According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, your child should visit the dentist within six months after the presence of the first tooth or by his or her first birthday. Early oral examination aids in the detection of the early stages of tooth decay. Early detection is also essential to maintain good oral health.
With regular check-ups and cleanings, your dentist can ensure healthy and happy smiles. It is recommended for all patients to schedule a routine six-month check-up exam. Your dentist will screen your child’s mouth for tooth decay and gum disease. Regular professional dental cleanings are essential for a healthy mouth. During your child’s dental cleaning, they will gently remove any buildup of plaque or tarter.
Your dentist may also recommend dental sealants for your child. Sealants protect against tooth decay and cavities on your child’s molars. Molars are the most susceptible to cavities and least benefited by topical fluoride. Sealants are applied to the chewing surfaces of back teeth and are highly effective in preventing tooth decay. Fluoride may be applied to the teeth as well. Topical fluoride is used to strengthen enamel and make teeth more resistant to tooth decay.
Without proper dental care, children are susceptible to oral decay. Healthy smiles should not stop at your dental office. Your dentist will educate you and your child on how to make good food choices and how to properly brush and floss at home.
Your dentist has the experience and qualifications to care for your child’s teeth, gums and mouth throughout various stages of childhood.
Your dentist’s top priority is to provide you with the highest level of service and quality dental care. In order for you to maintain proper oral health, this level of quality needs to extend to your personal oral hygiene routine. Taking good care of your teeth at home can help you prevent periodontal disease, tooth decay and other oral health problems from developing.
It is recommended to brush your teeth at least twice a day with a soft bristle toothbrush and floss daily to prevent the build-up of plaque and tooth decay. If possible, use products containing fluoride to help strengthen teeth. It is important to keep up with regular professional cleanings from your dentist to prevent oral problems from occurring.
Also, keeping a balanced diet and reducing the number of snacks you eat can contribute to a healthy smile. Eating too many snacks filled with sugar can put you at a greater risk for tooth decay. If possible, drink a glass of water after every meal to wash down these sugars if brushing your teeth isn’t an option after food intake.
Your dental office can help you establish a dental hygiene routine that will keep your teeth healthy and white.
Sometimes children or adults may have bruxism, or teeth grinding, during sleep. This is commonly seen during growth periods or times of stress, and is often minor and may cause little or no issue. In some cases, however, excessive grinding during sleep can lead to chipping or wearing of the teeth or even discomfort or pain in the jaw.
When this occurs, your dentist may advise the use of a custom night guard to protect your teeth from further damage. A night guard is a custom-made oral appliance worn over the teeth while sleeping. This prevents the teeth from grinding against one another overnight, which not only protects the teeth from immediate damage, but can also serve to help break the unconscious habit of bruxism and protect your teeth from this kind of damage in the future.
Oral Cancer Screenings
Your dental office emphasizes the importance of providing routine oral cancer screenings. Your dentist may be certified to detect and properly diagnose oral cancer. By detecting any abnormalities in your oral health early, it will help you get the treatment you need to either regress or eliminate the risk of developing a more serious oral health condition.
Oral cancer, also known as mouth cancer can be found on the lips, tongue, gums or lining of the mouth or throat. Studies show it is responsible for the death of one adult American every hour. Early detection of oral cancer is crucial to its treatment success. For this reason, your dentist recommends an annual oral cancer screening. There are a number of oral cancer symptoms that start to appear early on, including:
• White or red patches in your mouth
• A mouth sore that won’t heal within two weeks
• Unexplained bleeding in your mouth
• A soreness of feeling that something is caught in the back of the throat
• Problem or pain with swallowing, speaking or moving the jaw or tongue
• Lumps or swellings in or around your mouth
• Ear pain
• Dramatic weight loss
If you show any symptoms that last for more than a week and show no signs of regressing, schedule an appointment with your dentist immediately.
Oral cancer can happen to anyone, although research suggests that it is slightly more common in men. Those who smoke or use tobacco products are six times more likely than nonsmokers to develop oral cancer. Oral cancer is also more likely to occur in those with genetic predisposition, prolonged sun exposure, or in those who drink alcohol excessively. However, it is important to note that anyone can get oral cancer.
Treatment success depends on the size, type and stage of the cancer. In most cases, small cancerous tumors are removed along with a small ring of healthy tissue that surrounds it and radiation or chemotherapy is then delivered to kill off any remaining cancerous cells.
