Zoom Whitening While on Cipro

I’m on a 14-day course of Cipro for a UTI. I’m scheduled for Zoom whitening in a few days, but I’m still on the medicine. Both the doctor and the pharmacist were adamant that I stay out of the sun. My husband mentioned it might be a bad idea for me to go through with the Zoom until after my Cipro is done. I called the office and they said I’d be fine, but they didn’t leave me very confident so I asked them to check with the dentist. They said he was with a patient but a hygienist said we could just double up on sunscreen. Now I’m even less sure. What do you think I should do?

Elizabeth

Dear Elizabeth,

Zoom Logo

Your dental hygienist is wrong and your husband is right. I’m sure he’s going to love hearing that. When we’re talking about Cipro the reaction can be much more serious than a sunburn. Some patients have a strong reaction after just a moment in the direct sunlight, such as hives and blisters which will cause you complete agony.

You must have a very strong infection. Most prescriptions are 10-day but yours is 14-day. So, whatever you do, don’t stop taking your medicine in order to get your teeth whitened. It will cause the infection to come right back.

You Can Still Get Zoom Whitening

Patient using Zoom Whitening light
The light will cause you problems

The Zoom Whitening light is very strong. It will cause you problems even if they “double up” on your sunscreen. What I recommend is you reschedule your appointment for 3 days after your last dose. Technically, it should be out of your system within 24 hours of your last dose. But, you’re on a stronger dose.

Then, when you can be sure it’s clear you are good to go.

This blog is brought to you by New Orleans Dentist Dr. Duane Delaune.

When a Tooth is Knocked Out

I was at the playground and saw a boy who was hit in the mouth and lost a tooth as a result. His mother just tossed it because it was a baby tooth, but it got me to wondering. What would I do if it was an adult tooth?

Melissa

Dear Melissa,

a hockey player with a knocked out tooth

Whenever a tooth is knocked out, it’s a dental emergency whether it’s a baby tooth or an adult tooth. Even though the baby tooth doesn’t need to be saved the dentist needs to check the pulp of their tooth to make sure no damage was done which will affect the adult tooth underneath.

With an adult tooth, it’s even more serious. You have about 30 minutes to try and save the tooth. Call your dentist right away and let them know what happened. They’ll be available and ready as soon as you get there.

If you don’t have a dentist, you can do an internet search for an emergency dentist. These are general dentists who will see non-established patients in cases like yours. Again, let them know you’re trying to save a tooth so they’ll be prepared. Time is of the essence.

You’ll only want to handle the tooth by the crown (the part which is visible when you smile). Try never to touch the root. Additionally, you’ll want to keep it moist. If you can, put it in a glass of milk. If that’s not available, you can just place it between your gums and your cheek.

If Your Tooth Can’t be Saved

There are times when a tooth can be saved. In that case, you’ll have options for your replacement. Ideally, you’d want a dental implant. That’s almost like having a natural tooth. However, if it’s a teenager or child you’re talking about an implant isn’t possible. Their jaw has to be finished growing.

After a dental implant, the next best option is a dental bridge. This suspends a false tooth between two crowns. There are other options as well if neither of those work for you such as a removable partial denture or a dental flipper. A flipper is only meant to be temporary though, while you are waiting for a better replacement.

This blog is brought to you by New Orleans Cosmetic Dentist Dr. Duane Delaune.

Teeth Whitening Using Lemons and Baking Soda

I’ve been considering whitening my teeth. I got a quote from my dentist. It wasn’t as expensive as I thought it would be, but then my friend told me she whitens her teeth with fresh lemon juice and baking soda. She has pretty teeth so I’m thinking it may actually work. Is there anything I need to be concerned about if I try this?

Lacee

Dear Lacee,

Lemons

I’m glad you wrote before you did this. Your friend may have a beautiful smile, but she won’t for long if she continues with this. Lemons contain citric acid which will eat away at her tooth enamel, leaving her vulnerable to decay. She’ll also start to develop sensitive teeth.

If you think about it, lemons and other citrus fruits are often one of the main ingredients in cleaning solutions. Hopefully, you can warn her and she can see her dentist and forestall as much damage as possible.

It’s great that you want to whiten your teeth, but it’s more important to do it safely. The tooth bleaching gel that a dentist uses is perfectly safe for your teeth. There are two different options for professional teeth whitening.

Professional Teeth Whitening Options

Your first option is to get custom made trays to do at-home teeth whitening. Your dentist will provide you with the trays and the gel you need. You choose when you wear it and for how long, with a minimum of twenty minutes.

Your second option is to have in-office whitening done. This is often done using the Zoom Whitening system. You go in for your appointment and when you come out, your teeth will be as white as possible.

One thing to be aware of is if you have any dental work, such as crowns, bridges, or fillings, they’ll have to be re-done if you want them to match the whitened teeth. Of course, that’s only necessary if they’re visible. If any crowns are on your front teeth, make sure your dentist gives you an all-porcelain crown. These look more natural.

This blog is brought to you by New Orleans Cosmetic Dentist Dr. Duane Delaune.

Dental Implants in Mexico

Why are dental implants so much cheaper in Mexico than in the United States?

Brent

Dear Brent,

dental implant diagram

Good question. Many people complain about dental costs in the United States. In fact, there is a whole dental tourism industry. Much of the higher cost is due to regulations. However, most of those regulations are there for the protection of the patients. Let’s use Mexico as an example.

There are no laws regarding sanitation or the quality of the implants. It’s completely up to the dentist as to whether or not they sanitize their equipment between patients or even at all. Plus, the patient has no recourse if the procedure goes horribly wrong.

For instance, let’s say a dentist doesn’t sanitize his equipment and the patient develops a horrible infection as a result and loses half of his jaw. In the United States, they would be shut down. Additionally, they’d have to pay compensation to the patient.

When it comes to the implant itself. Ones from the United States cost several hundred dollars because of quality control. However, you can purchase implants from outside the U.S. for just a few dollars. They’re much more likely to fail or even break.

However, getting quality dental implants can be made more affordable.

Finding Affordable Dental Implants

One thing that helps with paying for dental implants is finding a dentist who will let you pay for it in stages. Almost every dentist allows you to break up the cost of the surgery and the implant crown. However, you could also ask your dentist to allow you to break up each of those two large payments into monthly payments.

If they’re unwilling, you could try applying for Care Credit. They’re a medical credit card which allows you to have low and even no-interest payments depending on your credit. There’s also no penalty for early pay off if you come into some money and no longer want the payments hanging over you.

Just don’t make the mistake of thinking cheap dental implants are the same as affordable. Your safest course of action is to find an experienced and skilled implant dentist and breaking up the cost.

Teeth Whitening with Dental Implants

If you’re having a dental implant placed in a visible part of your smile, you may want to consider having your teeth whitened ahead of time. Once the implant crown is made, the color is permanent. If you whiten your teeth afterward, the color of the implant will not change.

This blog is brought to you by New Orleans Cosmetic Dentist Dr. Duane Delaune.