Went to the dentist today...

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by Andrew S, Apr 26, 2004.

  1. Andrew S

    Andrew S Stunt Coordinator

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    I had my teeth cleaned today and I must say that I would rather get my tooth drilled without freezing than experience that any time soon. It felt like someone put a nail on one of those spinning toothbrushes and shoved it into my gums. Plus my teeth are sensitive, so even spraying all that cold water on my teeth is unpleasant.

    Then to top it off, I find out I have an outrageous number of cavities (I won't say out of embarassment), even though I brush twice a day til my gums bleed. Needless to say, I was lectured about how I should practice proper teeth hygiene, etc, etc, while my sister who runs a brush over her teeth every once in a while is commended for doing such a great job.

    It seems this is always the case when I go to the dentist, I can brush 5 times a day and I still get cavities. In my household, I take the best care of my teeth, yet get the most cavities.
    Are some people more prone to getting cavities than others? Could it be a characteristic of my teeth? I know I don't floss as much as I should, but are there any other factors aside from the obvious sugary foods, brushing, flossing, etc.?

    Sorry for the rant, but it's just so frustrating to go the dentist.

    Andrew
     
  2. Cameron Yee

    Cameron Yee Executive Producer
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    I can understand your frustration. It seeemed at one time I was needing fillings after every check up. I don't know if it was a dentist who was just milking things or my poor habits. Things have gotten much better, but from talking to various people I do believe genetics has something to do with it. My sister, for example, has great teeth (never needed braces) and resistance to decay. I, on the other hand, have had my share of fillings and needed braces.

    EDIT: I don't drink much in the way of soda. That may help.
     
  3. Kirk Gunn

    Kirk Gunn Screenwriter

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    I'm also stuck with bad teeth that seem to need cleaning every few months despite daily flossing, Listerine and Plax usage. Fortunately I haven't had many cavities lately. My hygeniest uses this "aerator" that is like a frickin' needle gun. The only good thing is that it doesn't take as long as the scraping method.
     
  4. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Moderator
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    If you're going to brush, you should floss at the time of brushing your teeth because that's what will remove the plaque that can build up and cause cavities and decay in tooth structure. Also, brushing 5 times a day might be overdoing it, and could cause your gums to recede. 2 times a day should cover it, and flossing once every 24 hours is mandatory if you want to relieve your teeth of the plaque build-up since 24 hours is as long as you want to go without flossing away the plaque because the longer it stays in between and on your teeth, the more damage it'll contribute to tooth decay.
     
  5. Garrett Lundy

    Garrett Lundy Producer

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    I don't mind going to the dentist. We have an agreement: I pay cash, he uses three times the normal amount of novacaine. I'd actually try to go out to get in a fight with my entire head numbed-up for two days but having your vocabulary limited to "Mmmphff Lbpfffffff Duthhhh!" doesn't usually make people wanna kick your ass.
     
  6. Andrew_Sch

    Andrew_Sch Cinematographer

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    I just found out today that I need a graft on my gums, most likely because I brush TOO much and too vigorously. The dentist said my mouth was miraculously clean otherwise, so it seems matters of the mouth are often unfair.

    EDIT: Come to think of it, maybe the above only applies to people whose first name is Andrew and whose last name starts with the letter "S."
     
  7. David Galindo

    David Galindo Screenwriter

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    Heres a horrible dentist story.

    I went to the dentist a long time ago (years), needing a tooth removed because of a huge cavity that was infected. They put the needle in the top of my mouth, pulled it, and it was awful. It was extremely painful, even with the anasthetic.

    So I make my way out, holding my jaw, when the doctor runs after me and tells me he PULLED THE WRONG TOOTH. So I had to have everything done to me a second time. AGHHH! (thankfully, the tooth he pulled was a baby tooth. But geez!)
     
  8. Erik.Ha

    Erik.Ha Supporting Actor

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    YES. And Yes.
     
  9. Andrew S

    Andrew S Stunt Coordinator

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    That sounds a lot like what they used on me today. It was this drill-type spinny thing (best description I could come up with) and everytime she'd turn it off I'd hear a noise from the corner of the room almost like an air compressor. Whatever it was, I'd much rather have my wisdom teeth removed again then have that thing pounding my gums. The browny-reddish water I spit out after I rinsed my mouth wasn't a pretty sight either, but hey, my teeth are clean... for now... [​IMG]
     
  10. Cameron Yee

    Cameron Yee Executive Producer
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    My hygienist uses something similar after she's done all the scraping - it replaced the buffer device used to polish the teeth. Instead it uses water and baking soda and maybe another abrasive. I don't mind it unless it hits my tongue. Then it stings. It also kind of makes a mess so I have to have a towel on my face when it's being used.
     
  11. LDfan

    LDfan Supporting Actor

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    Sounds like you have a very soft enamel on your teeth. I just went through a root canal procedure that sucked but I got a lot of good info out of my dentist.
    There are 2 things that cause cavities. Bacteria and sugar. The bacteria will always be present in your mouth but you can control sugar. Switch from regular to diet soda and cut out the candy and sweets.
    After brushing and flossing try using a flouride rinse. I've been using a product called Phos-flor that colgate makes. You can get it in most drug stores but it is kinda pricey, ~$12.00 a bottle. It is a flouride rinse that should help strengthen the enamel on your teeth.

