All posts by AllSmiles

Why Does My Dental Crown Still Hurt After Two Months?

Two months ago, I went to Costa Rica for 10 lower crowns and eight porcelain veneers in early May. Since returning home, I have felt severe pain in my lower jaw. One molar tooth hurts whenever I chew anything. I called the dentist, who advised me to take ibuprofen every 4-6 hours for two weeks. I know the health risks, so I don’t take it as often as she recommended. The dentist also mentioned that I might need a root canal. The tooth hurts when I chew but not when I touch or clench my teeth. Should I have pain two months after dental work? I’m embarrassed to see a local dentist about work I had done outside of the US. Thanks. Luca from Nashville

Luca.

Your symptoms and the dentist’s recommendation to take ibuprofen so frequently are alarming. Long-term ibuprofen use can damage your liver or kidneys. You are wise to minimize your use of it.

Lingering pain after dental crowns or veneers is not normal. Although tenderness may occur after a few weeks, symptoms should not last for months.

We understand your embarrassment, but you need care from a skilled cosmetic dentist. Look for dentists with post-graduate cosmetic dentistry experience and schedule consultations or exams. You may need root canal treatment, but please don’t return to Costa Rica for it.

Few dentists have the advanced cosmetic dentistry and training required to produce a beautiful smile makeover with crowns and porcelain veneers. Your chances of getting a beautiful smile out of the country are even lower. Please consult a cosmetic dentist to examine all your Costa Rica dental work and the molar tooth that hurts.

The precaution of examining your dental work can minimize future problems with your dental restorations.

This post is sponsored by Plano, Texas, female dentist Dr. Miranda Lacy. We cater to anxious dental patients.

My Denture Still Irritates the Roof of My Mouth

I got a new denture last October, but it still hurts the roof of my mouth. My dentist says it takes some people longer to adjust, but the discomfort hasn’t improved. Can I get a soft palate in the denture because the hard one rubs the roof of my mouth? It’s so sore. I only wear my new denture if I must leave home and have social interactions. Thank you. Anita

Anita,

Removable complete dentures often have a hard surface that stays in place from suction between the denture and the roof of your mouth (palate). While this design adds stability during chewing, it can cause irritation or discomfort. However, a denture with a softer palate material wouldn’t withstand the constant pressure of chewing.

How Can You Get Relief from an Uncomfortable Denture in the Roof of Your Mouth?

If your removable denture is causing pain on the roof of your mouth, an implant denture offers a comfortable alternative. These dentures are designed without a palate, eliminating that source of irritation.

What Is a Palateless Denture?

Implant-supported dentures are palateless dentures. This approach utilizes four or more dental implants to support a full arch of replacement teeth.

An implant dentist or oral surgeon strategically places four to six implants in your jawbone. These implants then anchor a custom-made denture that securely clicks into place.

Implant-supported dentures effectively restore your chewing ability, allowing you to enjoy a wider variety of foods. Additionally, a palateless denture improves your taste perception. You can speak, eat, and live with confidence, free from the discomfort of a traditional denture.

Another advantage of implant-supported dentures is their positive impact on your jawbone health. The implants stimulate the jawbone, preventing bone resorption and facial sagging that can occur with traditional dentures and jawbone shrinkage.

Consider scheduling consultations with a cosmetic dentist who partners with an oral surgeon or periodontist for dental implants. Discussing your specific needs and preferences will help you decide how to restore your smile.

Will Root Canal Treatment Ruin a Porcelain Veneer?

I have eight porcelain veneers on my upper front teeth. After seeing an ENT for what I thought was a sinus infection, my dentist found the problem. I have a periapical abscess. My dentist referred me to an endodontist for a root canal, but I’m concerned because the abscess is between my right lateral incisor and the tooth behind it. Will I need a new veneer for the tooth with an abscess? Thanks. Abbie from Arlington, VA

Abbie,

Without root canal treatment, the infection can spread deep into your jawbone. However, it is uncommon to have an infection in a porcelain veneer tooth.

Will Root Canal Treatment Ruin a Porcelain Veneer?

If your dentist placed and bonded your porcelain veneers well, you should not lose them during root canal treatment. The endodontist can access the infection without damaging the veneer. You can ask the endodontist about the procedure and how he will avoid damaging your veneers.

Why Might a Porcelain Veneer Tooth Need a Root Canal?

Aggressively preparing a tooth for porcelain veneers increases the risk of stress and infection that requires root canal treatment. We hope that over-preparation of your teeth for veneers is not the cause of your tooth infection. However, we won’t linger on what may be the cause of the infection because you need root canal treatment.

