Dental Health

Do dentists even use amalgam any more? Those are the silver-colored fillings. All mine lately are composite resin, not amalgam, and look white instead of silver. It's cheaper, that's why they use composite now.
I got my fillings ten to seven years ago. Amalgam is banned for a couple of years in my country but there are more than enough people who got amalgam fillings.
 

Roosh

Cardinal
Orthodox
Went to a dentist a few years back. Needed a wisdom tooth pulled. They x-rayed all my teeth and showed me 9 cavities on what appeared to be a xerox of the x-rays. Thought it was strange cause only the wisdom tooth hurt. But what do I know. Got the wisdom tooth out, but didnt go back for the cavities. No pain or discomfort so forgot all about it.

Fast forward a couple years and I go to a different dentist with a new toothache. They do a complete exam, x-rays and all that. The girl tells me I have 2 cavities. I told her the last dentist said I had 9 cavities. She shook her head like she hears it all the time. "I didnt find them" while rolling her eyes.

That dude wanted to drill a bunch of holes in my mouth for no reason except to get paid.
I fell for this scam about a decade ago. Dentist found five "tiny" cavities. I was about to move to Europe, so I figured it would be wise to get it all taken care off. It took two visits. Afterwards, I had tremendous migraines. I thought I had a brain tumor. Turns out that dentist drilling can cause it. It was a lot of needless suffering and anxiety.

So many European dentists would tell me, "This looks like a small cavity, but you don't have to do anything now." It's American dentistry that is aggressive. I've even had positive experiences in South America.
 

Tortoise

Chicken
My teeth have been the bane of my existence despite a lifetime of avoiding junk food, while flossing and brushing.

I get plaque so easily; why do dentists have a monopoly on cleaning teeth? As much as I try a variety of things at home I can't get my teeth clean like the hygienist does. How did people get clean teeth before dentistry? I also have 7 root canals which are probably impacting my health but can't afford to have them yanked and get a bridge made in this current environment. I've been involved in natural/alternative healing for 40 years so anything you might suggest, I've already done it. Very frustrating...
 

Oompoppamowmow

Sparrow
Catholic
Any cure for breath that smells like literal ass? Brushing, hydrogen peroxide, mouthwash dont help. I dont overdo it with the swishing as I know that can irritate and cause worse reactions.

Ive recently tried coconut oilpulling and it seems to help a bit.

But it might be a gut health issue, not sure?

Sometimes food and bacteria can get hung up in your throat and build up. I think they’re called Tonsil stones (look it up). They are foul and hard to dislodge. I used to have a problem, but now I gargle more than ever. That seems to have done the job.
 

Stirfry

Woodpecker
Atheist
My teeth have been the bane of my existence despite a lifetime of avoiding junk food, while flossing and brushing.

I get plaque so easily; why do dentists have a monopoly on cleaning teeth? As much as I try a variety of things at home I can't get my teeth clean like the hygienist does. How did people get clean teeth before dentistry? I also have 7 root canals which are probably impacting my health but can't afford to have them yanked and get a bridge made in this current environment. I've been involved in natural/alternative healing for 40 years so anything you might suggest, I've already done it. Very frustrating...

I’m not sure dentists have a “monopoly“ on cleaning teeth any more than stylists and barbers do on cutting hair. I think it’s more an issue of, well, it’s hard to do yourself so you have to hire someone else to do it, and it might as well be someone trained in that activity by accredited schools and regulated by agencies that, to a certain extent, ensure competent care. You can try to clean your teeth yourself the way you might ask your girlfriend to cut your hair but unfortunately you will probably get similar results in both cases.

It is possible to be prone to decay or tartar but not plaque. “Plaque” is a build up of food debris and the bacteria that live on it (and the products those bacteria make) on and around your teeth (and sometimes tongue). You add to it every time you eat, particularly soft, starchy, sticky foods (i.e. junk food) and can only remove it mechanically- with brushing and flossing. If you find that you are attracting plaque, have a bad taste in your mouth, etc., you need to brush.

