• Removing Old Crowns Not to be Feared

    Q: I am told I have decay under my old crowns and they need to be replaced. I am worried that removing them will destroy what is left of my teeth. How are they removed and should I worry? A: I bet you are like me. You watch all those DIY home improvement shows on

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  • Drink Coke and Lose $46,200

    Q: My adult son drinks a lot of Coke. Can you please tell him the effects of soft drinks on teeth. Thank you! A: Bro. My title today shows what a patient last Monday just spent in my office from drinking Coke for years. (14 root canals, 14 post and cores, 14 crowns.) His teeth

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  • Why So Many Visits For One Tooth?

    Q: My biggest pet peeve with my dentist is the multiple trips that I have to make just to finish the work on one tooth! In this day an age, isn’t there away to expedite treatment? A: In our busy world, time is extremely important. You just don’t get it back. I spent way too

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  • Are Too Many Crowns Being Done?

    Q: It seems like every time one of my teeth needs to be fixed, a crown is needed. With all the technology today, is there not an alternative that can repair the tooth without the high cost of a crown? A: I once wrote a comedy sketch back in college called “Mr. Ambivalent”.  To quote

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  • FREE Dental Advice Face to Face; Better than Google!

    Q: The web is full of dental advice, but how can I know which sites to trust? A: This just in… “You can’t!” Did you know that Wikipedia gets its info from the public? That means trivia mavens like Cliff Clavin, the mailman from the TV series Cheers, is contributing his own “knowledge” to websites

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  • DDS’s Lead in Patient Follow Up over MD’s

    Sorry, no Q and A today. I must get this off my chest (as well as some odd shaped brown spots that resemble the Galapagos.) I was stunned reading an article in the June 8th Wall Street Journal entitled: “ ’Complete Care’ Makes Visiting the Doctor a Team Event”. Regional director, Michael Kanter of the managed-care giant

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  • No Fear with Hi-Tech Shots

    Q: I have not been to the dentist this year as I had a bad experience with a painful shot by my dentist about two years ago. Is there anything new that can eliminate the shots? A: While at the beach this past weekend, I tried a sample of what the young folks call “Alternative”

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  • Cosmetic Dentistry for the Very Young

    Q: My teenage daughter is extremely self-conscious about her teeth, but unfortunately, we cannot afford braces at this time. Her pediatric dentist told us not to do veneers at this time, nor could we afford them. What do you suggest? A: Remember the old TV ad campaign for the poultry and dairy industry: “Eggs: There

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  • Veneers Do Not Ruin Teeth!

    Q: I would like to have a great looking set of teeth. My doctor wants to do veneers on me. I heard that once they are done, they ruin your teeth forever? A: Who starts these rumors? My grandmother used to call these “bobbe myses” (Pronounced: ‘bub-a-my-suz’)  which means a less than accurate story, a

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  • Saving a Failing Dental Implant

    Q: I had five implants placed in the front of my upper jaw three months ago. While waiting the four months until my doctor is ready to attach the crowns, I felt some pain and went to my old doctor up North, as I was visiting family at the time. He took an X-ray and

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  • Implant Placement: No-Cut or Traditional

    Q: I have read with great interest your recent articles on the No-Cut dental implant procedure. My mother needs implants and is on blood thinners and daily aspirin. This sounds like an ideal treatment. Are there any situations where one would not be a candidate for this? A: Although over 90% of our surgeries are

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  • Implants’ Future: “No-Cut”, New Meds and Beyond

    Q: Dear Dr. Josephs: I have been a regular reader of your column since 2004. In addition to the No-Cut dental implant surgical technique you write about, what do you see coming down the pike as far as the future of implants? A: Firstly, thank you for not only reading my column, but for reading

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  • Cracked Tooth: Root Canal or No-Cut Implant?

    Q: I had sharp pain on one back tooth that just would not go away. My doctor said nothing was showing up on the X-ray and told me to just wait until it gets worse so he knows what tooth to work on. I am worried that I wont be able to eat on that

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  • Patients on Blood Thinners: Go “No-Cut” for Implants

    Q: I need several dental implants to replace some missing teeth, but my medical doctor refuses to let me stop my blood thinners. My dentist refuses to touch me without going off these meds for fear of bleeding. I refuse to use dentures and my face is sinking in where I am missing teeth and

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  • Dental Implants for Joint Replacement Patients

    Q: I have had hip and knee replacement surgery. I was told to take a whole bunch of antibiotic pills before having some teeth extracted and dental implants. The pills turn my stomach inside out, making me sick. Do I really have to take these pills? A: My mother’s favorite threat when I was growing

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  • Meds that Ruin Teeth

    Q: I am a senior and have been diagnosed with many areas of decay under and around almost all the dental work in my mouth. My doctor says it is due to the medications that I take. Is this true; and what can I do about it? Anonymous. A: Like the late, grate comic, Gilda

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  • Dental Malpractice Claims

    Q: I was recommended to see a dentist by my neighbor, but I noticed via the web that she had a malpractice settlement paid out by her insurance company a few years ago. Should I be worried? A: That’s a big fat no. Often, the best surgeons in the world have had malpractice claims settled.

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  • No Cut Dental Implants by Dr. Mitchell Josephs

    Q: My sister had a bunch of teeth replaced recently with implants.  She said it only took two visits for everything and never had cutting of the gum, stitches or pain.  Is this for real? A: It just so happens that after a few emails back and forth with this reader of my column/birdcage liner,

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  • Concavity in Gum Above Tooth by Dr. Mitchell Josephs

    Q: After I had an upper front tooth removed and a three-tooth-bridge placed, I noticed an unsightly concave, depression above the fake tooth of my bridge. It looks odd, as it does not match the same tooth on the other side of my smile. What is wrong? Lola in Royal Palm Beach A: Hey you

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  • DDS Badmouthing other DDS is a Violation

    Q: During an exam at a new dentist’s office, the doctor was very critical of the work in my mouth that was done by, what I thought, was a very good dentist who I used for over twenty years. Nothing was bothering me at the time; this was just a routine check up. Should I

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  • Bone Grafts that Stay Put by Dr. Mitchell Josephs

    Q: I had some teeth pulled up North in the summer with bone grafts. My Florida dentist who is going to place the implants took an X-ray and said he does not see enough bone in the area and cannot place the implant without more bone graft surgery. What would cause this? Arthur in Boca

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  • Why Gum Surgery PLUS the Crowns? by Dr. Mitchell Josephs

    Q: I have old, decaying crowns. One doctor said he wants to replace them, but says I need gum surgery first, which adds additional fees. Another doctor said I could do without the gum surgery. What is your take on this? Alan in Boynton A:  Look, I am concerned about costs as much as anybody. I’m

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  • Crowns below the Gum Line, not Ideal by Dr. Mitchell Josephs

    Q: My new doctor did some crowns on me. I notice that the edges of them do not go under the gum like my old crowns did. Is this wrong? Daniella in Wellington A: My dental assistant and I picked up a great line from a continuing education seminar last month on full arch and

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  • Say “No” to Connecting Crowns by Dr. Mitchell Josephs

    Q: I am very upset. I recently had my 20-year-old crowns removed due to cavities and replaced. The new crowns are all connected together. I can’t floss them, I have a bad odor and taste and I am already seeing gray metal at the gum line. Why was this done to me and how can

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  • Unnecessary Dental Treatment, or Not? by Dr. Mitchell Josephs

    Q: I saw a dentist for an upper implant. He told me I needed a sinus lift surgery and bone grafts which will add over $1000 in extra fees. I got a second opinion with another doctor who was able to place the implant and avoid the whole sinus and bone graft procedure altogether. Do

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  • Same Day Implants or Not by Dr. Mitchell Josephs

    Q: One dentist said he could pull my tooth and place the implant in the same visit, another said he needs to wait four months after the tooth is pulled before he can place the implant, then wait another four months to place the crown. Why the difference in treatment recommendations? Al in Boynton Beach

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  • Implants for “Gaggers” by Dr. Mitchell Josephs

    Q: I need implants to replace my missing teeth to avoid dentures and bridges, since I have a severe gag reflex. I have read all your pervious columns on “goop-free”, digitally scanned impressions. However, my dentist said that this is not possible for taking impressions of the implants to make the crowns that will be

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  • Who’s the Right Doc for Veneers? by Dr. Mitchell Josephs

    Q: It seems like all dentists claim they do veneers. I thought this is very specialized area? Who should I go to?  Nancy B. in Wellington A: As the New Year approaches; personal appearance changes are the most popular resolutions. (I vow to clip my nostril hairs biweekly vs. my old habit of bimonthly for

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  • Switching Dentists not Uncommon by Dr. Mitchell Josephs

    Q: I read with great interest your last column on changing hygienists, even though you like the dentist. I am in a predicament where I like my hygienist, but wish to change dentists for several reasons. I feel guilty and would like your input on how to make the change.   Pete and Sally of Margate

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  • Changing Hygienists not Uncommon by Dr. Mitchell Josephs

    Q: I like my dentist, but am not happy with his new hygienist. I feel she is not as thorough and knowledgeable as the old one.  Can I change hygienists but still go to my dentist if I should need work? Didi in Hollywood A: This is why I recently stopped cutting my hair. I

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  • Dentures Without Implants; Not a Cure!

