Can I be with my child during sedation dentistry?

I was so disappointed to hear that my two year old had a big cavity on one of his back teeth. It was only his second trip to the pediatric dentist. I was surprised to hear they want to use nitrous oxide to help him relax when we bring him back in for the filling. If it helps my son, I’m willing to do it. But I’m still very nervous. When I scheduled the appointment they told me that I couldn’t go back with my son during the treatment. They told me it was their standard policy when using sedation dentistry. Why can’t I go in with him? This is only going to make me more of a nervous wreck. Do you think I should take him elsewhere?

-Becky in Washington


It really is up to each pediatric dentist to set their policies. But it is not uncommon, if that gives you any comfort. Realistically, the dentist will probably not force you to stay in the reception area. That said, you need to consider the reasoning they have these policies in place and what is really best for your son. When a parent is anxious about what is happening during treatment, it can unconsciously transfer over to the child. They may react when seeing your uncertainty much more dramatically then if they were with only the staff. Saying something like, “it’s not going to hurt, but squeeze my hand if you need to,” can do much more harm than good.

Nitrous is a mild form of sedation dentistry that is completely safe for children. Also, think about the fact that if your child required a procedure at the hospital that required anesthesia, you wouldn’t be allowed be with the doctor. If you are absolutely uncomfortable, you can talk more to your pediatric dentist about it. Or you can try another dentist. But it may be best in the long run to allow your current dentist to treat your child without you accompanying him. You are always right outside in the waiting room if you are needed.

This post is sponsored by Cleveland dentist Hylan Dental Care.




“Best” Implant Dentist Failed to Match Shade: Now What?

I did a lot of research before I thought I’d found the best implant dentist in my city. I read reviews and looked at his prior cases, and even spoke to several doctors – each one claiming to be the best implant dentist. I felt confident throughout the procedures, and I genuinely believed he did a good job up until the final crown was placed. It didn’t match my other teeth at all in terms of color, and it stuck out like a sore thumb. I told him I wasn’t happy with it and he claimed that it was the lighting and that it would look better at home. It didn’t. I went back and he sent me to the lab to have the guy there get a shade, only when that one was put on, it was even darker. Now it really looks fake. What are my options? Can I have it lightened or put a porcelain veneer over the top, or is the only fix to have him replace it again?


Ellen in North Carolina

Dear Ellen,

Unfortunately, it sounds like the implant dentist you saw was not skilled at cosmetic work. Some are only focused on the physical and mechanical aspects of dentistry, and they think this qualifies them to be the best implant dentist. As you now know, there’s a lot more to it than that, and a certain degree of artistry is necessary. Moreover, it doesn’t sound like he listened to your concerns about aesthetics at all, which is something a cosmetic dentist would have absolutely honed in on.

The porcelain cannot be lightened and a porcelain veneer will not work. The only way to fix the color is to have it replaced again, though it’s doubtful you’ll have better luck with him if you go to him a third time on this. You’ll need to find someone who specializes in cosmetic work. Hopefully the original office will consider refunding the fees you paid towards the crown, but you may have to cut your losses on this if you want it done right. Best of luck to you.

This post is sponsored by Cleveland dentist Hylan Dental Care.

My partial denture failed.

I wasn’t the best at going to the dentist and I put off some crowns that I needed. When I finally got around to getting them, the teeth were so bad they had to be extracted. I wish I could say that I learned the first time around, but I didn’t. Sadly, I only have three natural teeth left on top. I ended up with a partial denture. Over time, it failed. So now I’m hearing about affordable dental implants. Can I get something like that now?

I’m in worse off shape than I was years ago. The partial denture ruined one of my good teeth from the clasp. So, I’m being told that it needs a root canal and crown. But after seeing the price, I’m really interested in getting rid of it and hopefully getting implants if I can figure out a way to afford them. Please tell me that full dentures aren’t my only option at this point.

– Jeff in Texas


Sorry to hear that you have had a tough time with your oral health and that the partial denture failed. It likely wasn’t the clasp that caused your partial denture to fail. But ill-fitting appliances can cause all kinds of problems. They need to fit well in order to evenly distribute the weight of the force that occurs during daily chewing, etc. The root canal and crown may work well if you would consider a new partial denture.

Affordable dental implants can be incorporated with a denture which may provide more stability. A dental implant is surgically implanted into your jaw so it will anchor the tooth in place and if the denture is bonded to it, you may be much happier with the result. You will need to meet with a reputable implant dentist. Don’t let cost drive your decision or you will end up with more problems and expense in the future.