Sedation dentistry and sleep dentistry to help treat patients with dental phobias, anxieties and fear. There are a number of various sedation and sleep methods, including administering oral sedation, a pill, nitrous oxide (laughing gas) and intravenous sedation to deliver a combination of methods.
Prior to anesthesia, do not drink or eat anything at least 8 hours before surgery. You will need someone to accompany you to the surgery and dive you home afterwards. Do not wear any jewelry, contact lenses or dentures. Also, discuss current medications you are taking with your dentist so ensure that they are approved prior to surgery.
During your time under sedation, your overall health is monitored to ensure your safety. You will be assured that your procedure will be free of stress and pain, while also receiving the best possible dental care.
Space maintainers are needed if your child loses a tooth early or have a baby tooth extracted due to dental decay. A space maintainer is designed to hold the remaining teeth in a position that will allow the future permanent tooth to erupt in the proper location. If a space maintainer is not places, the teeth will shift into the open areas, making it difficult for the permanent tooth to erupt.
Wisdom Tooth Removal
About 10 million wisdom teeth are removed each year from 5 million people. Oral surgery to remove wisdom teeth is a standard procedure that is practiced every day. After visiting your dentist, he or she may recommend to get your wisdom teeth removed. However, you may wonder why you need them removed even though they don’t cause pain.
Just because your wisdom teeth are not a source of pain doesn’t mean that there is nothing wrong. Most of the time, wisdom teeth need to be removed because they don’t have room to grow properly and may cause problems. Other reasons include:
Damage to other teeth: Impacted wisdom teeth can shift other teeth as they continue to grow. This can undo the effects of braces, crowns, bridges and partial dentures. It can also cause mouth pain and bite problems.
Sinus issues: Problems with wisdom teeth can lead to sinus pain, pressure and congestion.
Jaw damage: Impacted wisdom teeth may develop cysts or tumors. If they aren’t treated, they can hollow out your jaw and cause damage to nerves.
Inflamed gums: Because there is limited space for wisdom teeth to erupt, infection and inflammation may be common. Gum disease and inflammation can lead to receding gum tissues, deterioration of the jawbone and tooth loss.
Cavities: Your wisdom teeth are more susceptible to cavities since it is more difficult to clean them. Bacteria can grow, which causes cavities to form.
Before deciding on getting your wisdom teeth removed, your dentist will look at the shape of your mouth and the position of your teeth. In addition, he or she will take x-rays to determine the growth pattern of your wisdom teeth.
There is no age limit to getting your wisdom teeth removed but as you get older, surgery and recovery can be more difficult. In most instances, you can wait several months to see if anything changes in your wisdom teeth before making a final decision. However, if you experience pain or swelling near the back of your teeth, contact your dentist for a consultation.
Dental Cleanings and Exams
The purpose of a teeth cleaning is to rid the teeth of harmful build-up of plaque and stains that may prevent a healthy smile. During cleanings your dentist will:
• Remove tartar build-up on your teeth
• Remove plaque
• Perform teeth polishing to help remove light surface stains and prevent plaque from easily reattaching to your teeth
Your dentist can help clean surfaces of your teeth that you may have missed during brushing and flossing. During your appointment, he or she will also:
• Evaluate your overall health and oral hygiene
• Check your bite and jaw for any problems
• Evaluate your risk of tooth decay and gum or bone disease
• Evaluate existing tooth restorations
• Screen for oral cancer
• Take dental x-rays if necessary
Regular professional dental cleanings and exams are essential for attaining a healthy mouth.
Fluoride can be applied to the teeth as a gel, foam or varnish. According to the ADA, fluoride intake is often recommended for infants and children between the ages of 6 months and 16 years. During this time, primary and permanent teeth are developing. Fluoride becomes incorporated into the development of permanent teeth, making it difficult for acids to demineralize the teeth.
Adults can benefit from fluoride as well to fight tooth decay and strengthen teeth. People with the following oral health conditions are more susceptible to decay and may especially benefit from fluoride treatment:
• Dry mouth
• Gum disease
• History of frequent cavities
• Presence of crowns and/or bridges
• Undergoing orthodontic treatment
In addition to receiving fluoride treatment at your dental office, it can be directly applied to the teeth through fluoridated toothpastes and mouth rinses. Mouth rinses containing fluoride in lower strengths are available over-the-counter. However, stronger mouth rinses can be provided by a doctor’s prescription. Fluoride can also be found in public water supplies.