    Good Luck,
    Jeff
     
  12. Jean Luc

    Jean Luc Agent

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    Don't know if I'm the only dentist on these boards (I doubt it) but let me give you all the run down on cavities:
    The cavity causing bacterium is called Streptococcus Mutans. They are a natural inhabitant of the oral cavity. Like all living things, they need to eat to survive. As you may have guessed, simple sugars is what they consume(glucose, fructose, sucrose). They cannot consume anything else. The notion that bacteria "eats away" at teeth is wrong. Like all living things, bacteria produce large quantities of waste ie: me after Taco Bell. Their waste, however, comes in the form of acid, which "eats away" the tooth.
    So the only way to stop the production of acid is to stop feeding the bacteria, and the only way to do that is to control sugar intake.
    The 2 main factors is preventing decay are: oral hygiene. This remove plaque(contains bacteria, sugar, food stuff...)and minimizes the amount of sugar in your mouth.
    The other one is diet. Controlling sugar intake will prevent bacteria from feeding and thus prevent cavities.
    I guess you could say genetics is also a factor, but that factor is so small we rarely use it as a reason for cavities.

    Brushing and flossing are extremely important. Flossing does 2 things: it keeps the gums in between your teeth healthy(prevents bone loss) AND it also keeps the contacts in between the teeth free of bacteria. Most cavities start in between your teeth, an area the toothbrush cannot get to. Flossing is the only thing you can snap in between your teeth and keep them clean.
    Many patients tell me once they start flossing they bleed a lot therefore they stop because they think it is bad. NOT TRUE. Bleeding is good. First of all, the gums bleed because they are inflamed. second of all, once you start flossing regularly, the gums get cleaner and the inflammation goes away, and the bleeding stops. I would say give it about 1-2 weeks of regular flossing and your gums will stop bleeding altogether.

    As far as the sugar is concerned, I am not saying you can't drink soda or eat candy. I am saying you can do it, but smartly. For example, if you got a sweet tooth and you feel like eating 3 candy bars, that's fine by me, but I would suggest you brush your teeth right after. The key is to MINIMIZE the amount of time the sugar is in your mouth.

    Having healthy teeth and gums is not a mystery. Unfortunately, dentists don't spend enough time talking to their dentists about education and prevention, which can be a HUGE benefit to patients. They are too busy making money.
    The reason I say "they" is because I am an air force dentist so I don't have to worry about making money like a civilian dentist, so I have the time to sit and educate patients.

    Hope I didn't bore you all too much

    JLN
     
  13. Kirk Gunn

    Kirk Gunn Screenwriter

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    This may sound gross, but I can attest to that. I never flossed as a kid and when I started in my late twenties it was a tough time. It does get better and soon was no problem. I'm surprised my teeth didn't fall out, but they are now fairly healthy considering the amount of neglect in my younger years. Guess my major sugar intake was mostly from beer !
     
  14. Tim Hoover

    Tim Hoover Screenwriter

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    Jean Luc, thx a bundle for the info. I'm very familiar w/ my dentist (meaning I have to go a LOT) and he's never just sat down and given me the kind of info you have...
     
  15. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Moderator
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    Once I got the riot act read to me a few years ago, I floss daily, and if I don't floss, it feels like driving a car without wearing your seatbelt, things just don't feel right. Flossing will eliminate the bleeding from inflamed gums once you floss on a regular basis. I also wish I got the message 10-15 years earlier because I would have saved quite a bit on dental bills in the past 4 years. Just had my check-up and scored a 100 on gum recession, bleeding, and plaque build-up (all of which just means I don't have problem areas anymore once I changed my dental hygiene habits). My scores have steadily improved in these last few years, so regular intervals of brushing and flossing is having the desired effect.
     
  16. Andrew S

    Andrew S Stunt Coordinator

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    Thank you very much, Jean. I didn't even find out how many cavities I had when I went to the dentist until I went to the receptionist. I did have an idea by counting the number of times my dentist said "oooo" and "uhhhhh" though. Then he proceeded to speak french to his assistant. It's nice to see a dentist that communicates with his patients.
     
  17. Tom Meyer

    Tom Meyer Second Unit

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    I used to get a cavity very couple visits for years until I started flossing. If your's are mostly between teeth (as mine were), it's because you aren't flossing.

    I floss every day and haven't had a cavity in 3+ yrs.
     
  18. Jean Luc

    Jean Luc Agent

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    Andrew,
    unfortunately, not nearly enough time is spent talking with the patients. Only 2-3 minutes is needed to explain to the patients what is going on. Routinely i get patients that say "boy, you're the first dentist that's explained this to me".

    JLN
     
  19. MikeAlletto

    MikeAlletto Cinematographer

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    My biggest problem with dentists these days are they act like used car salesman. I fired the dentist I had for 5 years because I got tired of them trying to push products onto me while I was sitting there. The appointments were always running late and the number of patients they had was enormous. I never got personal care. I switched to a smaller family dentist and they are just as high tech but their office is MUCH smaller, they don't try to sell me something everytime I'm there and they actually run on time (for the most part).
     
  20. LewB

    LewB Screenwriter

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    1 dentist, 1 chair ! Anything more than 1:1 and you have to figure that they are 'chair hopping' and dividing their attention.
    I found a guy a few years ago who is a 1 dentist, 1 chair operation. My initial 'consultation/evaluation' included X-rays of all the teeth, as well as a tooth by tooth visual evaluation and dissertation. He took a hand held camera about the size of a pencil and focused on 1 tooth at a time. The tooth was then displayed on a color TV for us to look at (freeze framed of course). He then used a laser pointer to highlight potential problem areas and the like. Talk about too much information !
    He runs late most of the time but I guess you have to when you do stuff like that.
     

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