Tag Archives: Dental Implant

Gross Negligence Caused Serious Problems

I had pain and sensitivity to my back left 1st molar. I don’t have a regular dentist so I went to see a dentist who recently sent out advertisements. I told him about the sensitivity to cold and that the tooth was also painful to touch. He did an exam and x-ray and said the problem was with my wisdom teeth. He felt one was impacted and pressing a nerve. He thought some fillings would help. I agreed to the fillings and we did them right then, which I was grateful for at the time. However, two days later I ended up in massive pain. He adjusted the fillings. That didn’t help, so I called back and he prescribed me antibiotics and pain killers.

When those ran out, the pain flared back up in a serious way. His suggestion was I extract that wisdom tooth. I mentioned the pain felt in a different place, but he said it was probably referred pain. I went ahead and had the teeth extracted and started another course of antibiotics. Everything felt fine until the antibiotics ran out. He prescribed me another one, but by morning I was so miserable that I went to the emergency room.

They said I had an abscessed tooth at the left first molar I originally went to the dentist for. I called the dentist again and he referred me to an endodontist. The endodontist couldn’t see me for several weeks. I was in too much pain to wait so I went back to the oral surgeon who took out the wisdom tooth. He thought the molar needed to be removed as well, so I went ahead and had that taken out. I’m quite frustrated because I felt like I went through quite a few unnecessary appointments and procedures that were very expensive. Do I have any recourse for this?


Dear Benjamin,

Man holding his jaw in pain

This is gross negligence on the part of your dentist. There are so many things he did wrong here it is hard to know where to start. My suggestion is you tell him you would like him to cover the cost of the additional appointments and procedures you needed, in addition to a dental implant and crown which will be necessary to replace the first molar.

There is a good possibility this tooth could have been saved if he’d done his job properly to begin with. Plus, when he finally was told you had a dental emergency, he referred you to an endodontist that couldn’t see you for weeks, which put you at greater risk. Now that you’ve lost that tooth, if you don’t replace the tooth, the other teeth will begin to shift and tip into that space. That will throw off your bite and lead to expensive and painful TMJ disorder. You could go straight to a lawyer and I think you’d get everything you ask for, but I believe in giving a dentist a chance to make things right.

The things he did wrong are so basic, that I almost find it hard to believe that he actually graduated from dental school. That might be worth looking into. When you talk to them about the costs, ask one of the staff where he graduated from. I’d check to see if that is true.

This blog is brought to you by Lafayette, LA Dentists Drs. Foreman and Thimmesch.

Twelve Shots to Get Numb?

I recently had a lower second molar extracted. The appointment was a nightmare. First, it took twelve shots for him to get me numb. How he could miss the area that many times is beyond me. Then, I had a bone spur in the area that took the dentist over thirty minutes to get. Now, I seem to have a sharp edge on the extraction site. I’ve sort of lost confidence in this dentist. Can you tell me if this is normal or if I need to have another procedure done to deal with this?


Dear Cassidy,

Woman holding her jaw in pain

I would find it hard to think any dentist would actually miss the spot that many times. The more likely scenario is that you had some dental anxiety going in and, as a result, your body was fighting the local anesthetic.

Unfortunately, not enough dentists currently understand the connection between dental anxiety and the inability to get numb. I am going to recommend for your next appointment where you need any work done you see a sedation dentist. Even just some nitrous oxide will help relax you, which in turn enables the anesthetic to do its work.

For those with a more severe level of anxiety, I recommend oral conscious sedation. While it is administered by a pill, it is so strong that you will need someone to drive you to and from your dental appointment as well as stay with you for a few hours afterward until you are lucid and steady on your feet again. Most people who use oral conscious sedation sleep through their appointment.

As for the bony ridge. sharp edges do show up during the healing process. You don’t notice them at first because your gums are swollen. As the swelling goes down the ridges appear. If it stays a problem, your dentist can clip it.

One thing I want to make sure your dentist addressed is the need to replace that second molar. If you leave the space open, your other teeth can drift or tip into the space, which will throw off your bite. That can lead to painful TMJ Disorder.

If you want the best tooth replacement, I’d look into a dental implant. However, you do have other options.

This blog is brought to you by Lafayette, LA Dentists Drs. Foreman and Thimmesch.

