How meth affects teeth?

If you don’t know how bad methamphetamine truly is, here is a glimpse. Heart and possible brain damage, addiction, loss of motivation, lack of interest in daily activities, as well as serious dental problems. The teeth can suffer terrible decay, which is known as “meth mouth” among the dental community. In as little as one year, meth can cause so much decay, the user may end up dealing with tooth loss.

Most people assume there is some negative component in the drug itself that destroys teeth. But, it’s more about how the drug affects the body which in turn negatively impacts the teeth. Since a meth addict is likely dehydrated through the use of meth,  saliva production is cut down by the salivary glands. The mouth is much dryer than normal, so the user reaches for beverages that are typically highly acidic and sugary. This combination wreaks havoc on the teeth. Plaque adheres to the teeth due to the dryness which makes the individual more susceptible to decay. Also, meth users will allow days, sometimes weeks to go by without brushing or flossing. So when the cycle continues, and more sugary drinks and sweets are craved, decay increases.

Meth is so harmful to the teeth that often times they simply need to be removed altogether. They are so weak and crumbly, also due to the negative grinding side effect that occurs from meth. Breakage or cracking is common from the grinding.

Typical dental treatments required by meth users range from filling replacements and porcelain crowns, to dental bridges and dental implants to replace missing teeth. If money is an issue and too many teeth need replaced, dentures are also a possibility.

This post is sponsored by Cleveland dentist Hylan Dental Care.

I want a good deal on dental implants!

At my last dentist appointment, I had to get a couple of teeth extracted. I have looked at my options and understand that dental implants are the best way to replace these missing teeth. But I really want to make sure I’m not paying too much. How do I find affordable dental implants? I want a good deal!

– Michelle in Florida

Michelle,

In the digital age we live with Groupon deals, Amazon Local deals, Seize the Deal,  and whatever other daily deal you have in your inbox everyday, dental implants are different. There are certain dentists out there that say they do dental implants, and you as the patient have no idea if they provide quality work. Dental implants are a pretty extensive dental procedure that requires coordination or expertise in both the surgical and restorative components. So it would be wise to refine your search into finding the right dentist, versus finding the best deal when it comes to dental implants.

Some things to look for is a dentist that has the right credentials. Some reputable organizations that would support the dentist’s expertise include affiliation with the The American Board of Implant Dentistry or the International Congress of Oral Implantaologists. Or any continuing education in dental implants is also encouraging. This doesn’t guarantee a dentist’s work, but it does demonstrate their interest in bettering themselves in implant dentistry.

It’s not out of the question to affordable dental implants, by a reputable dentist. Just be open and honest from the get go in sharing your financial situation. Many dentists will work with you in varying payment options or may have recommendations in modifying your treatment plan while not compromising in the quality result. There are ways to make implants more affordable to the patient. You just have to find the right dentist.

Lastly, it is worth mentioning that implants are done in two distinctive stages, the surgical and the restorative. On average the time between these two parts of the procedure is up to six months. That may be beneficial in saving up over time by paying as you go to make the treatment work for your budget.

Again, it cannot be stressed enough how to make top priority the search for the best implant dentist in your areas with the right experience. If you jump at a deal, you may end up with sub-standard work and end up paying more in the long run anyway.

Good luck!

This post is sponsored by Cleveland dentist Hylan Dental Care.

Is it an emergency if I have a tooth abscess?

I have been putting off going to the dentist because I can’t afford it. I have had a toothache on and off for months. It used to just be a little bit sensitive here and there, but now it throbs and has even woke me up at night. This morning I see that there is an abscess right on the gum next to the tooth that hurts. Tylenol isn’t cutting it! I guess I can’t put it off any longer.  Is this an emergency situation? If not, how much time do I have before it is?

– Jen in Texas

Jen,

If you ever have any kind of tooth pain that inhibits your regular daily activities like eating or brushing your teeth, it would be considered a dental emergency. An abscess confirms that fact that you need to get in as soon as possible for an emergency dentist appointment. Typically, a dental abscess is the result of a tooth infection. It can be very serious, even life threatening in some instances, so do not put it off any longer. The infection will not go away. The sooner you go in, the more options you will have and the more economical your treatment will likely be. The dentist may need to drain the abscess, prescribe medication including an antibiotic, as well as treat the tooth. A root canal treatment may be the end result.

