I wouldn’t trust this dentist.

I went in for a dental appointment because I had a toothache. I’ve never had a toothache before. When I went to the dentist he said the tooth can’t be saved. He wants to extract it, do bone grafting, and give me a dental implant. To be honest, I’m terrified of the dentist anyway and don’t want to do all this work. Plus, I’ve never lost a tooth. Is there any other option? Is it OK to get a second opinion?

Ginny W. – Connecticut

Ginny,

Well, if you have a toothache, it definitely needs to be dealt with, but I have some serious doubts about this dentist.

If this is the first time you’ve had a toothache, I find it hard to believe this tooth is too far gone to save. Did he do an x-ray? If so, there would have been a gaping hole if the tooth couldn’t be saved.

Secondly, while a dental implant is a good choice for a missing tooth, you’ve never lost a tooth. I sincerely doubt you have even a remote need for bone grafting.

Yes. Get a second opinion. Definitely.

I’d like to address your dental anxiety that was mentioned. Are you aware that dentists can do oral conscious sedation. You can be completely conscious (if you want) and feel absolutely no pain in your dental appointment.

Whenever you settle on a dentist to care for this tooth, ask him what kind of sedation he uses.

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Why would a dentist refer me to a neurologist?

I went to an emergency dentist for pain. He said there was nothing wrong with me and referred me to a neurologist. Does he think there’s something wrong with my mind?

Amanda L – Michigan

Amanda,

I don’t think he’s trying to tell you the pain is all in your head if that’s what you’re worried about. There are legitimate medical reasons for checking with a neurologist. The reason that stand out to me most is to have the neurologist check to see if it’s a nerve issue. Sometimes we can have referred pain from another area.

If you went to an emergency dentist because it was after hours and your dentist doesn’t do after hour visits, then I might see your regular dentist before going to a neuro appointment.

He can do some x-rays and give a second opinion. It could be the emergency dentist missed something.

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Is CEREC causing me pain?

I have pain when I chew. This didn’t happen until I got a CEREC crown. Could that be the problem?

Elizabeth D. –  Texas

Elizabeth,

It’s like not the fact that it is a CEREC crown. These usually have a better shot of fitting properly because they’re milled by computer.

There are two possible issues I can think of that could be the cause of your problem.

  1.  The crown could be placed to high. If that’s the case, your dentist can simply adjust it and you won’t feel any more pain when you bite. The reason this causes pain is the crown is above the other teeth, so when you bite down you hit this first and harder. It will give you quite a jolt.
  2. The second thing that could be the problem, is if there is still some infection there.  It’s easy for there to be a canal left, even if the dentist did everything right. These can get tricky.  You can go to a root canal specialist to do an x-ray.  They usually have good diagnostic skills in these case.

I hoep this helps you.  This blog is brought to you by Dr. John Theriot.