Can’t Afford My Wisdom Tooth Extraction

I have an infected wisdom tooth. It has been bad for a while and the teeth around it are starting to get holes in them. Tonight I noticed I have pressure and a yellow streak leading up to my eye on the same side as the tooth. Now there is pressure behind my eye. I really can’t afford a dentist right now. Can I just visit the ER to get an antibiotic to treat this and then get to the dentist later when I can afford it? I’m starting to get concerned.

Brad L.

Man in pain holding his jaw

Dear Brad,

I want you to understand how serious this is. Your infection has already reached your eye. Your brain is not that far away and this can turn life threatening quickly. Believe it or not, people still die from tooth infections.

An antiobiotic will not solve your problem. What it can do is slow down the infection, but once you are out of the medication (and this is assuming they prescribe the right antibiotic for this particular infection to begin with) it will flare right back up and continue to spread.

The only way to deal with this is to have the tooth extracted…and soon. I would consider this a dental emergency.

Most dentists went into their field because they wanted to help people and make a difference. I would call around and see if there is a dentist who is willing to work with you on payments.

Whatever you do, take it seriously. The good news is a wisdom tooth does not have to be replaced. However, if you delay and the other teeth get so far decayed that they can’t be saved, you’ll also need a tooth replacement for them or your teeth will shift, throwing off your bite. This can lead to painful TMJ disorder.

Call around. There is bound to be a dentist in your area willing to help.

This blog is brought to you by Lafayette, LA Dentists Drs. Foreman and Thimmesch.

dental bridge or implant

I have to replace two teeth and get a dental crown on another one. I’m trying to decide between dental implants and a dental bridge. What do you think would best work?


Dear Kevin,

Both a dental implant and a dental bridge are good tooth replacement options. Which one you get will depend on a couple of things. First, I’ll go over how both of them work. Then, we’ll discuss which to choose.

An illustration of a dental implant among natural teeth
A Dental Implant

With dental implants, a prosthetic tooth root is surgically placed into your jaw. There is a time of healing after the surgery and to allow the bone to integrate around the implant. After that time period, a dental crown will be placed on it

There are benefits to dental implants. They’re completely secure and the closest thing to having a healthy, natural tooth in your mouth again. Additionally, the root form signals to your brain the jawbone in that area is still necessary, thereby preserving it.

Illustration of a dental bridge
Dental Bridge

With a dental bridge, a false tooth is suspended between two crowns. This is secured by being bonded onto the adjacent teeth. It makes more sense when one of the adjacent teeth already needs a crown. Without that, you’re just grinding down healthy tooth structure.

Implant or Bridge?

If you need a false tooth next to the tooth which needs to be crowned, then it would be a good idea to get the bridge. If the tooth which needs a crown is elsewhere, I’d get the dental implants to replace the tooth and then get the single tooth crowned.

I hope this helps. This blog is brought to you by Lafayette, LA Dentist Dr. Mike Malone.

Do I Get a Dental Implant or a Dental Bridge?

I lost a tooth. It’s my own fault. I waited too long to deal with it and now I have to replace it. My dentist is suggesting a dental implant, but I’m not too keen on the idea of surgery. Would a dental bridge do something close?

Kevin C.

Dear Kevin,

It depends on how close you’re wanting to get. Both a dental implant and a dental bridge are acceptable tooth replacement options. Both are permanent and secure. There are important differences though. I’ll explain both options. Then, you can discuss with your dentist what fits your situation best. His job isn’t to pressure you into an option, but rather to give you your options and a recommendation. The final decision is yours.

Dental Implants

Dental Implant DiagramYou already knew that a dental implant required surgery. The diagram on the left shows why.

As you can see, the implant is placed directly into your jawbone. The benefits to this are it’s like having your own natural tooth back, it preserves your jawbone, and no other teeth need to lose tooth structure for its placement.

Dental Bridge

Illustration of a dental bridgeA dental bridge is also permanent however, in order to bond them, it requires grinding down the adjacent teeth. Additionally, if part of it breaks the whole unit will have to be redone. They also do nothing to preserve the bone underneath.

When Does a Dental Bridge Make More Sense?

While it may sound like I’m suggesting dental implants are the better option, there is a time when a dental bridge makes more sense. For instance, if the adjacent teeth need to be crowned anyway then it’s like getting two procedures in one. Then, you’re not grinding healthy tooth structure.

The key is good communication with your dentist. He or she knows your teeth. If finances are a consideration as well, many dentists will let you pay out a procedure like dental implants which are a little more costly than simple procedures like a filling.

