I’m embarrassed to tell my dentist I had fillers injected

My tooth is in serious pain, but I’ve been holding off on going to the dentist because I recently had Juvederm injections in my laugh lines. I know a lot of people do it, but I’m kind of embarrassed to admit it to my dentist. I’m afraid if I don’t tell him the filler will move if I try and have my tooth fixed. So, I just keep waiting hoping I can make it at least two weeks (which is what my post op instructions stated). The longer I wait, the more it hurts and the the more of an emergency situation this becomes. Help! — Sara

You definitely don’t want to apply pressure to any areas where filler has been injected for at least a couple of weeks. But, if your tooth is continuing to get worse, you should be seen and you definitely don’t need to feel embarrassed to tell your dentist about the injections.

Call your dentist and get in as soon as possible so he can x-ray and examine the tooth. Once he knows you have the fillers, he’ll be extra careful about applying pressure and you’ll probably feel most uncomfortable trying to open your mouth – simply because the fillers cause tenderness and swelling. If it was just a regular check-up, you could easily put it off a few weeks, but this toothache could quickly become very serious and visiting the emergency dentist will not affect your fillers.

This post is sponsored by New Orleans cosmetic dentist Dr. Duane Delaune. Read more about why many consider Dr. Delaune to be the best dentist in New Orleans.

Get me out of this affordable dental implant nightmare!

I’m stuck in a dental nightmare and don’t know what to do. I always knew that I couldn’t afford dental implants, but when I found out about an affordable implant option (the dentist called them all-on-4s) I was so excited that there was a way I could improve my smile and not be broke for the rest of my life.

I went for a consultation and it all sounded so easy. The dentist said not to worry because he had done the procedure for lots of patients. He didn’t say much about any risks, so I was totally on board. Now I regret going through with this because one of the implants failed and has pretty much screwed up the whole thing. If I want to try and fix it, I have to have bone grafting and several other expensive procedures done – and I have to pay for it all out of my own pocket. I could barely afford it the first time so there’s no way I can do this all again. I didn’t cause these implants to fail. What can I do? — Lisa


All-on-4s have become an effective and affordable implant option, but it’s unfortunate that your dentist didn’t communicate with you about the risks associated with them.  Most patients see high success rates with dental implants, but whether or not they fail relies heavily on the skill of the dentist as well as other things like whether or not you smoke or have other medical conditions that could affect their integrity. You could have the best dentist and none of the other risks factors and implants could still fail – for no reason at all. It’s unfortunate that you are stuck.

When it comes to making implants affordable, many dentists can do mini implants, or even make procedures more budget-friendly by offering financing or payment plans.  You might look into these options, but be cautioned that because all-on-4s are placed at an angle, the bone is likely not stable and the area will need repaired and given time to heal before you can move forward.

Your best bet is to go through the additional procedures, so you can make use of the work you’ve already done. We’d recommend consulting with another dentist and have them check out the other three to be sure they are holding up properly. Unfortunately, you’ll likely be paying for it out-of-pocket, but ask if there are some options available to finance the cost.

This post is sponsored by New Orleans cosmetic dentist Dr. Duane Delaune. Read more about why many consider Dr. Delaune to be the best dentist in New Orleans.

I’m afraid my hygienist will ruin my porcelain veneers!

I’ve got eight veneers on my front teeth. I have a regular cleaning coming up and I am worried about the tools the hygienist uses. Could my veneers become loose or even break during the cleaning? — Sara

Porcelain veneers are very strong, so a hygienist won’t pull them off or break them; however, with that said, she could chip them or dull the surface if she’s not careful. If your hygienist doesn’t know how clean veneers safely, you may want to go to a cosmetic dentist. If that’s simply not an option, you’ll need to be very specific with your hygienist about what she can and can’t do. Here’s some quick tips:

  1. Don’t let them use Dentsply’s Prophy Jet or some other brands of power polishers. The mixture of sodium bicarbonate and water on your teeth will get them super clean very quickly. While your porcelain veneers will look amazing when she’s done, this process completely removes the glaze and your veneers will be susceptible to staining almost immediately. This is the worst thing a hygienist can do to your porcelain veneers.
  2. An ultrasonic scaler can also damage veneers on the margins, causing little chips on the edges that will attract stain and plaque. Heavy duty manual scalers will do the same thing, so if your hygienist needs to use one, be sure she doesn’t scrape hard right on the margins.
  3. Ask your hygienist to only use fine or ultra-fine polishing pastes, preferably with an aluminum oxide grit–no pumice.
  4. If you hygienist suggests a fluoride treatment, make sure she uses a neutral fluoride gel, rather than an acidulated fluoride that will etch the surface and remove the glaze.

This post is sponsored by New Orleans cosmetic dentist Dr. Duane Delaune. Read more about why many consider Dr. Delaune to be the best dentist in New Orleans.

Could molar pain be TMJ?

I have never had a cavity before in my life, but I do grind my teeth at night. I was just at the dentist for a regular check-up three months ago and he said everything was good. This past week or so, my back teeth have started having intermittent pain that goes away after a few seconds. I was telling my co-worker about it and she said she had to go see a TMJ specialist for something similar. Could it really be TMJ and not just a cavity? Should I try and find a TMJ specialist or go back to my regular dentist first and have him check to see if I have a cavity? — Darrin

Because the pain is all over, or generalized in the back of your mouth, it’s probably not a cavity. You’ll need an exam and probably some x-rays to help determine whether you need a TMJ specialist or not. It’s troubling that your nighttime grinding hasn’t been addressed by your general dentist because that can cause some serious damage. Your teeth will likely wear down and they can become loose, cracked, or broken — all from the trauma and pressure of grinding. The fix for this is usually pretty easy. Either a TMJ specialist or your regular dentist, can have a night guard custom made for you. If it is the grinding that’s causing it, the night guard should do the trick.

With that said, it’s not possible to give a definitive answer on this without more information. It could be some kind of referred pain, which would cause issues all over. It could also be a periodontal condition, or any number of other things. Rather than starting off with a TMJ specialist, you can probably see your general dentist for this, though if you can find a professional who is skilled at both general dentistry and TMJ issues, that may be the best way to go.

This post is sponsored by New Orleans cosmetic dentist Dr. Duane Delaune. Read more about why many consider Dr. Delaune to be the best dentist in New Orleans.