Tag Archives: Dental Crown

Pimple turning tooth gray

I think I need help fast, but I don’t have a dentist. I have a pimple on my gums which is causing serious pain. I think it’s poisoning a tooth tooth because one of my teeth has turned gray. What do I do if I don’t have a dentist?

Brooke

Dear Brooke,

Woman grabbing her jaw in pain needing an emergency dentist
Tooth pain is a dental emergency

I’m very sorry you are in so much pain. You’ve got two things going on here. One of which is considered a dental emergency.

Pimple on the Gums

Let’s start with the pimple on your gums. This is a sign you have an infected tooth. The pimple is known as an abscess. This happens because the infection is severe. Infected teeth are considered dental emergencies.

These infections will continue to spread. In some cases, they become life threatening quickly. This is a result of where they spread and how long they’re left untreated. Your jaw is very close to your brain and heart. If the infection reaches there, sometimes it is too late to do anything. There were too many people who died from tooth infections last year, given how preventable it is.

I do realize you don’t have a dentist. Because this needs to be seen to right away, I’m going to suggest you do an internet search for an emergency dentist. These are general dentists who are willing to see non-established patients quickly in cases of emergencies such as yours.

Often, they’ll do what they can to get you out of pain, prescribe an antibiotic for hold off the infection and schedule a follow-up appointment to give the tooth the entire treatment it needs.

A Gray Tooth

When a tooth has turned gray, that is a sign it is either dead of dying. This tooth was also infected, which is a definite indicator the infection is spreading.

The dead tooth won’t have any pain, but the infection is still there and will need to be removed by the dentist. Unlike medical infections, you can’t just take an antibiotic and be done. Antibiotics will only keep a dental infection at bay, it won’t rid your body of it.

With dental infections, the dentist has to get in there and physically remove the infection with a procedure called a root canal treatment. This often requires the tooth to be crowned as well.

Don’t put off getting this seen.

This blog is brought to you by Lafayette, LA Dentist Dr. Mike Malone.

Cosmetic Dentistry Tourism Disaster

I had porcelain veneers placed on my top teeth and a dental implant and crown on my bottom arch. In the U.S. it would have cost me over $60,0000 but I was able to get it done overseas for around $11,000. At first, I was pleased as punch, but now I’m four months out and the veneers are falling off. I’ve been cutting up the food the way he showed me and not eating with my front teeth at all. In fact, the last one fell off while eating spaghetti. That’s hardly anything to stress about. Three of the veneers have fallen off. They’re all intact. Do I need to have these re-done or can another dentist put them back on?

Catrina

A single porcelain veneer being held up by a dental tool

So, here’s the thing. Those instructions your dentist gave you about eating are a huge red flag to me. There is absolutely no reason why you should have any restrictions at all on what or how you eat. When properly bonded on, porcelain veneers will allow you to eat anything.

This dentist doesn’t know proper bonding technique. That alone, makes me question the skill of the rest of his work. For health and safety reasons, I’d like you to get a second opinion on the dental implant and crown you had done. This is especially important about the implant. If an infection develops it can lead to serious consequences.

Regarding your fallen porcelain veneers. You mentioned they’re still intact. In that case, it is possible an expert cosmetic dentist could clean them up and get them bonded back on properly. However, this is beyond the skill of almost all cosmetic dentists. You will need someone in the top 2%.

Finding an Expert Cosmetic Dentist

Cosmetic dentistry isn’t really taught in dental school so you’ll need to look for someone who invested the time and training into doing it well. In your place, I’d look for a dentist who has reached accreditation with the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry. AACD accredited dentists are in the top 1% of dentists. You can find them listed on aacd.com. Just make sure they’re accredited. They will know the right procedure to help you with your porcelain veneers.

The cost to get them bonded back on properly shouldn’t be too bad, if they can be saved. If they can’t be, these dentists will give you a list of options and let you determine which way you want to go.

This blog is brought to you by Louisiana Cosmetic Dentist Dr. Mike Malone.

Should I Call an Emergency Dentist for a Lost Filling?

Is it a dental emergency if I lost a filling? It’s the New Years Weekend and I don’t really fancy spending it in the dentist’s office.

Mark C.

Dear Mark,

A man holding his jaw in pain in need of a dentist

What??? You don’t want to ring in 2018 from a dental chair? I can’t imagine why not. What could be more invigorating?