    Q: I have had dentures for over twenty years and am happy with them. Why does my dentist keep pushing implants? Irv in Lake Worth A: In your best Richard Nixon impression, repeat after me: “My dentist is not a crook!”. Dentures are not a cure for replacing missing teeth. They are only done for

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  • Blood Thinners and Dental Treatment

    Q: My husband takes Xarelto and I take Pradaxa to prevent strokes and heart problems. We both need extensive dental work with implants, crowns and veneers. Must we stop these drugs before the treatment? Marion and Paul in Jupiter A: This answers the naïve question I have been asked thousands of time: “Why must I

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  • Bonding Stains; Porcelain Veneers Don’t

      Q: I had my teeth bonded for a better smile, but over the years it stains, chips and needs constant patch- ups. Did I make a mistake? Adeline in Tampa A: If your significant other, which I will now refer to as your “sig-nif” says you are “high maintenance”, he would be correct. Back

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  • Girl… Your Lowers are Totally Crooked!

    Q: I notice with age my lower front teeth have become crooked. Why is this and what can be done about it? Joanne in Delray A: When Dizzy Gillespie played trumpet his cheeks would blow up like a bullfrog. Medical textbooks actually named this condition “Gilespeism.” I officially named crowded, adult lower front teeth “Gore-a-bite”

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  • Veneer-Implant Combo Cases

    Q: I have a complex case where I need to replace a front tooth and am worried that the implant will not match my new veneers. Can this be done?  Karen in Jupiter We will make the drapes match the carpet. No worries. Many times I will complete the veneers first while we are waiting

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  • Veneers: How Much and Who Should Do Them?

    Q: At 50, my friends suggested I skip the scalpel and do my teeth. How much are veneers, and what type of doctor specializes in this? Jackie in Tequesta A: I’m impressed. When my son went off to college, I painted my garage door. Veneers are thin facings of porcelain, permanently affixed to the fronts

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  • “All on 4″ Implant Technique; Less Cost & Time

    Q: I am a TV news anchor and cannot tolerate a denture during the replacement of my bad teeth with implants. I am a sever gagger. What are my options to avoid this? Anonymous A: I know what you mean. My son and I have a similar hyperactive gag reflex, which often appears while watching

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  • Completing Implant Treatment in Half the Time

    Q: My dentist said he couldn’t place my implant at the same time he pulls my tooth. This will mean I wont get my permanent teeth for nine months. I have a sister who had her implants placed at the same time as her teeth were removed, allowing her to have her teeth in five

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  • Bovine Grafts and Implants

    Q: My doctor wants to place bone grafts after he pulls some teeth before he puts in my implants. When I look online, I see so many choices of materials, including bovine (cow) grafts. What is best? Daniel P. in Boca Raton A: An “utterly” complex question, but I will “moooove” on to thoroughly respond, “Until

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  • Dr. J’s Favorite Dentist Movies

    In celebration of a birthday I have on the 17th  of this month that ends in zero, I have decided to entertain all the loyal and first time readers of my column with the hopes that when my next birthday ending in a zero comes, you will still be reading my column. (Probably through a

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  • Hi -Tech Intra-Oral Camera

    Q: I had a consultation with a new dentist, but was disappointed that he did not examine me with a special mouth camera that my old doc used.   A: Originally, the title for this column was: “The Colonoscopy for the Mouth”, but I thought that would leave a bad taste; pun intended. In my

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  • New One-Hour Teeth Whitening with EZ White Pro

      Q: I have tried all kinds of teeth whitening strips, rinses, mouth trays and bleaching sessions at my dentist’s office. The results do not last and I really don’t see a great effect. Is there anything new? Dee in Palm Beach   A: Firstly, do NOT attempt teeth whitening at the vendor booth at

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  • Precautions for Hygienists Cleaning Implants

      Q: What special precautions should my hygienist use in cleaning my implants? Doris in Boynton   A: Hopefully were are talking about dental implants; just making sure we are all on the same “clean” page. Titanium dental implants need to be cleaned every four months in most patients. The interface between the implant as

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  • Tooth-Sinus Perforations & Infections

      Q: I had an upper tooth pulled a week ago. Now my voice sounds very nasal, fluid keeps going up into my nose when I drink and when I sneeze, avsmelly fluid shoots out of the area where the tooth was. What happened? Ted in Stuart FL   A: Although these symptoms seem as

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  • Wisdom Teeth: Lose them Early

      Q: My college age child has four impacted wisdom teeth. Only one is bothering him right now. Should he still have all four removed? And, do you recommend that he be sedated? “Mom” in Palm Beach A: As Clint Eastwood once said in one of his films: “A man needs to know his limitations.”

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  • Fast Orthodontics with Surgical Help

      Q: I have severely crooked and “buck” teeth, but wish braces worked faster than the three years I was told it would take to fix my teeth. Are there any faster methods? Valerie in Wellington A: In the 1962 book “Letting Go” by Phillip Roth, the protagonist’s father is a dentist who says things

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  • Solution for Deficient, “Thin bone” for Implants

      Q: My dentist says that my lower front jaw, which has been missing teeth for thirty years, is now too thin for implants. I don’t want false teeth. What else can be done? Megan in Boca   A: Did you now that dentists descended from the barbers of the Middle Ages? Back then, barbers-surgeons

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  • Post-Op Tongue Pain not Malpractice

      Q: After recent dental work consisting of fillings, my tongue has felt like it is burning and slightly numb for weeks. I am now seeing a neurologist. Did the doctor mess up? Is this malpractice? Dan in Lake Park   A: Before you get all “lawyered up” wasting the taxpayers money and drive up

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  • Pancreatic Cancer Risk and Gum Disease

      Q: Recently I saw the tail end of a scary TV news segment talking about gum disease leading to pancreatic cancer. Did I hear correctly? Faith in Palm Beach   A: Look, I’m the first one to say that the media loves to scare the Crocs off of us, but this time they caught

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  • Old Dental Implants Needing New Crowns

      Q: I have old implants that were placed in the mid 80’s. The attached crowns trap food, are yellow and do not match my newly veneered and bleached teeth. Is there a way to get new crowns to fit the old implants?…Mitchy in Boca   A: Ok, my “brutha-frome-anutha”. The good news is the

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  • Broken Crown: Save or Throw?

      Q: My crown broke off my tooth, can this be saved or do I need to invest in a new one? Sergio in Wellington   A: Philosophically, YOU actually broke off from your crown, young Grasshopper. (Dear Dr. Josephs: Nobody gets your 70’s TV show references. …..Justin Bieber.) If the remaining tooth has no

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  • Life and the Dreaded Dry Socket

      Behold! There is something in this world more painful than a season of the Kardashians. (Even spellcheck has never heard of them.) I’m talking about an uncomfortable common complication of a tooth extraction: dry socket. Feared by many; endured by plenty. Normally after a tooth is extracted, a blood clot forms at the bottom

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  • Dental Implants and Sinus Lift Surgery

      Q: I need dental implants, but my dentist said I need sinus lift surgery first. Is this always needed? Jack in Boca   A: I have a similar dilemma. Do my tires always need to be rotated at every service visit? Aren’t they all touching the road at the same time? It’s not like

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  • Limited Funds, but Need Dental Work Part II

      If you didn’t use last week’s column for puppy training, you would remember that I promised to give you less costly alternatives to expensive dental procedures that, although not ideal, can keep you going until finances improve, or even solve your problem completely. 1)   Need implants to replace missing teeth? Many times fewer implants

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  • Need Dental Work, but Funds are limited

      Q: I need major dental work but my funds are limited. What can I do?   A: Firstly, let us bring in the horse before the cart (or as they said in ancient Rome, the stag before the chariot.) Let us focus on how we arrived to the point of needing massive amounts of

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  • New Technology for your Dentist

      Q: I am forced to choose a new dental office due to my financial needs, which must be in my “crappy” insurance provider network. How can I know if this dentist is using the new technology?  Anne R. in Wellington   A: The keyword here is “crappy”, as all dental insurance plans use the

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  • Implants without Incisions

      Q: Recently my doctor tried to place implants to replace missing upper back teeth, but had to stop due to “too much bleeding” I was also told that implants can be placed without incisions. Which is correct.   A: Dental Telepathy: When a reader asks a question on a scenario that just occurred in

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  • Ten Years Younger in Two Visits with Veneers

      Q: I just hit 50 and see many stars have beautiful teeth no matter how old they are. What can I do other than a facelift?   A: I’m getting close myself to the big “five-O”. I recommend to anybody who wants to freeze time and stay young to consider investing in porcelain veneers.

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  • Teeth Length. How long is too long?

      Q: I am in the middle of having my teeth improved with porcelain laminate veneers. I am unsure about the teeth length. What is considered cosmetically correct? Dr. Barb in Wellington    A: You know the adage from the garment industry: “measure twice; cut once.” When our patients are sporting their temporary veneers (or crowns)

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  • Canker Sore Nightmares; Never Again!

