I hate my dentures! Do I have options?

My denture sucks! It has given me so many problems. I have only had it for a few years now and I hate it! It seems like I have to go into the dentist every couple months to have it re-fitted. But it never helps with how it looks. It hurts and affects my eating and talking. I’m ready to trash it. No teeth would be better than this sorry thing. Do I have any other options? The dentist has informed me that it probably just will not get any better. I refuse to settle for that kind of care. Help!

– Louise in Deleware

Louise,

Don’t throw in the towel this yet. And first before stating anything further, please accept this apology and that kind of treatment in making you feel like that is as good as it gets. It could be that the current dentist you are seeing isn’t familiar or experienced in helping patients with the right solution to replace missing teeth.

Sadly, nothing will ever function as good as your natural teeth once did. But incorporating dental implants into your treatment plan will greatly improve the comfort and functionality. All-on-four dental implants are another possible treatment if you are indeed a candidate. You need to be on the hunt for an experienced implant dentist that is highly experienced and knowledgeable in implant-supported dentures and dental implants.

Implants will help provide increased stability and you should be able to get back to eating and carrying on normally. Dental implants are a more permanent solution to dentures and prevent many common denture problems. When you don’t have any teeth left, you are subject to a bone loss condition called facial collapse which will only continue to cause problems as time goes by. Dental implants will prevent facial collapse, as well.

So it sounds like it may be time to part ways with your original dentist and start pursuing a consultation with an expert implant dentist.

This post is sponsored by Cleveland dentist Hylan Dental Care.

Dental emergency during pregnancy?

I’m pregnant and I have a question about a sensitive tooth. I’m trying to determine if what I have is a dental emergency and requires immediate care. I am very early on in my pregnancy, only nine weeks so I want to be extra careful. One of my old fillings came out and it is pretty sensitive lately. Will it be safe for me to visit the dentist while I’m pregnant? If so, can the cavity be redone while I’m pregnant?

– Jess in New Jersey

Jess,

Congratulations! Pregnancy brings a lot of changes and precautions, so it is completely understandable that you want to be extra cautious during such an important time in your life. It is completely safe to see a dentist during pregnancy. Just be sure to communicate that to the dentist so they can determine the best course of action. There is no reason that you couldn’t get dental work done. The dentist will be able to determine if an emergency dentist appointment is required. Extra precautions will likely be taken if an x-ray is required and modification of medication and numbing agents may be warranted depending on how far along you are when the treatment takes place.

As a general rule of thumb, if you can, it would be good to wait until after the first trimester since the baby is undergoing such early development. The second and beginning of the third trimester is the safest time period for dental work. That said, if you are in pain then don’t wait. If a filling has come out, there may be more underlying issues going on with the tooth. So get in sooner than later to address the problem before it turns into a more complex issue. Good luck!

This post is sponsored by Cleveland dentist Hylan Dental Care.

Pulling all my teeth so I don’t have to go to the dentist anymore?

I despise going to the dentist. I have had the worst dental experiences throughout my life and every time it’s time for another appointment, I am in pain. I avoid going in at all costs, yet when I can’t take it anymore I go in and end up in more pain to fix the problem. Can I get all my teeth pulled? That way I don’t have to go to the dentist ever again.  Do you think my dentist will do this for me?

– Ben in Texas

Ben,

There is no joke when it comes to dental fear and anxiety. And although it probably doesn’t help much, you are not alone. Millions of people struggle with going to the dentist.

Unfortunately, as you have found, avoiding the dentist isn’t the answer. That just brings on the perpetual cycle of pain. Preventive maintenance will help you break this cycle because if you wait until you are in pain, then there is typically larger treatments required.

To answer your question, having all your teeth removed really isn’t the answer. Denture patients have many complaints, due to facial collapse and other problems that occur when you don’t have teeth. It is difficult to make specific recommendations without having seen your case. But most dentists will do everything they can to save teeth, so pulling them all to avoid the dentist, really isn’t the way to go. Bottom line is that no artificial tooth will ever function as well as your natural teeth.