In the case of a lost dental filling, you have a couple of good options. Before I give you those, let me tell you what not to do…ignore it. If you don’t do anything bacteria will get into the newly created space and blow up into a tooth infection. Depending on how fast-moving everything is, you could spend the beginning of the New Year in the hospital.

Besides, having a hole in your tooth will not allow you to enjoy all the New Year’s Eve goodies the way you could if it were filled.

You do have a couple of good options:

Ask Your Dentist for an Emergency Visit

I know. I know. You said you didn’t want to go in. But, seriously, a filling takes hardly any time and you’d be back to normal without this weight on your back of having to go to the dentist’s office at some very near date. Who wants to spend New Years dreading the New Year?

Replacing a filling is normally quick and painless. However, the dentist will want to investigate to find out why the filling came out in the first place. You’ll especially want to make sure there’s no new decay developing which could sabotage your weekend plans.

Get Temporary Filling Material

Some pharmacies stock a temporary dental filling material. This will NOT actually replace your filling and is designed to be temporary— a few days at most. But, it could hold you over through your parties, etc. Then, first thing January 2nd, you’ll really need to get in to see your dentist. No excuses.

If you put it off, you won’t be looking at a filling, but rather a dental crown or tooth extraction. That is definitely not how you want to start the year.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. Mike Malone.

Is It Normal to Get a Pimple on Your Gums?

I’ve got a pimple on my gums. I’m worried about it. My husband says I’m overreacting, that it’s just a pimple. But, I’ve never heard of a pimple on gums and it hurts. Is this normal?

Danya L.

Dear Danya,

Emergency Dental Care

You’re right to be concerned. This is more serious than a simple pimple. It’s likely one of two things. First, it could be the beginnings of a canker sore and just resembles a pimple. This won’t be very large, but it will “open up” and start to resemble a canker sore rather soon.

This is not an emergency, but you will want to attend to it. Salt water rinses will help, along with over the counter pain relievers. It should clear up within two weeks. If it doesn’t, see your dentist for an oral tissue exam. Sometimes oral cancer resembles a canker sore. Your dentist examines you for this at every check-up. If you’re diligent with your check ups, the canker sore is the more likely scenario.

If it truly resembles a full-sized pimple, then it is most likely a fistula. This is filled with puss, so don’t pop it. You won’t like the taste. A fistula means you have an active tooth infection. This needs to be seen right away. In fact, if you don’t have a regular dentist, you need to see an emergency dentist. They’ll work you in sooner than most dentists even if you’re not an established patient.

There are a number of possible treatment options here depending on why the bacteria is pooling. If the tooth is cracked and leaking bacteria into the gums, then you’ll need a dental crown. If it’s in a visible place then you’ll want to be sure to get an all-porcelain crown. They look completely natural. If there’s an infection, it’s possible to need a root canal treatment.

Either way, you don’t want to put off treatment. The infection will spread. The quicker it’s treated, the less invasive the procedure will need to be.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. Mike Malone.

Months of sensitivity in tooth after white filling

More than six months ago I had a large cavity filled with a white filling. Almost immediately following, that tooth became really sensitive to cold temperatures. Heat is OK, but cold just sends me through the roof. I went back to see my dentist because of this, and she said that the cavity was very large and deep, and might be simply irritated. She wanted to wait it out, but I insisted she do something to further protect the tooth. She agreed (reluctantly) to cover the tooth with a temporary dental crown.

Now all these months later the tooth is still bugging me. The dentist says that we further irritated the tooth by placing the crown, and now I may need to have a root canal treatment. Does this sound right to you? She is pretty young, and I am not sure I really trust her judgment.

Mary in Lowell, MI

Dear Mary,

You probably should have listened to your dentist and waited out the initial sensitivity. She is likely right, also, that placing the crown did not help the situation.

One of the most important rules of thumb in dental care is to never, ever push a dentist into doing something they are not comfortable in doing. You state that your dentist is young, so she may not yet have developed a good skill set for firmly and respectfully refusing to do treatments that are against her better judgment but that the patient is insisting on.

A real concern here is your lack of confidence in your dentist. If you cannot trust her, you should seek the services of a different dentist. It sounds as if she knows what she is doing, but everything hinges on your comfort level with her and her care.

Posted as a courtesy for Lafayette Louisiana cosmetic dentist Dr. Mike Malone.