      Q: I am going nuts with several canker sores that have erupted since having major dental work last week. None of the over the counter remedies work. What can I do? Donna in Palm Beach Gardens   A: Canker sores, known in the “biz” as apthous ulcers, are like a bad houseguest who overstays

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  • Operating Microscopes for Dentists

      Q: I recently changed dental offices. I notice my new doctor uses what looks like a set of binoculars strapped to his glasses and sometimes a microscope. Is this something that should be in all dental offices now? Meg in Wellington   A: As the saying goes: “you don’t know what you don’t know”.

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  • Dental Impressions-“Same Mold Thing?”

      Q: I notice that when my dentist puts in crowns, I notice the edges often do not meet my gum line. Why is this? … Danny K. in Palm Beach   A: You really know how to push a tooth doctor’s buttons. We lye awake at night battling this reality that is one of

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  • Unsightly “black on gumline” bothers patients

      Q: I notice my friends dental work at lunch the other day shows an ugly tinge of color that I can only call: black on gumline, for lack of a better term. What is this?  Anne F. in Boca   A: Apparently lunch did not go so well for your friend, I take it.

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  • Adjusting Dentures at Home

      Q: I recently had dental implants to secure a full lower denture. I am back at my summer home and noticed a sharp projection cutting into my gum. Is there anything wrong with adjusting dentures with some home tools? Fred in Nantucket   A: Back in the early 90’s, I performed at an open

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  • Oklahoma “Dirty Dental Office”

      Q: Should we be worried about the latest news story about the Health Department warning 7000 Oklahoma residents that they might have been contaminated by dirty dental instruments from an oral surgeon’s office?…Dave in Boca   A: ABSOLUTELY NO NEED TO PANIC. Palm Beach Post readers, including you, are savvy consumers who will ask

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  • Gallup Pole: Dentists Rank High

      Q: Why do so many people hate their dentist? Beth in Boca A: In my 25 years of practice the two most popular first statements a new patient utters are: “Nothing personal, but I hate dentists.”  And “ Is it true that dentists have the highest suicide rate?” (What a great way to start

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  • Temporary Teeth During Implants

      Q: I need some more teeth removed and implants placed. One is right in the front of my smile. I don’t want to go the whole summer without a tooth and I don’t want to have to use those bulky pink dentures with the metal clips other dentists have made for me. What else

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  • Extractions and Antibiotics

      Q: I recently had a tooth extracted and had quite a bit of discomfort for several days. My sister is a nurse and was surprised that the my doctor did not prescribe antibiotics. Is she right? Dawn in Royal Palm Beach   A: I don’t want to put a scalpel between siblings, but I

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  • Antibiotics do not Cure Dental Abscesses

      Q: A lower left side molar was producing moderate pain. My doctor X-rayed the area and told me he would need to do a root canal. He started me on an antibiotic, and in two days the pain went away. If the antibiotic killed the infection why do I have to spend $1500 on

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  • Digital Impressions; No Goop!

      Q: I have read almost all of your columns and must ask you; if digital impressions are so good, why don’t all dentists have them? Phil in Hollywood.   A: I’m glad you have been keeping up with the dental field by reading my column; bad jokes and all. By the way, this is

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  • Short Implants are OK

      Q: After moving to Florida, my new dentist looked at my X-rays and criticized my previous dentist by claiming he used “too short an implant to support my crowns and bridges”. I have no pain and nothing is loose.  Should I be worried? Anne in NYC and SOFLA   A: Time to find a

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  • Teeth Options Over Implants

      Q: I read your column all the time. What is the difference in having implants in the lower front jaw, with full dentures that clip on vs. implants that have crowns connected to them? Which is better? I just had implants and a full denture that clips on and off the implants.  D. In

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  • Treating Cracked Corners of the Mouth

    Q: I have been suffering with red, cracking corners of my mouth for several years. These creases are becoming worse and no dermatologist has been able to cure the problem with creams and medications. I was told to see a dentist. What can be done? Doris in Boynton Beach   A: Here is a ten

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  • Correct Contours of Veneers

      Q: I notice my gums are always inflamed around some recent upper veneer and crown work I had done. I floss and brush constantly.  Why is this?… Terry in Pompano   A: Welcome to dental prosthetics 101; put your pencils down and hear me out. (Pay attention in case there is a quiz!) One

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  • Changes for Joint Replacement Patients

    Q: I have had both hip and knee replacements. My doctor wants me to take antibiotics before every dental visit. They make me sick to my stomach; is it really necessary? Joan K. in N. Palm Beach   A: A bit off topic, but what makes ME sick is paying $30 for a piece of

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  • Fractured Implant Screw Fix

      Q: I read with great interest your column on fixing a loose crown, attached to an implant. Although removing the crown and tightening, what you called, the abutment screw solved the problem, I have a more complex issue. My doctor told me my “little screw’s head has fractured off” and that he has no

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  • Growing Bone after Tooth Loss

        Q: I had a tooth pulled and will be getting an implant in three months. The doctor placed a bone graft using something called Osteogen. I am concerned about anything-foreign left in my body; what is this material?  Agnes in N. Palm Beach A: Not to worry. Osteogen is less foreign than a

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  • Physics and Implants

      Q: I had an implant placed with a crown attached two months ago. Today I noticed the tooth (crown) is loose. I have no pain, but am worried. What has gone wrong? S.S. in Boca A: Back in college, I had physics professor who looked like Grouch Marx. His eyebrows looked like to pieces

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  • Top Five Dental Innovations 2012

    As we wind down 2012, I would like to give you my “top five” list of the most effective new dental technologies of the year. Look for these items in your current dental office, or offices you are considering to utilize. Digital impressions: iTero by Cadent. No more runny goop; just a quick 3D scan

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  • Digital Impressions for Implants and Crowns

    Q: I have large boney projections the size of ½ my pinky finger on my gums; the doctor called them “tori”. I need implants and crowns, but when my doctor tries to take impressions, I scream in pain when the tray holding the goop scrapes against these boney areas. How can I avoid this? A:

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  • Severe Root Decay: Implants or Root Canals?

    Q: I find as I get older, I am becoming more cavity- prone. It seems like every year more teeth begin to decay underneath crowns and fillings that were done no more than five years ago. Did my doctor do a poor job? J.K. in Boca A: This is another fine example of: “don’t shoot

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  • Not All Root Canals Need Posts

    Q: After reviewing my dental bill, I noticed that each tooth that received a root canal also had a charge for a “post and core”. What is this and is it always needed? Deborah via email A: Don’t worry. It is has nothing to do with your doctor’s kid’s college tuition coming due this month

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  • Temporary Teeth During Implant Healing

    Q: I am in need of having most of my natural teeth removed and then replaced with dental implants and permanent porcelain crowns. I was told that I must where a set of removable temporary dentures for several months. I am in a profession that will simply not allow me to have anything removable in

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  • Shade Matching Implant Crowns and Veneers

    Q: I have a potpourri of dental work in my mouth made up of veneers and crowns. I now need to have a couple of front teeth removed and replaced with dental implants and am worried that these teeth wont match my existing dental work. Maude in Boynton A: If you attend one of my

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  • A new “Mom” in Thirty Minutes

    After losing my Dad to cancer one year ago, my eighty one year old mom made her first trip by herself last Saturday to visit my family and have a little “touch-up” work. She felt this purple lump on her lower lip was getting bigger and darker and could no longer hide it with lipstick.

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  • Un-Bridging a Bridge

    Q: I have a three-tooth bridge on my upper right that was made to replace one missing tooth. One of the support teeth which had a root canal years ago, has now fractured, and needs to be removed due to a severe infection of the bone next to the root of the tooth. My dentist

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  • The $100,000 Mouth

    Q: At a recent bridge game, a friend told me he spent $100,000 on his mouth. Was he ripped off? How is this possible? Tim in Palm Beach A: Dear Tim: A friend of mine told me he spent $100,000 on a car. Was he ripped off? How is this possible? No “rip-off” in both

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  • One Dental Implant or Two?

    Q: I am missing my last three molars on the right side of my mouth. My dentist wants to place three implants and attach three crowns to each of the implants. To save money, can I just have two implants spread apart and connect a bridge of three crowns connected together? RBJ in Palm Beach

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  • Replacing an Implant that Failed

    Q: My dentist placed an implant four months ago to replace a missing upper front tooth. He had attached a temporary crown to the implant the same day. Three months later, the implant fell out of my gum along with the temporary. He wants to “try again”. Should I bother?…C.B. in Lake Worth A: Remember

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  • Dental Injections and Epinephrine

    Q: My cardiologist told me to avoid shots at the dentist that contain epinephrine, but was not clear as to why. Could you explain the rationale? Mickey in Wellington. A: When it comes to “bedside manner”, not every guy or gal in a white coat has the chops to explain technical stuff in laymen’s terms.

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  • The First-Choice Standard of Care for Missing Lower Teeth is Implants

    Q: I have no teeth on my bottoms. My dentist wants to make me a denture, but told me I will have to use “tons” of Fixodent to keep them in. This sounds awful. What else can I do? Samantha in Tequesta A: Sometimes I feel guilty when a waiter reads through five minutes of

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  • Technology or “Gadgetry”

    Q: I have a new dentist whose office looks like a science fiction movie set. How much of this stuff is needed and how much is just for a “dog and pony show” to keep me as a customer? Lenny in Green Acres A: I recently visited the Fiat USA automobile website which allowed me

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  • Blood Thinners and Dental Treatment

    Q: I have a prosthetic heart valve and take 100 milligrams of daily aspirin to thin my blood. I need several extractions and dental implants; should I worry about bleeding? Morris in Jupiter. A: I must be getting old. At 48, my bladder wakes up before I do, I don’t know half the celebrities on

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  • What Type of Dentist is Best for Implants?

