All posts by AllSmiles

Can an affordable dentist do anything about painful wisdom teeth?

Can an affordable dentist do anything about wisdom teeth? My wisdom teeth didn’t bother me when I was in my teens. Now I’m 33 years old and they are starting to hurt. I don’t do well at dentist’s office. I’m sure I have a phobia and I’ve been dentist hopping for the past 3 years. I’ve never let the same dentist clean my teeth for than twice. It seems like they usually find something wrong with my teeth, so I just move on to the next person so I won’t feel any pressure. My wisdom teeth are starting to concern me because the gums around both bottom teeth are started to swell and they do hurt. The top wisdom teeth don’t hurt every day, but I feel pain several times a week. Is this something an affordable dentist can? I have a new job and I have to wait 6 months for dental coverage. Also, how much pain should I expect? Jada

Jada – If you have swollen gums around your wisdom teeth and they hurt, you should see a dentist right away. It sounds as if your wisdom teeth are infected.

It’s not that the dentist will be able to extract the teeth, but he or she will examine your teeth, temporarily relieve the pain, and let you know your treatment options. If your wisdom teeth are impacted, or if a difficult removal is anticipated, you will be referred to an oral surgeon.

Ask about Options for Affordable Dental Care

When you call the office, you can ask about financial arrangements and how the dentist can make treatment affordable for you. Ask the same questions if you are referred to an oral surgeon.  Payment plans and financing are often available.

Reasons to Visit a Dentist for Painful Wisdom Teeth

It’s important to have your painful wisdom teeth examined by an emergency dentist right away. There are several reasons:

  • They can cause other teeth to shift.
  • As teeth shift, it can make it difficult to maintain good oral hygiene.
  • Additional infections can occur and lead to root canal treatment for those teeth

Oral surgeons are skilled at keeping pain and discomfort to a minimum with sedation dentistry. Most patients don’t feel any pain during the extraction process. Discomfort after oral surgery is managed with prescribed painkillers. Be certain to follow post-care instructions.

Before you visit an emergency dentist, take some time to check his or her credentials and experience.

This post is sponsored by affordable Plano TX dentist Dr. Miranda Lacy.

 

 

 

5 Things to Know about Teeth Whitening, Dating, and Your Smile

How important is teeth whitening for dating and your social life? A 2015 survey conducted in behalf of the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry concluded that our smile is one feature of our appearance that can defy age. It can be the secret to our attractiveness.

Before and after photos for information on free teeth whitening, from Plano TX dentist Miranday Lacy DDS.
White teeth can make a lasting first impression

The majority of survey participants said that an investment in their smile is more important than an investment in weight loss, hair enhancement, or enhancements to other facial features.

What does it all mean? That your smile is important to other people. If you are dating, or trying to find someone to date, don’t take your smile for granted. A clean, bright smile can go a long way in attracting a date—or even just friends. In addition to teeth whitening from your dentist, what else can you do to make a great first impression?

Enhance Your Smile with Teeth Whitening and More

  • Floss between your teeth daily – Flossing not only makes your teeth look better, it helps prevent gum disease, and can help freshen your breath.
  • Brush your teeth twice daily – This helps keep teeth clean and bright.
  • Whiten your teeth – Professional whitening from a dentist gives you the best results. If you can’t afford professional whitening, whitening toothpastes will help control surface stains. Over-the-counter whitening strips will help. Brushing your teeth with baking soda, or rubbing the inside of banana peel (which contains magnesium and potassium) can help reduce surface stains on our teeth.
  • Cosmetic dental treatment – Dental bonding is an affordable way to restore chipped teeth, or to reshape teeth. If you need to restore a broken down tooth, porcelain veneers or porcelain crowns can help. Orthodontic treatment can align your teeth, which is not only better for your smile, but also for your overall oral health.
  • Keep your breath fresh – Regular flossing, brushing, and mouthwash should keep your breath fresh. If you’ve tried them all, but are still struggling with bad breath, speak with your dentist about it. Gum disease, tooth decay, medication, or a medical condition may be causing the problem. Your dentist can help you identify the issue.

