I can’t afford dental implants!

My teeth have always been bad. This is probably because my parents didn’t get me in for regular dental care when I was a kid. Anyway, I have a lot of cavities, some broken teeth, and some that are deteriorating before my eyes. I know I have a ton of dental work to be done. It sounded like a dental bridge, some fillings, and one crown was going to be the most important to take care of first. Well, last week, one of the teeth holding my bridge broke. The root had to be extracted and the bridge had to be manipulated. Well, he couldn’t save the bridge, so now I need two dental implants. I don’t want to be cheap because I know that I am the main reason I am in this situation. But I cannot afford dental implants. Please help?

– Jen in Kansa

Jen,

This sounds like an unfortunate situation. There are millions of individuals that have had to put off dental work for one reason or another. Unfortunately, if the dental implants were provided to you as an option to begin with before you paid for the dental bridge work, fillings, etc. than you may have made a different decision.

Two dental implants may be ideal at this point. But if you cannot find a way to afford the treatment, you may be able to have one done. In some cases one dental implant can support the bridge. That said, the implant would have to be incredibly sturdy because it would be affixed to the side of the implants. Or for several missing teeth, a partial denture may suffice. There are options. Be upfront and honest with your dentist about your financial situation.

Honesty is the best policy and trust is of utmost importance when it comes to dental implants. This broken dental bridge could have been an isolated incident, but it may also be worth seeking a second opinion. The dentist should have presented all your options upfront so you could work together to find the best treatment for your situation and budget. If he doesn’t present you with alternatives, that may be an indicator to get out now. You would hate to be dealing with a failed dental implant, like the bridge. There are more affordable options if you simply cannot afford two dental implants. Don’t let them tell you otherwise.

This post is sponsored by Cleveland dentist Hylan Dental Care.

 

Is a ceramic dental implant better than metal?

In doing my research about dental implants, I heard that ceramic is better than metal. When I talked to my implant dentist about this, he said he doesn’t do ceramic dental implants. Should I look for a new dentist? Ho much better is ceramic than metal?

– Earl in Rhode Island

Earl,

Titanium or titanium alloy is what most dental implants are comprised of for many reasons. They are extremely durable and they fuse with the bone really well. So “metal” titanium implants are typically what most dentists use and are familiar with. They are safe and extremely durable.

Ceramic dental implants can be an alternative that make sense for someone with a metal allergy. Many people are “sensitive” to metal but not necessarily allergic to the material. For example, some people get a reaction when wearing less expensive jewelry and that would be considered a sensitivity. Nickel is typically the metal that causes most people to react. So generally speaking, titanium is safe. If you have any concern of an allergic reaction or are on a quest for metal-free dentistry, than it may be worth it look into switching to a dentist that places ceramic dental implants.

But what is more important is finding the best implant dentist versus which product or material they use. Ceramic isn’t necessarily better, unless there is an allergy. And most dentists can do an allergy test if there is any question. Ceramic is also chosen because it can be more aesthetically pleasing. In some cases, if the implant dentist isn’t experienced in cosmetic dentistry techniques, the metal in the dental implant may cause a dark appearance underneath the porcelain crown. But an experienced implant dentist will have their preferred laboratory to make them appear as lifelike and natural-looking as possible.

So unless you have a medical issue, titanium is perfectly safe and long-lasting. It’s the dentist’s credentials, experience, and training that you should be researching. Ask to see examples of their work that is similar to your case. Ultimately, it’s all about trust. Good luck!

This post is sponsored by Cleveland dentist Hylan Dental Care.

Dealing with a Dental Emergency: How Can I Get Disabled Person Treatment?

I’m a caretaker for my elderly mother and she’s not mobile. She hasn’t left the house in a long time as a result, and I’m not sure what to do. She woke up this morning in pain, with what looks to me like a tooth abscess. If it’s an abscess, it’s a dental emergency and I need to get her treatment today. In the past, she’s been able to transfer from her wheel chair to the car for appointments, but she’s been ill and is unusually weak today. I can’t physically move her. What should I do?

-Susan in Oregon

Dear Susan,

You are correct. An abscess is a dental emergency and your mom needs to get started on treatment right away so the infection doesn’t spread. The elderly, as well as people with compromised immune systems, can wind up in dangerous situation quickly when infection sets in anywhere.

If she already has a dentist, call him and let him know what’s going on. He may be able to call in a prescription over the phone so she can get started on it right away. She’ll still need treatment to cure the cause of the infection, but the antibiotic should handle the urgent need for medical assistance.