Who Should Do Your Tooth Restorations?

When you’re looking at replacing teeth, it’s important you choose the right dentist. The especially important when the tooth is in a visible part of your smile. You want it to look natural and beautiful. Not every dentist can pull that off.

Look for a dentist who’s accredited with the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD). These are the top cosmetic dentists in the country. One other thing to consider. Once your implant crown or dental bridge is made, the color cannot be changed. If you want a whiter smile, be sure to have your teeth whitened before your tooth replacement procedure is done. That way your restoration will match your bright white smile.

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

Could CEREC Crown Have Saved My Tooth?

I needed a root canal treatment and dental crown. I wanted to do a CEREC crown, but my dentist doesn’t have the machine. I considered going elsewhere, but felt guilty about going to another dentist. So, I thought the traditional crown would have to suffice. After he made the temporary, I had to go out of town for work. While I was gone, the temporary crown broke. I called my dentist and he said it would be fine, though to try and eat on the other side of my mouth. I was super careful. When I got back, I immediately went to the dentist but he told me that a crown would no longer work. First, the crown would no longer fit and we’d have to start over. But, that part of my tooth broke and the rest was brittle, so he’d have to do an extraction. Is this really my only option? Now what? I’m over $2000 into this crown which I can’t even have and now I’m losing the tooth. Should I have gone to a CEREC dentist?

Minnie W.

Dear Minnie,

A tooth receiving a CEREC crown

There are some things that bother me about what you’re saying. I’d like you to get a second opinion to see if your tooth can be saved. Preferably to a dentist who does provide CEREC crowns. Some dentists will even do free second opinions. While certainly, a CEREC crown would have saved your tooth, because it would have been protected from day one, there’s more at issue here.

If he’d have suggested you see an emergency dentist when your temporary broke, this would also have protected your tooth. It would also have allowed your permanent crown to fit. When you leave the space empty, it doesn’t always take very long for your teeth to shift leading to the crown not fitting properly. This was your dentist’s fault.

Something else which bothers me is how quickly the tooth became brittle. That’s uncommon.

If You Can’t Get a CEREC Crown and Lose the Tooth, What then?

If it turns out you can’t save the tooth, I’d first ask for a full refund from your first dentist. Then it’s time to decide on a tooth replacement. The two best options are dental implants or a dental bridge. A dental bridge would make more sense if either of the adjacent teeth need to be crowned.

If they don’t, then a dental implant would be a better option. It’s a great tooth replacement, but you don’t want just any dentist to do it. It’s an advanced procedure. Be sure to ask the dentist how many they’ve done and what their success rate is? It needs to be at least 98%.

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

Is there a procedure that uses both dental implants and a bridge?

I have a space where an adult tooth never came in, have no insurance, and I need something to fill in the gap. The gap seems a little too small to have an implant but I’m not quite sure. I am wondering if there is another way that I can receive an implant together with a bridge? Or if implants can be placed no matter what the space is?

Thanks, Tony

Dear Tony,

There are instances when a dental implant is connected to a dental bridge, however this is not necessary in your case. You have one  missing tooth so your dental options would be either a dental implant or a dental bridge, but not both. However if your space is too small for an implant or a bridge you might be a good candidate for Invisalign, depending on the space location. Invisalign is clear braces and if your teeth are not quite perfect this might be your best option to close the space and have straight teeth. Without insurance a dental bridge can cost up to several thousand dollars and usually takes two appointments completed over a three week period of time. A dental implant from start to finish cost anywhere from $4000 on up and takes approximately six months from the initial placement of the implant to having the crown put on the implant. Invisiline treatment is anywhere from 18 to 24 months and can cost roughly $5000. We recommend you consult a dentist about what treatment options would be best for you, your budget, and your time.

Post courtesy of Dr. Malone, Lafayette Louisiana Cosmetic Dentist



My tooth really hurts, but I don’t have any money

I’ve got pretty bad teeth. I am missing several of my back teeth, and now I have an infection or something in one of the only molars I have left. The swelling along my jaw looks terrible! It is really embarrassing.

I don’t have a job right now, or any insurance. I am estranged from my family, so there is no one I can ask to help with any kind of medical or dental expenses. Is there anything I can do on my own to treat the infection? I am in a lot of pain.