    Q: Who is the right specialist; an oral surgeon, periodontist or general dentist to do implants? Aaron in Lake Lantan A: Have you ever watched the show Myth Busters on the Discovery Channel? Two men of science and engineering debunk urban legends such as: Does your hair really stand up on end when touching an

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  • Tilted Implants? Do Not Worry

    Q: I recently had several implants placed in my upper and lower jaw. After the dentist was finished, he took an X-ray to check his work. Although he said everything was fine, I noticed the implants looked tilted on various angles; none being straight up and down. Is this something to be worried about? Jacob

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  • Not Getting Numb Enough?

    Q: I recently had major implant, root canal and crown work on lower teeth. I kept telling the doctor that I am still feeling pain as he was working on me, although he kept re-injecting me in the same spot repeatedly. What can be done to not go through this experience again? Allen in Loxahatchee

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  • Costly Bone Grafts Not Always Needed

    Q: I need some teeth pulled and would like permanent teeth with porcelain crowns anchored to implants. I thought I could afford the work until the dentist told me I also would need costly bone grafting before the implants are placed. Is there an alternative? Leonard B. in Palm Beach Gardens A: My fitness trainer

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  • WANTED: Hi-Tech Hygienist?

    Q: I recently needed to have 7 teeth removed due to gum disease and yet I have been getting my teeth cleaned by the same hygienist for 15 years. Why did she not see this coming? A: Assuming you brush and floss every day, your hygienist may not be utilizing today’s hi-tech diagnostic and treatment

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  • Teeth and Yoga, Who Knew?

    Q: I have implants, porcelain veneers and crowns. My dentist tells me I am grinding my teeth. My husband says he does not hear or see me grinding them. What do you think can be going on?  Gina in Wellington A: At the start of my Monday night yoga class, Connie the yogini always asks

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  • What Causes White Spots After Braces?

    Q: My twin daughters just had their braces removed. They now have ugly white spots on all their front teeth. The orthodontist says he does not treat this. We are all very concerned about their appearance. Please Help!! Aphrodite in Jupiter A: After putting twins through braces, I am more concerned that you won’t have

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  • Why Do I Have a Racing Heart During Dental Injections?

    Q: Recently at a new dentist’s office I experienced a scary bout of heart palpitations after getting a shot for a crown. I am afraid to go back. What went wrong?  Annie C. in Weston via email A: When ordering a cheese steak in the City of Brotherly Love, one must say: “With” or “Without.”

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  • Coronectomy; Your Surgical Option for Impacted Wisdom Teeth

    Q: My 21 year old son needs his lower wisdom teeth removed. The doctor said the roots are so long that they wrap around the nerve that runs through the jawbone, putting him at risk for permanent numbness of his lip, face and chin. What should we do?  Gale in Stuart A: First, congratulations that

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  • Easy Removal of Ugly Purple “Lip Bumps”

    Dear Readers: Due to an overwhelming response from a recent column, I am repeating a topic for the first time in six years and 300+ columns. Q: For several years now, we have had a growing, ugly purplish bump on our lower lips. What can be done about it?  Michelle and Sol in Wellington A:

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  • Non-Surgical Laser Periodontal Treatment

    Q: I was told I need gum surgery by my periodontist and my general dentist. I see a lot of information on the web about the use of the laser vs. surgery, yet both my doctors do not use this procedure. Is it proven? Daniella in Boca A: Allow me to let you in on

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  • Crowns Over Implants, Connect Them or Not?

    Q: I recently had two implants with bone grafts placed on my lower left missing molar area. The dentist who placed them said he placed 10 mm long implants, but wish he had “placed longer ones”, but could not due to the location of an important nerve at the bottom of the jawbone. He recommended

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  • Dental Laser Often Means No Need for Shots

    Q: I recently needed a crown on a tooth that already had a root canal. Why did the dentist still have to shoot me all up with shots of Novacaine all over again, even though the tooth had its nerve removed? Doris in Stuart A: Recently I visited my favorite optometrist for an eye exam.

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  • New Crown & Bridge Cement, Increases Longevity

    Q: In my eighty years of life, I have had to have crowns and bridges redone from time to time due to decay forming underneath. Some of these crowns have been less than 5 years old. Is there any new technology that can prevent this?..Daniel G. in Boca A: I’m on the case! With time,

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  • Dentists Using Natural Lip Augmentation Technique

    Q: I see that many dentists are now doing Botox as well as many types of MD’s who are not plastic surgeons and dermatologists. Who is best for lip jobs that wont make me look like a duck? Angie in West Palm A: Firstly, I don’t know why so many woman think us guys even

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  • Loved the Temporaries, Hated the Permanent Ones

    Q: I recently had porcelain veneers done. I loved the temporary ones that I had for three weeks, but I hate the permanent ones that were just put in; they don’t look like the temporaries at all!  What happened?!…..P.O’ed in Vero A: I had this nutty dental professor in school 25 years ago named Dr.

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  • Osteoporosis Drugs and Dental Treatment

    Q: Is it true you can loose part of your jawbone if you have dental work done while taking drugs for osteoporosis? Logan in Boca Raton A: It’s a rarity that I repeat a subject matter, but after 390 columns, this subject is worth repeating. Some new conclusions have been reached concerning the taking of

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  • Problems with Posts

    Q: Two years after I left my old dental office, my new dentist took some check-up X-rays. He pointed out that a tooth my former dentist worked on two years ago showed an incorrectly placed post, perforating through one of the roots. I remember this tooth had a root canal, so I have not felt

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  • Removal of Lip Hemangiomas

    Q: For several years now, I have had a growing purplish bump on my lower lip. I had consulted with a plastic surgeon, but he said it is not dangerous and did not want to attempt to remove it. I really hate the way it looks. What can be done about it?  Marge in Wellington

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  • Synthetic Bone Grafting Before Implants

    Q: I need to have several teeth extracted, followed by dental implants and permanent crowns. I notice on my treatment plan estimate, my doctor has listed “bone grafts” in each area that I am losing the teeth. This sounds complicated and adds additional costs. Is this always necessary? Martino in Jupiter Farms A: What separates

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  • Dental X-Rays Do Not Lead to Tumors

    Q: The news reported last week that Dental X-rays can lead to brain tumors. Is this True? Joanne in Deerfield A: One of the most flawed studies ever to hit the medical journals surfaced last week, scaring people into thinking that dental X-rays contribute to forming brain tumors. According to John Graham DDS, MD (dual

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  • Failed Implant, Not Doctor’s Fault

    Q: I had two implants placed on my upper back jaw. One failed and needed to be removed. I am very upset at my dentist. What did she do wrong? Melvin in Green Acres. A: Melvin. The human body is not like building a deck in your back yard. There are no guarantees how human

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  • Lack of Saliva After Inner Ear Surgery

    Q: After undergoing inner ear surgery to correct my hearing loss, I notice my mouth is constantly dry. Would this be related? Stan in Palm Beach Gardens A: “Oh, the head bone is connected to the….neck bone…..and the neck bone is connected to the…etc. etc.” (You know the song.) There is actually a connection of

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  • Internet Doctor Background Checks, Flawed

    Q: I was referred to a doctor for dental work. On the Internet, I saw his malpractice insurance carrier settled a case with a patient. Should this be of concern? Larry in West Boca A: This is one of those columns that I hope finds its way on many refrigerators and in doctor’s waiting rooms.

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  • Dental Treatment Pain; No more

    Q: Dear Doctor Josephs: I am an avid reader of your column and am a retired surgeon myself. As you may already know, doctors can sometimes be the worst patients. I require major dental implant treatment, crowns, bridges and extractions and am wondering how much pain this endures. Am I just being an octogenarian baby?

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  • Gum Use for Juvederm, Dermal Filler

    Q: After years of gum surgery, crowns, veneers, implants and “plain old “ aging, I have ugly black holes between my teeth at my gum line. What can be done about this? Mary Lou in Palm Beach A: Nothing ruins a date more than when some one says: “…you have something stuck between your teeth.”

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  • Silent Drills; Almost

    Q: I hate the dentist because of the sound of the drill. When will we have a silent drill? Artie in Boca A: I’m sorry, could you speak up?  I couldn’t hear you over the sound of my drill! Most modern dental drills operate on an air turbine system. This causes a high-pitched whine that

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  • When a Root Canal is Not Affordable

    Q: I need a root canal to save a tooth, but cannot afford it at this time. Is there an alternative?..SJH in Hollywood A:  Albert Einstein once said: “Honey! We’re out of toilet paper! More profoundly, he also said: “Any intelligent fool can make things more complex.  …..It takes a touch of genius –and a

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  • Onlays: A More Conservative Treatment than Crowns

    Q: I need some crowns, but I hate the idea of having my tooth drilled down to a stump and capped. What else can be done? Mortimer in Wellington A: The good news in dentistry is that there are often more choices in restoring a tooth than a Vegas buffet. The bad news is that

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  • Avoiding Bone Grafts and Sinus Lifts Before Implants

    Q: I am missing my bottom back teeth and was told I need complicated jaw surgery and bone grafting even before the implants are placed. Is there another means to avoid this costly and aggressive procedure? Carol in Boynton A: I would need to see digital images of your bone to properly answer this, but

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  • Implants to Secure Loose Dentures- How many?

