Are dental implants safe if I’m allergic to metal?

I have always been highly sensitive to metal. So bad, that I can’t even wear jewelry. Even coins bother me. The list goes on – my wedding ring, metal clasps or buttons, anything with metal in it causes an awful rash. So now that I’m supposed to get a dental implant, you can see that I’m a bit concerned. On my skin, I get this nasty rash that gets all pussy and disgusting. I cannot even imagine what an implant surgically placed in my jaw would do.

Now the dentist is telling me that it is 100% pure titanium and hypo-allergenic, but I am still not so sure. Do you know if there is any way I can figure out if it will be safe for me in advance? I’m not about to move forward without being absolutely sure.

– Jess in North Carolina


If it’s any consultation, metal allergies in the US are quite common. Your apprehension is completely understandable and it is surprising that your dentist didn’t really give the impression that he listened to how severe your allergy really is. He is correct in that dental implants are starting to be the best practice for replacement of a missing tooth.

The statistics show that most people have no issue with the titanium, even if they are allergic to metal. In fact, it is almost unheard of for titanium allergies to even exist. Many physicians feel that there simply is not titanium allergies. All that said, it would be very wise to consult with an allergist before moving forward with your dental implants.

Completely pure titanium dental implants, as well as titanium with an alloy component are common. Just be sure to keep your implant dentist aware of the findings with the allergist. There will be an informational packet that accompanies the dental implant and that would be good to have in hand in communicating between the two. If necessary, the dentist can contact the manufacturer to obtain a list of the exact metals that were used in fabrication of the implant.

If for some reason the allergy report does identify you as allergic to titanium, you may be a candidate for ceramic dental implants. They aren’t prevalent in the market yet, but they are starting to pop up.

Hopefully this helps you and gives some peace of mind.

This post is sponsored by Cleveland dentist Hylan Dental Care.

Can I repair my poor-fitting denture by myself?

I haven’t been happy with the way my denture has been fitting for awhile. Sadly, I have just put up with it and gotten used to it. But I guess it’s gotten worse over time because when I was outside doing some yard work, I bent over to pick something up and it slipped right on out. Ugh! How embarrassing, I’m glad no one saw. The bad news is that it broke in half and a couple of the teeth came off too. Is there any way that I can fix this on my own without having to go into the dentist? Can I use adhesive to fix it? Also, do you have any recommendations on how to improve the fit once I do get it fixed?

– Bart in Michigan


No matter how tempting it may be to use that Super Glue for a quick fix, it really isn’t the way to go in repairing your broken denture. There are many reasons why this isn’t a good fix, like the bond may become weakened and if it isn’t properly aligned it may cause very painful sores. It may also look bazaar if it isn’t repaired properly. So unfortunately it would probably be best if you went to see your dentist to have the repair done properly.

As for the poor fit that you have been dealing with, there are a couple options you can discuss with your dentist about your particular case. Once it gets to a point where it actually falls out, it is likely you are dealing with facial collapse. This condition is debilitating and occurs when there are no teeth present. So, all in all it may be time to get a new denture. And you may be interested in talking to your dentist about using a couple dental implants to help prevent further facial collapse and also help to secure your denture. That said, the more implants that are used the more stability you will be provided. At the very least, you should consider getting the repair done and relined if possible.

Good luck!

This post is sponsored by Cleveland dentist Hylan Dental Care.

Nitrous made my child sick!

My daughter just turned five and at her last appointment they told me she needed to have a couple teeth filled. They told me that since she was so young that she probably wouldn’t be able to sit still and may be a bit nervous with the drilling, so they recommended that she get nitrous oxide. They told me it would just help her relax and would make the treatment go much smoother. All went well as far as her anxiety level goes, but she puked everywhere. Then the whole rest of the day she told me she felt like she was going to be sick again. Why did she get sick from nitrous?

– Becky in Arkansas


That is unfortunate. Instead of relieving the stress of the appointment, she probably now doesn’t have a very fond memory of the dentist’s office which was what they were likely trying to avoid.

