Do I Need an Emergency Dentist for a Canker Sore?

I have a pretty nasty sore in my mouth. I think it’s a canker sore. It’s making it difficult for me to eat. Does this require an emergency dental appointment?

Jane B. – Utah


I wouldn’t say it requires an emergency appointment. First, I’d try some home treatment. There are some over-the-counter antiseptic and pain relief gels you can purchase at any drug store. Discount and grocery stores may have them too. Check the dental aisle. These often clear up in two weeks.

If it takes much longer than that, it will be time to be seen by your dentist. Sometimes, it could mean you have an oral cancer. Obviously, these aren’t as common as a canker sore, but it does happen.

There are many harmless things that can cause canker sores, such as biting your lip, friction from oral hygiene equipment, stress, allergies, or injuries. The main point is don’t panic. Get some pain relief. Give it a couple of weeks, then see a dentist.

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A Significant Drop In Price from Clear Choice

Clear Choice originally quoted me $53,000 for their procedure. I explained to them I’m a 67-year-old retired vet and don’t have any real money. They instantly dropped it to $29,000. Should I be suspicious? I went to some other dentists in the area, but they are refusing to remove the rest of my teeth, which are falling apart anyway. I’m not sure what to do.

Morgan – Atlanta


I am a little suspicious myself on their sudden drop in price. Usually, their sales tactics are rather strong. However, they have offered you an exceptional deal. My advice would be to go to the other dentists and tell them about your dental implants offer from clear choice. You may get them to come down in price as well.

I’m a little annoyed that they’re fighting you on removing your teeth. IF you were in your 20s, then yes, it would be prudent for them to warn you about the consequences of removing teeth. But, your teeth are falling apart anyway. They’ll have to come out soon enough anyway.

If they don’t cooperate, then you are always able to accept the Clear Choice’s offer.

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Is My Dentist Cheating Me?

I went in for a check-up. The dentist said I had a cavity and needed a filling. I haven’t had any pain, but went ahead and scheduled the appointment anyway. Then, in the middle of the procedure he announces, there’s more decay than he originally thought and he wants me to get a dental crown. That’s a lot more money. Is he just ripping me off? I made him wait until I got a second opinion.

Danusha L. – Detroit


Though it’s rarely a bad idea to get a second opinion, I don’t think your dentist is trying to cheat you. You don’t always feel a cavity. If it spreads and becomes an infection, that’s when the real pain starts. It’s also quite possible he couldn’t see the extent of the decay until he got in there.

If that’s the case, he’s right about recommending a dental crown. Once a cavity reaches a certain size, you risk the tooth breaking. That causes even more expensive problems.

It’s best to nip this in the bud before it does become an infection. You don’t want a root canal treatment on top of everything else.

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My Bridge Died, Now I Need Affordable Implant Option

I had a dental bridge on two of my teeth. I got hit with something that damaged one of the teeth on it and now the entire unit must be replaced. I was never thrilled with the bridge and considered dental implants, but they’re so expensive. Is there another option?

Davis E. – Virginia


You didn’t mention what you didn’t like about the bridge, so it’s hard to know what to recommend for that particular solution. I can tell you that you’re on the right track about dental implant. They’re by far the best tooth replacement solution currently available. And, yes, they can be expensive.

However, there are dentists, like Dr. Hylan who work hard to not only keep their fees reasonable, but also offer affordable dental implant alternatives.

Your least expensive option, isn’t a dental implant one, but very affordable7mdash; a removable partial denture is on the lower range of cost.

There are several options in between those as well. A lot of it will depend on the specifics of your situation. Where is the bridge? Some teeth have more pulling force than others. I’m happy to answer with more detail if you give more information.

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Worried I’m Losing My Implants

I had gum disease. My dentist upped my cleanings to every three months in order to help, but it just seemed to continue. In fact, I lost some teeth. They just came loose and fell out. He told me it would be important to replace those teeth or my natural teeth would shift. After debating the differences between a partial denture and dental implants. I decided on the implants because that seemed to be the best replacement. I love them, but now they’re loose. I’m worried they’re going to come out too. Is there something I can do to save them?