So it would be wise to consult with an implant dentist you can trust and that has a successful track record with cases like yours. Then, you can explore the varying options you have beyond dentures. Good luck!

This post is sponsored by Cleveland dentist Hylan Dental Care.

Will an emergency dentist fix my porcelain veneer?

I’m freaking out because my smile is all jacked up from where one of my porcelain veneers came off and I have a job interview in a couple days. Ugh! It looks terrible and I cannot imagine someone wanting me to work for them with my ugly smile. Is this something that an emergency dentist can take care of? When I talked to my dentist, he didn’t seem like there was much urgency. I think he’s overbooked at the moment, which I understand that there are worse dental problems than this. But I still wan to get it fixed. Can I just call up an emergency dentist in my area? Please help!

-Lily in Florida


Well, fight the urge to fix it yourself. We have heard countless stories about using super glue for similar situations and let’s just say that it never ends well. You can do some serious damage with products like that.

It is likely that most dentists would feel similar to the way your dentist feels. They reserve emergency dentist appointments in their schedule for broken teeth or painful toothaches. A porcelain veneer that has fallen off is more prone to decay, but technically most would not feel it is an emergency. But there are cosmetic dentists that may empathize with your situation more than a general dentist would. So it may be worth it to search for a cosmetic dentist in your area and give them a call to see what their policy is on emergencies. They understand how much self confidence is tied to appearance and may be able to more quickly accommodate your issue.

If you aren’t having luck getting into the dentist prior to your interview, you may be able to fix the problem temporarily with a quick trip to the drug store. They carry temporary dental cements which may get you by in a pinch. Theoretically these products are more geared to re-attaching a crown, but it may work to get you through the interview until it can be professionally bonded again. This type of material is easily removable at the dentist and will not cause damage to the natural tooth structure. Treat the temporary cement gingerly to ensure it doesn’t come out during the interview. Good luck! Hopefully this information was helpful.

This post is sponsored by Cleveland dentist Hylan Dental Care.


How much dental work can be done at once?

I finally have enough saved up to get a lot of dental work done. It’s quite extensive, partly because I couldn’t afford it and also because I hate going to the dentist. So, I just kept putting it off. I am supposed to get seven root canals and a couple cavities. Also, one of my teeth needs to be shortened and I’d like to get my teeth whitened. Can I get everything done at once?

-Jen in Michigan


It is difficult to answer this question since dentists vary on how much they are comfortable doing at one sitting.

It may be in your best interest to see a sedation dentist. With sedation dentistry, more work can be done in one appointment. Since you also want to get teeth whitening, finding a cosmetic dentist that also offers sedation would be great.

If for some reason you are not interested in sedation, than it’s more up to what you are able to tolerate. If you aren’t uncomfortable, you could potentially schedule a longer appointment time up to four hours. If the dentist is efficient, it is possible to do all this work in that type of an appointment.

There is another factor in play. If the root canals are all on the front teeth, then they can be done at once. But if they are on back molars, you will want to spread them out. Or seeing an endodontist may work in your favor because they specialize in root canals. Therefore, an endodontist may work faster than a general dentist. To give you a better idea, an endodontist may only need an hour, and a general dentist may take two hours for a molar root canal.

Good luck to you! Hopefully after this is taken care of, you will be able to get back on track with routine care.

This post is sponsored by Cleveland dentist Hylan Dental Care.

Don’t know how to handle this dental emergency?

My tooth has ached on and off for a couple months. I really am trying to be all-natural in my home with the products we purchase and the services we receive. So I decided to see a holistic dentist to see how much his opinion would differ from my regular dentist. Well, now I’m overly confused and don’t know how to handle my toothache without it turning into a serious dental emergency. The holistic dentist wants to pull the tooth and replace it and my regular dentist wants to do a root canal to save the tooth. I’m totally torn, but bottom line is I don’t want to lose my tooth! But I also don’t want to leave an infection in my body. Help?!

-Lacey in Arizona


When dentists differ in opinion and recommendations, it can be very frustrating and intimidating. When you seek out holistic dentistry or natural dentistry techniques, this isn’t uncommon. Their perspective is so entirely different than a traditional general dentist.

A root canal treatment will save the tooth and remedy the situation before it turns into a dangerous dental emergency. This would be the recommendation that a dentist is taught in dental school. When the pulp or inside of the tooth is infected, it needs to be removed and disinfected. This will prevent the infection from reoccurring. That said, there is always a possibility that the root canal may fail.

