How Does Lil’ Wayne Have Permanent Grills?

I’ve got a friend who wants grills. I’ve been under the impression they’re temporary, which I thought would be okay because when she’s trying to get a job she can take them out. But, she’s saying she’s getting permanent ones like Lil’ Wayne. I’m worried she’s going to regret that decision. I’m hoping she’s wrong and she can’t get them permanently placed. Did he get dental implants?  That would be surgery. She tends to make really stupid decisions.

Stacey P.

Dear Stacey,

While you’re right that most grills are removable, there are some which are permanently placed.  You’re right, like dental implants, it does require surgery.

Lil’ Wayne has admitted that on a show with Jimmy Kimmel, as you can see here.

 

Hopefully, your friend has a good dentist who will help her think through the type of issues you brought up. She certainly has a good friend who is looking out for her.

The dentist should remind her that Lil’ Wayne is in a career where grills can be an asset, at least today. Trends change all the time. Maybe your friend will make a smarter decision than you’re giving her credit for.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. Randall Burba.

Who’s the Best Dentist for a Recovering Bulimic?

I’ve struggled with bulimia for years and am finally on the road to recovery. It’s been hard but I’m doing much better recently.  One of the things I’m doing is trying to repair some of the damage my purging has caused. My teeth are in bad shape and I caused it. I need to find the right type of dentist for this. I don’t want one who’s going to make me feel any worse than I already do.

Meredith G.

Dear Meredith,

Wow! You’re a strong woman. I’m proud of the dynamic recovery you’ve made thus far. I appreciate the steps you’re trying to take. You’re also wise to try to find the best type of dentist for this situation.

You’ll want to work with an expert cosmetic dentist. They have the experience in working with bulimic patients. Plus, you’ll be certain whatever work they do will be beautiful.  The last thing you need at this stage of your recovery is shoddy work which makes you feel worse about yourself.

The dentist will want to look at the damage to the back of your teeth. Your purging causes a lot of acid to attack the back of your teeth. It may be that will cause you to need some all-porcelain crowns, but don’t worry. A good cosmetic dentist will make them stunning.

Your best bet is to get an accredited dentist with the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD).  They’re the top cosmetic dentists in the country and will give you a smile you will be unbelievably proud to share with people.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. Randall Burba.

Orthly App Versus Invisalign

I recently read about an app called Orthly.  It’s a lot cheaper than Invisalign. In fact, I can’t afford Invisalign, but I can this app. Is it safe?

Benjamin H.

Benjamin,

This app hasn’t been available long. It could be a wonderful product, but there are a few things which concern me. The first is that it is developed by students who, like many people including yourself, couldn’t afford Invisalign. That in itself isn’t so bad, but they admit themselves they have no knowledge of dentistry.

They evaluated how Invisalign works and came up with what they felt was an affordable solution. Unfortunately, one of the ways it saves so much money is by keeping dental professionals out of the treatment plan, except for a few “check-ups” by photo to see how your teeth are coming along.

Here’s my concern with those check-ups. How can an orthodontist measure and track things such as mobility, root absorption, periodontal disease, and oral hygiene through a photo? The answer is they can’t. Unfortunately, any of those issues can mean serious problems for your teeth. They can even lead to you losing your teeth.

The jury is still out on Orthy. In your place, I’d talk to your dentist. Let him or her know your financial concern. It’s likely they can work out a payment plan of some type for you which will work with your budget.

Straightening your teeth can do a lot more than give you confidence in your smile. It can help with things like jaw pain and migraines if they’re being caused by your bite.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. Randall Burba.

 

Can I Wait Before Getting a Filling?

My dentist told me today that I need two fililings. I spent most of what I had available for the dentist today.  Can I wait before getting them filled or will that cause problems? I just don’t know where I’ll find the money.

Percy M.

Dear Percy,

Mosts dentists understand that medical and dental care can be expensive. Generally, they’re willing to work with you to pay out the services. So, if the only thing holding you back is money, I bet just a simple phone call explaining your situation will help. Most offices have payment plans and will help you.

As far as how long you can wait, it really depends. Some cavities are in their early stages and you can wait a month or possibly even longer before it breaks through the enamel. Others are deeper and close to breaking through the dentin already.

You don’t want it getting to the dentin. That can blow up quickly and become a dental emergency situation. That can end up costing you a lot more money than getting the cavities covered.

For some people, there’s more to them avoiding dental care than finances (though I’m definitely not minimizing the impact of finances).  Many patients also struggle with dental anxiety.  If that is an additional concern of yours, you may want to look into a dentist who works with fearful patients. Depending on the level of your anxiety, you may be interested in sedation. But, it’s not always necessary with the right dentist.

What you don’t want to do is put it off so long where the only solution is to extract the tooth. Then you’re stuck researching tooth replacement options.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. Randall Burba.