Danny B. – Michigan


There are flashing lights and alarms bells going off everywhere. If you lost teeth, your gum disease was quite advanced. He should never have given you dental implants with gum disease. It’s a guaranteed implant failure.

I’m also concerned that the only treatment for such advanced gum disease was extra cleanings. There are several other things that should have been done.

Your first step is to see a dentist who has significant training in dental implants. Have them look at your implants and see if by treating the gum disease there is a chance of saving the implants.

Worst case scenario is these implants will fail and you’ll have to start over with new ones after the gum disease is properly dealt with. If that’s the case, you should be able to get a refund from your original dentist.

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Worried I’ll Make a Pass at My Dentist Under Sedation

I’m scheduled to have some dental work using sedation done next week. My friend says that sedation makes you flirty. She keeps joking that I’m going to make a pass at my dentist. She’s saying this because I’ve always found him attractive. While I know she’s just teasing me, now she’s got me worried. Does sedation make you act like you’re drunk?

Sandy L. – Virgina


Your friend is messing with you just a tad. But, that’s what friends do. Sedation dentistry completely relaxes you. In the case of oral conscious sedation, it may make you sleepy. You are unlikely to do anything you wouldn’t normally do. You’ll have complete control of your faculties.

It does give you a euphoric state of mind. How you respond to that has more to do with your personality. If having a glass of wine makes you lovey-dovey, then you’ll be lovey-dovey. But, if you don’t want to make a pass at your dentist, you’re not going to.

….Or maybe you’ll leave the office with a healthy mouth and a date for next Friday night.

Just kidding.

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Could ‘Gentle Dentist’ Have Caused Permanent Damage with Shot?

I intentionally searched for a gentle dentist because I have very sensitive gums. The one I found seemed fine at first. But, having him do actual work was a nightmare. At my last office, the doctor would use some kind of numbing medicine on a big cotton swab before he’d do the shot and would leave it there for a few minutes. This one only put it on for about a second before he was trying to stick the needle in my mouth. I asked him if it made a difference and he said that it was just as effective either way. No, it’s not. The second he put the needle in I practically jumped out of my chair and started crying. I tried to get him to stop, but he didn’t. He just kept saying it would only be a second. It was the worst feeling ever because I couldn’t move or do anything while he still had the needle in. When he finally finished, I was practically hyperventilating and he didn’t even care. He just told his assistant to help me and he left the room.

The assistant was very sweet. I felt like she had been through this a lot with him, so I was calm when he came back, but I was still really upset that he didn’t seem to care. From that point on, it only got worse. He talked to me like I was a child and scolded me for moving. All throughout the filling he was rough and stopped every minute or two to correct some perceived inappropriate behavior I was doing. I moved. I closed my mouth. I wasn’t angled right. Then, he just started grabbing my head and snapping it to wherever he wanted it to be.

I was humiliated and hurt. I am not ever going back to him, but now I seem to have a new problem. The numbness doesn’t seem to be wearing off. It’s been almost two days and I am still numb in some spots. Obviously, he wasn’t a gentle dentist at all, but now I’m afraid he did permanent damage. I can’t go back. I won’t go back. What should I do?

Erica- Philadelphia

Dear Erica,

You’re right- he wasn’t a gentle dentist in the least. I’m annoyed he tried to advertise and pass himself off as one. I sincerely hope you’ll write a review letting other potential victims know what he’s really like. I’m sorry you had this kind of experience when you specifically looked for someone who would be extra careful. Don’t give up. There are truly gentle dentists out there.