Your smile can make a first impression and leave a lasting impression. Don’t take it for granted.

 

This post is sponsored by Plano TX female dentist Dr. Miranda Lacy. She offers free teeth whitening to patients who keep their regularly schedule appointments for a dental cleaning and exam.

How can I get my wife to stop requesting sedation at the dentist?

I’m afraid that my wife may be using sedation dentistry as a crutch. I don’t really blame her for wanting to have the meds, but it throws us into a bit of chaos every time she needs to have dental work done. Without going too much into detail, her childhood dentist was pretty brutal. He left her with an intense fear of the dentist. Her teeth looked fine when I met her, but as the years went by, they deteriorated quite a bit and she refused to see a dentist. We found a sedation dentist to help her and I will say that she has been a godsend. We made it through the series of appointments necessary to get her smiling again and life is good.

However, every time something comes up now- even if it’s a tiny cavity being filled- she asks for oral conscious sedation (OCS). We’ve got a good relationship with this doctor and my wife seems to trust her, but it’s hard for me to take the day off work just because my wife needs a filling. Plus, our insurance doesn’t cover it, so you know who’s paying for it- me. I don’t mean to sound insensitive, but it seems like this has gone on long enough. At some point, she should be able to go without the meds, right? At what point can I safely interrupt this trend and tell her to be mature about this?

Thank you,

Raymond

 

Dear Raymond,

This is a particularly interesting question with no definitive answer. However, we can explain what might be happening.

Any Kind of Trauma Can Leave Lasting Emotional Scars

We don’t know what happened specifically with your wife, but trauma of any kind can have a lasting impact on a person. For example, a child who is ridiculed in school may begin to think that school is a bad place where he or she does not belong. The child will associate learning with ridicule and have trouble excelling. A child who is beaten by a parent learns to avoid their parent and often avoids relationships later in life as a result. Some children never learn how to form close bonds with others.

A person who witnesses a violent event, such as a shooting, may also develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). They can become hypervigilant and anxious and be unable to return to the place where the event happened. Or they might be constantly on alert waiting for it to happen again. These people can often muddle through life without treating the underlying problem, but their quality of life diminishes. For example, the bullied child may never finish school. The abused child may never have a healthy relationship. The crime witness may withdraw from the things he or she loves.

The Right Way to Address Trauma Varies

The field of mental healthcare is filled with many different methods to help people overcome trauma so they can live healthy and full lives. Arguably, the most well-known is talk therapy. There are also other avenues a licensed mental/ behavioral healthcare professional might try, such as Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), coaching, and teaching the person healthy coping mechanisms. We don’t know the level of distress you wife feels or how deep it goes, so it’s difficult to say what type of therapy she needs.

A Sedation Dentist Can Help Reduce Anxiety, Now and Forever

For some, dental anxiety doesn’t go away without some kind of care from a mental health specialist. Choosing OCS or a similar variant is a crutch in some cases, but if it empowers them to get the care they need, it’s worthwhile. For others, the extra care afforded by a sedation dentist lets them build positive memories with their dental care team. In time, with lots of positive experiences, your wife’s prior experiences may diminish so much that she sees the treatment as a positive and enjoyable thing. However, all this is probably happening in her subconscious. Even if she trusts her doctor and knows the office is safe, she’s already been conditioned to be fearful. There is no timeline or formula that flips a switch and allows her to not have anxiety.

In short, there is no right time to take control and insist your wife has dental appointments without sedation. She’s not doing anything wrong and if she’s anxious, she’s likely unable to control it. While there is no harm in having an open discussion with her about how she feels about treatment without the medication, it’s best not to insist on it. If anxiety seeps into other areas of her life, it may be worthwhile for her to talk to a mental health professional and start dealing with some of the underlying causes. If it’s purely dental anxiety, please respect it. Your support will make a world of difference in her confidence and willingness to continue with getting treatment.

