Monthly Archives: December 2016

Are Dental Implants My Only Option for Broken Teeth?

I’ve broken two teeth down to the gumline. I’m assuming I have to have dental implants to replace them, but the idea of being at the dentist’s that long terrifies me.  Do I have any options?

Aaron A. – Boston

Aaron,

You have several options. The only one that is out is a crown because there isn’t enough tooth structure.

Let’s start with your terror. Don’t feel alone or foolish. Lots of people are afraid of the dental chair. Something to consider is sedation dentistry. You won’t have to worry about pain. In fact, you’ll feel pretty good. It doesn’t knock you out, so you’re still in control of your faculties.

Now, let’s talk about your options. First, dental implants. They are honestly, the best option. You’ll be the happiest with their functionality than any other option. You won’t spend any more time in the chair for that procedure than another, but it is more involved.

Two other options for you is a dental bridge and a partial denture. Generally, with a dental bridge, you’d just have one false tooth suspended between the bridge crowns, but you can do two.  The partial denture is something that will just attach to your other teeth, but not quite as securely as a bridge.

I know you’re scared. Go to a dentist that regularly treats fearful patients. You’ll find more compassion and patience with them.  Some search terms would be sedation dentist or cater to cowards dentist.

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

Am I Still a Candidate for Sedation Dentistry with Osteoporosis?

I’d really like to see a sedation dentist, but I’m worried about potential complications. I have osteoporosis, which has affected my whole body. My oral health has plummeted and my teeth are always uncomfortable. I need to get them taken care of, but I’m so sensitive that I don’t know if I can sit through all that treatment. I believe that if I see a sedation dentist, I’ll be comfortable enough to sit through the procedures. However, my concerns regarding this are twofold. First, does having osteoporosis prevent me from seeing a sedation dentist for any reason? Secondly, I am very at-risk for breaking bones. Is there worry that I may be injured during treatment? Will I be safe to walk after treatment? I cannot risk a fall.

Thank you,

Greta

Dear Greta,

It sounds like a sedation dentist is exactly who you need to see. You are absolutely right in that this will make it much easier for you to get treatment and it may even reduce the number of visits you need to have.

As far as osteoporosis precluding you from treatment goes, it probably will not. The sedation dentist that you visit will want to get your full medical history, including any relevant test results, and a full list of your medications. He may want to speak to other physicians that are treating you, just to clarify your status and ensure that all necessary precautions are made. So, although there may be extra steps involved before you can start treatment, you should be just fine getting started.

Following treatment, you will be tipsy. Most dental offices keep a wheelchair on hand to help patients out to the car after treatment, just to avoid potential falls. You will need to have someone drive you home and stay with you throughout the day. Even under ordinary circumstances, patients are advised to rest after treatment. It’s a good day to stay in bed or on the sofa and watch movies or sleep until the medications are out of your system. In your situation, it will be imperative that you heed this advice. You’ll also want to be sure that the person you choose to stay with you is really dedicated to the job because they will need to be with you the whole time and seeing to your needs, so you don’t have to get up for anything and that you are escorted if you do need to get up.

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