Monthly Archives: August 2013

Teeth Emergency

my name is Caitlin. im doing a project for school. what do you when a tooth gets busted out?

thx, Caitlin

Hi Caitlin,

Thanks for writing. I’m glad you’re getting to write a school report on dentistry! When you’re talking about trying to save a tooth time is one of the most important factors. The faster you get to your dentist for treatment (hopefully within thirty minutes), the better chance you have of saving the tooth. If you can’t reach your dentist, or he can’t see you right away, then I recommend you get to an emergency dentist as soon as possible.

There are two parts of the tooth of which you need to be aware: the root and the crown. You can think of the crown as the part people normally see. The root is the part that goes under your gums. You will need to clean the tooth. You don’t want to scrub it, because that can damage some cells that are necessary for re-attachment. Instead, just gently rinse the tooth off.

The next most important thing for you to know is your tooth needs to be kept moist.  There are two ways to do this. The first is the put the tooth in your mouth, keeping it moist with your saliva. The second is to place the tooth in a glass of milk.

I hope this helps you. Let me know if you need more information.

This blog is brought to you by Libertyville Dentist Dr. David Potts.

Dental Implants with Diabetes

I need to get three teeth replaced. Can you get dental implants if you have diabetes?

Alex R.- Rhode Island


To get dental implants with diabetes you need to have metabolic control, but it is possible. The failure rate of dental implants in diabetes patients is about 6%. However, there were generally extenuating circumstances such as smoking or their diabetes not being under control that factored into the failure.

Get a comprehensive medical exam. Make sure your diabetes is completely under control.  If you are a smoker, it is ideal if you can completely stop smoking. If that is not possible, I would quit for the duration of the surgery and recovery .  It will also be important to have a ten day supply of antibiotics. Begin taking them the day of surgery to reduce the risk of infection.

This blog is brought to you by Libertyville Dentist Dr. David Potts.

Whitening dental crowns

I’ve got four dental crowns. Two of them are in the back and are not visible. But two of them are my canine teeth which are very visible. They’ve gotten kind of stained over the years. I wanted to whiten my teeth anyway. So would I just be able to whiten my crowns with regular teeth whitening or do crowns need a special type of teeth whitening?

Alethia- Bartlett, TX


You have asked a great question. Professional teeth whitening will do a great job in giving you brilliantly white teeth, however it will not whiten your dental crowns (or any type of dental work such as bonding or veneers) at all.

Here is my recommendation. You mentioned that your dental crowns are stained. I don’t know how long you’ve had these crowns, but it may just be time to replace them. BEFORE you replace them, you should whiten your other teeth. Don’t worry about your crowns because the whitening gel will not negatively affect them.

Give the whitening about two weeks to settle, then you can have your crowns replaced. When you do replace them, I highly suggest you get all porcelain crowns. I don’t know what kind of crowns you currently have, but the porcelain will absorb and reflect light the way your natural teeth do. They also are more natural looking. A good cosmetic dentist will be able to match your crowns to your new white teeth with ease.

Please let me know if your dental crowns are not very old. If that is the case then it means the glazing on them was damaged, which is why they are stained. With the proper glazing, dental crowns will last for many years and retain their brilliant color without picking up any stains.

This blog is brought to you by Libertyville Dentist Dr. David Potts.