 

This blog is sponsored by Plano sedation dentist Dr. Miranda Lacy.

I need an affordable dentist for implant dentures

Last year I received dentures from an affordable dentist. I am worried now because they won’t stay in even though I use adhesive. I think my bone is shrinking in addition to the fact that the dentures are low quality. I am certain that soon I won’t be able to wear dentures. This has already created some very embarrassing moment for me that I have tried to laugh off or joke about when I really wanted to cry. What can I do?  I’m afraid that I won’t be able to afford dental implants, which is a huge problem if the dentures won’t stay in. Is there another way? Thanks. Connie

Diagram of a lower snap-on denture for information on Plano TX affordable dentistry from Dr. Miranda Lacy.
An affordable dentist can provide snap-on dentures

Connie – We sympathize with you. When all of your teeth are missing, eventually the jawbone shrinks, because the body senses that the jawbone is no longer needed to support your teeth. The minerals from the jawbone are resorbed and used elsewhere in your body. You are experiencing jawbone shrinkage and facial collapse. At some point, as you have already discerned, you will no longer be able to wear dentures. But you have some options.

Affordable Dentist Options

You can find an affordable dentist who offers implant dentures at a competitive price. Most dentists offer payment plans and financing.

  • The first step is bone grafting to rebuild the missing jawbone. After you receive bone grafting and your jawbone heals, dental implants can be placed.
  • The more implants you have, the more stable the dentures will be, and they will function better. Dental implants help prevent jawbone shrinkage and facial collapse.
  • You can also receive complete removable dentures again. But be aware that in another twenty years or so, you will experience the same problem with facial collapse.
  • Find a cosmetic dentist to provide you with natural-looking dentures.

You can schedule consultations with at least two dentists who are experienced with dentures and dental implants. You want quality implant fixtures and quality placement of the implants to prevent complications that will cost even more money to correct. Ask each dentist how dental implants and dentures can be made affordable for you.

This blog post is sponsored by Plano female cosmetic dentist Dr. Miranda Lacy.

Will my free teeth whitening match the fillings on my front teeth?

I got free teeth whitening, but now I’m getting concerned about the fillings in my front teeth. The fillings are 4 years old and although they still look white with my current tooth color, what will happen after I use the gel. Is it okay to use the gel even though I have the white fillings? Thanks. Raven

Before and after photos for information on free teeth whitening, from Plano TX dentist Miranday Lacy DDS.
Ensure your teeth are healthy before using free teeth whitening

Raven – There are a few things to keep in mind when using bleaching gel on teeth that have fillings.

  • White fillings won’t prevent you from being a candidate for teeth whitening. Of course, the bleaching gel will whiten your teeth, but not your fillings.
  • After your whitening treatment is complete and your teeth are as white as you want them, if the fillings are noticeable, they can be replaced. If the fillings are too dark, a cosmetic dentist can use dental composite to replace them. Composite will be mixed to match the shade of your bright smile.
  • It’s best to wait a few weeks until the color of your teeth has stabilized to ensure the dentist makes a good match.

If you anticipate needing cosmetic dentistry (e.g, porcelain crowns, dental bonding), it should be completed after your teeth are whitened. The restorations can be made to match the color of your teeth. Otherwise, the restorations will be darker than your bleached teeth.

Caution before Using Free Teeth Whitening

Before whitening of any kind is used, it’s best to consider the following factors:

  • Ensure you’ve had a recent dental cleaning and exam.
  • Your teeth and gums should be healthy and free of decay.
  • Bleaching gel can irritate unhealthy teeth or gums and cause inflammation.
  • Depending on the cause of stains in your teeth, bleaching gel can make them more noticeable.
  • Follow the instructions to avoid overbleaching your teeth. Too many whitening sessions, or sessions that are too long, can make your teeth brittle and discolored.

This post is sponsored by Plano, TX dentist Dr. Miranda Lacy.

