I’ve put a lot of time into finding a dentist to get my teeth together finally. It wasn’t easy to trust her, but after four appointments, I let her start improving my smile. After getting my dental cleaning and some badly needed fillings, I agreed that my teeth should be whitened before I get crowns. Since in-office whitening is quick, I opted for that. The dentist walked me through everything she was doing, and because I was so nervous, I asked for nitrous oxide. She was supposed to do three whitening treatments, but after the 2nd one, my lips started burning. My dentist tried something she thought was neutralizing the sting, but it didn’t work. When I left the office, my lips were bright red and burning badly. My lips look fine now, but that was pretty traumatic. She apologized repeatedly, but my confidence in her was not so good.
My teeth are white, but that was a bad experience, especially for me, because this type of pain and careless mistakes made me stay away from dentists in the first place. My whitening sessions are incomplete, and I still need crowns on my teeth. This supposed gentle dentist messed me up, and I feel like I must start over because of my anxiety. The dental office keeps calling me to schedule another whitening session so I can get my crowns, but I have yet to return their calls. I’m trying to figure out if I should leave this dentist before she makes another mistake and I can’t make dental appointments anymore or if I should give her another chance. Thanks. Tasha
Tasha – If a dentist you have trusted makes a mistake that causes pain, it can make your comfort level drop quickly. Your concern is understandable. So, what should you do about it? Below are a few considerations.
Can Teeth Whitening Gel Burn Your Lips?
Teeth whitening can burn your lips if the bleaching gels lingers on them. Your lips may burn if bleaching gel gets on them, but this is rare. Before whitening your teeth, a dentist retracts your lips and protects them from the gel.
Talk to Your Dentist
Any dentist can make a mistake. It’s good that your dentist apologized for her mistake. Thinking that she apologized can help you talk to her and be open about how much pain you felt when your lips were burned with bleaching gel. It’s also good to help her understand the setback you’re having because of the bad experience. During the conversation, your dentist might give you reasons to consider giving her another chance.
Wait Before Switching Dentists
Give yourself a day or two to consider why you want to switch dentists. Write down the pros and cons of changing to a new dentist. Make an informed decision that will help you stay on the path to good oral health and a beautiful smile.
Schedule Consultations with Other Dentists
If you’re completely uncomfortable with your current dentist, you can find a new one. Maybe you have friends or family members who also suffer from dental anxiety. You can ask for a recommendation for a dentist who is gentle and understanding. You can also check online patient reviews.
But the dentist you choose also needs training in cosmetic dentistry to give you natural-looking crowns that match your brightened teeth. You can schedule consultations with one or two dentists to determine if you want to switch to a new dentist.
Dr. Jerome Cha, a Tulsa, Oklahoma, cosmetic dentist, sponsors this post.