The process of an occlusal adjustment is easy and convenient. The dentist utilizes a computer scan to record hundreds of bite registrations per minute of your mouth. This allows your dentist to notice the slightest irregularity and only make the adjustments that are absolutely necessary.
Sealants are highly effective in preventing tooth decay and cavities on your molars and premolars. These areas are the most susceptible to cavities due to the anatomized grooves.
Typically, children get sealants on their permanent molars and premolars as soon as these teeth come in. However, adults without decay or fillings in their molars can also benefit from sealants.
The process of applying sealants is easy and fast. The application steps are as follows:
1. A thorough cleaning is done
2. Each tooth is then dried
3. A solution is put on the chewing surfaces of the teeth to help the sealant bond to the teeth
4. The sealant is painted onto the tooth enamel, where it bonds directly to the tooth and hardens.
Sealants act as a barrier and protect the enamel from plaque and acids. They may last for several years before a reapplication is needed. As long as the sealant remains intact, the tooth surface will be protected from decay.
Sealants are not a substitute for brushing your teeth. It is important to maintain proper oral hygiene. Also, sealants do not protect between the teeth, so it is essential to continue to floss daily.
Snore appliances are a form of treatment for patients with mild to moderate sleep apnea. Sleep apnea can disrupt sleep because it causes the muscles of the airway to block airflow. A snore appliance can be used to keep the airway open during sleep and promoting adequate air intake.
A dental extraction may be recommended when a tooth is deeply decayed, causing severe pain or in conjunction with orthodontic treatment. Pain management techniques and technology have made dental extractions possible with little to no discomfort.
After this procedure, be sure to rest and follow the doctor’s orders. You can use a cold compress to keep swelling down and reduce pain. Also, limit yourself to soft foods after surgery. Avoid drinking from a straw and smoking to prevent dry sockets. Your dental team will provide after care instructions following your extraction.
Extraction Site Preservation
When removing a tooth, it may be important to consider what will be done with the empty space after that tooth is removed. If nothing is done with the extraction site, the jaw bone may degenerate and change shape during the healing process.
A dental implant or bridge can be used to fill in the empty space.
Orthodontic treatment is used with adolescent and adult patients to straighten teeth and correct misalignment. Crooked or misaligned teeth can cause difficulty with speech, chewing, and effective brushing. Misalignment can also contribute to tempomandibular joint disorders (TMD), causing stiffness and pain in the jaw joint.
When teeth are properly aligned, they are they easier to keep teeth clean, making them less prone to decay and gum disease. Proper alignment can ease or prevent symptoms of TMD and correct issues with speech and chewing. By completing orthodontic treatment, you can improve both the look and health of your smile.
Invisalign(TM) is a modern technique to straighten teeth without the hassle of traditional metal wires. Invisalign(TM) is a clear, removable device that you wear over your teeth for about 20 hours a day. This device ultimately makes its more convenient for you to eat, brush and floss. It is also comfortable and easy to wear. Invisalign(TM) is visually more appealing and will give you the confidence to straighten your teeth without the metal look.
The process of getting Invisalign(TM) is easy and convenient. It first begins with a consultation with your dentist. Once he or she determines if you are a candidate for Invisalign(TM), a model of your teeth will be created on the computer to ensure a step-by-step process to getting your teeth straight. This allows you to see a visual representation of what your teeth can look like upon completion of treatment. A set of aligners is created every two weeks. Each aligner is made so that your teeth are slightly straighter than the previous trays. The amount of time and number of aligners worn differs depending on how straight you want your teeth.
Choosing Invisalign(TM) rids of most problems that traditional braces may cause. It reduces pain, discomfort and mouth sores that you may endure from the metal brackets and wires. It also decreases your chances of getting tooth decay and plaque buildup from inadequate brushing and flossing.
Early orthodontic treatment can help reduce the chances of needing more complicated orthodontic treatment later. It is recommended by the American Association of Orthodontists that children should have an orthodontic evaluation no later than 7 years old.
At age 7, your child’s first permanent molars and incisors will have erupted, which will allow us to properly detect irregular growth patterns. When the jaw is still forming, it is more malleable, making early orthodontics an effective solution for many. Treatment for problems, such as a cross bite or space loss, may require more advanced and more costly correction if approached later.