Will sedation dentistry legislation require insurance companies to provide more benefits?

My sister lives in California and has been raving because she says there’s a law there requiring insurance companies to cover sedation dentistry. She and I both had terrible experiences as children and don’t do well for any kind of dental procedure unless we have some kind of medication to get us through. This is big news because we’ve always had to pay out-of-pocket for it, and we don’t have the best teeth. I’ve looked and looked, but I don’t see anything that discusses this law- either as something in place or upcoming. Any news?

Thanks, Emilia

 

Dear Emilia,

Head and shoulders photo of a man and woman lying in a field of flowers, for information on sedation dentistry from Plano TX dentist Dr. Miranda Lacy.California has some incredibly progressive laws in many respects. Many regulations originate in California before they are adopted in other states. California Assembly Bill 2643 amends Section 1367.1 of the Health and Safety Code and Section 10119.9. SB 2643. It outlines a number of regulations that have to do with “the use of general anesthesia, conscious sedation, and oral conscious sedation (OCS) for pediatric and adult patients.”

  • The current language of the laws stipulates that dental anesthesia only has mandatory coverage in a hospital setting. As you probably know, there are many people who genuinely require anesthesia, but don’t need to go to a hospital for treatment.
  • The proposed legislation would force new insurance plans to cover it effective January 2019.
  • The proposed law is being sponsored by the California Dental Association and California Society of Pediatric Dentistry. It is not yet approved. If passed, it could make a major difference for people like your sister who lives in California.

Sedation Dentistry and Insurance

Throughout the rest of the country, coverage for any form of anesthesia or OCS varies based on the insurance policy. While most insurance companies recognize that OCS makes it possible for many people to receive treatment,  manage their oral health better, and possibly reduce expenses for insurance companies overall,  most insurance companies are reluctant to add sedation dentistry as a necessary and valuable benefit.

It sounds as if you’ve personally made your oral health a priority and have found a way to budget for it, which is commendable. Patients who are still trying to find a way to manage dental anxiety and get necessary treatment may be able to find a plan that specifically covers OCS. It is worth noting that very few offer coverage and when they do, it can be costly.

As an alternative, it’s helpful to speak with your dentist about what your anxiety and finding affordable dental treatment. Most dentists will work with you to overcome the issues, perhaps by doing as much work as possible in a single appointment or doing the work in phases. Your dentist may have additional solutions.

This blog is sponsored by Plano sedation dentist, Dr. Miranda Lacy.

Pain and sensitivity after sedation dentist filled 2 teeth

Last week I saw a sedation dentist and got 2 teeth filled. It was so hard for me to keep a dental appointment because of my anxiety. After learning about sedation dentistry, it gave me the courage to do something about my teeth. My understanding from the Internet is that sedation helps you relax and it makes the pain less intense. I received the fillings because I thought they would fix the pain and sensitivity in my teeth, not cause more of it. The pain and sensitivity haven’t gone away and this is a huge disappointment. What’s going on? Am I going to need to have the fillings redone? Bahja

Bahja – Sedation dentistry does relax you and decrease the pain during a dental procedure. Sensitivity and pain after a tooth filling are normal. For the first 24 hours after having cavities filled, you should avoid hard or sticky foods that can irritate your teeth or cause the filling to dislodge.

Sedation dentistry can make getting cavities filled easier

As the nerves in your teeth calm down, sensitivity should gradually diminish. You will find that foods or drinks that are hot or cold will increase sensitivity in your teeth. If you had deep tooth decay that might have been close to a nerve, it is not unusual to feel pain and increased sensitivity, and it can take up to four weeks for the sensitivity to go away.

If you notice that you have pain only while you are chewing, it is possible that the fillings in your teeth are too high. Another indication that a filling is too high is that it will prevent the biting surfaces of your teeth from closing together. If you are experiencing either of these issues contact your sedation dentist’s office.

This post is sponsored by Plano female dentist Dr. Miranda Lacy.