If she isn’t a patient on record anywhere, you’ll need to find a way to get her seen by someone. Most metropolitan areas have medical transport companies with vehicles that allow a disabled person to travel directly in a wheel chair. They have ramps, and the chair gets anchored to the van, so your mom won’t have to transfer at all.  Many taxi companies also offer this service, provided you ask for a specialized vehicle when you call. You can also check public transit in your area. A City bus is usually equipped with handicapped access, and some areas provide handicapped transportation in individual vehicles as well.

As a final thought, check her insurance benefits. Many companies, including government-sponsored programs, provide low-cost or no-cost transportation to medical appointments for the disabled. If you give them a call, they may be able to help you locate services in your area. At any rate, continue to treat this as a dental emergency, and please make sure she starts treatment right away. Best of luck to you.

This post is sponsored by Cleveland dentist Hylan Dental Care.

Can My Tooth Wait Until I Can See My Old Caters to Cowards Dentist?

I used to see a caters to cowards dentist, but I moved to a different part of the state a couple of years ago. I haven’t found anyone I want to see nearby, so I’ve been bad and haven’t gone in. I’ve been watching one of my fillings for a while now, and it felt kind of loose. I know I should have gone in to get it checked, but I really am not comfortable going to a new office. Of course, the filling popped out, and now I have no idea what happened to the piece. It left a tiny little gap and, at first, it didn’t bother me. I know I shouldn’t have, but, to buy some time, I decided to fill the hole with super glue. It keeps the food out of the hole, and I thought it would protect the tooth. Now, it hurts. A lot. Could I have caused permanent damage or can this be fixed easily? If it’s simple, I’ll just make an appointment with a local guy, but if it’s complex, I’ll travel to see my old caters to cowards dentist.

Thanks,

Cory in Florida

Dear Cory,

As you know, super glue is never a good home remedy for anything dental-related. In your case, there’s no way to know what caused the old filling to fall out. It’s possible that there was decay under the former restoration, in which case it would have continued to grow. It’s also conceivable that you have a crack, or another issue happening, that can’t be detected without x-rays and an exam. If the filling was on the biting surface, you may have just overfilled the hole, and the continual pressure is causing pain.

There really are a myriad of conditions that could be causing your troubles. Repairing the tooth could be as simple as removing the super glue and refilling the tooth properly. On the other hand, a cracked tooth will need a crown, and a dead or dying nerve will need a root canal.

It’s advisable that you see a dentist as soon as you can, wherever he may be. Try to find a local cater to cowards dentist, so you can get in quicker. If you really can’t get over your anxiety, schedule with your regular office right away, and make sure you stick to it. Pain is a sign that shouldn’t be ignored.

This post is sponsored by Cleveland dentist Hylan Dental Care.

How serious is a rotting wisdom tooth?

I’ve been told that this wisdom tooth would give me trouble as an adult. Well, I’m over 50 and I’ve made it this long. But I think it is finally decaying and seems to be rotten. It hurts terribly and the pain is starting to interfere with my work. I think the surrounding teeth are also becoming infected. The main problem is that I just don’t have a budget for regular dental care. But I don’t think I can put this off any longer because the pain isn’t going away. I even feel like I’m starting to get tender around my cheek and ear. Is that possible? How do I find an affordable dentist to help?

– Zeke in Alabama

Zeke,

Tooth infections are very serious. And in some cases they can be life threatening if they are not addressed in a timely manner. Queen Elizabeth I is rumored to have died from an abscessed tooth. Seek emergency dental care immediately. It sounds like the infection is spreading if you are noticing issues with your cheek. What if the infection reaches your brain?

Find a way to pay for the emergency dentist appointment. Many dentists try to make dental care affordable by offering payment plans or using financing plans. You can’t be too picky at this point. The decayed wisdom tooth will not improve without treatment. Antibiotics will not remedy the situation either. If you don’t get it treated and only take medication, the bacteria will become resistant. This is an urgent matter, one that needs to be taken care of now.

This post is sponsored by Cleveland dentist Hylan Dental Care.

I only 60 and I my denture keeps slipping around. I can hardly keep it in!

I just turned 60 years old and I am so embarrassed about my denture. I have had it for over 30 years now and it is getting so much worse. I can hardly keep it in place anymore. I think my bony ridge is almost gone. It comes out daily. Is there anything that can be done?

– Suzanne in Indiana

Suzanne,

This is very unfortunate to hear. Here is what is happening. When you no longer have teeth, the body resorbs the minerals that used to support the teeth. The body is highly efficient and has determined that the minerals aren’t needed in that area anymore and will use these them in other parts of the body. The jawbone recedes so much that you may get to a point where you can’t wear a denture anymore. This bone loss condition is called facial collapse. You probably weren’t informed of this 30 years ago.