Nitrous oxide or what is commonly referred to as “laughing or goofy gas,” should make your child happy and relaxed. It is a form of sedation dentistry that is safe to administer to children. Nitrous oxide is actually one of the most popular types of sedation dentistry because it can be adjusted throughout the procedure and the effects ware off almost instantly after the appointment.

Did you dentist give you any instructions for your child for before your appointment? Typically pediatric dentists recommend that your child should only have a light meal because sometimes children tend to feel queasy or sick to their stomach. A full stomach can make the side effects worse. Typically the nausea will subside after the administering of the gas and it usually only takes a couple minutes  for the effects to ware off after the gas is turned off. So if it was several hours after the appointment that the nausea continued, it would be good to report back to the dentist. Sorry your child had an unpleasant experience!

This post is sponsored by Cleveland dentist Hylan Dental Care.

Can I wait it out or is this a dental emergency?

My daughter had a sporting accident and her face is extremely swollen. When I called my dentist, they couldn’t get her in for another day and I am just worrying myself sick thinking she needs to be seen sooner! Tylenol seems to help with the pain, but the swelling is still not going down. I don’t know what’s up with her tooth? Could she lose it? Maybe I should just call and get her in somewhere else? Any advice – the sooner the better!

– Janice (nervous mom) in Kansas


It will be difficult for you to gauge how serious the trauma is to your daughter’s tooth without taking her in for an emergency dentist appointment. There is always a possibility that you may be dealing with an infection after the initial injury. If that’s the case than yes, you probably should attempt to re-contact your dentist and express the urgency once again. If they can’t get you in, you should consider calling another emergency dentist in your area.

There are just too many unknowns. If there is a break or crack in the tooth, than the sooner you are seen, the greater the possibility exists of saving your daughter’s tooth. If it is an infection, it will only continue to worsen until the tooth is treated.

Consider using the language, if you don’t see my daughter today, I’m going to have her seen by someone else. Stay calm of course, but maybe there is simply a miscommunication between you and the office. Try again and see if they can accommodate you.

Infections can be very dangerous. In some cases a root canal will need to be done in conjunction with antibiotics. But having so little information, there is a wide range of possibilities and concerns you may be dealing with. You won’t regret taking action immediately!

This post is sponsored by Cleveland dentist Hylan Dental Care.

What accredidations does a dentist need to place implants?

I’m in need of a smile makeover, with a majority of the work being dental implants. It is treatment that I have wanted for years, and I am now ready to move forward. In my research I see there is no “implant specialist”, rather different types of dentists that perform implants. What accreditation if any does a dentist need to place implants? Who should I be looking for?

– Carl in Nebraska


That’s great that you have decided to move forward with your dental work. Even better that you are researching different dentists, understanding that many dental providers who place dental implants may have a different background.  Dental implants are the next best thing to natural teeth. When successful and cared for, they can last a lifetime. As you recognized, there are many professionals who place dental implants, from general dentists, to Oral Surgeons and beyond.

So how do you find the best implant dentist? Your best bet is to interview your choices; a seasoned implant dentist will have extensive training and continuing education in implant courses. They will also have patient testimonials and before/after pics of actual patients. You can also go to the American Academy of Implant Dentistry (AAID) website to help you locate an implant dentist. Dentists accredited through the AAID generally have to have education, training, experience, and competency in the areas of implant placement. There’s a definite difference in doctors who do implants (which are many) and implant experts. Taking the extra time to assess one’s expertise can only help you find the best implant dentist.

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

Why does my dentist insist on implants if insurance doesn’t cover them?

I have two teeth that need extracted, and my dentist is insistent about placing dental implants. The problem is my insurance does not cover them. I asked about alternative treatments, but my dentist truly feels implant placement would be best to preserve the bone. Why would my dentist recommend work that isn’t covered?