A tooth turns dark after a root canal procedure because a dentist replaces the tooth pulp with root canal filler material after removing the infection. The material and cement left in the tooth make it look darker.

Ask your dentist to clean the filler material and cement from the portion of your tooth above the gumline. After removing the material, your dentist can place a fiberglass post into the tooth root and fill the space with a tooth-colored composite. This intervention can help your teeth retain its color for five to ten years.

Dr. Miranda Lacy, a Plano, Texas dentist, sponsors this post. Dr. Lacy makes treatment affordable through payment plans and offering treatment alternatives when appropriate.

What Can I Do If a Tooth Post Broke Beneath My Dental Bridge?

A post in one of my teeth broke, but the tooth is a lateral incisor and part of a dental bridge. I had a root canal on the tooth three years ago, and my dentist added the post because the tooth was broken. Now that the post has broken at the gumline, will I need a new post and a bridge? Or can my dentist take the bridge off, replace the post, and put the bridge back? – Thanks. Stefan from San Bernardino.

Stefan,

Dr. Lacy would need to examine your tooth and take X-rays for an accurate diagnosis and treatment. However, we have a few observations.

Our first concern is whether a new post in your tooth would work or if it would also break. A post broken at the gumline limits a dentist’s techniques to grab and remove it. Sometimes, an ultrasonic scaler can loosen the cement around the post so the dentist can remove it. However, when a post breaks at the gumline, a dentist may have to drill away tooth structure to retrieve it.

A lateral incisor is a small tooth; drilling it will further weaken it. The risk of losing a second post increases. Your dentist must remove the crown from the bridge to access the post. It would be easier to remove the entire bridge, access the tooth and post, and replace the bridge. This highlights one disadvantage of a dental bridge versus a dental implant: A dentist must replace the entire bridge if a problem occurs with a tooth in the bridge.

You cannot expect a new post to last longer than the old one on a weak incisor that will absorb lateral stress when you chew. The post will weaken and break if you have a heavy biting force.

We recommend consulting a cosmetic dentist for an exam and X-rays. The dentist can determine whether you can benefit from a dental implant for the missing tooth and the tooth with the broken post or if a new post and bridge will last.

Dr. Miranda Lacy, a Plano, Texas dentist, sponsors this post.

Is it Too Late for a Palateless Denture?

I have worn dentures for seven years and am ready to remove the palate from my denture. I wouldn’t say I like the hard palate of the denture against the roof of my mouth. It feels like a mouth full of plastic. I am not ungrateful. My dentist reminds me that it is better to have dentures than no teeth at all. If I must wear dentures, maybe there is a way to make them more comfortable. My dentist needs to be more helpful, which leads to the question, why is he still my dentist? Long story. I would like to know if dentures exist with a soft palate and if it’s too late because I’ve worn dentures for so long. Thank you. Ethel from Decatur, GA

Ethel,

The palate of a complete denture is firm to fit well and remain stable when you chew. When “soft” refers to a denture, it means relining (reshaping) the denture with soft materials.

Facts about a soft denture reline:

  • As the shape of your ridge shrinks or changes shape due to missing teeth, a reline helps your denture fit more snugly
  • It resurfaces the upper portion of the denture that touches the roof of your mouth and gums
  • It prevents the denture from rubbing on your gums and making them sore

What Is a Palateless Denture?

A palateless denture is an implant denture that does not cover the roof of your mouth. Instead, dental implants support the arch of denture teeth.

Implant dentures can relieve the discomfort of a hard denture palate.

  • Placing dental implants for a denture – An implant dentist or an oral surgeon can place as few as two implants in your jawbone to support your denture, making them more affordable for many dental patients. However, four to six implants provide maximum stability.
  • Improving denture comfort – Although implant dentures cost more money than completely removable dentures, they restore your chewing efficiency and make you feel more like your own teeth.
  • Preserving jawbone – Dental implants stimulate your jawbone and help prevent facial collapse.

You can schedule an appointment with an implant dentist to discuss your options. It’s not too late, even if you need a bone graft in areas of low bone volume to stabilize dental implants.

Dr. Miranda Lacy, a Plano, Texas dentist, sponsors this post.

My Dental Crown Won’t Stay On

My crown isn’t staying on. It has popped off three times now, and after each trip back to the dentist, I get the same answer: another procedure. This time, it is cutting away gum tissue to expose more of the tooth for the crown to hold onto. Sounds intense, right? There’s another thing that freaks me out—the base of my tooth, where the crown is black now. I could swear it wasn’t like that before the last repair. I have the crown in my hand. What should I do next? I’m exhausted. I had never hated dental visits before this drama. I can’t unwind. Thanks. Cherie

Cherie,

I understand your frustration with your crown falling off three times, and the proposed crown lengthening solution raises some concerns. While the procedure can be necessary in certain situations, your dentist’s approach, in this case, doesn’t sit quite right.