Bone grafting is the first thing that needs to be done. But it is a highly complex surgery and not just any dentist will do it.  In fact, it may be difficult to find an oral surgeon that is qualified and willing to perform the surgery. If you are a candidate for bone grafting, you can get a new denture fitted. Although, the same cycle will reoccur. If your budget will allow, you may want to consider dental implants or an overdenture. Anytime a dental implant is used and implanted in the jaw, it will tell the brain that the body still needs the bone to support it. So this will prevent facial collapse from re-occurring in the immediate area around each implant.

As little as two implants will help and keep the denture in place and help it from slipping. The more implants that are placed, the more stable your denture will be in the long run. Hybrid-dentures or snap-on dentures incorporate implants and dentures.

Thank you for sharing your story. Hopefully it serves to help others that are faced with tooth loss. If you knew 30 years ago the state of your oral health now, you may have made some different decisions.

This post is sponsored by Cleveland dentist Hylan Dental Care.

Is a tooth infection really that serious? Someone told me I could die.

It’s been almost two weeks since I was told I had an infected tooth.  The dentist gave 500mg of Keflex that I take three times a day. Also, he gave me 250mg of Flagyl to take three times a day too. When I went in my gums were terribly red and irritated. I had swelling up near my eye and near my chin. I even had a bad taste in my mouth probably from the infection. Well, now I think the swelling is much better. I guess it was pretty bad but I feel like it’s improving. Now what do I do? Is this really a dental emergency? Someone told me I could die. Really?!?

– Mike in Utah

Mike,

What do you mean what are the next steps? There must have been a miscommunication between you and the dentist because you definitely need to have the tooth treated. This is a dental emergency situation and if left untreated it can be life threatening if the infection continues to spread. You should clearly have been informed that you need a root canal treatment if the tooth was salvageable. Antibiotics alone are not enough. They will help with a tooth infection but what has happened is that the tissue inside your tooth is dead. It’s not going to get better at this point. The dead tissue or pulp of the tooth needs to be treated. If you don’t move forward with a root canal treatment to save the tooth it may be at risk for extraction. You need to take immediate action.

The other course of action is a tooth extraction. If the tooth requires extraction, the antibiotics will aide in controlling the swelling so the surgery can take place. But the dentist should have informed you very clearly as to what the next course of action needs to be.

If the dentist did not advise you, there is some concern that the dentist even knows how to treat the tooth.  If this is the case, you need to schedule an emergency dentist appointment at another dentist. First and foremost, the infection needs to be take care of.

Based on the symptoms you have described, the infection is spreading. Your case is serious and requires immediate care.

This post is sponsored by Cleveland dentist Hylan Dental Care.

Do women make better dentists than men?

I am a true dental phobic. I avoid visits for years at a time and neglect preventative care as the idea of tools in my mouth terrifies me. I also move a lot due to my job, so when I finally find a dentist that I can get semi-comfortable with, I tend to start the process all over again. So when looking for a new dentist, I often ponder do women make better dentists than men? When looking for someone who practices gentle dentistry, my mind tells me that women are automatically the more compassionate, gentle species. Is it wrong to have a gender preference when trying to find a new dentist?

– Ashley in Nevada

Ashley,

There is no right or wrong answer to this question, and you can certainly have any preferences you want when selecting a medical/dental provider. There have been studies out there (Journal of Dental Education, 2008) that conclude that female dentists are perceived more likely to make patients feel at ease. I suppose women in general do tend to be more passionate and nurturing overall as a whole. But not sure that translates to making them “better” dentists. Nonetheless, I’m not sure gender plays a role in the quality of a dentists chair side manner. You can easily come across a female dentist who doesn’t meet your expectations of patience, caring, and compassion.

I’d say that preferring women over men for a dentist is no more “wrong” than preferring your eggs scrambled over fried. However, there are more important qualities when choosing a dentist then their gender. Where was your dentist educated, do they have any accreditation, and do they keep up with continuing education are great things to look for when making a selection. Most importantly, how comfortable do they make you feel and did they answer all your questions. If all the above checks out, then you chose the best woman or man for the job!

Also, it sounds like dental fear has been keeping you away from the dentist for long periods of time. Whether, it’s a male or female you end up choosing, you may be interested in learning more about sedation dentistry. A gentle demeanor coupled with sedation dentistry treatment may help take the fear out of visiting the dentist. Many sedation dentistry patients tell us they remember nothing of the visit. It feels like no time has passed, pretty much like going to sleep.

Good luck in your search for the right dentist for you!

This post is sponsored by Cleveland dentist Hylan Dental Care.