Even though it isn’t normal business hours, give your dentist a call. They likely have a protocol in place to accommodate dental emergencies, such as this. Or if they don’t feel it’s an emergency at this stage, they can instruct you on what to do and when they can get you in to get this taken care of.

This post is sponsored by Cleveland dentist Hylan Dental Care.

Related link: affordable dentist

 

Considering Cancelling a Trip to Avoid the Dentist.

I’m supposed to be going on the trip of a lifetime- six months overseas building homes and teaching English to children in a small village. This is my dream. Unfortunately, the group that I plan to travel with has strict guidelines about being medically cleared before departure and that includes having my teeth checked.  I’m not afraid of leaving my family, friends and home for six months, or of travel, or of living in a remote area, but the idea of visiting the dentist terrifies me, so much that I’m considering canceling the trip so I don’t have to see the dentist. What should I do?

Sincerely,

Ethan in Texas

Dear Ethan,

Even Superman had Kryptonite. Everyone has something that causes them anxiety or that they avoid and visiting the dentist tends to be Kryptonite for many people. However, unlike Kryptonite, there are remedies for dental fear.

Regardless of your level of anxiety, the key to working through this is to find the right dentist. Search for one who either “caters to cowards” or provides sedation dentistry. Even if you aren’t interested in sedation, someone who offers this service has training in treating patients with fear or anxiety and will go out of his way to provide a calming atmosphere and understand your concerns and triggers.

Should you decide to go the route of sedation dentistry, you will not only feel at ease, but you will also be able to finish the work you need done in fewer visits. Just like how a flight attendant will tell you that in the event of an emergency, you need to put your mask on before helping others around you, so too, must you also take care of your own medical needs before going off and saving the world. Check into sedation dentistry and also those who “cater to cowards” and you will be able to put your cape back on in no time, provided they have a phone booth wherever you’re going.  Good luck!

This post is sponsored by Cleveland dentist Hylan Dental Care

Thought I Found the Best Implant Dentist, Was I Wrong?

I’m getting very frustrated with my dentist. He told me that I would be done with my dental implant in about four months. I’m at about six months now and he still won’t put the tooth on top. He says it’s not ready. I don’t understand why it’s taking so long. I thought I chose the best implant dentist in my area, but now I’m beginning to wonder if he did something wrong and that’s why he isn’t finishing it. I really want this done and over with. Can I insist he just finish it anyway or should I see another implant dentist?

Thanks,

May in Canada

Dear May,

It’s very frustrating when things take longer than we expect and it sounds like this has been quite an adventure for you. While it may seem like you didn’t choose the best implant dentist now, the fact that he’s holding off until he’s certain the integration is complete makes it sound like he’s looking out for you.

It’s not possible to pinpoint an exact time at which the implant will integrate. In the same way that one person may cut himself and it will take weeks to heal, you might have the same experience and heal in half the time or even double the time. Yes, choosing the best dentist possible plays into it because better skills, in general, mean a higher success rate, but there are other things to consider such as your health, your bone density and more.

Three to six months healing time is the usual rule of thumb, but some people take longer. Although there’s probably no harm in getting a second opinion, it’s also possible you will wind up with someone who wants to complete the procedure for you before your body has healed and that will almost guarantee dental implant failure. If the only issue you have experienced is the length of time, stick with it for another month or so and see what happens. You may have found the best implant dentist after all.

This post is sponsored by Cleveland implant dentist Hylan Dental Care.

Should I purchase a discount insurance plan to make my implant more affordable?

I went to the dentist for the first time in years, as I don’t have dental insurance.  I have a bad tooth that has caused me nothing but problems over the years, and the dentist strongly feels it should be extracted and then an implant placed. I agree, as I would love to resolve this issue because it’s been nagging me for years. However, the cost of the implant is so high. Even with the options presented by the office, I’m not sure I can afford it. I’ve read into those discount insurance plans that you can purchase online for a minimal monthly fee; is it worth buying one of those plans to help offset the cost of the implant?

– Jen in Iowa

Jen,

While dental implants provide an excellent result for replacing missing teeth, they can be rather expensive. With a range of $1000-$4000 on average per tooth, many patients are unable to get the benefit of an implant because of the cost. Even if you have traditional dental insurance, you are not guaranteed to have coverage for dental implant surgery.

