Tag Archives: Salem MA dentist

Adult tooth knocked loose

Is there anything which can be done about an adult tooth which is loose? I had an accident and dropped a hammer on my mouth. I thought everything was fine except for a fat lip, but this morning I can swear the front tooth feels loose. I thought I was imagining it at first, but now I’m pretty sure. It’s wiggling. Is this a lost cause or can it be saved?

Lizzie

Dear Lizzie,

Woman holding her jaw in pain from TMJ

Before I go over anything else, I’m going to encourage you to stop wiggling the tooth no matter how tempting it is to check. There are ligaments on your tooth which help keep them secure. Often when there is some trauma to the tooth those ligaments get stretched. However, if you keep wiggling it, the ligaments could snap, putting your teeth at greater risk.

Now that I’ve warned you about the wiggling, I can have some sympathy. Ouch! I can’t imaging how much it hurt to drop a hammer on your mouth.

It’s possible the tooth can be saved, but this is considered a dental emergency and you need to see your dentist right away. If you don’t have one, do an internet search for an emergency dentist. They are simply general dentists who are willing to see non-established patients quickly in situations such as yours.

Saving Loose Adult Teeth

The dentist will examine and do x-rays of the tooth. The x-rays are to establish whether there’s been any internal damage to the tooth. If there has, you’ll need a root canal treatment and possibly a dental crown.

If there hasn’t, and it’s just a matter of the ligaments being stretched, your dentist will stabilize the tooth with some type of splint to keep it secure while the ligaments heal.

Don’t put this off. Get it looked at quickly so you don’t risk loosing the tooth.

This blog is brought to you by Salem, MA Dentist Dr. Randall Burba.

Worried dentist damaged porcelain veneer

I had six porcelain veneers placed. They looked great, but noticed on the way home one of them had what felt like a line or divot. I called the dentist from my car and they had me come straight back. I really appreciated that. When I was back in the chair he looked at it and he said he could repair it then and there. He did some kind of sanding of the area and it felt smooth. I left satisfied. However, it’s been a couple of days since and I’m noticing that spot is more dull than the rest of the veneers. Am I being overly critical? I’m kind of worried he damaged it, but if it’s no big deal, let me know.

Elaine

Dear Elaine,

A single porcelain veneer being held up by a dental instrument

First, let me assure you that you’re not being overly critical. You paid for a beautiful smile and that’s exactly what you should get. You especially need to know if something damaged your porcelain veneer.

In this case, I would say they, yes, your dentist likely damaged this veneer. It sounds like in the process of trying to smooth out the divot, he took off the glazing.

The glaze on your porcelain veneers is very important. Not only does it give it that shine your natural teeth have, it is also what makes them stain resistant.

Without that glaze, this veneer will begin to pick up stains very quickly making it unattractive.

Getting This Porcelain Veneer Fixed

You’ll need to show this to your dentist as soon as possible. If you wait, he could try to pass the blame onto you saying you did something to it.

There are two ways to repair this:

  • Using diamond polishing equipment. This is an advanced procedure which not all cosmetic dentists know or have the tools for. However, if he does (which at this point I’m doubting because of how he did the repair) then I’d go this route. Even if he doesn’t, you could seek out the aid of an expert cosmetic dentist to do it for you and have your dentist cover the expense. This would be cheaper for him than the second option.
  • Have him replace the veneer he damaged. This will incur lab fees for him, but if he doesn’t know how to do the repair and isn’t willing to pay another dentist to do it, then….

Finding an Expert Cosmetic Dentist

If you need to get a different dentist to do this repair, your best bet is to find a dentist who is accredited with the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry. AACD accredited dentists are in the top 1% of dentists in the country. Every one of them will know this diamond polishing technique and have the tools on hand.

This blog is brought to you by Salem, MA Dentist Dr. Randall Burba.

Why Do I Need an Occlusion Specialist?

I’m a little confused. My dentist has been treating me for TMJ for almost a year. We’ve tried a couple of things, but now he wants to send me to something called an occlusion specialist. Is he just trying to pawn me off?

Elle W. – California

Elle,

I don’t think he’s trying to pawn you off. It’s more likely he realized the cause of your TMJ problems are from your bite and wanted you to see someone who had more training in that area. To me, that means he cares more about getting you the right care than he does about taking your money.

If your bite is off, it really can be the cause of your TMJ. It can throw your temporomandibular joint completely out, that can cause jaw pain, migraines, popping, even lock jaw.

Getting your bite in line can give you the relief you’ve been seeking.

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

Sores with Dentures

Shortly after I started wearing dentures I developed sores and cracks in the corners of my mouth. It’s gotten quite painful. Is there anything I can do about it? Is it from the dentures or something else?

Ellie K. – Ohio

Ellie,

I haven’t examined you, of course, but based on what you’ve said you could have Angular Chelitis. It causes cracks or lesions at the corners of the lips. You’re right, it’s quite painful.

You’ll have a higher chance at getting successful treatment if you first find the cause. The dentures could be the cause, if they’re not fitted properly. If they’re not fitted right, your lips could fold in over themselves at the corners. This causes friction that leads to the cracks.

I’d talk to your dentist. If it turns out your dentures are the problem they should repair that, without cost to you.