Early orthodontic treatment can:
• prevent overcrowding by creating room for teeth that have not erupted
• create facial symmetry by guiding jaw growth
• reduce the need for teeth removal
• reduce treatment time with braces
• To correct cracks or gaps in teeth
• To cover up stains or discolored teeth
• As a filling after a cavity has been removed
First, the doctor will choose a shade of composite resin that will match and enhance your smile. Then the composite resin will be applied and sculpted over your tooth. After the resin has been applied, an LED light is used to harden the resin. It will then be polished. Results are achieved immediately and can subtly or drastically change the appearance of your smile.
Bonding is a safe, affordable and aesthetically pleasing solution for many dental problems.
Porcelain veneers are cosmetic solutions that may be recommended for those who are interested in restoring the color and appearance of their teeth. They are used to recreate the natural look of teeth, while also providing strength and flexibility that is comparable to natural tooth enamel.
Porcelain veneers can be used to:
• Re-shape teeth
• Improve the look of your teeth due to stains
• Fix teeth that are chipped, fractured, crooked or broken
• Close gaps between teeth
Porcelain veneers are custom-made to fit over your natural teeth. The foundation of your natural teeth must be strong and healthy in order to be a candidate. Results from veneers can be very drastic, and instantly improve the appearance of your smile. Since veneers are individually created for each patient, it is nearly impossible to tell the difference between a veneer and a natural tooth. Unlike natural teeth, veneers can also resist stains from coffee, tea and cigarette smoke.
Veneer preparation may involve the removal of a small amount of tooth structure. An impression is taken and sent to the lab to fabricate the custom veneers. During this time, temporary veneers may be placed on your teeth. Temporary veneers are very fragile and need to be treated gently during eating and cleaning.
Once your permanent veneers arrive, they are bonded to your teeth. Avoid chewing excessively hard foods with your veneers.
Porcelain veneers are very durable and can last for years when cared for properly. Continue brushing, flossing and keeping up with regular professional cleanings to add to the longevity of your dental veneers.
Teeth whitening solutions are for those who have stained, dull or discolored teeth. The main causes of stained teeth are genetics, antibiotics, tobacco and certain foods. As we age, our teeth darken as well.
Your dentist will explore different whitening options to achieve your desired results. Your dentist will evaluate your smile and ensure that your teeth and gums are healthy enough for whitening.
There are a variety of options when looking to brighten your teeth:
Take Home Teeth Whitening Treatment
Custom-fitted whitening trays can be purchased from your dental office. With this procedure, it can take about a month to achieve the desired effect, which depends on the needs of your smile. If you choose this option, you will receive trays that are customized to fit your teeth to avoid any irritation to your gums.
This at-home option is ultimately healthier for your teeth rather than the over-the-counter teeth whitening solutions. Your dentist can evaluate your teeth and recommend the best solution for you.
In-Office Teeth Whitening Treatment
Your dentist will apply a bleaching agent to your teeth, and a laser is directed at the coated teeth to expedite the process. This is achieved in a single session and you will see the desired results immediately. This is the preferred whitening method because even though stronger agents are applied, the rest of the mouth and gum is protected from these materials.
Both options are very effective for whitening your teeth. If you prefer to brighten your smile in the comfort of your own home, then whitening trays may be more appealing to you. However, you might want to consider having the procedure done at your dental office for quicker results.
With the use of modern technology and improved techniques, our team is able to restore a tooth back to its normal shape, appearance and function. If you have been suffering from pain caused by decay or other oral health conditions, you may benefit from restorative dentistry.
When decay is left untreated, it can worsen, causing further infection and more severe pain. The infected tooth may eventually require a root canal or extraction.
The process for placing a composite resin dental filling is as follows:
- The tooth is isolated from saliva to keep it dry.
- An air abrasion is used to remove the infected part of the tooth.
- The composite resin is placed in layers over the opening.
- A special light is used to harden each layer of composite resin material.
- After the tooth is filled, the composite resin is shaped to resemble a real tooth.
Composite resin does not only restores your teeth but also gives you a natural-look.
You can decrease your risk of cavities and other dental diseases by:
• Brushing your teeth twice a day
• Flossing daily
• Keeping up with regular professional cleanings
• Avoid eating or drinking acidic or sugary foods and beverages
A dental bridge is used to replace a missing tooth or teeth. A tooth or teeth neighboring the missing tooth or teeth may be crowned, and used as anchoring teeth to support the replacement tooth. It is important to replace missing teeth to avoid shifting of surrounding teeth, which may lead to misaligned bite, TMJ and other problems.