The insurance plans you’re referencing can sometimes be worth the cost. First, it’s important to make sure your dental provider is in network with the discount plan you are seeking; this ensures that they will abide by the fees listed in the plan you purchase.  Usually with those plans, you can check the fee list (the discounted cost of treatment you will be paying for) online or by calling to see if the specific code or treatment is covered.  Even if the implant surgery itself is not covered, perhaps the restorative phase (after the implant is placed) might be, reducing your out of pocket cost. Not to mention, the benefit of coverage outside of implants that you can possibly save on.  To answer your question, maybe; sometimes a privately purchased discount plan can help reduce your fee’s making dental implants more affordable. Check with the plan, and your dentist.

This post is sponsored by Cleveland dentist Hylan Dental Care.

I’m not scared of needles anymore!

I just wanted to share my story in hopes it encourages others because I know there are actually millions of people that are petrified of needles. For me, I have always hated going to the dentist. Mainly because I was so unbelievably scared of getting numb.

So about a month ago, my tooth was starting to hurt. When I finally went in to get it checked out, the dentist told me that I unfortunately needed a crown. I immediately felt faint. That meant I would need to be numbed which only added to my dental phobia. No joke, my heart started racing and I got anxiety about the next appointment even before I left after my exam. Well, turns out all I really needed to do was talk to my dentist. They are a cater to cowards dentist that will do everything possible to help people like me. I was always embarrassed, but all it took was admitting it to the dentist.

The first thing they did was keep asking me questions to distract me and than they used this q-tip that had this flavored gel on it. This step actually helped to numb the area before the injection was even ready. Then, out of nowhere the dentist started grabbing my cheek with his thumb and index finger. He was squeezing really hard with a lot of pressure and then he started shaking my cheek. I know this sounds bazaar which I have to admit I was really stunned that he was doing this. Then, the next thing I know he stepped out and said that I should start to feel numb in a few minutes. What?!? I never even knew he gave me the injection. This news made me elated. I didn’t even have a chance to be scared. He explained that this technique works well for fearful patients. I can attest to it because I didn’t even notice that he gave me a shot.

So if you are one of those that gets anxious at even the thought of scheduling that dreaded dentist appointment. My recommendation would be to do a Google search of “cater to cowards dentist” or “dentist that cater to cowards.” Let’s just say your whole mindset may be changed!

Good luck!

– Paula in Texas

This post is sponsored by Cleveland dentist Hylan Dental Care.

Is Xanax safe before my dentist appointment?

So, I’m not going to lie. It has been years since I last saw a dentist. I hate the dentist! Did I mention that I HATE the dentist?!? I get so nervous and have actually felt like I was going to pass out while in the chair. I just get myself so worked up. It’s such a  problem because I pretty much only go in when I have a dental emergency now, then that freaks me out. So it’s a viscous cycle. I have a toothache and I’m sure it will need to be fixed. I get anxious just thinking about it. I actually am prescribed Xanax to help with my occasional anxiety issues. Is it safe to take one before I go in?

– Debra in Ohio

Debra,

Even though it may feel like you are the only one that deals with dental phobia, please rest assured that there are millions of people in the United States that put off going to the dentist for one reason or another. Mostly, it is due to dental fear from a negative or painful experience.

Based on the pattern or care that you have described, it would be in your best interest to find a dentist that offers sedation dentistry. Oral sedation simply involves taking a pill prior to your dental appointment. It will make you feel relaxed and indifferent to what is going on. Many sedation dentistry patients explain that it feels like they were sleeping and that no time has passed.

As for the Xanax, if you have a prescription from your physician and you think it wail help you stay calm, just make sure your dentist is aware. Many doctors will accommodate the fearful dental patient and it shouldn’t interfere with treatment. Especially if you first require an examination to see what the cause of the toothache is. Then, when you go back in for treatment, oral sedation may work best for you.

The bottom line is to be open and communicate with your dentist. There are many different forms of sedation dentistry, including nitrous oxide to help you relax in the chair or oral sedation, like was mentioned above.

You’d be surprised. The right dentist can help the most fearful patient get back on track with regular routine cleanings and care.

Good luck to you!

This post is sponsored by Cleveland dentist Hylan Dental Care.