    Q: My dentist wants to place four implants to hold my dentures in place. To save money, why can’t I have just two like other friends of mine had? Sol in Lake Worth. A: Trust me on this one. It’s not because your dentist needs to recoup his losses from betting on the Patriots. It

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  • Implant Crown to Match Veneers

    Q: I am about to get porcelain laminate veneers on my top 10 teeth, but one tooth is missing. I will need an implant, but am concerned that the crown on this tooth will not match the veneers on the adjacent teeth. Debbie D. in Lantana. A: No worries, Ms. “Double D”. (er… I mean

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  • General Surgery and Dental Damage

    Q: I am scheduled for open- heart surgery and am concerned about damage to my dental work. A friend of mine had a bad experience, which cost him thousands of dollars in repairs. How can I avoid this? Arthur in Boynton Beach A: Firstly, I wish you only the best outcome of your surgery. I

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  • Second Opinion on Gum Surgery

    Q: A dentist told me I need gum surgery, which will involve thousands of dollars of treatment, stitches and many appointments. I already had this done back in the 80’s. Should I seek a second opinion?…Mel in West Palm Beach. A: Every year a poll is taken on what are the most trust worthy professions.

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  • Franchise Discount Dental Offices

    Q: I tried getting a refund for faulty implant and denture work I had done at a franchise dental office. The doctors told me they “do not own the business” and I must “deal with their corporation’s headquarters in another state”. What’s up with that? “Angry Al” in Boca A: Let me begin by telling

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  • Pre-Cancer Treatment Dental Treatment, a Must

    Q: My husband is about to undergo cancer treatment and his doctor says he might have severe dental problems during and after treatment. What can he do to prevent this? Jill in Lake Worth A: Many physicians, including oncologists, are not aware of an important publication written by the N.I.H (National Institute of Health), entitled “To Fight

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  • Less Implants Can Achieve Same Result

    Q: I am missing three molars. My dentist wants me to have three implants and three crowns. If I did two implants and three crowns, this would save me $2600. Is this safe to do? Melvin in Boynton A: Let’s compare kiwis and pomegranates here. If your bone is super dense and plentiful as verified

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  • Don’t Short Cut the Number of Veneers

    Q: I would like to have veneers on my uppers. I just wanted six, but my dentist insists I do eight to ten. What do you think? Lisa in Wellington A: Lisa, get to the nearest computer or smart phone and email me. I will respond to the email by attaching a photo of what

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  • Dentists Can Now Give Botox and Dermal Fillers

    Q: I have seen in my travels that many dentists are doing Botox and Juvederm. Is this safe? A: I know this concept is a little hard for many patients to swallow. (Look, believe it or not, 50% of the population is afraid to even get their teeth cleaned by us!) Many health professionals are

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  • Less Injection Pain by Neutralizing the Anesthetic

    Q: With today’s technology, can’t you dentists find a way to eliminate the shot? Dan in Wellington A: Easy Dan-O. “Chill-ax!” (As my teenage son says.)  You are in luck. Seventeen studies have shown that part of the pain from Novocain injections are from the acidity of the solution and that buffering the solution greatly

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  • Implant Attachments for Dentures: What’s best?

    Q: I would like just two implants and two attachments placed in my lower jaw to keep my lower denture from moving. I have seen some of my friend’s dentures and no two look alike. How do I know which type of attachment is best for me? Layla in Boynton Beach A: I am glad

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  • Is a Prosthodontist Necessary?

    Q: I need extensive implant, crown and cosmetic work. Must I go to a prosthodontist? Beverly in West Palm Beach  A: If you ask ten people in a room: “What does a prosthodontist do for a living?” nine out of ten will say: “Remove hemorrhoids?” Sorry, wrong end of the body.  A prosthodontist does an

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  • Osteoporosis Meds and Dental Surgery

    Q: I need some teeth pulled and some implants, but have heard medication I take for osteoporosis can put me in danger of getting complications in my jawbone. Should I be worried? Doris in Wellington  A: Sometimes the media gets on a topic like orange on a Home Depot apron. They just love juicy stories

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  • Porcelain Veneers’ Completion Time

    Q: I have been considering veneers and would like them to be finished in time for X-mas and New Year’s. Is this possible? Mariah in Boynton A: I get this question in mid November, every year. Basically, it’s the old lyric: “all I want for Christmas is my two front teeth.” I think the request

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  • Minimally Invasive Dental Implant Surgery

    Q: A friend of mine had dental implants without cutting the gums or needing stitches. How can this be? Sammy in Deerfield A: Sometimes technology turns a “billion dollar” industry into a “million dollar” industry; or even less! Example: when was the last time you moseyed over to your local travel agency? Thanks to the

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  • Seek Second Opinion Before Gum Surgery

    Q: My dentist told me I need gum surgery to “get more mileage” out of my teeth. Are there alternatives? Les in Jupiter A: A common topic on my radio show Tooth Talk is “When to Get a Second Opinion.” When you are told you have deep pockets, get a second opinion before your hands

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  • Swallowing a Denture

    Q: After having an implant placed to replace a missing back tooth, I was given a temporary denture to wear for the next four months. My dog recently swallowed it. Is my dog in danger? What if I had swallowed it? Judy in Boca A: First, I want you to see a short film called

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  • Broken Root Canal Instrument

    Q: While undergoing root canal treatment, the dentists told me one of the small instruments he uses to clean out the nerves had broken off inside the tooth and is now stuck in one of the canals. If this was not upsetting enough, he then told me the tooth may have to be removed in

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  • Posts Falling Out of Roots

    Q: Recently, six old crowns and their posts came off the front upper teeth that they were attached to. My dentist wants to do all new posts and crowns. Why cant he just re-glue the old work back onto the teeth?  Dan in West Boca A: Well, Dan, you can consider yourself lucky that he

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  • Psychiatric Health and Dental Health

    Q: Dear Doctor Josephs: My brother has schizophrenia and has always had terrible dental problems. Now he needs implants, crowns and bridgework. I have already booked a consultation in your office, as you seem to be extremely well versed in these procedures. Is it common for schizophrenics to have extensive dental problems? A: A recent

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  • NSAID for Pain vs. Stroke Risk

    Q: I am about to start some major dental work, including implants,bone grafts and crown treatment. I already use NSAID pain medications for my arthritis pain, but I’m concerned that if I now use more of them during these weeks and months of dental surgery that I may increase my risk of heart attack or

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  • Why your Dentist Must Know ALL your Meds

    Q: I get annoyed every time I am asked to fill out a medical history at dental offices. Many times I am only in for a cleaning. Why do they need to know what I am taking? Frank in VeroA: Hey Frank, Lighten up. In my book, Tooth talk: What Educated Dental Patients Need to

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  • Antibiotics: Not a cure for an Abscessed Tooth

    Q: Dear Dr. Mitchell Josephs: I listen to your radio show on the way to work all the time. I have always wanted to know why an infected tooth needs a root canal to cure it, instead of antibiotics like most other infections. Mike in Delray A: Wow, I’m impressed. I don’t even listen to

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  • Replacing a Bridge with an Implant

    Q: I have a bridge that I can’t floss, one of the anchor teeth looks gray at the gum line and I have a large gap underneath the dummy tooth. Can I remove the bridge and do an implant or is it too late?… MP in Ft. Lauderdale A: Many a beer bottle has cause

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  • X-Ray Guidelines

    Q: I would like you to address how often dental X-rays should be taken. It seems like I am always getting X-rays. Ruth in Boynton. A: I don’t know why, but women with biblical names seem to be my biggest fans. I bet lady Gaga can’t say that! As you might have read in a

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  • Implant to Match Veneers

    Q: I have 10 upper porcelain laminate veneers on my upper front teeth that are about 10 years old. Unfortunately, due to a long time gum issue, I have to have one of my front teeth removed, and replaced with a dental implant. I am worried that the new tooth will not properly match my existing

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  • Digital Impressions Assure a Good Bite

    Q: Two weeks ago, I had a crown cemented. The next day, the entire biting surface of porcelain shattered. I decided to see a new dentist to re-do the crown. She told me that the first doctor did not drill enough off the top of my own tooth to allow for an adequate thickness of

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  • No Need for “Fake Looking” Teeth

    Q: I am thinking of having some cosmetic dental work (veneers and some crowns), but I am afraid they will look fake. I see a lot of people with very artificial looking teeth. How can this be prevented? Dale in Palm Beach A: Nobody wants to look like they swallowed a piano or a box

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  • Brown Spots in Mouth after Implants; Very Rare

    Q: One month after having dental implant surgery, I noticed brown spots inside my mouth. Is this normal and is it something to worry about? Agnes in Cooper City. A: You have heard the expression: “A red herring.” In this case, let’s call it a “Brown herring.” Both imply a rare occurrence. A recent article

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  • Nasal Mist Dental Anesthetic

