In January of this year, a cosmetic dentist placed zirconia crowns on two of my molar teeth. He used a laser for tooth extension, and he used a lot of water to protect some of my surrounding teeth. It was hard for me to breathe, I was throwing up water, and the dentist had to stop the procedure for 30 minutes until I was calm again. The whole ordeal strained my throat and affected my speech. And I had lingual nerve damage that lasted almost a year.
Since that time, my tongue gets dry and sticky, and my throat burns. I thought that I might have an allergy to zirconia, but my dentist said there’s no way I have a reaction to zirconia because it’s a ceramic. I’ve been to three ENT specialists. All three ENT doctors agree that I don’t have acid reflux, nor is the problem coming from a reaction to mouthwash or toothpaste. Within the past two months, the dryness and burning are getting worse.
I need more cosmetic dentistry, but it’s not happening any time soon. I’m still nervous after the experience I had in January. Not only am I uncomfortable with a burning throat and dry tongue, but I’m also starting to get depressed because it seems that I’ll never be able to finish my cosmetic dentistry work. And if there is a chance that I can get it done, I’ll have to start all over with another dentist. I’m afraid that my dentist will drown me with his sloppy tooth isolation and irrigation techniques. How can I be sure that I’m not reacting to the zirconia crowns? – Thanks. Nigel from Omaha, NE
Thank you for your inquiry. Although it’s rare to have an allergic reaction to zirconia, it’s not impossible. And no dentist should tell you that. You will need an allergy test to confirm if zirconia is an irritant for you.
Although Dr. Rota would need to examine your crowns and mouth, it seems that the ENT specialist who suspects you have burning mouth syndrome has an accurate diagnosis. We have consistently heard and read about patients who have experiences like yours. And we see a connection between burning mouth syndrome and traumatic dental experiences. During your dental procedure with the zirconia crowns, you were choking and vomiting. And you had lingual nerve damage. The ongoing strain on your throat, speech issues, and depression are enough to keep your anxiety level high.
Find a Cosmetic Dentist Who Offers Sedation
Your case isn’t the first we’ve heard about people who have a dry mouth or burning tongue after stressful dental experiences. In our experience, conscious sedation is the best way to treat a high level of dental anxiety. You’re already uncomfortable with your current cosmetic dentist, so
- Look for an advanced cosmetic dentist who offers conscious sedation.
- Anti-anxiety medication will help you arrive relaxed for your dental appointment and stay comfortable.
- You’ll remember little, or nothing, about your procedure the next day.
You don’t have to forfeit cosmetic dentistry because of your anxiety. A skilled cosmetic dentist, along with sedation, will help complete your smile makeover so you can feel good about smiling again.
Joseph Rota, DDS, an award-winning cosmetic dentist in Colorado Springs, sponsors this post. He received continuing education from the Las Vegas Institute for Advanced Dental Studies. Visit Dr. Rota’s smile gallery to see examples of his beautiful work.