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Dental concerns

Discussion in 'Hip Replacement Pre-Op Area' started by Kerilyn, Apr 13, 2012.

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  1. Kerilyn

    Kerilyn Junior Member

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    Hi
    I just went to the dentist for a routine cleaning and exam before my surgery. I have not aches or pains other than sore gums now and then. I left the appt in tears!:cry4: My Dr. Dentist said I have infections and need to see a periodontist and a endodontist to clean up my problems in my mouth before having surgery which is May 7! I was shocked to say the least! :hissyfit:
    I called my Orthopedic and spoke with my Dr.'s nurse as the Dr was out for the day doing surgery. She said that there may not be a problem and sometimes dentists are just trying to make a buck... of course... she did some checking and called me this morning and said to follow up with the periodontist to see if it is necessary to have work done or will antibiotics enough to clear up the issue.
    I couldn't even talk when I left the Dentist office... not one person even tried to console me or showed one ounce of compassion! If I have so much infection why didn't the dentist send me off with some antibiotics himself!
    I am so disappointed and concerned now about surgery being postponed!
    Has anyone else had any issues like this?
    I know it's important to be healthy and not have any infections before and after surgery but geez I was just going in for a cleaning and got the worst news ever! I think this Dentist seriously is just looking to make some money as I'm sure his business has declined in this economy but OMG!:hate-shocked:
    I just need to vent here and get some advice:scratch:
    Thanks :hairpulling:
  2. Jamie

    Jamie Administrator

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    Kerilyn...I can see why you would be upset!!! I think the best thing for your to do is go on to see the periodontist and get an independent evaluation of what is going on.

    It is true that you would not want to head into joint replacement surgery with active oral infections. But.....you need to have a clear picture of what is really going on before making any decisionis about your surgery.
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  3. newnee

    newnee Graduate

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    Hi kerilyn and welcome to BoneSmart. I had thoiught I was going to have my TKR last year so I went ahead and made a dental appointment to get my teeth checked. I found out I needed a root canal. I was depressed but my endondontist got me in within a few days, fixed the problem and said I should be OK for surgery but it would be up to my OS. It was then I found out my OS was not certain I needed a TKR but that is another story. Go ahead and see your peridontist and find out what needs to be done then you and your OS can decide what needs to be done. I know how frustrating this is but it is better to find this out before surgery rather than risk having an infection in your new hip. Will keep you in my prayers let us know what you find out
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  4. bobslp

    bobslp Member

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    I had my teeth checked before surgery and my dentist noted that I had a cavity and then told me that I would need multiple x rays to determine if I had an infection and that I could do that or go with the idea that he saw no signs of infection and that an abcess or infection should also show up symptomatically. In other words, use common sense. If there is no obvious pain or swelling etc. There is a high probability that there is no infection. Having said that, I had a small fever prior to my surgery and had an MD at an urgent care clinic give me a z pack just to Make sure. Your question about the dentist no giving you an antibiotic is very valid.
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  5. klalota

    klalota Junior Member

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    Kerilyn,

    I can understand your frustration and needing to vent. I'm in the final weeks pre-surgery and if I was told now that it had to be postponed, I'd be very upset. Mentally, it's pretty taxing to get yourself to a place where you're OK with needing such major surgery; then to find out it could be postponed is another major mental hurdle. I'd be in tears, too! I'm hoping that you can get it all taken care of as needed quickly and smoothly. If the periodontist knows of your situation, maybe you can be seen and treated ASAP. I agree with bobslp that your question about your dentist dispensing antibiotics is a valid one and I would bring it up at my next appt.

    Did your surgeon or GP recommend you see the dentist pre-surgery? Is this standard procedure? My docs never mentioned this.
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  6. Dingbat7

    Dingbat7 Senior

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    Hiya

    I had a similar problem as got a bad ache underneath a crown end of last year and was going to get the tooth removed to avoid any infection prior to my hip replacement , it turned out to be a gum infection that was easily treated with antibiotics although it took a while to find a brand that didn't react with my warfarin .
    Infections are easily dealt with and you have plenty of time to get it sorted, I am also not sure how likely a tooth infection spreading to a hip joint is
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  7. rider1960

    rider1960 Post-Grad

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    I know some orthos even want dental clearance before they will do a joint replacement because of infection concerns. If you really do have all these problems brewing, seems like getting it done before your surgery would be the best thing to do. If you have questions about the dentist and oral surgeon's integrity, you may want to get a second opinion on the teeth.

    What a bummer that you are facing this now.