I need an affordable dentist for porcelain veneers

My question is about being able to get an affordable dentist for porcelain veneers at my age. My parents are not together, but I am on my dad’s dental plan and he has really good insurance. He says I can get veneers and since I have a job, I can pay for what insurance doesn’t cover. I live with my mom and she says I am too young for them and I need to wait a few years. I asked her if she meant that a dentist won’t do them at my age or if she just thinks I am too young for them. I am 17 yrs old. She keeps saying I am just too young. Will a dentist do veneers for a teenager? Thanks. Kyla

Kyla – A conscientious affordable dentist  who is also a cosmetic

Photo of a single porcelain veneers, from affordable Plano TX dentist Dr. Miranda Lacy.
Porcelain veneers

dentist will let you know that the best time to receive porcelain veneers is when your jawbone growth is complete, which can be around age 17 or 18. Here’s why:

  • If your veneers are placed while you are still growing, the movement of your teeth and jawbone may create space between your gumline and your veneers.
  • Your veneers will no longer look natural.
  • Either you will have to replace the veneers as jaw and teeth develop, or you will have to wait until you are able to receive new veneers.

A review of your family history, an examination, and x-rays from a cosmetic dentist can help determine if your jawbone growth is complete or not. Your parents—particularly your father—will want to consider if he wants to make the investment of porcelain veneers before your jawbone growth is complete.

An Exam and Consultation Are Needed

If you have permission from your parents to proceed with an examination, it will give you more information on the best time to receive porcelain veneers. If your parents approve of your getting veneers, ask for their help in finding a few skilled cosmetic dentists. Here’s why: It will be easy to find an affordable dentist to provide you with porcelain veneers, but only a skilled cosmetic dentist can provide you with veneers that look natural and will last.

Compared to other forms of cosmetic dentistry, veneers are relatively expensive. If you receive them, you want to ensure they are quality veneers and look like your natural teeth. Also, porcelain veneers often require the preparation of your natural teeth. This involves shaving a microscopic amount of tooth enamel from the front of your teeth so the veneers won’t look bulky. We just want to ensure you understand what is involved in receiving veneers, and why it’s so important to find a highly qualified cosmetic dentist to do the work.

Schedule consultations with two or three cosmetic dentists and each dentist what can be done to make veneers affordable for you. Don’t expect a discount, but payment plans and financing can help you meet your budget.

 

This post is sponsored by affordable Plano dentist Dr. Miranda Lacy.

Free teeth whitening didn’t help spots on my teeth

I have been trying some cheap and free teeth whitening techniques  to try to even out my smile some. For the past six months or so, I’ve noticed my teeth have developed some white spots on them. I wanted to get rid of the spots or make them blend in more. I tried special toothpastes and strips, but none of those were working, so I finally went and saw a dentist who was offering free teeth whitening treatments to all new patients. We went through the whole thing and I followed their instructions exactly. Well, my teeth seem a little brighter, but the spots look brighter too. I called the office and the woman told me that spots like I have won’t respond to bleaching and that I should have known that before I started. How could I have possibly known if they didn’t tell me? I have to wonder if it’s possible that they were just using a fake gimmick to get people in the dental office. If, however, they are being truthful and the spots can’t be fixed this way, where exactly does that leave me in terms of fixing the problem? Thanks. Kris

Kris,

Before and after photos for information on free teeth whitening, from Plano TX dentist Miranday Lacy DDS.
Free teeth whitening should be dentist supervised

Sorry to hear you’re having so much trouble with spots on your teeth. It sounds like decalcification might be the problem. The dental office should have let you know the results you could expect before your free teeth whitening treatment started, but all is not lost. Let’s discuss what’s happening.

A Balanced Mouth Is a Healthy Mouth

Ideally, natural teeth are in a pH-balanced environment, bathing in mineral-laden saliva. In everyday life, intake acid food and drink that disturb the pH balance. Health conditions like acid reflux or bulimia introduce even more acid, and certain medications reduce the amount of saliva in our mouths. We get plaque buildup and feed bacteria in our mouths with sugary foods, which also upsets the pH balance.

