Marijuana before my dental appointment

Marijuana makes me feel easy and calm like I’m hand gliding over the beach on a warm day. I use it on weekends to help me relax. Every once in a while I will use it during the week depending on my stress level. I have been on anti-depressants before and they made me get thoughts of hurting myself, but I’ve never had those thoughts with MJ. So I don’t need it as often as I took the prescription meds. I’m going to schedule a root canal for one tooth, another one needs to be pulled, and later I’ll get a dental bridge for the one that will be pulled. After the dentist described everything he had to do, I thought to myself that a little MJ before my appointment would be in order. Instead my dentist talked to me for 10 minutes about sedation and a little pill I would take before the appointment. I am not feeling the anti-anxiety meds idea, not at all. So here’s my question: if MJ is my relaxation method of choice can I refuse sedation and maybe sign off on something to say that I realize what I am doing. Thank you very kindly. Mitch

Mitch – Although you use marijuana to help you relax, it shouldn’t be used before or after your dental appointments. Here’s why:

  • Smoking of any sort interferes with the oral healing process. An abstract from February 2008 Journal of the American Medical Association noted that in one study, it was found that periodontal (gum) disease is linked to regular marijuana use—and it increases the risk.
  • When a tooth is extracted or when a root canal is performed, your gums are at risk of infection. It’s best to avoid anything that can prevent proper healing. Keep in mind that the things you need to avoid after your dental procedures aren’t limited to smoking. You will be given instruction for proper after care. The goal is to help you have successful, infection-free treatment.
  • The action of sucking or drawing from tobacco or marijuana cigarettes can dislodge blood clots. The smoke itself is harmful to the teeth and gums.

Sedation dentistry provides a low dose of anti-anxiety medication. It is not for daily, long-term use, but instead is taken before your dental appointment. Speak with your dentist about your concerns for the medication used to help you relax. He will answer your questions and discuss your options.

This post is sponsored by Plano, TX dentist Dr. Miranda Lacy.

Can I wear teeth whitening strips all night?

I got 6 boxes of free teeth whitening with an online purchase. It sounded exciting because I’ve always wanted to whiten my teeth, but I wasn’t sure if it was worth it to spend $30 to $40 dollars on strips. I started using the free ones 6 weeks ago. For the first 2 weeks, I started wearing them every night for 30 minutes just as the instructions said I should but I didn’t see any results. So I bumped up the time to an hour for and I am still not seeing anything different. I want to stretch out the time that I wear them and I am wondering if it’s okay to wear them for the whole night. Thx Kip

Kip – You should only wear the whitening strips for the instructed time. If you wear them overnight, unless they are made to stay secure, they will probably come off of your teeth. Even if you receive teeth bleaching gel from a dentist, it should only we kept in contact with your teeth for the amount of time instructed.

Keeping whitening strips or bleaching gel in contact with your teeth for too long can burn your gums or cause your teeth to become very sensitive. It is possible to over-whiten your teeth, which can cause discoloring.

If you have been using whitening strips for six weeks and have seen no results at all, they probably aren’t any good at all. Although whitening strips will brighten your teeth more slowly than whitening from the dentist, you should see some improvement.

It is not unusual for free teeth bleaching kits not to work at all, unless you receive free whitening from a dentist. If you want whitening strips that work, it’s best to buy some that contain carbamide peroxide. This is the whitening ingredient in professional gel, but the strips will contain less of it.

Have you asked your dentist about teeth whitening? Some dentists provide it to customers who keep their regularly scheduled appointments for cleanings and exams. If your dentist doesn’t provide it you may be surprised at how he or she can make it affordable for you.

This post is by Plano, TX dentist Dr. Miranda Lacy

Messed up my teeth and can’t afford to fix them

Since I was 14 I’ve had a bad habit that has really messed up my teeth. I am over the habit now, but my teeth are a wreck. When I was a teenager I didn’t think it was a big deal, but now that I am 37 it is really concerning me. I know that my teeth are a distraction because I can see people’s eyes looking at them. Despite my Bachelors degree, which I got in 2013, I’ve had limited job offers and none in the field that I studied. My appearance is influencing everything. I feel trapped because I can’t get a job with decent dental coverage and the out of pocket cost for correcting my teeth is way too expensive. I am wondering if there is some temporary way to make my teeth look better so that I can at least get a job. After I have dental coverage I will work on really correcting my smile. Thanks. L.T.

Dear L.T. – We understand your concerns about your smile. A smile definitely makes a first impression. It’s also important to restore decayed or broken down teeth to prevent them from further weakening. It is possible for untreated teeth to be damaged beyond repair and eventually need to be replaced.

Photo of a blonde woman witth a pretty smile for Plano, TX affordable dentist Dr. Miranda Lacy.Before recommending a cosmetic treatment for your teeth, Dr. Lacy would need to examine them. There are temporary dental appliances that fit over your natural teeth to give you a quick smile makeover. Find a few skilled cosmetic dentists with whom you can have consultations to determine if this treatment method is right for you.

Otherwise, it may be recommended that the work of restoring your teeth is given priority now. Dentists are concerned with preserving your teeth and helping you restore them. So they will work to make it affordable for you by means of financing or payment plans.

You will likely be encouraged by a few visits with cosmetic dentists to discuss your options. Many patients are surprised to learn the ways that restorative dental work can be done to fit your budget.


This post is sponsored by Plano, TX dentist Dr. Miranda Lacy.