Although, you may be a candidate for sedation dentistry. There are gentle dentists out there that empathize with patients like you and will do everything possible to make your visit a comfortable and positive one. This may sound crazy to you based on your negative experiences. But with oral sedation, you simply take a pill and you will likely not remember anything that transpires at the appointment. Sedation dentistry works wonders for fearful patients. It has also helped patients that have had bad experiences to get back on track with regular care.

This post is sponsored by Cleveland dentist Hylan Dental Care.

 

Which approach is better for a dental implant?

I have a gap on my upper arch due to an adult tooth that never came in after I lost the baby tooth years ago. I’m thinking of having it filled with the placement of an implant.  I found the name of two reputable dentists, both whom I consulted with and agreed an implant was the way to go. One dentist did the implant surgery and restoration himself. The other dentist refers to a specialist for the placement, having me come back to see him for the restoration. I didn’t expect two different approaches. How do I know which doctor is the best implant dentist?

– Becca in Texas

Becca,

It is great to want to make sure you are getting the best treatment. It looks like you did your homework regarding finding reputable implant dentists and that’s a good start. It is very common to come across dentists who do the surgery and restoration themselves, as well as dentists who refer out for the surgical placement and have you come back for the final restoration. One approach isn’t better than the other; it’s just important you have well trained, knowledgeable doctors performing the work.  A very experienced doctor will be able to provide you with references, before and after photos of actual cases, and make you feel very comfortable about moving forward with the procedure. One would think a dentist knows their limits and would not want to offer inferior care. If they didn’t have the expertise and continuing education necessary to perform the implant surgery, they should refer you to a specialist who does. Again, should that be the case, it’s not a reflection on the dentists capabilities. If you feel completely at ease, trust your doctor’s abilities to perform the work, and have no questions left unanswered then you’ve selected the best implant dentist for the job.

This post is sponsored by Cleveland dentist Hylan Dental Care.

Is Clear Choice the better choice?

I’m the worst dental patient. I have a few missing teeth on my upper right, and my dentist gave me options of a denture or implants. I’m fairly young, and don’t want to deal with wearing a denture and the potential problems that can come with it. I understand that implants are the better option, but feel my dentist is charging an astronomical rate for doing the job. After coming across Clear Choice advertisements, I went to a local center where they quoted me a little less money for the All on 4, plus an extra discount if I paid in cash. I feel it’s silly to not want to save money. Plus, I understand Clear choice centers specialize in these treatments; doesn’t it make sense to want to get the work done there instead?

– Karen in Illinois

Karen,

You are correct in the notion that dental implants are a better choice, and that Clear Choice centers specialize in implant placement. I don’t think it’s advisable to have the mentality of wanting to save money when seeking treatment such as implants. Like most corporate franchises, Clear Choice will have a mixed bag of reviews. It is a denture “supercenter”, where that’s the focus of their marketing, along with the treatment they emphasize most. It is likely your dentist who is not offering the “cash discount” uses higher quality materials and labs to do your work. Perhaps they know they will be giving you more chair time or individualized attention (i.e., having you come back every so often so they can check the progress of your implant) and those things are reflected in the price. Unfortunately, a lower price as offered by Clear Choice may mean compromised quality of materials and experienced personnel. You don’t want to be uninformed. In this scenario it is best to seek out multiple second opinions with highly experienced practitioners before making your decision.

This post is sponsored by Cleveland dentist Hylan Dental Care.

Will all-on-four dental implants fail on me?

I have really bad teeth. In fact, I only have a couple left. So I guess it’s time for dentures. But my dentist is trying to convince me to get all-on-fours. He said of course dental implants are ideal but if I can’t afford to get six or more per arch, that the all-on-four dental implants will work to make my denture more sturdy. I was telling my friend about it and he told be to proceed with caution. He said he has heard horror stories of all-on-four dental implants failing and ending up causing much more expense in the long run. What is the probability that all-on-four dental implants will fail?

-Gerald in Louisiana

Gerald,

You are smart by doing your research and investigating these recommendations before you move forward with any kind of treatment. As you may be learning, denture patients can be miserable for a myriad of reasons – poor chewing, loose or ill-fitting dentures, facial collapse, etc. Dental implants can be used to help provide increased stability and help prevent facial collapse.