Our concerns:

  • Repeated failures: A crown shouldn’t fall off repeatedly. This suggests issues with either the initial preparation or the material used.
  • Reactive approach: Why wasn’t crown lengthening discussed upfront? Addressing potential limitations before starting seems like the responsible course of action.
  • Blackening on the tooth: This new development warrants investigation.

Gather information from one or two second-opinion appointments with dentists experienced in crown retentive techniques. Ask questions to understand your treatment options. Also, explain your anxiety and possible need for sedation to keep you relaxed.

If your dentist didn’t discuss potential limitations and the need for additional procedures upfront, ask for a refund or help paying for a new crown.

Plano, Texas, female dentist Dr. Miranda Lacy sponsors this post.

I Can’t Afford a Replacement Tooth After Extraction

My right bottom first molar is severely infected and decayed. I need a root canal or extraction, but my second molar on that same side is missing. If I get an extraction, will a snap-on smile be less expensive than a dental crown while hiding the missing tooth? – Thanks. Gracie

Gracie,

We understand your concerns about the cost of tooth replacement. Hopefully, the following information will help you understand what’s best fo your oral health.

Snap-On Smile After Tooth Extraction?

A Snap-on Smile is the worst option for concealing a missing tooth after extraction. Its purpose is to make your smile look better for a special occasion, but it does not look good. And it is not strong enough to function as a tooth replacement for a molar. If you wear a Snap-On Smile daily, it will wear out quickly.

Effects of Extracting a First Molar When the Second Is Missing

You mentioned that you already lost your second molar. If your dentist extracts the first molar, you will have no molars on the right side.

  • Chewing – How will you chew without molar teeth unless you stick to a soft diet?
  • Unstable oral appliance – Without a tooth behind your first molar, even a partial denture will not be stable because it needs to clasp adjacent teeth for stability. It’s like a table with legs only in the middle and one end. The table’s weight will make it fall toward the end, which has no support. An oral appliance will add twisting force to the supporting teeth and weaken them.
  • Tooth loss – Early tooth loss will cause your teeth to shift. And although orthodontic treatment could realign your teeth, you would also need dental implants with many missing teeth.

Root Canal Treatment to Save a First Molar

Root canal treatment saves your natural tooth, avoids an uncomfortable oral appliance that will not have enough support, and saves the expense of extraction and a dental implant.

Ultimately, a dentist will examine and x-ray your teeth before explaining your treatment options. If saving your natural teeth is an option, we recommend doing so. Ask the dental office about making dental treatment affordable with options that may include payment plans or completing dental work in phases if possible.

Dr. Miranda Lacy, a Plano, Texas dentist, sponsors this post.

Will I Need Crowns on All My Teeth After Bulimia Recovery?

I’m recovering from bulimia and trying to save my teeth. Will I need crowns on all teeth to save them? I’ve seen four cosmetic dentists with good reputations in the state to see which one is the best dentist for a smile makeover. Two of the four dentists recommended porcelain crowns for a smile makeover because several of my teeth are severely decayed. They basically said that the crowns could correct my bite and give me a good-looking smile.

The decay is severe in 11 of my teeth; 3 more have limited decay, and my remaining teeth don’t need major work. Their recommendation surprised me, and I wonder if I should let them grind down all my teeth when most don’t need aggressive action. I’m beginning to regret seeing so many dentists because it was the last two dentists who recommended crowns. Or maybe I shouldn’t have told each dentist what the other one said. I’m confused.

I also get nervous at the dentist, so I chose dentists who were willing to do sedation. Are the first two dentists I saw too conservative, or are the last two dentists too aggressive? Should I start all over and schedule consultations with dentists, maybe in another state? Thanks, Sole from GA

Sole

It’s good to know you’re recovering from bulimia nervosa and concerned about your smile. Although one of our dentists would need to see you in person to examine your teeth and review your x-rays and dental history, the recommendations you received from the last two dentists concern us.

Conservative treatment is a priority for advanced, ethical cosmetic dentists. They want to preserve as much healthy tooth structure as possible. If you’re uncomfortable with aggressive treatment, a cosmetic dentist concerned about you as a patient certainly wouldn’t recommend it.

Do You Need Crowns On All Your Teeth After Bulimia Recovery?

