Tag Archives: Cleveland Dentist

Should I Really Leave This Crown Off for Several Days?

I have a temporary crown on a front tooth which fell off. I called my dentist and he said it will be fine until I come in for my permanent crown. That’s not for five days. I’m not too keen on leaving my front tooth as a stub for that long. It’s humiliating. Plus, I’m worried what will happen to my tooth. Is this okay to leave off?

Joan B. – Montana

Joan,

While a day might be okay, five is too long. Not only do you have every right to not want to walk around and go to work with a stub for a front tooth, but in that length of time, you risk the adjacent teeth shifting into the open space. When you get your new crown, it may not even fit. Then you’ll have to start over.

Most dentists will try to fit you in that day, if possible. I really wouldn’t wait five days. Feel free to forward to him what I’ve said. Worst case scenario, if he’s still deaf to your situation, you can go to an emergency dentist. They can quickly re-attach it.

It’s not uncommon for temporary crowns to fall out, they’re meant to be easily removed for the permanent one. I just find the attitude of your dentist a little disturbing. I’d like to see some concern.

The underlying tooth structure that is left is more susceptible to decay and will be sensitive, so be aware of that. Cold drinks may give you quite a zing. Drinking from a straw may help.

I hope you’re able to get this reconciled quickly.
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What Are Affordable Options When Teeth Just Start Falling Out?

I don’t know what to do for my Great Aunt. She’s almost 90 years old and the last time we visited her two of her teeth just fell out. I feel like her dental care is being overlooked. I’m willing to help her with it but I don’t know what to do. Are there any affordable options for her?

Benson L. – Colorado

Benson,

It sounds like your aunt has very advanced gum disease. This is going to impact what type of treatments you can do. Normally, a dental bridge would be fine for a couple of missing teeth but with such advanced gum issues it will spell the imminent demise of the teeth the bridge is anchored to.

The top of the line tooth replacement is dental implants, but you asked for something affordable. There are some affordable dental implants, but they work more with things like snap-on dentures. Either way, her gums would need to be healthy.

Your best option in this situation is to get her dentures. Usually they have a huge drawback of losing jawbone, but at your Great Aunt’s age, that will not be a serious issue.

It’s a great thing she has you looking out for her because it doesn’t sound like many people have been. If she’s a candidate for sedation dentistry, this might be a good idea. If she hasn’t been to the dentist in a while, it could be scary for her. Plus, she likely needs a lot of work and this will make it easier for her.

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Dentist Insists I Get Dentures. There Must Be Other Options.

I’m barely 30 years old and a dentist is practically insisting I remove all my teeth and get dentures. I went in for a single toothache. I was expecting to have a cavity or something; instead, he told me all my teeth were horrible and I needed to remove them all and get dentures. He pressured me to do it right then and there, but I couldn’t face dentures at my age. I don’t want to look like my grandmother. I only let him remove the one tooth, but I’m supposed to go back next week for the rest of them. I’ve been crying since I got home. There has to be another option.

Amelia – Georgia

Amelia,

This definitely warrants a second opinion. I don’t like the pressure tactics this dentist is using. Sometimes dentures are the only option. But at such a young age as yours, it would be an absolute last resort. The first thing I would do is go to a different dentist to see which teeth can be saved and which can’t. I doubt it’s as bad as your dentist said or you’d have felt more pain than just on one tooth.

Many times a root canal treatment or a dental crown will take care of extensive decay or a tooth infection while helping you retain as much healthy tooth structure as possible. You really only want to remove teeth that can’t be saved.

Your best option for replacing those teeth is to get dental implants. These have the advantage of being anchored to your jawbone. Not only does that give you a stable prosthetic tooth, but it protects you from losing the minerals in your jawbone, which gives the “grandma” look you were worried about.

Find a dentist who is willing to work to save your teeth as his or her top priority. They’re also under an ethical obligation to discuss all your treatment options.

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Can This Gorgeous Granny Get Dental Implants?

I’ve always been called the gorgeous granny in my neighborhood, but lately I’ve felt anything but. I have dentures. Several years ago, I had them re-done in order to update my smile. They’re still pretty, but lately they’ve not fit well and my face has started looking what I can only describe as reduced or sckwunched. I’ve been told dental implants can fix that. Am I too old? I’d really like to feel like the gorgeous granny again?

Eva M. – Chicago

Eva,

I love your title. I can only hope other women have your confidence as they get through life. What you’re experiencing is quite common. It’s called facial collapse. When your teeth are removed, your body recognizes the roots are gone and interprets that you no longer need that jawbone to retain the roots. Because of that, it redistributes the minerals in your jawbone to use elsewhere throughout your body. As far as running a body goes, it’s remarkably efficient. As far as an attractive jawline, not so much. Unfortunately, it will only get worse unless you take some major steps now.