Maria in Grand Haven

Dear Maria,

Before we offer advice on what to do, we want to make very sure we tell you what to avoid. Don’t take oral antibiotics to try and get rid of the infection without FIRST having the tooth treated. Here is why that is so important: the infection is inside a tooth, where antibiotics can’t reach it. If you treat the tooth without addressing the source, you will simply make sure that the bacteria that survive are stronger and more resistant to treatment.

An infection in a tooth is a potentially serious situation. An untreated infection could spread to your brain, or cause dangerous swelling in your throat. You really must have this addressed before it becomes far more serious and even potentially life threatening.

The infected tooth needs a root canal treatment, after which it may need to be protected by a dental crown. If that is too expensive, or if the tooth is too damaged, it may need to be extracted. When your fortunes improve, you might consider a dental bridge or dental implant to replace the missing tooth.

Ask at your local social assistance agencies if they know of a clinic where you can get this work done. Many communities have a method of connecting people in dire need like yourself to dentists who will complete the work for free or at a greatly reduced price with a payment plan. Be persistent – it is very important that you get this work done!

Good luck to you.

This blog posted courtesy of the office of Lafayette Louisiana cosmetic dentist Dr. Malone.

No dental insurance and an infected tooth

I’ve had a lot of problems with my teeth. I am missing most of the teeth in the rear of my mouth, and now I have an infection that is really painful. It looks like I have a golf ball stuck in my cheek! I am out of work right now, and don’t have any kind of insurance at all. Where can I find someone to help me with this tooth? I asked the doctor at the Free Clinic, but he was not aware of any dental clinics that offer free treatments.

Is there anything I can do to treat this myself?

Thanks for your help.

Darren in Cleveland, OH

Dear Darren,

You’ll need help to get this infection under control. Especially do NOT take oral antibiotics without first treating the source of the infection within the tooth. If you do, you’ll never address the source of the infection and will make the bacteria that remain resistant to antibiotics. You could find yourself with an infection that NO drugs will effectively deal with, and that can be a very serious situation.

A tooth infection can spread to your brain. That is a sobering statement, but we want you to take this situation seriously. Infections in your teeth can also spread to your throat and cause swelling that could interfere with your airway. You have a couple of options here to address this. You can have the tooth extracted. It sounds as if you are missing a lot of teeth, so you may want to start looking into options to regain some functionality. Dental implants are great for replacing missing teeth, but they are expensive and never covered by dental insurance. Dental bridges might work for you, depending on the position of the missing teeth.

Your community may have a clinic where you can go to get the tooth extracted. If they don’t, check at the Free Clinic to see if any of the doctors know any dentists in your area that will help.

The office of Lafayette Louisiana cosmetic dentist Dr. Malone provides this blog as a courtesy.

Front teeth loose after an assault—will they fall out?

I was recently the victim of an assault, and was punched quite hard right in the mouth. I had to go to the emergency room to get stitches because it tore the corner of my mouth. While I was there they did a CAT scan, and said there are no fractures, but my front teeth are loose. One is more loose than the other.

I don’t have any kind of dental coverage and am worried sick that I might lose my front teeth. From what I have described, does it sound like my dentist will be able to save them? I’ve been online, researching what treatments there are for lost teeth. If they fall out, I don’t think I can afford dental implants or a dental bridge, and it doesn’t seem like a partial denture would look good or be comfortable. I am trying to find out if I can sue the guy that hit me if the cops catch him, but that is kind of a long shot.

Eric in Sault St. Marie

Dear Eric,

We’re sorry that this happened to you. Hopefully the police will find the person who did this, and justice will be served.

In terms of your teeth, if the CAT scan was accurate and there are no fractures in the roots of your teeth, they should be stabilized in the correct position in the day or two following the injury. Your dentist should bond the teeth into place, fixing them in the correct position. The bone will then heal, and your teeth should be fine.

Two or three weeks from now, you should go back to the dentist and have him check for nerve damage on either tooth. If either of the nerves are damaged, you will need root canal treatment. If that is the case, tell your dentist that you do not want a dental crown. Some dentists will place a crown on any tooth that has had a root canal, as a matter of course. In this situation, a crown will actually cause the tooth to be structurally weaker. Also tell them not to leave any root canal cement or adhesive in the crown of the tooth, or the tooth will get quite dark in time.

This blog provided as a courtesy of Dr. Malone, Lafayette Louisiana Cosmetic Dentist.