To attempt to answer what people did before dentistry- It’s hard to say, but they did recognize the link between dirty teeth and foul breath, as evidenced by various primitive and not so primitive forms of dentifrices and toothbrushes (varying from tree branches to rather heavy, solid, almost hairbrush looking things the Victorians used). The same could be said about dentistry – it did exist in various forms in many different cultures where they performed fillings (with stones and molten metal), cleanings, implants, and decorative changes to teeth to alter their shape or add gold, but it’s hard to say if it was a formalized profession. I guess it would depend on the culture.

Finally, regarding root canals, there’s no evidence that an endodontically treated tooth is unhealthy to the individual, and it’s always better to have your own teeth rather than a bridge, denture, or implant, so try to keep those teeth as long as possible.
 

Stirfry

Woodpecker
Atheist
Sometimes food and bacteria can get hung up in your throat and build up. I think they’re called Tonsil stones (look it up). They are foul and hard to dislodge. I used to have a problem, but now I gargle more than ever. That seems to have done the job.

That’s true- tonsil stones (or simply a “lith”) are calcified food, debris, and bacteria, the same thing as “tartar” (or calculus) but in your tonsilar crypts rather than around your teeth. They can grow quite large and look alarming, but are usually easily removed.
 

kel

 
Banned
@Stirfry - what do you think about laser gum regeneration (I know periodontics are a separate field, but still)? I've had receding gums for years, was looking into the graft surgery but it seems like it's going to take forever to get it done (they do one or two at a time). LANAP seems interesting - any opinion on it?
 

Stirfry

Woodpecker
Atheist
@Stirfry - what do you think about laser gum regeneration (I know periodontics are a separate field, but still)? I've had receding gums for years, was looking into the graft surgery but it seems like it's going to take forever to get it done (they do one or two at a time). LANAP seems interesting - any opinion on it?

I don’t have a strong opinion on it. It’s been around long enough to have accumulated some useful data, but I think it’s used more as an adjunct and not an alternative to gingival grafts, the idea being to regenerate attachment when you can (some grafts just cover up the roots and help with sensitivity and aesthetics but don’t do much else).

I would say it’s worth looking into but don’t expect it to be a substitute for other forms of periodontal treatment.
 

kel

 
Banned
I've traveled for dental work before, and had dental work done incidentally while traveling. I'm looking now for the best dentist in the world (or just anyone I can trust) to give me the works. Redo some crowns I had done in Mexico and Thailand and such, fill whatever cavities I have, ideally hook me up with LANAP either in-office or someone they can refer me to, etc. Go in a few times over the course of a month or two and come out with my dental shit sorted once and for all.
 
Hi everyone- I’m late to this thread, but I’m a dentist so hopefully I can contribute.
Happy to answer any questions.

Hello, Doctor... What is your opinion on this device? Do you think it can be perfected (the current version falls short)? I love the general idea, and how it makes brushing effortless and so fast.


What do you think about the Oral B Io "super toothbrush?" It has an app, if I understand correctly, that monitors your progress and can supposedly tell if you missed a spot. I suspect it will sell for three or four hundred dollars.


Why are implants not so great? I may need just one, a molar, down the line, on my lower jaw.

I have heard about a yogurt-like "mouth wash" full of good bacteria which love to eat the bad bacteria which cause cavities in teeth. And the idea is that you "swish" your mouth with it, after every meal. But it does not replace brushing and flossing. Have you heard about this? When will it come to market?

I look at my four stepdaughters, who are not great about brushing and flossing, and I think that if the V-White can be perfected, and if I can gain access to the yogurt-like mouthwash that eats cavity making bacteria, that I will be able to easily protect their teeth. And not be hit with big dental bills down the road...

Thank you for your time. :)
 

Stirfry

Woodpecker
Atheist
I've traveled for dental work before, and had dental work done incidentally while traveling. I'm looking now for the best dentist in the world (or just anyone I can trust) to give me the works. Redo some crowns I had done in Mexico and Thailand and such, fill whatever cavities I have, ideally hook me up with LANAP either in-office or someone they can refer me to, etc. Go in a few times over the course of a month or two and come out with my dental shit sorted once and for all.