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

What If I Hate My Dentures?

I got dentures, because I thought the dental implants my dentist quoted me were too crazy expensive. That was a  mistake.  Is it too late? Are there ways to get them cheaper? These dentures like to move around. I hate them.

Micah L – Kentucky

Micah,

It’s not too late. You could still get dental implants if you’re a good candidate.  I wouldn’t just look for the cheapest dentist who does dental implants. That could cause some serious problems. Some of them are cheap for a very bad reason–they cut corners.

If you’re needing something on the more affordable side, you might consider snap-on dentures.  it requires a minimum of two implants, but it will secure your dentures quite well. Then, if you’d like, you can save up money for more implants as you’re able.

It’s a great alternative for someone who wants the security of implants, but doesn’t want to get a full set.

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

Invisalign or Porcelain Veneers

I went to my dentist to discuss a potential cosmetic change. I want to whiten and brighten my teeth and I have mildly crooked front tooth. I thought I’d get porcelain veneers, but my dentist is suggesting invisalign first and then porcelain veneers. Porcelain veneers are so expensive, I was hoping not to have to add any additional expense.  Is it normal to do invisalign and porcelain veneers?

Paige W. – New Mexico

Paige,

Hmmm…this is answer can only be considered in light of the fact that I haven’t actually seen your case.

What I can tell you is that, generally speaking, dentists either do invisalign or porcelain veneers.  My recommendation would be to get a second opinion from an expert cosmetic dentist.

See if there’s anyone in your area (it’s worth a drive too) that is accredited from the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry. You can also check the mynewsmile.com website. They have recommendation for artistic cosmetic dentists.

You have a few options. First, is porcelain veneers. When done properly, veneers can make crooked teeth appear straight. They’re a good options, especially if you want to change anything else about your teeth, such as their shape.

But, if you are happy with the shape of your teeth and just want to brighten and straighten them, then you might just want invisalign with teeth whitening, instead of porcelain veneers.

This blog is brought to you by Randall Burba.

I can’t chew very well with my dentures

I’m hoping you can give me some denture advice. Ever since I’ve got them, it’s been very hard to chew. Is there anything I can do? My dentist says the dentures are fitting properly.

Scott D. – Georgia

Scott,

Even the best fitting dentures will reduce your chewing efficiency by 50%.  That can be discouraging. Ideally, when you need to replace teeth, you’d get dental implants. However, that is not in the budget for all patients and they’re stuck with dentures.

If you’re in that category, you might consider getting snap-on dentures. That will anchor them and help with your chewing efficiency.

You still won’t feel like you did with natural teeth or you would with dental implants, but it will be a significant improvement.

There will be the added benefit of allowing you to retain some of your jawbone. Obviously , the more implants, the better the stability and the more bone will be retained, but as long as you have a minimum of two, you should see some improvement.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. Randall Burba

Why can’t I chew very well

I’ve got dentures for the first time. The dentist made them as tight fitting as he could. They’re OK.  Obviously, it’s not going to feel like it did when I had my own teeth. But, the thing I’m struggling with the most is how difficult it has become to chew my food. It takes me forever. Will this improve?

Sadie M. – Louisiana

Sadie,

While there will be some natural improvement as you become more experienced in using them, it’s not likely to change very much. Even the best fitting dentures will cause a 50% drop in chewing efficiency.

You get some help if you have snap-on dentures. They help anchor them a little better.

But, to be frank, the only way to chew like you have natural teeth is to get dental implants instead of dentures. They’re more pricey, so it may be something you save up for while you decide if you can live with the chewing issues.

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

Options for a teen with congenitally missing teeth

My 16 year old has a congenitally missing tooth. I wanted to get her a dental implant, but the dentist insists she’s too young. The problem is this tooth is visible and is embarassing to her. Are there options?

Rosie B. – Denver

Rosie,

First, I’m going to say that I agree with your dentist. Your daughter is too young for a dental implant. Her jaw is still growing and the procedure will end up failing.

That being said. I would suggest you get her a porcelain veneer for the smaller baby tooth. It can “build up” material around the tooth and make it the same shape, size, and appearance as her other teeth.

This will at least temporarily take care of the problem while you wait for her jaw to fully develop.

One word of caution. Make sure you go to a highly experienced, artistic cosmetic dentist if you want to veneer to look good.

I recommend going on mynewsmile.com and seeing which cosmetic dentists they recommend in the Denver area.

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

Do I need jawbone for snap on dentures

My dentist said I needed to get dentures, because I don ‘t have enough jawbone for dental implants. I was really disappointed to hear that. I have heard that there are snap on dentures that use a mini type of implant. Am I able to get those with a little jawbone?

Brendon L. – Tennessee

Brendon,

Unfortunately, without enough jawbone, the mini implants won’t have enough support for your snap on dentures. Snap on dentures are usually used when people are good candidates for dental implants, but don’t have the money for the big daddies.

Did your dentist not mention bone grafting? If you really wanted dental implants, you can have bone grafted to your jawbone to build up the structure.

If you’ve lost that much bone already, then eventually your dentures won’t even stay in place. Your bottom dentures rest on your lower jaw and that is the only thing keeping them in.

This blog is brought to you by Salem, MA Dentist Dr. Randall Burba.