My dental anxiety is so high that I can’t get any dental work done, including teeth cleaning, without sedation. I’ve lived in Mississippi for 8 months, and I’m on my second dentist because I haven’t found one yet who is willing to understand my level of fear. Three weeks ago, I received a new porcelain crown on an upper left molar. My dentist gave me an oral sedative to take an hour before my appointment. After my dentist placed the crown, my bite was off a little, so my dentist ground the crown in places. It feels fine now. This is not the first time I’ve had a crown, so I noticed that my dentist didn’t rinse my mouth after grinding on it to correct my bite. I’m afraid that I might have swallowed porcelain powder, which is glass.
I asked my dentist about it, but she said something about my demands to be sedated even though it wasn’t necessary. I can’t quite figure out the connection between sedation and the common sense it takes to rinse my mouth after a procedure. I was aware that she hadn’t rinsed my mouth, so I wasn’t out of it with sedation anyway. Should I be concerned about the possibility of having swallowed porcelain or the cement she used to attach the crown to my teeth? Thanks – Riley M. from Jackson, MI
We’re sorry to hear about your negative experience—especially when you already have anxiety about dental appointments.
Below are a few facts about dental porcelain and its safety:
- It’s biocompatible.
- Dental porcelain contains several elements: the mineral feldspar, kaolin (clay), silica (sand-like), glass (mostly silica), and coloring agents.
- Although glass is a component of porcelain, it’s not in the form of hard, sharp particles that will harm your mouth, throat, or internal organs.
Concerns About Your Dentist and Your Need for Sedation
Whether you’re sedated or not, a dentist shouldn’t allow you to swallow debris from a procedure. Although a material, substance, or chemical might be safe for oral use, the items used for dental procedures aren’t meant to be swallowed. Dentists use irrigation to rinse the mouth, along with high-volume suction, to remove debris regularly.
If you need sedation for any dental procedure, you should seek a dentist who understands your anxiety and won’t criticize you for requesting it. Your dental team should also be attentive to avoiding things that increase your stress, including leaving porcelain particles in your mouth without rinsing and suctioning them away.
This post is sponsored by Monroe, LA dentist Dr. David Finley.