Decalcification Occurs When Minerals Leave Your Teeth

The enamel on your teeth is incredibly tough when it’s healthy, but when your mouth isn’t balanced, the minerals start to leak. They’re in a constant state of flux; losing minerals and then gaining minerals from your saliva and diet. If you’re really good about brushing and flossing and don’t have health concerns, yet eat a lot of sugar or consume a lot of acidic things, your teeth will naturally remineralize on their own. But when your teeth have significant mineral loss, white spots, also known as decalcification, will develop.

Decalcification Is Often Called Pre-Cavity

The white spots on a tooth are not as strong as the rest of the tooth structure. Many dentists refer to them as pre-cavities, though precarious lesion is the more clinical term for it. Some people do believe you can heal those spots by correcting the imbalance and making sure you’re getting the minerals you need. There are specialty products on the market that claim to remineralize teeth. Unfortunately, there’s little evidence to support this. Those spots typically become cavities. If you’re really diligent and follow a good care regimen (your dentist may have specific suggestions to help you), then you may be able to delay decay for an extended period of time- perhaps even years.

Your Dentist Will Need to Repair the Spots

Often, dentists will want to repair the spots before they become cavities.

  • Depending on the severity of yours, there may be minimally-invasive options, such as abrasion. Teeth are usually repaired just like cavities.
  • Sometimes, people receive dental veneers to cover up white spots and protect the teeth.

You’ll need an evaluation from your dentist to find out which options are best. As for the free teeth whitening you received, it was probably legit, but it won’t get rid of the white spots or even tooth color. However, dentists usually recommend that you have whitening done before any restorative work, because bleaching gel won’t brighten filling materials or veneers. If you did want a brighter smile overall, the whitening helped, but you need alternate treatment to correct the white spots.

 

This blog is sponsored by Dr. Miranda Lacy. Dr. Lacy’s Plano free teeth whitening for life program includes free whitening gel for patients of the practice who keep their regular cleaning and exam appointments.

Porcelain veneers from affordable dentist are affecting my speech!

Porcelain veneers shouldn’t look or feel bulky

After spending 2 weeks looking for an affordable dentist for porcelain veneers, I am so disappointed. I am not sure why my speech is affected by the veneers. My dentist allowed me to wear the temporary veneers for over a week. They didn’t give me any problems at all. Now that I have my permanent veneers, my speech is slurred. It’s not every word. Any word that begins with ‘tr’ is a problem. Probably more accurate that slurred is this weird whistling sound and I feel like the veneers hit my upper lip. My confidence in this dentist has gone way down. Am I going to need new veneers? Zayana

Zayana,

We’re sorry to hear about your unfortunate experience with porcelain veneers.

Caution When Seeking an Affordable Dentist

When we hear from patients about their bad experiences with an affordable dentist, we often learn that “affordable” for them often meant the cheapest option. While you want dental care that fits your budget, avoid looking for the cheapest cost of any dental treatment. Cheap dental work usually doesn’t last.

When Porcelain Veneers Affect Your Speech

  • Although you lack confidence in your current dentist, you can speak with him or her about the problem you are having with the veneers. Your dentist may immediately know what is causing the problem and offer to have your veneers remade.
  • Not every dentist has the extensive training required to provide porcelain veneers that fit look natural and fit well.
  • Another option is to find an experienced cosmetic dentist to examine your veneers and try to identify the source of the problem. If you decide to switch dentists, your current dentist may be willing to assist with the cost of receiving veneers from a new dentist. Your dental records will be transferred accordingly.

A true cosmetic dentist will make dental treatment affordable by working with your budget, completing the work in phases, or offering payment plans or financing. Quality will not be sacrificed.

Getting a second opinion may help you make a final decision on which dentist you want to provide you with veneers that fit correctly.

This post is sponsored by affordable Plano, TX dentist Dr. Miranda Lacy.