    Dorothy
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  8. Kerilyn

    Kerilyn Junior Member

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    Thank you all for your replies to my post... :ThankYou:
    i am going to get some answers on Monday hopefully..
    To answer klalota's question - it is suggested to go to the dentist before surgery. Not mandatory.
    I feel like I've been on a crazy ride ...
    I'll keep you posted and thanks for your kind words, encouragement and advice :biggrin:
  9. DallasSarah

    DallasSarah Post-Grad

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    Hi Kerilyn....welcome to BoneSmart!

    Oh I'm sorry on the gum news! I get what you are going through kinda sorta, I had gum issues a few years back and have gone through major treatments. The part I don't relate with is going through the gum thing with the hip surgery at the same time.

    I'm completely NOT a medical professional, years back I went to a new dentist who sent me off to a periodontal person, between them they wanted to do gum surgery along with dentures that's my short version. I sat on it for about 6 months. Then I started a new job and went to see a new dentist for a 2nd opinion and he said NO way and we immediately started a cleaning regime every 3 months 10 years later gums are great, plus my own teeth, I'm sharing because you mentioned your Ortho nurse mentioned $$ a dentist can make. I'm sharing not to scare you just to relate a little. Gums can be treated and fixed!

    Its definitely important to make sure you are under a treatment plan before your hip surgery, and hopefully next week you find out it can be treated with a deeper cleaning. I would think your Ortho surgeon ultimately will say yes or no for the hip surgery, not sure??

    Dental work is more expensive than having your hip replaced. The comment you made about no one showing any sympathy at the dentist office is not good either. I believe a good dentist is soooooo important, it's as intimate as a OBGYN seriously. One other thought a dentist can also treat gum disease in their office if they have new technology. Don't be discourage it's important to heal your gums.

    Keep us posted!

    xxooxx
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  10. sharonslp

    sharonslp Forum Advisor

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    Kerilynn, you said you went in for a routine cleaning. I infer from that that you do a routine cleaning twice a year. Is that correct? And if so, then 6 months ago, everything was fine? No hint of potential problems with teeth or gums? Is this the same dentist you always see? Did he explain why you suddenly have all these problems, when you had no problems before?

    Certainly, you need to know whether you do or don't have infections before you undertake hip surgery. So start with the followup appointments and go from there. Best case scenario.....not major problems and/or easy to fix problems. Worst case scenario....surgery gets postponed and surgery gets rescheduled.

    We're all rooting for best case for you, but we are still here if you have to be rescheduled.

    Sharon
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  11. Kerilyn

    Kerilyn Junior Member

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    Update.... I am going to get a tooth extracted due to it being cracked at the root and a deep cleaning of the gums... ugh! :sigh:so frustrating! The earliest I can get it done is on 4/26 and on 4/27 I'm meeting with my OS as planned but will have to decide if I can go ahead with the surgery as planned 5/7 or wait.
    I went one year without my regular cleanings which would be 2 cleanings but all my life I have had my check ups like clockwork every 6 months.
    I will be getting a new dentist after all this for sure! :mad:
    The periodontist was okay but he was sure I should play it safe and take care of the gums and the fractured tooth before surgery. I called my OS office and his nurse said get it done and meet the OS on scheduled date. As far as the root canals that supposedly need to be redone... i've been told this since 2008 by this dentist and nothing has ever happened ... no aches no infections.
    Thanks for all your encouragement and understanding.:biggrin: Fingers crossed and praying that the extraction goes good and we can move along with the surgery. I hate being in constant pain! As you all know all about ... i'll keep you posted :ThankYou:
  12. cotton1958

    cotton1958 Supremo

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    I went through a dental mess of sorts after my surgery. Had what turned out to be a small crack in my tooth. I think. Orthodontist says it was not probable, after the fact. The dentist swore it wasn't a crack. Then went to a periodontist. She was very nice, but she wanted to do a whole perio thing and charge a whole lot of money. The office even went so far as to get an estimate from my insurance co. Well, problem was, I had had that whole cleaning thing just a bit earlier.Never did find out what was wrong with the tooth, it hurt so got a root canal after it was getting infected.

    Maybe she, the perio.. was a perfectionist. Maybe she wanted my teeth cleaned better than they were. But the dental assistant did a very good job. And I paid a lot even out of pocket to get that done.