Dental bridges are custom-made to match your natural teeth in color and overall appearance. They are made from mixtures of gold, metal, alloys or porcelain to ensure that they are strong and durable. With appropriate at home and professional care, your dental bridges may last for years.
Besides the aesthetic disadvantage of missing a tooth, if left untreated, structural changes to your mouth and jaw may occur, making it difficult to eat and speak properly.
Dentures are beneficial for those who wish to replace all or most of their teeth. They are custom-made to provide a natural appearance and comfortable fit in your mouth. Dentures may restore your confidence and allow you to smile freely.
Depending on your need, you may benefit from a full or partial denture:
Conventional Full Dentures
Removing all of your teeth may be valuable to your oral health. When your gums are healed, your dentures are placed in your mouth and adjustments may be made. Your dental team strives to make this process as comfortable as possible for you.
Immediate Full Dentures
Immediate dentures are placed instantly after your teeth are removed. These dentures are recommended for those who have suffered from tooth decay, gum disease or dental injuries. Immediate full dentures speeds up the wait time for healing without teeth. Follow-up appointments will have to be made to adjust dentures if needed.
Partial dentures are used to replace several missing teeth. Partial dentures prevent shifting and erupting of the other teeth.
You should care for your dentures just like you would for your teeth. They should be brushed daily to remove food particles and plaque. Brushing can also help prevent the teeth from staining. You will also need to keep regular appointments with your dentist to screen for oral cancer, correct ill-fitting dentures and contribute to your overall health.
Over time, our teeth begin to weaken and become more susceptible to problems such as decay, cracks or discoloration. Crowns are used to renew the appearance and function of a tooth. Crowns are not limited to just replacing the original tooth, but can be designed to create an even better aesthetic appearance.
Other reasons for needing a dental crown include:
• To protect a weak tooth from breaking or to hold together parts of a cracked tooth.
• To cover and support a tooth with a large filling when there isn’t a lot of tooth left.
• To cover severely discolored teeth.
• To restore an already broken tooth or a tooth that has been severely worn down.
Also, they are often used in conjunction with root canal therapy, dental implants or as an anchor for a bridge.
Crowns are typically made from porcelain in order to maintain strength and a natural appearance. The process of placing a crown may take 1-2 office visits.
The procedure of receiving a crown is as follows:
i. X-rays will be taken to check the roots of the tooth receiving the crown. If the tooth has extensive decay or there is a risk of infection, a root canal treatment may be performed first.
ii. Anesthesia is used to numb the area to eliminate pain. The tooth that is receiving the crown will be filed down to make room for the crown.
iii. Your dentist will make an impression of the tooth using paste or putty. These impressions are sent to the lab where the crown will be manufactured.
iv. A temporary crown is placed to cover and protect the prepared tooth while the crown is being made.
i. Once your permanent crown arrives, your temporary crown will be removed and your permanent crown will be placed over your tooth to ensure the right fit and color.
ii. If the permanent crown is acceptable, an anesthetic will be used to number the tooth and the crown is permanently cemented in place.
Once treatment is complete, continue to practice proper at home care and keep regular office visits to help your crown last many years. Much like your original teeth, crowns require routine brushing and flossing.
Dental implants is a long-term solution for tooth loss. They are also used to secure partial or complete dentures as well as support for dental bridges.
An artificial tooth is surgically anchored into your jaw to hold a replacement tooth in place. Since these implants are held by the jaw bone, they have the same, dependable foundation as natural tooth roots. With permanently placed implants, you will no longer have to experience discomfort in chewing, laughing or speaking.
Dental implants resemble natural teeth and can completely restore your smile and substantially improve your oral health. More advantages of dental implants include:
- Improved speech – With a removable device like dentures, teeth can slip within the mouth and can cause you to slur or mumble your words. A dental implant allows you to speak without the worry that teeth might slip.
- Improved comfort – Dental implants remove the discomfort of removable dentures.
- Improved oral health – Because nearby teeth are not altered to support the implant, more of your own teeth are left intact, improving long-term oral health.
- Durability – With proper oral care, dental implants can last a lifetime.
- Easier eating – Dental implants function like your own teeth, allowing you to eat foods without pain.
Your team will discuss tooth replacement options with you to help you make the most informed decision. Modern technology is utilized to minimize any discomfort associated with receiving a dental implant. This allows for a very relaxed and comfortable experience, for even the most fearful patients.