I always tell people to be careful with international or tourism dentistry. That’s not a knock on dentists from outside of the United States – I’ve seen work from all over the world and some of it can be quite good. However, the advantage of getting it done in the United States is that you need to have certain credentials to practice and a high level of safety and cleanliness in your office. One of the reasons that dentistry in other countries can be comparatively cheap is that these measures add to the overall cost of care here (I would argue that not all of it is essential but state and federal oversight and regulation is another topic entirely).

It’s difficult to say how to find a really good dentist but your local branch of the ADA might be a place to start. Old fashioned word of mouth is also helpful- if a patient praises their dentist then at least you know the guy didn’t hurt them and probably wasn’t expensive.

Unfortunately from what you describe it sounds like there’s a lot of work to be done, probably at great expense. Best of luck.
 

Stirfry

Woodpecker
Atheist
Hello, Doctor... What is your opinion on this device? Do you think it can be perfected (the current version falls short)? I love the general idea, and how it makes brushing effortless and so fast.


What do you think about the Oral B Io "super toothbrush?" It has an app, if I understand correctly, that monitors your progress and can supposedly tell if you missed a spot. I suspect it will sell for three or four hundred dollars.


Why are implants not so great? I may need just one, a molar, down the line, on my lower jaw.

I have heard about a yogurt-like "mouth wash" full of good bacteria which love to eat the bad bacteria which cause cavities in teeth. And the idea is that you "swish" your mouth with it, after every meal. But it does not replace brushing and flossing. Have you heard about this? When will it come to market?

I look at my four stepdaughters, who are not great about brushing and flossing, and I think that if the V-White can be perfected, and if I can gain access to the yogurt-like mouthwash that eats cavity making bacteria, that I will be able to easily protect their teeth. And not be hit with big dental bills down the road...

Thank you for your time. :)

I don’t know this device, but for people who have problems brushing I’d say give it a try. You really don’t need sonic tools or electric toothbrushes to clean your teeth. You just need a regular toothbrush, fluoride containing toothpaste, and a little patience. That being said, if a fancy brush gets you to clean better, by all means. Just do it after every meal or at the very least twice a day. Same goes for that app. In fact, I suspect that’s its purpose- not to tell you where you missed, but to incentivize you to brush better and/or longer.

Implants are fine. I’ve heard it said that a properly placed implant is almost like having your real tooth back but they are rarely used this way (as a single tooth replacement). Instead, implants are usually part of a more complicated restorative treatment plan requiring multiple visits and a lot of money. That’s my main complaint about them I suppose. They are marketed as a quick, simple procedure to give you your teeth back but its simply not true.

Finally, this yogurt like solution that you mention is not something that I’ve heard of. It sounds a little bit like it’s trying to be a “magic bullet“ or easy answer to the complicated problem of tooth decay by changing the bacterial composition in the mouth. Personally, I would stick to brushing and flossing- just like how antibiotic use changes the flora of your gut and leads to upset stomach and diarrhea, I would be hesitant to screw around with my mouth. pH plays a large role in the balance between cavities and tartar buildup and that pH is regulated by bacteria. Altering them could lead to unintended consequences.

Besides, there’s really no mystery or trick behind tooth decay. It is caused by ingestion of refined sugars and sticky starchy processed foods that, if left on your teeth, feed certain bacteria that live in your mouth. As they metabolize this food they create acid which makes the mineral of your enamel soluble, just like many things are more easily dissolved in an acidic solution. To prevent this you need to avoid those foods or brush your teeth thoroughly after eating. Sometimes the challenge is simply identifying those foods. For example, sipping a sweetened coffee or sugary soda all day, or sucking on cough drops or hard candy because your mouth is dry, can be incredibly harmful to teeth. I’m not sure people realize this.
 

