Monthly Archives: December 2018

Can a Dentist Fix My Tooth Gap?

I’ve always had perfect teeth but lately I’ve noticed a small gap between my front teeth. It’s not huge but totally bugs me. I want to get my perfect smile back. What can I do? I was thinking Invisible braces. Is that a decent option?

Kaylie

Dear Kaylie,

A woman smiling with gapped front teeth.
There are quick and easy fixes for a tooth gap.

There’s nothing wrong with wanting to have your smile back. Especially if, like you, your smile was always perfect. Fortunately, there are several ways to fix this.

Invisible Braces

Your suggestion of invisible braces would totally work. While Invisalign is the most well-known brand, Dr. Potts prefers Clear Correct. They’re equally, if not more, effective and cost less for the patient.

They have an added benefit of being able to double as teeth whitening trays. This allows you to knock out two cosmetic procedures at once, saving you time and money, as well as providing patients with a mini-smile makeover.

If you needed your teeth whitened, this would be the method I’d suggest for dealing with your gapped teeth.

Dental Bonding

Tooth bonding uses a composite resin that the dentist will hand sculpt onto your teeth, closing the gap. This is actually the method I would recommend for you. It is ideal for patients like you, who otherwise have a gorgeous smile that needs no other work.

It’s biggest benefit is it can be done in just one appointment. It’s a super fast way to close your gap. The only real considerations are:

  • The results depend on the artistic skill of the dentist so make sure you check out examples of their work before committing.
  • Bonding will eventually need to be replaced after a number of years.

Porcelain Veneers

I only really recommend this for patients who have other things they want to change about their smile. I know that isn’t you, but I’m putting it here for the benefit of others who may be looking at the answer to your question but don’t have an ideal smile.

Veneers are a total smile makeover. The can change the color, size, and shape of your teeth, including closing small gaps all at once. Again, it’s not for you but many other patients can change their lives with them.

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

Is All Dental Sedation the Same?

I’m terrified of the dentist. However, this fear is ruining my life. I’ve been seeing a therapist and he suggested, at least in the short term to try sedation dentistry. He’s worried I’m getting infections because my mouth always hurts. We’re still working on my anxiety, but said this is more like an emergency and the sedation will handle the anxiety part for me for now. I looked it up and there seem to be a lot of different types. Given my personal situation, would one be better for me than the other?

Rose

Dear Rose,

A dentist standing behind a woman smiling in a dental chair
Those with dental anxiety CAN have pain-free care again.

You have a very wise therapist. He’s looking out for your mental and physical health. Pain is often a sign of an infection and is considered a dental emergency. Dental infections are different than medical ones. When you’re dealing with a medical infection you can take an antibiotic and almost always that’s enough.

With dental infections, however, if the infection kills the pulp of the tooth an antibiotic won’t help. There’s no longer blood flow to get in the infected part of the tooth. A dentist will have to physically remove the infected pulp. This is known as a root canal treatment.

If left untreated, the infection will continue to spread. If you think about how close your jaw is to your heart and brain, a dental emergency can quickly turn into a medical emergency. Even if it doesn’t, you will begin to lose teeth. If not from decay, then gum disesase. Your teeth will just start falling out.

Depressed yet?

Now for the Good News: Dental Sedation Can Change Your Life

With your high level of anxiety and the amount of work you are likely to need up front, my recommendation is you find a sedation dentist who offers Oral Conscious Sedation. It will be a game changer for you. All you’ll have to do the day of the appointment is take a simple pill. You can spend the rest of your appointment asleep if you want. In fact, most OCS patients end up sleeping through their appointment completely. Others prefer to stay awake but are completely relaxed and in no pain whatsoever.

There is some preparation needed ahead of time. First, you’ll need a consultation with your dentist to go over any medications you are currently taking. This is to ensure the dentist doesn’t give you anything which will have a reaction to something you already take.

You’ll also need to arrange for someone to drive you to and from your appointment as well as remain with you for a few hours after your appointment until you’re more lucid. This is for your physical safety.

I hope this brings you the peace of mind you need.
This blog is brought to you by Libertyville Dentist Dr. David Potts.