The all-on-four dental implants procedure is controversial. Although, the rate for failure with all-on-four is relatively low, the angle at which the implants are placed puts them under a lot of stress. There are many factors involved, including the amount of bone you have left at the implant sites. It would be in your best interest to seek a second (or third) opinion to see if another dentist makes the same recommendation regarding your bone density and the need for bone grafting. Better to do this all now before you move forward.

Implant dentistry takes much advanced training beyond dental school, yet it is not a regulated area withing dentistry. That means any dentist can claim to do dental implants, including the all-on-four treatment with little to no experience. So your friend is right to proceed with extreme caution. There are countless malpractice suits surrounding dental implants.

There are many criteria and factors that should be evaluated to determine if you are a good all-on-four candidate. Those include an in-depth review of your complete medical history, bone loss, diabetes, periodontal disease, whether you are a smoker or not, to name a few. An experienced implant dentist will take the necessary time upfront to ensure you are a good candidate. Because there are no guarantees with dental implants.

This post is sponsored by Cleveland dentist Hylan Dental Care.

Will I feel anything with oral sedation?

I’m getting really nervous about my upcoming dental appointment to have my wisdom teeth out. I am told that the dentist will give me oral sedation. I guess that means I will still be conscious, so does that mean I will feel any pain? I’m really don’t want to know what is going on and would prefer to be knocked out, I think.  But I want to be prepared, so how bad will it hurt?

– Jenna in Kansas

Jenna,

With this form of sedation dentistry, although you will be conscious, you won’t really care what is going on around you. Oral sedation simply involves taking a pill prior to treatment and there is a good chance you will not remember anything at all about the appointment. Your protective reflexes like coughing and breathing will still be completely functional, but a lot of patients explain it as feeling like they were asleep.

Pain medication will be administered throughout the procedure, so you won’t feel anything. You may feel some pressure, but again, with oral sedation you may kind of know something is going on around you, but you will be indifferent. You simply won’t care what’s going on. So often, once it’s said and done, the patient is shocked that any time has gone by. They had no idea anything even happened.

When the sedation fades, you will need to follow your dentist’s instructions to take care of the tooth extraction sites. Pain medication, possible ice for the swelling, and ibuprofen are common among patients that get their wisdom teeth out. Everyone is different in how they recover, so be sure to keep in communication with your dentist about anything strange that you are experiencing.

Good luck and try not to worry. The procedure itself should be completely pain-free!

This post is sponsored by Cleveland dentist Hylan Dental Care.

 

Can I go to the ER instead of the dentist?

If I’m having a dental emergency, can I go to the emergency room instead of the dentist? My face is all swollen and I don’t think I have ever been in this much pain. I had some minor sensitivity before the root canal a few days ago, but I literally don’t think I can sleep.  I called my dentist’s emergency number and it said they would return my call within a few hours. I’m to the point, I don’t even think I can wait a few hours! Will the ER be able to get me out of pain sooner than my dentist at this point?

– Barry in Massachusetts

Barry,

It sounds like you are dealing with some intense pain. That is terrible that you are feeling that way! You did the right thing by contacting your dentist to report the pain and swelling. Unfortunately, when a patient receives a root canal treatment, there is no guarantee that it will take care of the problem. The treatment has a 90-95 percent success rate, but sometimes additional steps are required. It may need to  be re-treated or may require additional root surgery. The dentist didn’t necessarily do anything wrong, roots and nerves are just very intricate and complex. If you absolutely cannot tolerate the pain any longer, you can go into the ER. They will treat your dental emergency right away. They don’t typically take care of dental issues like a broke or chipped tooth but there is likely an oral surgeon on call at the ER to assist with situations like you are dealing with.  It is likely they will get you some antibiotics to treat the tooth infection and possible oral surgery if your swelling is severe. That may help to address the immediate issue, but you will still need to schedule an emergency dentist appointment as a follow-up or to receive further treatment to remedy the problem.

If you don’t want to mess around at the ER, you may be able to find an emergency dentist in your area that may respond sooner. That may help to keep the costs down. But at this point I’m sure your only focus is to get out of pain. So in your particular situation, the ER may be the way to go.

Good luck!

This post is sponsored by Cleveland dentist Hylan Dental Care.