    Q: Do you think technology in the future will eliminate the needle in the dental office?… Meg in Boca A: I sure hope so! (Hey, I’m a patient too!) Stay tuned for needle-free dental anesthetic. St. Renatus, LLC, based out of Fort Collins Colorado, is in the process of clinically testing a drug the company

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  • Biphosphonates and Implants

    Q: I have osteoporosis and take those drugs that doctors say you must stop if you need dental implants. Is this a real concern?  Maggie in Boca A: It seems like once a big drug TV campaign begins; half the country starts taking that “new pill”. Bob Dole and Viagra, and more recently, Sally Fields

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  • Oral Piercing

    Q: I notice many of my teenage daughter’s friends have all kinds of oral piercings. I am a physician and feel my daughter would listen to you more than me. Can you please explain the risks of these awful things so that I may paste your column to her desk? Donna L.  M.D. A: Ok,

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  • Bleeding Issues

    Q: I was always told by my physician and my former dentist that I am a “bleeder”.  Recently, I relocated to South Florida and require extensive implant and crown work. How should my new dentist be handling me with these bleeding issues? Ester in West Boca. A: My aunt Rose was a bleeder. As a

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  • Thyroid Cancer and X-rays

    Q: Is it true that too many dental X-rays increase your risk for thyroid cancer? VW in Boca. A: Rule # 1. Don’t get all your medical advice from watching Oprah. Many afternoon TV talk shows are great at getting ratings by scaring the public to death with sensational topics. Dr. Otis W. Brawley, chief

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  • Black Triangles

    Q: After wearing braces for two years as an adult in my fifties, I now notice I have noticeable black triangular spaces between my teeth at the gum line. I am constantly trapping food in these spaces and I also do not like the look. What causes this and what can be done about it?

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  • Nano-Surgical Implant Treatment Placement

    Q: My sister said she had implants without any cutting of her gums. How is this possible? BH in Boca A: I am going out on a limb here, and will assume we are talking about “dental” implants. Traditionally, titanium implants are placed by creating an incision along the gum, opening a flap, exposing the

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  • Replacing Resins

    Q: My dentist retired and my new dentist wants to drill out all my white fillings and replace them with amalgam (silver fillings). Speaking with my son, who lives in Washington State, his dentist wants to replace his amalgam fillings with white fillings. Is there a consensus among dentists as to which are the better material?

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  • Teeth Bleaching Booths

    Q: Why should I pay my dentist $700 to whiten my teeth when I could get it done at one of those teeth bleaching booths?

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  • Equia

    Q: I have several white fillings in between my front teeth and where the enamel meets the gum line. I am frequently needing to replace them due to ugly brown stains around the edges, decay or they just simply fall out. Is this normal? D.F. in Albany

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  • Adopt-a-Mom

    Q: What can new mothers living in poverty do about their dental health? Mary in Lake Worth

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  • MI Paste Remineralization

    Q: Can cavities be reversed?…Lou via email

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  • Implants Angled Abutments

    Q: Four months ago I had several implants placed up North. I planned to have the crown and bridge work completed in Florida. While looking at the X-rays of the implants, I and my Florida dentist both commented on how the implants do not seem to be parallel to each other or to the adjacent teeth. Is this a problem?

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  • I.E.D’s and Pre-med

    Q: I have a pacemaker and a defibrillator implanted in my body. Do I have to take antibiotics before dental work? Hyman in Royal Palm Beach.

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  • Implant’s 10 Advantages Over Dentures

    Q: I have worn full dentures for decades and have had no complaints. Is there any general health concerns that should make me consider implants?…Moe in Boynton.

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  • Aveo Anti Snoring Aid

    Q: My husband snores horribly. We have tried all types of non-surgical methods, including some expensive dental devices that cost over $1500. Is there anything new to treat this problem? – “Louie” H. in Boynton

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  • Bone Grafts with RTR

    Q: This may sound crazy, but here goes: My dentist will be removing some of hopeless teeth with the intention to replace them with implants and crowns. He wished to fill the sockets after the teeth are pulled with either bovine (cow) bone or freeze dried human bone. I am a strict vegetarian and am apposed to either choice. What else can be done? Maggie in Delray Beach.

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  • Burning Mouth

    Q: I have had a burning mouth sensation ever since I had a whole bunch of old dental work removed and replaced with new porcelain crowns and implants. None of the dentists I have visited can figure out what is going on. Any thoughts? EJ in West Boca

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  • Flexible Dentures

    Q: I love your column and read it every week without fail. Has there been any new technology in dentures? They still seem to be quite primitive. S.M. in Boca

    Read more →
  • Implants – Hospital or Dental Operation?

    I need several dental extractions and implants. Should I have this done in a hospital like when I had my hip replacement, or can it really be done in a dental office with equal success? Moe in PB

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  • Veneer Out During Endoscopy

    Recently, I had an endoscopy (upper G.I. series). One of my porcelain veneers on a lower tooth was knocked out. Could this have been prevented? G.F. in Lantana

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  • Dry Mouth

    My dentist keeps finding cavities along the gum line around old crowns and bridges. He claims that it is due to this dry mouth problem that I have. What can I do about this?….H.J. in Hollywood

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  • Dr. J’s Top 3 Dental Technology Picks for 2010

    It’s that time of year again. The Number one category for a new year’s resolution is personal health care. Lose weight. Exercise more. Remove a bunion or two. You get the idea. If you are thinking of going dental, here are my favorite picks for making it more effective and comfortable

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  • Implant Gum Recession Around Over-Denture Attachment

    My mother who is 87 had 2 implants on her lower jaw to hold down a full denture. She noticed that one stood up higher than the other. One year later, it is more so now, showing receded gums and irritation. She also has trouble keeping her denture snapped in place. Is this normal? N.M. in SOBE

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  • Spectra Diagnodent

    I recently moved down to Florida and was examined by a new dentist. He found several cavities on the chewing surface of some of my molars. Why did my long time, previous dentist miss all of these? I was just in his office a few months ago, just before moving. Sally in West Boca.

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  • Be Gentle

    Before my dentist gives me the needle, he rubs a gel on my gum first. The problem is that I wind up swallowing the stuff causing my whole throat to freeze- up giving me a horrible choking sensation. Should I change dentists?…Meg in Palm City

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  • Picasso of Porcelain for $2,000 a Tooth

    My husband promised me for Christmas a set of 10 upper veneers. I have found fees ranging from $1,400 to $2,500 per tooth. Why the large range? – D.S. in Jupiter

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  • Veneers at $2500

    My husband promised me for Christmas a set of 10 upper veneers. I have found fees ranging from $1400 to $2500 per tooth. Why the large range?

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  • ‘Floating’ tooth OK with two implants

    I am missing my upper right four back molars and refuse to wear a removable denture. I do not have enough bone for an implant in the back. One dentist said

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  • Crusty dentures could be serious issue

    My mother is in a hospital recovering from hip surgery. The last time I visited her, I noticed a soft crusty material developing around her dentures. Should I be concerned?

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  • Over The Counter Teeth Whitening Strips

    Is there some type of “prescription strength” version of those whitening strips that they sell in the supermarket? I tried several brands and was not that happy with the results

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  • Implant Food Trapping Problem

    I recently had my first bone graft and implant completed and am disappointed that food gets trapped where the crown meets the gums. I must floss after every single meal just to get all the food out. Is this normal?

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  • Denture Teeth Made to Look Real

    Unfortunately, I must have a full upper denture made as I have lost all my teeth from years of neglect. I am only in my late 40’s and am most worried about the teeth looking fake and “denture-like”. Are there any natural looking dentures

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  • Snap-It an alternative to the ‘flipper’

    I need to have a front tooth pulled and then wait four months before my implant, then four months more for the crown. I was told the only way to have a temporary tooth during this time is to wear a removable denture with one fake tooth. My dentist called it a ‘flipper.’

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  • Claspless Partials

    I need to have a tooth pulled and a new partial denture made, but the ugly chrome clasp will now be visible as it engages my canine tooth. What else can be done to hide this clasp?

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  • Pain-free tooth still can be abscessed

    My dentist insists I get a root canal on a tooth that is pain free, but “looks abscessed on the X-ray.” He even went as far as to tell me I could “wind up in the hospital” if I ignore it. Is this just to scare me into paying him more money?

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  • ‘OAC’ common in removal of upper molars

    My dentist recently took out an upper back tooth and left me with a hole into my sinus cavity. I had to be treated by an oral surgeon to fix the problem. What went wrong?

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  • Dentures can accelerate bone loss

    I have worn partial dentures for years with no major problems. My friends are all egging me on to get permanent teeth with implants. Why should I change?

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  • Novocain in ocular nerve is culprit

    Recently I had several back teeth crowned. After I was given the Novocain, my right eye suddenly went numb, preventing me from being able to close my eye for more than two hours. This frightened and angered me and forced me to stay home in bed for the rest of the day. What went wrong?

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  • Vibrating needle eases painful injection

    Recently while my dentist was giving an injection, I felt a vibration and a heard a buzzing noise. I was startled at first, but I felt no pain. What was going on?

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  • Is a new crown needed after a root canal?

    Do I need a new crown after a root canal is done through my old one?

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  • Multiple Injections Might Be Dental Pain Cause

    Question: After having what I thought was routine crown-work on my lower back teeth, the following day I could barely open my mouth to eat. What did the doctor do to me?