The holistic dentist’s point of view is that the infection will not ever be totally eliminated. Since the root and nerves have shoots and what are called tubules, it increases the chances that the root canal would fail. He is taking a total body approach to his recommendations. Pulling the tooth would eliminate any chance of the bacteria or infection spreading and creating any complications.

But it is completely understandable why you don’t want your tooth pulled! Many dentists are trying a newer method where they sterilize the entire tooth. This agent is left in the canal for a longer period of time, like for a month or so so it can penetrate deeper into the tubules of the canal. It isn’t the most popular option, yet it may increase the chances that the infection is eradicated. Hopefully, this helped you better understand the schools of thinking at play and will lead you to the right decision for you. Good luck!

This post is sponsored by Cleveland dentist Hylan Dental Care.

How to choose an implant dentist?

I don’t know where to start. I lost a tooth a few years ago and I know I want to replace it with a dental implant. But I never moved forward with it because it was too expensive. Well, I kept seeing these ads for a more affordable dental implant option and I have even started seeing them in the coupons mailed to my house. I think I will try out one of those but I have no idea how to choose the right implant dentist? Do you have any advice? Are there any red flags I should look out for?

-Jerry in Louisiana


You can’t believe everything you see in the ads and use them as a valid comparison, especially when it comes to dental implants. The featured price is usually for the cheapest option and it very well may not include everything that you need to have done for a successful dental implant placement. Here is an example. For dental implants, oral surgery is required. Some dentists don’t do the surgery themselves, so the fee could be only for the restorative crown in the ad to lure in new patients. Also, since a few years have passed since you lost your tooth, you may have had some bone loss. If this is the case, you  might require bone grafting, which is likely not included. So first, you need to make sure you are comparing apples to apples regarding what services will be performed. Then, you need to beware of dentist that cut corners by offering sub-standard materials. They may show a low price, but when the patient has problems in the future it ends up being more expensive in the long run to fix the problems. So be on the lookout for that too.

Dental implants are the best replacement option for a missing tooth. Don’t select an implant dentist based on fees. When choosing an implant dentist, you need to ultimately find one that you trust. Do your research to find one that can show you many examples and testimonials of cases that are similar to yours. Ask about their success rate, as well as their training and credentials. You can seek second opinions between dentists which is a great idea. Just make sure you are comparing similar products and services. Also, keep in mind that implant dentistry is not a regulated field within dentistry so any dentist can claim to place them.

When comparing the fees, different offices use different billing codes. Be clear on which services are provided in the dentist’s office versus services provided elsewhere like at the oral surgeon’s office. If the codes don’t match up between dentists, they may be pricing different services. Then, be sure to find out why that particular dentist is offering something different.

Hopefully this will give you some pointers as you move forward.

This post is sponsored by Cleveland dentist Hylan Dental Care.


I hate my partial denture. It’s ugly.

I have a partial denture because I’m missing several teeth. So the partial is actually for five teeth. I think it looks terrible. I have been back in complaining about how ugly it is and it has been redone three separate times. I still hate it. It sticks out and doesn’t blend in at all. I don’t think my insurance will keep paying for it to be done over. Do you think I can get porcelain veneers? I want my smile to look beautiful but am not sure what to do because I’m missing teeth.

-Beatrice in Indiana


When a partial denture is done by a dentist that is passionate about aesthetics, it can look beautiful. Not just any general dentist will do beautiful, natural-looking work, as you are finding out. The dental laboratory is also an important part in getting the right look. Since you have given your dentist multiple opportunities to get it right and it hasn’t worked out, it may be time to see a dentist with some cosmetic dentistry training or at least an eye for aesthetics.

One option that helps to cover up the clasps that are inevitable with a partial denture is called a Valplast partial. These look more natural and lifelike and do not have the metal components.

Porcelain veneers will  not work to replace missing teeth. But it is possible to incorporate them into a smile makeover, along with dental implants. Implants are the ideal treatment to replace missing teeth. They look, feel, and function just like your natural teeth. You may want to seek a second opinion with a cosmetic dentist that is experienced in placing dental implants. Unfortunately, it sounds like your current dentist may not be the right fit to get the look you are going after.

Regarding your dental insurance, it is unlikely that dental implants or porcelain veneers will be fully covered. Also, most insurance companies will not cover the same treatment for five years. For example, if you had a crown done, they expect it to have at least a five year life. So you are correct in that they probably wouldn’t cover another try with the partial denture. It all depends on your budget and what your desires are regarding appearance.

Partial dentures can have problems, but they also can be done to look natural and beautiful. But it sounds like it’s time to find another dentist to work with.

This post is sponsored by Cleveland dentist Hylan Dental Care.