– Jerod in Florida


Though I’m sure your dentist hears and understands your concerns, it is probably likely your dentist is just really adamant about doing the best treatment for you; not what your insurance dictates. Though dental implants are the standard of care, I’m sure if a dental bridge or other treatment is doable your dentist would recommend so in your available options. Many offices try to offer other affordable dental implants options like mini implants. Although, you may not be a candidate for that.

Even if your dental insurance doesn’t cover it, it’s not out of the realm of a possibility that it won’t be covered by your medical insurance (not likely, but worth a call depending on the necessity of the implant). Other than that, your dentist office is likely to have a number of long-term and short term payment plans to help make your treat more affordable. Likely overall, dental implants are your best bet, but if you insist on having the lowest possible fee for your teeth replacement insist that your dentist do a bridge.

This post is sponsored by Cleveland dentist Hylan Dental Care.


Can an aggressive cleaning chip my teeth?

I had a dental cleaning today after two years of not going. I brush my teeth twice a day and had no issues, so I thought it was no problem. I had the cleaning done by the hygienist and boy was she rough! Or maybe I was used to the gentle dentistry of the previous office I went to.  Not to mention, there was so much blood and my gums were super sore after she was done.  I noticed a small space now between my two front teeth that wasn’t there before my cleaning. It’s the tiniest gap, but I’m thinking the hygienist was too rough with the scaler and chipped something. Can that happen when a cleaning is so aggressive?

– Sarah in Montana

I’m sorry you felt your experience was rough.  It is very likely that your previous “gentle dentist” missed a buildup of plaque or tarter in between your two front teeth, seemingly making it looked closed, or no gap. Unfortunately, your current hygienist probably had her work cut out for her where she had to really get in there and remove what was left behind from your previous appointment. In addition, you accumulated two year worth of buildup on top of that. The removal of the calculus would make a gap visible. Be assured that your hygienist could not remove enamel by scaling, and that is likely what it was. Next time, do let the hygienist know you are in so much discomfort, and perhaps they can apply a topical anesthetic to help ease the discomfort.

This post is sponsored by Cleveland dentist Hylan Dental Care.

Options other than sedation dentistry for fearful patient?

I hate the dentist, in fact I think it’s safe to say I am petrified of the dentist! I lose sleep for days before an appointments and have been known to back out multiple times when the appointment rolls around. I have heard of sedation dentistry which is supposed to help people with dental fear. But honestly, being knocked out freaks me out too. I want to know what’s going on. Currently, my dental insurance plans selects my dentist for me. So I don’t have much say as to where I go.  Well, I can’t put it off any longer because part of my tooth broke off.

I feel like the dental clinics that my insurance has been sending me too are like factories. The dentists just try and force sedation on me and don’t take the time to explain anything. I’m just supposed to trust them and let them knock me out! Help, I need to get this tooth treated before it gets worse.

– Kendra in Missouri


You are not alone in your fear of the dentist. In fact, millions of Americans rank dental care right at the top of the list of common phobias. Rest assured, there are dentists out there that truly care and base their entire practice around cowards just like you.

It sounds like your insurance company is dictating who you see. Don’t be afraid to contact them directly and see if they will work with you. There may be a cater to cowards dentist in your area that the insurance company will work with.

Dentists that focus on the fearful patient will likely offer sedation dentistry, but there are other techniques that you may be more comfortable with. Imagine walking into a tranquil, spa-link setting, where the dentist simply listens to your concerns before he even picks up an instrument. There will likely be music or movies because distractions work really well for fearful patients.

Nitrous oxide is a relaxant gas that is breathed in through a mask right at the chair. It can be adjusted throughout the treatment to accommodate your anxiety and you will be completely aware of what is going on. This option may work really well for you because you will also be able to communicate and talk to the dentist. Nitrous oxide or laughing gas helps patients relax in the chair.

So don’t give up hope! The right dentist is out there. And you are right, don’t keep putting off your treatment. The sooner you get the broken tooth treated, the less painful and likely less expensive the treatment plan.

This post is sponsored by Cleveland dentist Hylan Dental Care.