It’s not too late for you to get dental implants, however, you’ll need to take some preliminary measures first. You’ve had dentures a long time, so it’s likely you don’t have enough jawbone left to retain the dental implants. It doesn’t mean you can’t get them, but you will need some bone grafting done first. Once you’ve built back up your jawbone, you can have them implants placed.

There are many advantages to implants, but a fantastic one is you’ll never have to worry about facial collapse again. Your body interprets the implant as a tooth root and keeps the minerals for your jawbone in place.

Because you’re the gorgeous granny, make sure whoever does your dental implants is also a skilled cosmetic dentist. Look at some of their before and after results for porcelain veneers and all-porcelain crowns. If you think those are gorgeous, they can likely give you a beautiful implant crown.

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My Dentist Has a Brain Tumor

My dentist has always been a kind, gentle man. The last time I went for my check-up, he was completely different. In the middle of my exam he humiliated me. He turned to his assistant and said, “This woman is a perfect example of someone who lies about flossing. Why can’t patients just admit they don’t care for their teeth?” I was so embarrassed I didn’t know what to do, especially since I do floss. I only do it once a day, but I do it. I was determined to never come back, but after he left the assistant grabbed me and apologized. She explained the dentist has a brain tumor and it’s changed his personality. She begged me not to take it personally. I’m worried though. If it changed his personality, does that mean he could do some damage to my teeth? Has it affected his thinking and skill?

Samantha – West Virginia

Samantha,

I wouldn’t feel qualified to tell you whether or not the brain tumor has affected your dentist’s ability to perform his job. Obviously, it’s affected his personality. It sounds like his assistant is on top of things. It might be better to express your concerns with her and see what she thinks. She works with him every day and will know if there is any cognitive decline.

If you’re concerned, you could just temporarily switch dentists, keeping in touch with your current clinic so you’ll know when things have normalized some.

Given the difficulty you experienced in your last appointment, it might be good for you to look for a dentist who’s known as a gentle dentist. Someone with a kind chairside manner to help you in the transition period.

It might not be a bad idea to have the new dentist give a careful look at your gums (though he should do that anyway), given your current dentist’s insensitive comments. It could just be his brain tumor speaking, but sometimes dental problems, including gum disease can sneak up on us. You can do everything right and still have issues pop up. Don’t be too hard on yourself.

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Caring for a Sedation Patient

My fiance is having a dental procedure which requires sedation. She asked me to be her “person”. I know I have to drive her back and forth and look after her during the day. Is there anything I should be looking for in particular during the day?

Sam P. – Oklahoma

Sam,

It’s great that you’re planning ahead. For the most part, you’ll just need to be there for her general care. When someone has sedation, they tend to get a little disoriented. They’re also unstable on their feet. It’s easy for them to get injured if there’s not someone to keep an eye on them as they get around. Occasionally, there is a patient who feels nauseated from the sedation, but that doesn’t happen very often.

A lot of what you have to do beyond that will depend on the procedure. If she’s getting a root canal, it’s not that huge of a procedure. A tooth extraction, however, you’ll want to be sure her gauze gets changed and that the bleeding stays under control. It wouldn’t hurt to call the office ahead of time for specific post-op information.

A nice touch would be for you to have a lovely, cozy spot for her ready for her to relax with her pillow and favorite blanket. You can rent her some movies or have a Netflix show ready for her to binge watch.

It sounds like she’s in good hands just because you’re planning ahead.

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Dentist Refused to Give My Downs Syndrome Daughter Dental Implants

I’m so frustrated right now. My daughter lost a couple of teeth due to decay. I did research to find the best implant dentist in our area. But, when we went to see him, he flat out refused to treat her, due to her “inability to care for her teeth”. She’s 23 years old and, yes, she has Down Syndrome. That doesn’t mean she doesn’t care for her teeth. She’s largely independent and even holds down a job. She still lives with us and I manage her medical needs to make sure she is seen to. I remind her to clean her teeth, and yes, she’s lost a couple, but doesn’t everyone who gets dental implants? I don’t understand how he can be so heartless. I don’t know if I should try to make an appeal to his softer side or if we should just keep searching until we find someone who can do it. Any suggestions on how to proceed are welcomed.

Thank you,

Sheila M. – Mississippi

Dear Sheila,

I’m sorry for the experience you’ve had. Even the “best implant dentists” likely have days where they’re insensitive in how they deal with patients. There are two possibilities here as to why he’s refusing to treat your daughter.

The first is likely the one you are offended by. He may be uncomfortable with your daughter’s Downs Syndrome. It may be he hasn’t had any patients in your daughter’s situation and isn’t familiar with whether or not care for her differs from his other patients.

The second is it has nothing to do with her Downs Syndrome and more to do with her oral health care. If he’s concerned that she doesn’t clean her teeth well enough it would explain his refusal to treat her. This means that if a dental implant is placed, it will quite likely fail, and that’s no small thing. When you consider all that’s involved; the surgeries, the waiting for it to heal, treatment costs, etc., it’s really unwise to perform treatment that’s almost guaranteed to fail.

