My dentist recommended I get a lot of dental work – both cosmetic and general work. I need some cavities filled, one tooth filed down, and several root canals done. I’d also like to get my teeth whitened at this time. Can I get all of this done at once? Or will it take multiple visits?
Tammy, from Mesa, Arizona.
To get the most work done at once, you’ll need a sedation dentist. The dentist will put you under oral conscious sedation. Without the sedation, it varies from dentist to dentist how much they will do at one time.
The procedures you need done are not complicated. However, it depends on where in your mouth you need the root canals done. It will take double the time if the root canals are needed in the back of your mouth, versus the front. Your best bet may be to see an endodontist for the root canals, as they are the most experienced and can work fastest.
If you have an experienced root canal dentist or endodontist that can work quickly, your appointment can be completed in about four hours. However, this also depends on your endurance. Without sedation, it may be best to break up the appointments.
This blog post is brought to you by Gilbert dentist, Dr. Roper, of Vista Dorada Dental.
My daughter is missing one of her upper teeth. The orthodontist left a space for an implant when she’s older. In the meantime, our options were a retainer made by the orthodontist or a Maryland Bridge made by our general dentist. However, the Maryland Bridge keeps falling out. He offered to remake it with metal clasps instead of cement, but I’m worried it’ll fall out again. The orthodontist suggested a flipper, and isn’t sure why the family dentist made the Maryland Bridge in the first place. Should we get the flipper from the orthodontist, or try the bridge again? Did our dentist make a mistake? Should we switch dentists entirely?
Yuko from Pennsylvania
Maryland Bridges have a false tooth attached metal wings that attach to the backs of the teeth surrounding the empty space. To stay properly, the back of the teeth and metal both need to be etched to bond securely. The etches may not have been made deep enough, which is why the bridge keeps falling out. However, if the surrounding teeth are healthy, roughening them may not be the best option. This process permanently alters the tooth’s structure.
Your dentist didn’t make a mistake, just chose a less obvious solution to the problem of a missing tooth. A flipper would be a better choice going forward, so opt for one from your orthodontist. If you no longer trust your general dentist, you can ask your orthodontist who they would recommend.
This blog is brought to you by the office of Gilbert dentist, Dr. Matthew Roper, of Vista Dorada Dental.
I want to get my teeth straightened with Invisalign. Do I go to a special dentist like an orthodontist or cosmetic dentist or will my regular dentist do?
There are certain things which require a specialist, but Invisalign isn’t one of them. In fact, not even cosmetic dentistry is a recognized specialty. Any general dentist is technically allowed to call themselves a cosmetic dentist. Obviously, a patient needs to be cautious about getting an advanced smile makeover done by just any dentist because skills vary from dentist to dentist, so you’ll want to check out why type of results they get before committing.
Even though orthodontist is a recognized specialty, a general dentist can do braces and other orthodontics if they’ve invested the time in training. Many have, and many patients find they save money by going to their family dentist for their braces.
Invisalign is different from all of those procedures. The treatment plan and design of aligners is done by computer with a special software program designed to make your treatment plan as efficient as possible. Results are likely to be the same across the board no matter which dentist you go to for treatment. If your dentist offers Invisalign, you’ll be safe to get it done from him (or her).
Bear in mind, not everyone is a candidate for every procedure. If you’re not, you have options.
Options to Invisalign
- Traditional Braces: Most people are a candidate for Invisalign. Every so often, though, we run up against a case that has much more severe issues than normal with their bite. In that case, traditional braces may be the better route for you.
- Porcelain Veneers: If there are more things you’re interested in changing about your smile than just some orthodontics, a smile makeover may be just the thing. While these won’t actually straighten your teeth, they can be designed to make your smile look straight. Additionally, they can change the shape, size, and color of your teeth at the same time.
I hope this helps. Talk to your dentist about your goals. Together you can come up with all your best options.
This blog is brought to you by Dr. Matt Roper.