Patient Questions

Jay Sher is an Expert Contributor on FindaTopDoc. Here are some of their recent answers to patient questions.

Dentist
Jay Sher, DDS, FAGD, FACD

Absolutely YES. Most of the time they are inserted with local anesthesia. You may request IV sedation if you prefer but most are done with just local anesthesia.

The simple answer is after osteointegration has occurred. That means as soon as the bone around the new implant has matured adequately that the implant fixture is totally secure. Depending on the implant and the location in your mouth, that usually occurs between 2 -4 months. The dentist who placed the implant should have you return to determine when you are ready for the abutment.

This question has a very easy answer. There are people who have dedicated their entire professional career to helping individuals like you get rid of a toothache in a snap. You probably understand that it is extremely rewarding to help someone in dire need! These individuals are call "dentists" and I would recommend that you call one right away. You will feel better immediately and so will your dentist who got you out of pain. Please call now!

You must understand that pain is your body giving you important information that something is wrong. It will go away quickly once you seek dental treatment after the correct diagnosis is made. Make an appointment with your dentist immediately!

This is a question that I hear many times regarding a crown, bridge, or whatever treatment is planned. I will often quote a dentist who edits a monthly newsletter similar to Consumer Reports. He states that a crown or bridge should last 12 years, give or take 10 years Get it? There are so many variables to consider that no one can give you an exact answer. The materials are good enough today that the bridge should last you for many, many years. Another view. .... You just bought a car. How long with that car last? I just saw a GTO from 1968 that looked perfect!

There is no mystery. If your dentist has clear access to the decay, it can be cleaned out with the filling placed into your tooth. If your braces are in the way for a needed filling, your orthodontist can remove that section of wire or brackets before the filling is done. Afterwards, the hardware goes back on. Simple!

If your tooth still hurts a day or two after a filling, call your dentist and have them check it out. There may be a problem like the bite being off that needs to be corrected.

No! Go back to your dentist and have them check the fit and make sure the bite is correct. There are some other issues that may be the cause but it needs to be corrected immediately.

If you were diagnosed with a dry socket, why didn't they follow up with the appropriate treatment? A dry socket is not an infection but rather the painful outcome when the blot clot washes out of the socket prematurely following an extraction. The pain can be relieved almost immediately with a dry socket dressing which is placed into the extraction site. Get that accomplished by whoever did the extraction immediately and do not try to treat it yourself!

No. Throbbing pain is not normal. Whenever a new appliance is inserted in a patient's mouth, it will settle or change position slightly. It is not unusual for a denture to need 1-3 adjustments to alleviate any sore areas that develop. My suggestion is to call your dentist and let them adjust your denture so that you can wear it comfortably. That would be a perfectly normal follow up! Good luck.

You do not need general anesthesia for a dental implant. It is usually accomplished successfully with local anesthesia and with a skilled practitioner, the surgery can done with no pain.

Healing takes time. Relax, eat healthy, drink plenty of fluids and let your body do all the work in due time.

Congratulations on stopping your smoking habit and good luck with no coffee. It is perfectly safe to whiten your teeth and there are a multitude of ways to accomplish that. Educate yourself on the various methods and even discuss options with your dentist.

If you mean "to settle" that the bridge will fill more comfortable, then you need to see your dentist and have them adjust the bridge as soon as possible. Once a bridge or crown is inserted, it should feel comfortable almost immediately.

That question cannot be answered without a clinical examination. If the area of decay is relatively small and the opposing wisdom tooth is in good shape, it may be wise to just have the filling done. But if the decay is significant requiring root canal therapy with a crown or if there is no opposing wisdom tooth, it may be better to extract it. Get a professional opinion from your dentist and let them discuss all the options with you. Good luck

It is not bad but it is very difficult without the proper instruments to do the job. We use scalers and curettes that come in different sizes and shapes in order to thoroughly perform a cleaning. Often the tartar is below the gum tissue and you would be hard pressed to clean that completely. It would be a better idea to see your dentist and have the hygienist do her thing!

No! That would absolutely be the wrong approach. You need to see the dentist that performed the extraction and let them place the special medication into the socket so it will heal properly. A dry socket occurs when the blood clot that initiates the healing process comes out and rinsing with warm salt water could worsen the situation. Call your dentist NOW!

The best mouthwash for cavities is called "your toothbrush and floss." You can hose down your car every day with water, but is it really as clean as when you use soap and a sponge? Get it?

This question is easy to answer: Contact your dentist to confirm that you have decay and they will discuss your options on how to restore your tooth or teeth after the decay is removed. It would be wise to also discuss ways to prevent future decay with this professional. Good luck!