that will allow you little to no memory of the appointment. For most dental procedures it works really well and can be administered safely in the office. All you have to do is take a pill and you will feel sleepy and indifferent to what is going on.

You need to discuss your concerns with the surgeon and together you can determine what the best option is for you specifically. Best of luck!

This post is sponsored by Cleveland dentist Hylan Dental Care.

My dental implant is broken. What do I do?

I had to get a dental implant placed and I originally went to an oral surgeon that my dentist referred me to to get it done. I think the surgeon was phenomenal. He built up my bone with grafting and placed the implant. Then I went back to my normal dentist to have the crown placed. But something just wasn’t feeling right the whole time it was being placed. Now it really hurts and I think it is loose. So I didn’t want to go back to my dentist because he made my implant loose. So I went to a new dentist for a second opinion and he confirmed that it was loose. So then I was referred to an endodontist to get it taken care of. I’m stumped! Why would an endodontist be the right person to fix my loose implant? Isn’t an endodontist for root canals? Then what am I supposed to do, go back to the new dentist for the crown which is where this all went wrong?

– Stacey in Colorado

Stacey,

You need to forget the endodontist and find a dentist that is an expert in dental implantology. It is quite possible that you may need to have more bone grafting done in order to correct the problem before the dental implant can be fixed. Make sure you do some research on the implant dentist you select. Two well-known and respected organizations that you should look for are fellowship or membership with the International Congress of Oral Implantologists or the American Board of Oral Implantology. Explain your complications with the placement of the crown and be honest about your apprehensions and concerns. Sorry that you had to go through this, but thank you for sharing your story. Hopefully it is helpful to someone considering dental implants.

This post is sponsored by Cleveland Dentist Hylan Dental Care.

Sick of bleeding gums, I need a gentle dentist!

I have always struggled with gums that bleed at the dentist. Ever since I was a kid I hated going into the dentist because my gums would be bloody and I was embarrassed. Over 10 years ago I had my wisdom teeth removed because they were impacted. Now the gums near that lower wisdom tooth area are extremely sensitive. Even if I brush super light in the back, I get blood. The last time I was in for an exam, the dentist took a look and told me there is no pocket or anything unusual with the gum tissue. I think I need a gentle dentist that truly understands how I feel when I sit in the chair.

Also, I sometimes see a little bi t of sticky saliva present when I run my fingers over my gums. Does that sound normal? I have been told I have an abnormal bite and I am supposed to wear a night guard, but I’m not sure that has anything to do with my sensitive gums.

– Rhonda in North Carolina

Rhonda,

There are gentle dentists that go out of their way to help you with patients that are uncomfortable in the chair. Communication is essential in how your appointment goes. If you have any dental anxiety or have a history of bleeding gums, bring this up right away. You have nothing to be embarrassed about.

As for the answer to what is causing your bleeding gums, it probably has nothing to do with wisdom teeth that were removed over 10 years ago or an abnormal bite. It is probably more connected to your daily hygiene. Maybe you are not brushing that area consistently? Or maybe you avoid that area because you are afraid you will get bloody gums? Keep it up to strengthen that sensitive gum tissue.

You may not realize it but when you avoid brushing an area, you are leaving bacteria-filled plaque to adhere to your teeth and gums. The bacteria can cause inflammation in your gums which can make them very sensitive, even to a soft touch. So proceed gently, but don’t put off or avoid brushing.

The wisdom tooth area should be re-shaped by now. In fact, your body and tissues have likely re-developed and consider it like they were never there.

This post is sponsored by Cleveland dentist Hylan Dental Care.

What antbiotic is used for a tooth infection?

I think my tooth is infected. Do you know what kind of antibiotic is typically prescribed? Do I need a dentist to prescribe it?

– Barry in Michigan

Barry,

The antibiotic that is generally used to treat an infected tooth is called Cephalexin. The generic form of this drug is Keflex. It is an antibiotic that not only kills the negative bacteria, but it kills the positive bacteria as well. But here is the thing, taking the antibiotic without having the tooth treated can lead to more serious problems. You need to schedule an emergency dentist appointment an have a root canal treatment done before you lose the tooth. If you wait too long or decide to not get the tooth treated, you may end up needing a tooth extraction.

In conjunction with a root canal, a dentist will likely prescribe a 7 or 10 day supply of the antibiotic. Be sure to complete all the medication even if your symptoms subside. This will ensure that the bacteria is killed. If you fail to follow the directions then you run the risk of the bacteria becoming resistant. And again, it cannot be stressed how important it is to have the tooth treated. There have been terrible dental emergency cases where the infection moves into the bone or even the brain. If that happens, it could be a life threatening situation.

Hopefully this information was helpful.

This post is sponsored by Cleveland dentist Hylan Dental Care.