Here are some options for you. You’re right that other people lose teeth and get dental implants. You mentioned your daughter lost her teeth to decay. It takes a long time to get from decay to the need for an extraction. This makes me wonder if your daughter is getting to the dentist enough. Especially if she’s predisposed to problems with her teeth. Some people are. It’s not a matter of not caring. It’s more the dental genes they were dealt. If you can get her to the dentist more often and show the dentist her hygiene won’t be a problem, he may change his mind.

Another option is to try for a different dentist who is equally skilled at placing dental implants. Call some of the dental implant organizations such as the International Congress of Oral Implantologists or the American Board of Oral Implantology to find out who are the most qualified implant dentists in your area.

If she’s truly not a good candidate for implants, you have other options. You could look into a removable partial denture or a dental bridge. These are very viable solutions for missing teeth.

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Antibiotics Alone Can Kill You

I’ve been on an antibiotic for a week for a tooth infection. But, instead of healing my tooth seems to be getting worse. Now my face is starting to swell. Should I get a different antibiotic? I thought the tooth would be healed by now.

Mandy – Idaho

Mandy,

I’m a little alarmed by what you’ve said. My hope is either you’ve only told me part of the story or you misunderstood your dentist. Antibiotics do not heal a tooth infection. They’re used to help, but unless your dentist gets in there and removes the infected tissue, the infection will spread. Left without proper treatment, this can kill you. Think about how close your teeth are to your heart and brain. You don’t want the infection spreading to either of those. This is a dental emergency and needs to be treated right away, especially based on what you described with your face. The infection is spreading.

There are occasions when doing an antibiotic ahead of time is useful. If your infected tooth is being extracted, it’s good practice to get the infection under control before you have the extraction. This decreases any risk to you.

Hopefully, that’s what is going on. If not, and your dentist has no further plans for your infection, then you need a different dentist. One who understands the nature of tooth infections.

Also, if you’re getting a tooth extracted, you’ll need to replace the missing tooth. There are several options available to you. Ideally, you’d get a dental implant, but that certainly isn’t your only option.

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Where Should I Get All My Teeth Removed?

I’m so tired of dealing with teeth that constantly humiliate me. I’m avoiding social situations. I don’t relish going to the dentists. In fact, my fear has kept me away for years. What I need to do is remove my teeth and just get dentures, so I won’t be embarrassed to smile. I just don’t know whether that’s a dentist or surgeon thing.

Blake F. – Texas

Blake,

Don’t feel too bad about your dental fear. A lot of people share the same fear. Before you jump right to dentures, I’d love to see if your natural teeth can be saved. They’re so much better for you than dentures, which can be a huge hassle in themselves. I realize your dental fear is an issue and I promise I’m not ignoring that. In fact, I’m going to suggest you go to a dentist who does sedation dentistry. This will enable you to have completely pain-free dentistry, even with the current poor state of your teeth.

If your teeth can be saved, fantastic. In case they can’t, I’ll answer your question. A dentist is perfectly able to do your tooth extractions as well as create your dentures. Make sure the dentist you go to is able to do the pre-denture surgery. It’s not complicated. If they do, they’ll be well qualified to do your dentures.

Before you make a final decision, though, I’d like you to look into dental implants as well. Dentures do not replace the roots of your teeth, which means you’ll start losing your jawbone. Eventually, your dentures won’t have any means to stay in your mouth. Implants, on the other hand, place prosthetic roots in your jawbone. That means you’ll have a more stable tooth replacement. In fact, it’s like having natural, healthy teeth in your mouth.

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Why Should I Get the More Expensive Implants?

I need a third opinion. I have three teeth that need dental implants up front, then another tooth in the back. I went to comfort dental and they suggested mini implants up front, to save me a lot of money and a partial denture in the back. They told me they’d last ten years. I went to get a second opinion and he strongly disagreed. He said I needed traditional implants up front and a bridge in the back. He said the adjacent teeth to the back tooth needed crowns anyway, so a bridge makes more sense. So, which procedure should I do? Comfort Dental’s plan saves me tons of money, so I’d really need a good reason to spend so much more money.

Charles M. – Washington

Charles,

I understand why you’d want a reason to spend more money. I can give you one, too. Mini implants are not used to support a crown. They’re mainly used to stabilize a denture. Saying they’d last ten years is way too optimistic. But, let’s dream and say they do. Then what? You won’t have enough bone structure to place new ones. You’d have to have bone grafting done and then get new implants placed. Why not do it right the first time? Otherwise, your “affordable dental implants” aren’t so affordable.

As for the bridge, I agree with that as well. If the adjacent teeth need crowns, a bridge is your most logical option.

Comfort Dental is a cooperation. They mostly recruit new dentists fresh out of dental school. They often use this type of employment to practice and gain experience before they go into private practice. That is something else to consider.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. Brad Hylan.