    So anyway, I'd be a bit wary. Also if you want to keep that tooth, get a root canal and put a temp band around the tooth. Take a good round of PRESCRIBED antibiotics. And you will be just fine. I personally don't think gum problems would stop a surgery. It can take some time to get that under control.
  13. Kerilyn

    Kerilyn Junior Member

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    DallasSarah.... unbelievable but the tooth extraction and deep cleaning will cost more than my THR!
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  14. Elizak

    Elizak Senior

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    Hi Kerilyn,

    I have had periodontal problems for the past 10 years. Unfortunately, they can sneak up on you with no symptoms or just minor symptoms. Meanwhile the mouth is infected and one can be losing the support structures of the teeth, including bone.

    I am glad to hear that you are having the deep cleaning and hope that that will resolve your problem with only maintenance cleanings needed in the future. Periodontal disease is a really serious problem, but can usually be maintained without getting worse with regular cleanings. It can lead to tooth loss and infections if let go.

    Dental implants are horrifically expensive, about 6-8 thousand a tooth. I have had to have two as a result of a cracked root canal tooth and an infection that went into my jaw. My whole face swelled up and I had to have emergency surgery. Luckily it did not go to the bone. I now see my periodontist 4 times per year and hope to catch any problem before it becomes serious. I use the periodontist as my primary dentist.

    Do you know what the pocket depths in your gums were ? Any deeper than a three normally means that they cannot be cleaned by a normal dental cleaning only by a periodontist.

    I am not a dentist, but have been dealing with this problem for a long time. Feel free to ask me any questions that you have.

    Here's to your good gum health, glad that you caught the problem early. Best wishes for a successful and smooth hip replacement and recovery.
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  15. Kerilyn

    Kerilyn Junior Member

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    Hi Elizak. My pocket depth numbers were more than 3 up to seven in places in the back teeth :sigh: I can't believe how expensive dental care is :hairpulling: my mother had major dental work done cost her 30,000! I think I will end up going with the periodontist from here on out.
    What you went through must have scary. Unfortunately I wasn't blessed with good teeth. I've always have problems doesn't matter how much I brush,floss and keep the cleanings going I end up with some issues. This time it was much more than I expected. Thanks I'll keep u posted
  16. DallasSarah

    DallasSarah Post-Grad

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    Hi Kerilyn,

    I'm happy you have a game plan put in place. I really felt for you when you posted earlier just thinking about dental work makes me feel icky. To skip a year is not that bad, once you get a hold of the gum stuff and get onto a "deep" cleaning routine things do improve. You really need to have good gums for the long term, I'm finding as I get older now I'm more aware of these things ahhhhh! The price-cost of this stuff is painful and even if you have insurance the max is so low it's silly. Least with the medical you pay your copayment then there is no limit.

    Elizak is right with the implants the cost is awful. My girlfriend the last couple of years ventured down to a leading dentist in Costa Rica and pretty much had a mixture of implants along with veneers she calls it her "Hollywood Smile" she did end up spending about $25,000 but it was about a third of the cost she would have spent here. First class dentist trained in Los Angeles, I might go that direction later on, not sure yet. This guys office is completely state of the art in technology. Fascinates me. For cleanings though staying home is good!

    Keep us posted...sending you lots of good thoughts and a speedy results!

    xxooxx
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  17. Elizak

    Elizak Senior

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    Hi Kerilyn,

    I was just checking in to see how things are things are going with the endodontist, periodontist, and orthopedic surgeon. Lots of doctors ! I am hoping that you are able to get things cleared up in order to proceed with your new hip with no worries. Best wishes.
  18. Kerilyn

    Kerilyn Junior Member

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    UPDATE ... I went to periodontist yesterday and had the cracked infected tooth removed and the deep cleaning done.The periodontist Dr. didn't see any reason I would need to change my surgery date. That was encouraging but still needed to hear that from my OS. I am choosing to not go to endodontist as I don't think those teeth aren't a priority since the Dentist (the one I will never go back to) has been after me since 2008 to get all the root canals redone and those teeth have not bothered me at all. :sigh: The cracked tooth and gums problem I felt were for sure something I should get done now.
    This morning I went and saw my OS and he said we are going ahead with the May 7th scheduled date :yes 4: He was glad I took care of potential dental problems.
    I have a sense of relief now. I will follow up with the periodontist to make sure the gum issue stays under control.

    Thanks for all your support everyone and I will give you updates after the hip replacement for sure! oh yea I asked my OS for a pretty incision/scar lol!
    Have a great day :biggrin::happy dance:
  19. Elizak

    Elizak Senior

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    Congratulations. What a relief !! I am glad to hear that the periodontist was able to take care of everything so quickly. I always felt better when I knew that my gums and teeth were healthy, with no problems lurking. Now you can look forward to your new hip !
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