Monthly Archives: November 2017

Dental Care and PTSD

I’m an army vet. I served five tours. I don’t want to go into detail but I’ve got PTSD due to several things. Unfortunately, the last time I was in a dental chair we were attacked. I’ve got a pretty bad toothache and my face is swelling up a bit. I know I need a dentist but I’m worried about how I’ll respond in the chair. Also, I’m not sure if any of my PTSD meds will interfere with treatment.

Cory N.

Dear Cory,

Someone asleep from sedation dentistry

I want to thank you for all the sacrifices you’ve made to keep your country safe. I know you’re still sacrificing too, so please know it doesn’t go unappreciated. I understand your concern about the dental chair. Even patients who haven’t been through what you have struggle in the dental chair.

Given your situation, I’d recommend dental sedation. This will completely relax you in the dental chair and won’t interfere with your PTSD medication, though it is important to tell whichever dentist you go to all the medication you’re on. That way if the sedation meds they use could interfere, they’d be sure to use a different one for you.

Avoiding Dental Emergencies Using Dental Sedation

With your face starting to swell, it likely means you have a dental infection. Don’t put this off. In fact, if you don’t have a dentist call an emergency dentist and ask if they do oral conscious sedation. What you don’t want is for this infection to spread to your brain or heart, both of which are close to your jaw. It will become life-threatening very quickly.

One thing to be aware of is this medicine is strong. While you can stay awake if you want to, most patients sleep through the procedure. Because of its strength, you will need someone to drive you to and from your appointment. You’ll be a little loopy.

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

Wouldn’t I Need An Emergency Dentist if Something Was Wrong?

I have a new dentist due to my old dentist retiring. I went in for my normal checkup and he said I have two teeth which need to be extracted and replaced. Surely, if my teeth were that far along I would have needed an emergency dentist from the pain, don’t you think? Could this youngster be taking advantage of me?

Annie L.

Dear Annie,

Female Patient in pain needing an emergency dentist

I’ll be honest, it does sound suspicious to me. Surely if something were building up your old dentist would have caught it and warned you that it was something to keep an eye on. Though, every once in a while we’ll discover a patient who has something blow up on them so quickly it takes everyone by surprise and they end up with an emergency dental appointment. Usually, that’s one tooth, though, not two.

It wouldn’t hurt for you to get a second opinion. If it turns out he’s taking advantage, it’s time to switch dentists. If he’s actually correct and you had something develop that quickly it’s important you take care of it quickly too. You don’t want a dental emergency to turn into a medical emergency. Tooth infections can become life-threatening.

Dealing with Tooth Extractions

You’ll want to replace your teeth after they’re extracted. You have several options. The ideal replacement is a dental implant. This acts like your natural teeth, with a prosthetic root. The best thing about it is it protects you from losing bone structure in your jaw. It is pricey though.

If that’s out of your budget, there are dental bridges. They crown the adjacent teeth and suspend a false tooth between them.

The relationship between patient and dentist is a precious one and needs to be one of trust. I hope, whatever way this turns out, you’ll find that dentist.

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