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  • Mandibular Block Injections

    After having what I thought was routine crown-work on my lower back teeth, the following day I could barely open my mouth to eat. What did the doctor do to me?

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  • Digital Impressions

    I recently saw a TV news program showing a very small percentage of dentists are using a new technology called digital impressions that replaces the gooey, clay- like stuff. Is this just a gadget like an iPhone or is it truly state of the art?

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  • Filling Keeps Coming Out

    My dentist placed a small white filling on the side of a front tooth earlier this year. Every couple of months it falls out and she replaces it at no charge. What do you suggest?

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  • Zirconia Crowns

    I need some crowns done on my back teeth. My dentist says that I must have gold since I am a bruxer and grind my teeth excessively. I sing for a living and would prefer to show only white teeth in the back when I open wide.

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  • Explorer Tool Can Lead To More Decay

    Question: I recently read an article in the AARP magazine that said when a dentist probes a soft spot on a tooth he could augment the decay process by spreading bacteria further into the tooth. Is this correct?

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  • Pacemakers and ICDs

    Question: I’m a retired medical doctor and have an implanted pacemaker and defibrillator. I need major dental work (extractions, implants, crown and bridge work). Are there any precautions I should know about

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  • X-ray Determines Tooth’s Damage

    Question: I fractured a front tooth, diagonally. The nerve is still fully encapsulated in the tooth and there is no pain. A dentist suggested to do a root canal, post and crown. Why can’t they simply slip a crown over what is left of the tooth?

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  • Implant Crown Too Bulky

    Question: I recently had an implant and crown to replace my upper front center tooth. The crown sticks out too far compared to the next one.

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  • Viroxyn

    Question: I get cold sores frequently on my lower lip. Is there any way to get rid of these ugly things once they appear? Can Viroxyn help?

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  • Prepare for Implants with root banking

    Ask Dr Mitchell Josephs: I am missing all my back teeth. I now need to have all my remaining front teeth removed due to gum disease. I can’t afford implants but would like to have them in the future when I am better prepared financially. Can I wait?

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  • Missing Teeth and Gum Disease

    I am missing all my back teeth. I now need to have all my remaining front teeth removed due to gum disease. I can’t afford implants, but would like to have them in the future when I am better prepared financially. Can I wait?

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  • Thinking of Having Cosmetic Dental Work?

    I am thinking of having some cosmetic dental work (veneers and some crowns), but I am afraid they will look fake. I see a lot of people with very artifical looking teeth. How can this be prevented?

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  • Replace The Whole Bridge?

    I have a long five-tooth permanent bridge that has come loose above just one of the support teeth. Can it be saved or do I need to replace the whole bridge?

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  • Diagnodent vs. Explore

    Mitchell Josephs: I recently read an article in the AARP magazine that said when a dentist probes a soft spot on a tooth he could augment the decay process by spreading bacteria further into the tooth. Is this correct?

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  • Reversing Numbness

    I need some urgent dental work, but leaving the dental office with a numb face and lip will ruin an important speech I need to make. What can I do to get rid of the numbness?

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  • Ask the Dentist: D.I.Y. Dental Emergencies

    Ask the Dentist: D.I.Y. Dental Emergencies. Q: How do I get emergency dental treatment when the power is out from a storm?

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  • Options for Bleach-Free Teeth Whitening

    Q: Due to personal finance issues I cannot afford porcelain veneers ($14,000!) and yet my teeth are too sensitive for bleaching. What other options do I have?…B.G. in Boca

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  • How Hi-Tech Is Your Hygienist?

    I recently needed to have 7 teeth removed due to gum disease and yet I have been getting my teeth cleaned by the same hygienist for 15 years. Why did she not see this coming?

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  • Gentle Clean Ultrasonic Tips

    Q: I have a mouth full of implants and very sensitive natural remaining teeth. I am dreading my next cleaning visit. What can my hygienist do with a complex mouth like mine? Mrs. C. via email A: Mrs. C., Mr. C., Richie and Joni: Listen to the “Fonz” and please keep your hygienist appointment. Today’s

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  • Teeth Like a Celebrity

    Q: A friend of mine told me she was able to get the “same teeth that Hale Berry has” from her dentist. Is this really possible?

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  • Implant Overdentures – Messy Plate Syndrome

    Q: My husband (age 64) is frustrated with his plate; food gets underneath. We thought about implants. Are they prohibitively expensive? TJ in Boca A: Millions suffer from “messy plate syndrome”: more food is found under your “plate” than on your plate. Solution: implant supported overdentures which will allow his existing denture, if in decent

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  • Implant May Be Alternative To Bridge

    Question: I have a three-tooth bridge that needs to be redone for the third time over a period of about 20 years. The dentists all say that I keep getting decay underneath. Is this normal

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  • Bridge Alternatives

    Q: My dentist told me I need to replace a missing tooth with a permanent bridge. I don’t like the idea of cutting down two perfectly good teeth to replace one tooth. What else can I do? A: I feel your pain! Firstly, ask about the implant option. A titanium cylinder mimicking the root of

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  • Gold A Good Choice For Some Crowns

    My dentist recently did a crown on the last tooth on the bottom. When I looked in the mirror as I applied lipstick, I was mortified that the crown was gold! I thought all crowns today were white porcelain.

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  • Blunted Papilla

    Q: I am nearing the end of orthodontic treatment and have noticed the gum between my top two front teeth is missing, leaving an ugly black triangular “hole” at the gum line. Can this be fixed? A: My best friend from dental school was Dr. Mike Cronin of Fitchburg, Mass. He and I were the

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  • Bleaching Proved Safe On Enamel

    Q: I am interested in bleaching my teeth. Are there any ill effects that permanently alter my enamel? The April Journal of the American Dental Association (JADA) contained a study done at a very well respected Italian University’s biomaterial and biomedicine department. They tested real teeth exposed to high-concentration of 38% hydrogen peroxide, commonly used for in-office whitening treatment. Opalescence Boost PF. Mitchell Josephs

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  • Bleach-Free Whitening

    Q: Due to personal finance issues I cannot afford porcelain veneers ($14,000!) and yet my teeth are too sensitive for bleaching. What other options do I have?…B.G. in Boca A: As Captain Stubing would say on the Love Boat: “Your ship has come in.” (Or in this case, your smile has come in.) Over the

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  • Scuba and Flying can hurt teeth

    Q: Is it true that pressure changes while flying or scuba diving can be harmful to teeth and cause an abscess? A: Groucho Marx used to say on his show “You Bet Your Life”: “The secret ‘woyd’ is: barotraumas. (I cannot believe my spell check recognized barotraumas, but not Groucho! Obviously a 20 year old

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  • Bridge Decay Redo

    Q: I have a three tooth bridge that needs to be re-done for the third time over a period of about twenty years. The dentists all say that I keep getting decay underneath. Is this normal?

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  • Fillings for Baby Teeth

    Q: Why should I pay to have my child’s baby tooth filled when it will just fall out anyway? …..Ellen via email A: That’s like saying “why take a two year old to Disney world, he wont remember it anyway”. In my 20 + years in the tooth biz, I have always been amazed how

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  • Dentistry And The Health Overhaul

    Question: How does the health care reform bill benefit Americans? By Mitchell Josephs

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  • Acrylic Dentures Can Solve Stain Issue

    Question: My upper denture was perfect for a long time. Then a dark line at the base of the teeth along the gumline appeared. Two dentists and the dental lab are stumped as to what the problem is. Do you have any ideas? — JV in Palm Beach County

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  • Atrial Fibrillation

    Q: I have a heart problem called atrial fibrillation and am worried about starting my dental treatment which includes extractions, implants and bridge work. Should I be worried?…LBJ in Manalapan A: I’m glad someone is putting their heart into their writing! (Better than a bunch of corny jokes and dental puns) Atrial fibrillation (AF) is

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  • Composite Resin Not Ideal For All Dental Work

    Question: I was told by my dentist that I need a crown on a back molar. Why can’t I just get it filled with the same white filling material that he once used to fill a cavity on one of my front teeth? — Richard in Boca Answer: Spackle is a great material to fill in a few holes made by an errant pool cue, but when used to repair the entire front quarter panel on your neighbor’s Mercedes, you are pushing the limit of the material.

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  • Teeth and Bone Graft

    Q: I had a tooth pulled and was told that I need a bone graft before the placement of an implant. Is this necessary? A: As Shakespeare’s lesser known dentist- third-cousin once said: “To graft or not to graft, that is the question.” Often times the socket left behind after an extraction is too large or the bone is too thin. Sometimes a graft is necessary to create a more substantial foundation for the implant site, says periodontist, Dr. Mauricio Gutierrez.

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  • Bubble in Porcelain

    Q: Very recently I had a porcelain crown placed on my upper right molar. There was a little bubble on the new crown which I became aware of only after my long time dentist cemented it in place. After I brought it to his attention, he smoothed it down. I am angry because it is not smooth, was not perfect and I paid $1300 for it! What do you think?