There are many factors that will be considered prior to recommending a dental implant, including: adequate bone support, healthy gum tissue, overall health, and sinus and nerve location.
Inlay and Onlay Restorations
Inlays and onlays are dental restorations that are used as an alternative to full coverage dental crowns. These dental restorations offer a well-fitting, stronger, longer-lasting reparative solution to tooth decay. Inlays and onlays can also be used in place of dental fillings. While dental fillings are molded into place within the mouth during a single dental visit, inlays and onlays are fabricated in a dental lab before being fitted and bonded to the damaged tooth.
An inlay restoration is when the material is bonded within the center of the tooth. An onlay restoration is similar to an inlay restoration except the extent of the damage requires inclusion of one or more cusps (the pointed portion of the tooth on the biting surface) on the tooth. Both inlays and onlays are highly durable and with proper care, can last for many years. Some reasons for needing these restorations include large, failing restorations, lost fillings or fractured cusps.
Advantages and benefits of inlays and onlays are as follows:
Tooth color – Inlays and onlays are not likely to discolor over time.
Superior fit – This conservative approach preserves as much healthy tooth as possible.
Tight space fulfillments – Inlays are best for sealing teeth to keep out bacteria.
Strength and stability – Inlays and onlays are extremely stable restorative solutions for the treatment of decay.
Tooth structure safeguard – Since the fit is tailored at all edges and preparation is minimal, your tooth will be easier to clean.
Weak tooth protector – An onlay can protect the weak areas of the tooth and the procedure does not require the complete reshaping of the tooth.
With today’s modern technology, your dentist can give you a healthier smile that can last a lifetime. Your team will create a customized treatment plan in order to provide you with the smile you always wanted. It is a top priority to relieve any worries that you might have related to your endodontic procedure. Your dentist will ensure to make you feel as comfortable as possible.
Endodontic therapy is fundamental when the soft tissue inside the root canal becomes inflamed or infected. Advances in endodontic treatment have improved our success at preserving and maintaining healthy teeth.
Symptoms for needing an endodontic procedure include adjacent gums, tooth discoloration or swelling and tenderness of the tooth. In addition, the following are some common reasons for needing root canal treatment.
Pain: The most common symptom of needing a root canal is a toothache. If the tooth is still alive, you may experience extreme sensitivity to heat or cold. The tooth may hurt spontaneously and can progress to a very severe headache. If the tooth is dead, you may feel pain when pressure is put onto the tooth. Swelling and bleeding may also occur.
Abscess: An abscess forms when the pulp of the tooth dies and a pus pocket forms around the end of the root. If left untreated, the abscess will continue to grow and infect the bone around the root of the tooth.
Deep Decay: Tooth decay can extend deep into the tooth and can reach the pulp, infecting it with bacteria. The tooth may become inflamed and painful, and can eventually die.
Trauma: If a tooth is hit hard, the nerve can be severed at the end of the root and eventually die.
Fracture: A fractured tooth can extend and reach the pulp. A root canal may need to be performed so a post can be placed down the canal of the tooth to help retain the restoration.
Repeated Dental Procedures: Dental procedures can produce significant stress on a tooth and repeated drilling may cause the pulp of a tooth to become inflamed.
In the past, whenever one of these situations occurred, the only solution was to have the infected tooth extracted. Root canal treatment is a beneficial option that allows for a patient to save his or her natural tooth, even after decay, infection or trauma.
Root Canal Retreatment
With proper care and dental hygiene, your teeth that have had endodontic treatment may last a lifetime. However, occasionally a tooth that has received treatment may fail to heal or pain may continue to exist. Every root canal case is different and unique. Your dentist will take the time to discuss their findings with you and provide you with other options. In some instances, your dentist may recommend a root canal retreatment, which is almost identical to the original root canal procedure. Whenever possible, it is always best to save your natural tooth.
Improper healing is due to:
- Complicated canal anatomy went undetected during initial treatment
- Curved or narrow canals that were not treated during initial treatment
- Infection from new decay that is exposed to the root canal
- Cracked or loose filling/crown can expose the tooth to infection
- Restoration did not prevent salivary contamination to the inside of the tooth
- Delayed replacement crown or other restoration
If your dentist recommends a root canal retreatment, a local anesthetic will be administered and he or she will reopen your tooth to gain access to the canal. The filling material is removed and your dentist will clean the root canals and examine the inside of your tooth, searching for any additional canals or unusual anatomy that requires treatment. Once all bacteria and residual pulp tissue is removed, the tooth is then resealed and a temporary crown or filling is applied. At a later date, a permanent crown will be placed.