Whether a dentist needs to place crowns on all your teeth to preserve them or limit dental problems as you recover from bulimia depends on the condition of your teeth. If you sense that the last two dentists are more interested in selling you crowns than giving you a smile makeover that helps you feel good about recovering from bulimia, choose another dentist. A conservative cosmetic dentist will recommend treatment that increases your confidence about your smile—not options that increase worry about your teeth.

A full-mouth reconstruction with crowns on all teeth is sometimes required, though. Common reasons include:

  • Many missing teeth and jawbone resorption that make your face sag
  • Severe, painful issues with your bite
  • Most of your teeth are severely decayed or broken

How to Decide on Treatment

We recommend you return to either of the first two cosmetic dentists offering conservative treatment. Without telling them about the recommendations from the last two dentists, ask about the pros and cons of dental crowns for all your teeth. Each of the first two cosmetic dentists will explain their recommendation and the disadvantages of crowns on all your teeth.

Depending on the extent of damage to your teeth from bulimia, the recommendation for your smile makeover might include a combination of treatments: orthodontic treatment, porcelain veneers, dental implants, cosmetic bonding, or dental crowns.

It is good that you recognize your sedation needs. Even patients without dental anxiety have better dental experiences with sedation when they need extensive dental work.

You stated that seeing four dentists might have confused your decision. If you want to return to each of the first two dentists you saw, hearing them confirm treatment recommendations might give you more confidence.

We wish you continued success in your recovery from bulimia and a smile makeover that will further improve your quality of life.

Plano, Texas, female dentist Dr. Miranda Lacy sponsors this post.

What’s the Best Teeth Whitening for Home Use?

What’s the best teeth whitening for home use? I prefer to do it myself and avoid the dental office and the cost of whitening. Several people I know got whitening at the dental office, and others did it at home. The dental office whitening doesn’t look much better to me. Rather than trying different brands, what’s the best teeth whitening or the best brands I can use? Thanks. Shelby from MN

Shelby – Although many people use whitening strips or peroxide, the results will be limited.

What’s the Best Teeth Whitening for Home Use?

The best teeth whitening for home use is professional strength gel from a dentist and custom teeth whitening trays. High-strength whitening works fast. Most people can notice the difference the next day if they follow their dentist’s instructions. If you prefer over-the-counter whitening, look for brands with carbamide peroxide, which is in the gel dentists use.

Why Does Teeth Whitening from a Dentist Work Best?

The whitening from the dentist works better because the custom-made bleaching trays fit your teeth precisely. With the trays snugly fitting your teeth, the bleaching gel penetrates better for effective stain removal. Also, your dentist will provide professional-strength bleaching gel to make your teeth whitest.

Another advantage of seeing a dentist for teeth whitening is that he or she can determine whether bleaching your teeth will whiten your teeth or make the stains in them more noticeable. Depending on the cause of the stains in your teeth, whitening them may worsen matters.

If cost is a concern, speak with your dentist about your desire to whiten your teeth. You may be surprised at how your dentist can make your take-home treatment affordable. Some dentists offer free teeth whitening with your exams.

Dr. Miranda Lacy, a Plano, Texas, female dentist, sponsors this post.

Why Aren’t Teeth Whitening Strips Working for My Tetracycline Stains?

Hi. Why aren’t whitening strips working for tetracycline stains on my teeth? I have been using teeth whitening strips for 6 months, and they have done nothing for my teeth. I have tetracycline stains on my teeth, so I expected it would take a little longer, but the strips have made no difference. Does it matter which brand I use, or must I buy whitening from a dentist? I feel like I’ve wasted so much time and money without improvement. Thanks. Kyndal

Kyndal– Tetracycline stains are intrinsic to the teeth and are very difficult, and sometimes impossible, to remove. Over-the-counter whitening strips won’t budge the stains.

Even professional teeth whitening from a dentist will result in limited improvement—if any–for tetracycline stains. However, a skilled cosmetic dentist can use porcelain veneers to hide the stains without making your teeth look pasty or opaque. Veneers are custom-crafted porcelain shells that fit over the fronts of your teeth. Veneers restore the teeth that show when you smile, but they are unsuitable for back teeth.

A cosmetic dentist can manipulate the porcelain to hide tetracycline stains, making the veneers look completely natural. The dentist will bond the veneers to your teeth for a solution lasting eight to ten years—even longer.

Schedule consultations with at least two cosmetic dentists to discuss your options for concealing the stains in your teeth.

Dr. Miranda Lacy, a Plano, Texas dentist, sponsors this post.