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  • $10,000 Dentures

    Q: A friend of mine told me that she paid $10,000 for a set of dentures. Is this not excessive? A: I have an unusual philosophy about dentures. (And an even stranger philosophy about life in general, but we will save that one for the analyst’s couch) To a patient, a denture that fits well,

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  • Zocar and Erythromycin

    Q: I take a lot of medications, including Zocar for lowering cholesterol. I am about to have extensive dental work including implants, crowns and root canals. Should I be concerned? A: I remember my old pharmacology professor, Howard Katz BS, DDS, MS, PHD (He had more degrees than a thermometer in Phoenix!) He once said

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  • Saving a Bridge

    Q: I have a long five-tooth permanent bridge that has come loose above just one of the support teeth. Can it be saved or do I need to replace the whole bridge? A: You are lucky that I stopped watching TV after the Seinfeld went off the air. Instead, I took up this “kooky” hobby

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  • Reversing Numbness

    Q: I need some urgent dental work, but leaving the dental office with a numb face and lip will ruin an important speech I need to make. What can I do to get rid of the numbness? A: Every day I eat lunch with three items: a tuna melt, a car magazine and a dental

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  • Why on earth would anyone want to be a Dentist?

    Q: Why on earth would anyone want to be a dentist? A: My first response is: “Why would anyone want to be a proctologist?” In both cases it’s tough to talk to the patient about the weather while you have your fingers busy in their……but I digress. Many professionals have role models who they meet in life who inspire them. My story is no exception.

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  • Implants prevent shifting of nearby teeth

    by Dr. Mitchell A. Josephs Question: My husband had a molar pulled; second from the back. Is it necessary to have an implant and crown vs. leaving the space? And, what are your thoughts about those ads for half price implants? — N.B. in Tequesta Answer: As much as I would like “you two love

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  • Discounted Implants

    Ask the DDS Q: My husband had a molar pulled; second from the back. Is it necessary to have an implant and crown vs. leaving the space? And, what are your thoughts about those ads for ½ price implants? N.B. in Tequesta A: As much as I would like “you two love birds” to enjoy

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  • Special glasses an option to anesthesia

    by Dr. Mitchell A. Josephs Question: I need some gum work and would like to know if there are any alternative methods to anesthesia to perform the treatment. — ‘Ozzy’ in Boca Answer: A recent study in the Journal of the American Dental Association proved something that myself and many other dentists have known for

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  • Athletic Mouth guards

    Q: My son and daughter both play Lacrosse. Are mouth protectors sold at sporting good stores ok to use? Spike V. Jupiter Farms A: Negative. Negative. (And I’m a “glass is half full kind of guy!) Millions of dollars are spent each year in replacing missing teeth on adults and children due to blunt trauma

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  • Root canals don’t hurt, unless delayed

    by Dr. Mitchell A. Josephs Question: Are root canals really a nightmare? — D.M., West Boca Raton Answer: During the president’s State of the Union address, he remarked: “I liked the bank bailout as much as I like a root canal.” When an abscessed nerve is removed from a tooth, the procedure is done under

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  • Amalgam is Safe

    Q: I recently read in your paper that the FDA now declares silver-mercury fillings as “safe”. Then why do dentists always seem to be removing and replacing them? Robin in Palm City A: Robin? As in “Batman and Robin”? Riddle me this, “boy wonder”: When does a dentist go to jail? Answer: When he practices

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  • Splaying teeth

    Ask the DDS Q: I where an upper partial denture, replacing my back teeth. My natural remaining front teeth have spaces that keep getting worse. My dentist keeps adding bonding to their sides to close the spaces, but this makes my teeth look too wide. What is going on? ….Ronnie James Dio (not his real

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  • Swallowing Impression Materials

    Q: Is there any danger in swallowing impression material when the dentist is taking moulds of your teeth? A: This question could not be timelier. If you asked me two days ago, I would have said: “No way, dude!” But today I say: “Way”, dude. One of my physician patients is a world renounded eye

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  • Unhappy Crown Work

    Q: I had an implant to replace a missing front tooth and am unhappy with an ugly gray line that is visible at the gum-line above the crown. Why is this so? Mdm. X A: Getting in touch with my feminine side, I do feel guilty that you gals experience the pain of childbirth and,

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  • Palatal Injections

    Q: I am in need of dental work but fear getting a shot on the roof of my mouth which I know can be painful. Is there a way to avoid this? Erica in Jupiter A: Forty % of the population does not see a dentist and I will bet you a box of large

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  • Do I Need A Root Canal?

    Q: At my last dental visit I asked my dentist about a lower front tooth that has turned yellow. With an X-ray, he determined that the tooth needs a root canal. This tooth has no cavities and no old fillings. Why would it need a root canal and must it be filed down to make a crown afterwards? …..anonymous

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  • Fear of Needles, What Can I do?

    Q: I need major dental work but am horrified about getting a needle. Has there been anything new to eliminate the shot, but still get me numb to work on my teeth? H.W., Boca Raton A: Have no fear, technology is here! Your dentist can give you a painless injection if he/she uses three items:

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  • Choosing a Cosmetic Dentist

    Q: I notice almost all dentists claim they do “cosmetic dentistry”, like veneers, but how do you choose the right office for this “specialized” treatment?… HRC West Boca

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  • Crown Alternatives

    Q: My dentist wants to crown (cap) another one of my teeth, but I hate the idea of having another tooth filed down to a stump. Are there any alternative treatments?

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  • Dental Treatments Before College

    Q: Before I ship my kid off to college, are their any special dental concerns I should address now? …B.J.S. Beverly Hills CA via internet.

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  • Prices of Crowns

    Q: Why do some dentists charge $600 for a crown and some charge $1400 for a crown?…LH Jupiter

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  • DDS vs DMD

    Q: What is the difference between a dentist with a DDS degree vs. one with a DMD degree? LZ in South Palm Beach

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  • Do I need a new crown?

    Q: I had a crown done 6 months ago. The gum always bleeds around it when I floss and it feels sore between the teeth. What could be wrong? Dr. D. in Highland Beach

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  • Do I Need X-Rays With Teeth Cleanings?

    Q: I recently went to a dental office for a cleaning. They refused to clean my teeth without having a recent set in front of them. I feel they were just looking for more money. What do you think?

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  • Crown Loosens Over Implant

    Q: I have a crown that is screwed into an implant that has spun loose three times. My dentist just keeps tightening the screw. Is this normal? JR in West Palm Beach

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  • Canker Sores- A Pain in the Mouth

    Q: I frequently get canker sores inside my mouth. My dentist just says: “wait 10 days and they will go away.” What can I do?….. … JHC Palm Beach

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  • Can my dentist save my crown?

    Q: A front crown fell off my tooth with the tooth stump broken off inside. My dentist wants to do a root canal, post and a new crown for almost $3000. Can’t he save the existing crown?

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  • Broken Bridges

    Q: I had a three tooth permanent bridge supported by two implants placed in the upper front area. The doctor used temporary cement for a “trial run” to see if I liked the shape and color. After I explained that I would like the teeth longer and whiter, he tried to remove the bridge but could not get it out and told me he did not want to risk damaging the underlying implants. What can I do?…Hillary in Hollywood

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  • Canker Sore Prevention

    Q: I get canker sores quite often, especially after going through a round of chemotherapy for cancer treatment. Is there anything I could do to prevent their occurrence?

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  • What’s that smell in the dentist chair?

    Q: The last time I had a crown done, I noticed the dentist was burning my gum with something; the smell of burning flesh scared me. What was this?

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  • There’s a Bubble in my Porcelain Crown

    Q: Very recently I had a porcelain crown placed on my upper right molar. There was a little bubble on the new crown which I became aware of only after my long time dentist cemented it in place. After I brought it to his attention, he smoothed it down. I am angry because it is not smooth, was not perfect and I paid $1300 for it! What do you think?

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  • To Graft, or Not to Graft

    Q: I had a tooth pulled and was told that I need a bone graft before the placement of an implant. Is this necessary?

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  • Why Did My Dentist Remove My Silver-Mercury Filling?

    Q: I recently read in your paper that the FDA now declares silver-mercury fillings as “safe”. Then why do dentists always seem to be removing and replacing them? Robin in Palm City

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  • What is the best way to bleach my porcelain veneers?

    Q: Finances are such that I cannot afford to do porcelain veneers right now. What is the best way to bleach my teeth?… TL From Royal Palm Beach

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  • Blood Thinners and Implants

    Q: Can I have implants even though I am on blood thinners?… A.L. in Golden Lakes

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  • Teeth Bleaching Booths

    Q: Why should I pay my dentist $700 to whiten my teeth when I could get it done at one of those teeth bleaching booths?

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  • SCUBA and Flying Can Hurt Teeth

    Q: Is it true that pressure changes while flying or scuba diving can be harmful to teeth and cause an abscess?

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  • Baby Teeth

    Q: Why should I pay to have my child’s baby tooth filled when it will just fall out anyway? …..Ellen via email

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  • Atrial Fibrillation

    Q: I have a heart problem called atrial fibrillation and am worried about starting my dental treatment which includes extractions, implants and bridge work. Should I be worried?…LBJ in Manalapan

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  • The $10K Denture

    Q: A friend of mine told me that she paid $10,000 for a set of dentures. Is this not excessive?

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  • Medications Plus Dental Work

    I take a lot of medications, including Zocar for lowering cholesterol. I am about to have extensive dental work including implants, crowns and root canals. Should I be concerned?

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