Last year I received dentures from an affordable dentist. I am worried now because they won’t stay in even though I use adhesive. I think my bone is shrinking in addition to the fact that the dentures are low quality. I am certain that soon I won’t be able to wear dentures. This has already created some very embarrassing moment for me that I have tried to laugh off or joke about when I really wanted to cry. What can I do? I’m afraid that I won’t be able to afford dental implants, which is a huge problem if the dentures won’t stay in. Is there another way? Thanks. Connie
Connie – We sympathize with you. When all of your teeth are missing, eventually the jawbone shrinks, because the body senses that the jawbone is no longer needed to support your teeth. The minerals from the jawbone are resorbed and used elsewhere in your body. You are experiencing jawbone shrinkage and facial collapse. At some point, as you have already discerned, you will no longer be able to wear dentures. But you have some options.
You can schedule consultations with at least two dentists who are experienced with dentures and dental implants. You want quality implant fixtures and quality placement of the implants to prevent complications that will cost even more money to correct. Ask each dentist how dental implants and dentures can be made affordable for you.
I got free teeth whitening, but now I’m getting concerned about the fillings in my front teeth. The fillings are 4 years old and although they still look white with my current tooth color, what will happen after I use the gel. Is it okay to use the gel even though I have the white fillings? Thanks. Raven
White fillings won’t prevent you from being a candidate for teeth whitening. Of course, the bleaching gel will whiten your teeth, but not your fillings.
After your whitening treatment is complete and your teeth are as white as you want them, if the fillings are noticeable, they can be replaced. If the fillings are too dark, a cosmetic dentist can use dental composite to replace them. Composite will be mixed to match the shade of your bright smile.
It’s best to wait a few weeks until the color of your teeth has stabilized to ensure the dentist makes a good match.
If you anticipate needing cosmetic dentistry (e.g, porcelain crowns, dental bonding), it should be completed after your teeth are whitened. The restorations can be made to match the color of your teeth. Otherwise, the restorations will be darker than your bleached teeth.
Caution before Using Free Teeth Whitening
Before whitening of any kind is used, it’s best to consider the following factors:
Ensure you’ve had a recent dental cleaning and exam.
Your teeth and gums should be healthy and free of decay.
Bleaching gel can irritate unhealthy teeth or gums and cause inflammation.
Depending on the cause of stains in your teeth, bleaching gel can make them more noticeable.
Follow the instructions to avoid overbleaching your teeth. Too many whitening sessions, or sessions that are too long, can make your teeth brittle and discolored.
My sister lives in California and has been raving because she says there’s a law there requiring insurance companies to cover sedation dentistry. She and I both had terrible experiences as children and don’t do well for any kind of dental procedure unless we have some kind of medication to get us through. This is big news because we’ve always had to pay out-of-pocket for it, and we don’t have the best teeth. I’ve looked and looked, but I don’t see anything that discusses this law- either as something in place or upcoming. Any news?
California has some incredibly progressive laws in many respects. Many regulations originate in California before they are adopted in other states. California Assembly Bill 2643 amends Section 1367.1 of the Health and Safety Code and Section 10119.9. SB 2643. It outlines a number of regulations that have to do with “the use of general anesthesia, conscious sedation, and oral conscious sedation (OCS) for pediatric and adult patients.”
The current language of the laws stipulates that dental anesthesia only has mandatory coverage in a hospital setting. As you probably know, there are many people who genuinely require anesthesia, but don’t need to go to a hospital for treatment.
The proposed legislation would force new insurance plans to cover it effective January 2019.
The proposed law is being sponsored by the California Dental Association and California Society of Pediatric Dentistry. It is not yet approved. If passed, it could make a major difference for people like your sister who lives in California.
Sedation Dentistry and Insurance
Throughout the rest of the country, coverage for any form of anesthesia or OCS varies based on the insurance policy. While most insurance companies recognize that OCS makes it possible for many people to receive treatment, manage their oral health better, and possibly reduce expenses for insurance companies overall, most insurance companies are reluctant to add sedation dentistry as a necessary and valuable benefit.
It sounds as if you’ve personally made your oral health a priority and have found a way to budget for it, which is commendable. Patients who are still trying to find a way to manage dental anxiety and get necessary treatment may be able to find a plan that specifically covers OCS. It is worth noting that very few offer coverage and when they do, it can be costly.
As an alternative, it’s helpful to speak with your dentist about what your anxiety and finding affordable dental treatment. Most dentists will work with you to overcome the issues, perhaps by doing as much work as possible in a single appointment or doing the work in phases. Your dentist may have additional solutions.