Tortoise

Chicken
It is possible to be prone to decay or tartar but not plaque. “Plaque” is a build up of food debris and the bacteria that live on it (and the products those bacteria make) on and around your teeth (and sometimes tongue). You add to it every time you eat, particularly soft, starchy, sticky foods (i.e. junk food) and can only remove it mechanically- with brushing and flossing. If you find that you are attracting plaque, have a bad taste in your mouth, etc., you need to brush.
I am prone to decay (mouthful of cavities and 7 root canals) but I have not been eating junk food for the past 40 years. Last had a soda in 1980. I have no cake, cookies, pie, ice cream, candy, etc. around the house and I don't eat any once I leave the house. Fanatical about brushing and flossing. No bad taste in the mouth and I don't have bad breath. I also do tongue scraping and there's not a lot of gunk that comes off. I have receding gums but no bleeding. The plaque is around my bottom front teeth and is probably from powdered herbs I make in tea for medicinal reasons. Maybe I'm using the wrong term with plaque, maybe it's staining? I don't know what but no amount of flossing or brushing with a variety of things will take it off.
 

Stirfry

Woodpecker
Atheist
I am prone to decay (mouthful of cavities and 7 root canals) but I have not been eating junk food for the past 40 years. Last had a soda in 1980. I have no cake, cookies, pie, ice cream, candy, etc. around the house and I don't eat any once I leave the house. Fanatical about brushing and flossing. No bad taste in the mouth and I don't have bad breath. I also do tongue scraping and there's not a lot of gunk that comes off. I have receding gums but no bleeding. The plaque is around my bottom front teeth and is probably from powdered herbs I make in tea for medicinal reasons. Maybe I'm using the wrong term with plaque, maybe it's staining? I don't know what but no amount of flossing or brushing with a variety of things will take it off.

Yes, you might be confusion stains, plaque, and gum disease.

From your diet and oral health care regimen it doesn’t sound like you would be prone to plaque and/or decay (sounds like you brush a lot, even your tongue which is something most people don’t do but should). However, sometimes no matter how hard or frequently you brush you can be prone to tartar buildup and staining depending on your diet. For example, no matter how much you brush smoking, coffee, wine, and some other foods will stain your teeth regardless (weed too). The stain is superficial and only sticks to the outside but it can be hard or impossible to get off without a professional cleaning.

The other issue might be tartar and plaque buildup causing gum disease, which in its mildest form is red puffy gums that bleed easily. If you have the right type of chemistry in your mouth sometimes it can be a struggle to get healthy gums- The bacteria that cause gum disease are different than the ones that cause cavities cavities and can flourish despite your best efforts.

It’s hard to say exactly what’s going on in your particular situation without an exam. I would recommend a check up at the dentist because at the very least they can clean your teeth and get you to a good baseline. They can also get you on a follow-up schedule specific for your needs.
 

Oompoppamowmow

Sparrow
Catholic
Finally was able to get to the dentist. Had to go to a new Dentist and they immediately got on me about wisdom teeth. I’m 43 and my old dentist said if they haven’t bothered you by now you should be fine. The new one is already trying to get them out. What should I do?
 

Stirfry

Woodpecker
Atheist
Finally was able to get to the dentist. Had to go to a new Dentist and they immediately got on me about wisdom teeth. I’m 43 and my old dentist said if they haven’t bothered you by now you should be fine. The new one is already trying to get them out. What should I do?

I don’t know your particular clinical situation, but if your wisdom teeth have erupted (if they are in your mouth) and have no cavities, no gum disease associated with them, and no other problems, then yeah leave them alone.

However, if they are impacted, it might be better to get rid of them now rather than wait until a problem pops up but you are experiencing other health issues. Or if they are partially impacted they can lead to complications later with regards to food getting stuck and the development of acute infections and abscesses (a condition called pericoronitis).
 

Roosh

Cardinal
Orthodox
Dentistry journal cannot conclude that getting dental cleanings improves periodontal health. So why are we advised to get cleanings every 6 months?
The research evidence is not of sufficient quality to reach any conclusions regarding the beneficial and adverse effects of routine scaling and polishing for periodontal health and regarding the effects of providing this intervention at different time intervals. High-quality clinical trials are required to address the basic questions posed in this review.
 

Rogue Statistician

Robin
Protestant
Had an appointment today:

Need a cleaning.
Gum inflammation.
3 cavities on back molars
Wisdom teeth partially impacted and to be removed.
Crown to be placed an a front tooth injured in sports as a kid.

Send prayers for my savings account.
 
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