As far as the numbness goes, it sounds like he hit a nerve- a real nerve, not just an emotional one. This is something that can happen in any office, as the exact placement of the nerves varies from person to person. The doctor’s goal is to land close to it, but not touch it. Sometimes, it gets grazed or even punctured despite the dentist doing everything right. In most cases where this happens, the numbness goes away in a matter of days or a week. If the nerve is totally severed, it could be permanent, but this is extremely rare.

While there’s no surefire way to prevent this, slowing down certainly helps, and you’ll need a new gentle dentist next time around. Check out reviews and ask questions of the office ahead of time to find out what makes the office gentle. Best of luck to you.

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My Dentist Is A Sadist

I think my dentist is secretly a sadist. He knows I’m terrified of needles, and yet instead of making it easier, he jabs it in. There aren’t a lot of dentists in our area. I’m wondering if it’s possible to find a gentle dentist. Will it be worth it to me to drive to another city? I’ve gotten to the point where I avoid going.

Melissa – South Dakota


First, I’ll say that yes, you can definitely find a gentle dentist. I don’t know if your dentist is truly a sadist or just an insensitive lout. Either way, you don’t have to subject yourself to him. It’s worth it to drive to another city.

You mentioned you’re avoiding your dental health care. Here’s the problem. The only one that hurts is you. Your oral health will decline and require more work.

Be assured there are many ways to make a dental visit pain free, especially in this day and age. If you can’t find a gentle dentist in your city, it would definitely be worth it to travel to another city. When you have a great dentist it has a positive impact not just on your dental health but your oral health as well.

Generally, unless there’s a problem, you only need to go twice a year. You could make a day out of it and have some fun, especially if it’s a bigger city. Take in a movie or have a leisurely lunch and do some shopping.

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Is It Safe to Go with the Cheapest Dental Implant Doc?

I have taken quotes from several dentists on their price for dental implants. There are some who are way up there in price, a few in the middle, and one pretty cheap. Is it safe to go with the cheapest?

Olivia B. – Connecticut


Let me have you look at this another way. Would you base a surgery for your child on which doc is the cheapest? Probably not. You’d want to know how many times he’s done the procedure. What his success rate is, etc.

Dental implants are a surgical procedure and therefore not to be taken lightly. Granted, they are the best tooth replacement. If I were replacing one of my teeth, I’d go with dental implants. However, you want to make sure your dentist is qualified and skilled in doing the procedure.

If cost is factoring you out, there are affordable ways to get dental implants without getting yourself into a dangerous situation. Talk to a qualified dentist. He’ll likely be willing to work with you to get the best result within your budget.

There are plenty of dental implant horror stories that should keep you from just going with the cheap dentist. Cheap definitely could end up costing you a fortune in both money and health.

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Help! My Grandaughter Painted My Dentures!

My granddaughter was staying the weekend. I dozed off with my teeth out. While I napped, she painted my dentures white with my white nail polish. I know she thought she was doing me a favor, but now they look quite weird and I don’t know how to get it off. Will nail polish remover work?

Alicia S. – California


Children really do the darndest things! You can’t get angry, because their hearts are usually in the right place. I guess your granddaughter knew that teeth whitening is all the rage right now and was trying to make you the hip grandma.

The one thing I don’t want you to do is use nail polish remover. Most dentures are made out of acrylic and most nail polish contains acetone, a chemical that dissolves or degrades acrylic. So, you can see the issue here. Nail polish that doesn’t contain acetone isn’t good for your dentures either. Your best bet is to first try denture cleaner and a denture brush. If that doesn’t work, you’ll need to take them into your dentist’s office to let them work with them.

It seems like, aside from the paint job, you’re pretty happy with your dentures. I just want to make certain your dentist warned you of one side-effect of dentures, known as facial collapse. When your teeth roots are removed, your body begins reabsorbing the minerals in your jawbone to use elsewhere in your body. You’ll notice your jawbone begins to shrink. The best way to prevent this is to get dental implants. These provide a new root and signals to your body to keep your jawbone in place.

Give your granddaughter a hug!
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