Root Canal Therapy
A root canal is a treatment of the center of the tooth that is inflamed, infected or dead. The center of the tooth, called the pulp, is a soft substance that consists of nerve, blood vessels and connective tissue. Symptoms of the infection include visible injury or swelling of the tooth and sensitivity to temperature or pain in the tooth and gums. If you experience any of the symptoms, contact your dental office.
Your dentist will take an x-ray of the tooth. If he or she determines that you need a root canal treatment, 1 or 2 appointments will be schedulred based on the size and duration of the abscess and other factors.
Before starting root canal therapy, the doctor will administer local anesthesia to ensure your complete comfort. A dental dam is placed on the infected site to isolate the affected area. A small opening is made through the top of the tooth to gain access to the pulp. The pulp, which is the soft tissue inside the root canal, is removed from the chamber and canals. The canals are then cleaned with a disinfecting solution. X-rays may be taken throughout the procedure to ensure each canal is being adequately treated.
Once the canals are cleaned, they are filled with gutta percha, a rubber-like material to protect and seal. A temporary filling may be placed in the opening until it can be replaced by a permanent filling. After the root canal is completed, the tooth will need a crown to protect it from fracturing.
After the procedure, your tooth may feel sensitive for the first few days. This discomfort may be relieved with over-the-counter or prescribed pain medications. Avoid chewing on the treated tooth until you have a full restoration.
Root canal therapy can preserve a patient’s tooth for a lifetime. It is a highly successful procedure with more than a 95% success rate.
Periodontal disease (periodontitis) is the leading cause of tooth loss and is one of the most common health conditions in our population. It can be caused by a variety of factors, including genetics and poor oral hygiene. Also, people who smoke or chew tobacco, have uneven teeth or don’t have a set routine for professional teeth cleaning are more prone to periodontal disease.
When bacteria start to collect in your mouth, a sticky, colorless substance known as “plaque” develops. Plaque builds up on your teeth. If not removed during brushing and flossing, the plaque particles can harden and turn into tartar. Over time, plaque and tartar become more difficult to remove at home. Receiving regular professional cleanings is vital for maintaining your oral health and preventing periodontal disease.
The longer the plaque and tartar remain on the teeth, the more harm they can cause to your oral health. Accumulated plaque and tartar may lead to gingivitis, an early form of periodontal disease. Routine professional cleanings and proper at-home oral care can prevent gingivitis from developing.
Signs of Gum Disease
It is important to visit your dentist for a complete exam if you experience any of the following symptoms:
- Sore, inflamed or receding gums
- Bleeding while brushing or flossing
- Loose teeth
- Presence of bad breath
- Pockets between the gums and tooth
In cases where gingivitis is not treated early, it can advance to periodontal disease, which can not be reversed, but only maintained. Inflammation affects the soft tissue (gums) and teeth, creating pockets between them. If left untreated, the pockets become deep and cause teeth to become loose and eventually fall out.
A common solution for controlling periodontal disease is a deep dental cleaning, also referred to as “scaling and root planing”. While the procedure is usually painless, in some cases, your dentist may recommend numbing the area for comfort. Scaling is the removal of the dental tartar from the tooth surfaces, and root planing is smoothing the root surfaces.
Once reaching an advanced stage, periodontitis cannot be completely reversed. With proper at-home care combined with regular in-office maintenance, your dentist can prevent the disease from progressing and leading to tooth loss. Daily flossing is crucial to preventing and treating periodontal disease.
Gingivitis is a disease that can cause significant tooth and gum deterioration. A buildup of plaque and tartar allows bacteria to grow on the surfaces of the teeth. The bacteria will cause your gums to become inflamed and bleed. If left untreated, the condition will progress and worsen.
Treatment for gingivitis is simple and performed right at your dental office. Scaling and planing is performed without any anesthesia. While the procedure is usually painless, advanced stages of gingivitis may make it necessary to numb the area for comfort. Scaling is the removal of the dental tartar from the tooth surfaces, and root planing is smoothing the root surfaces and removing the infected tooth structure.
Your dentist has invested in training and technology to make a diagnosis and treatment as accurate and comfortable as possible.
The advanced digital x-rays magnify and enhance your teeth for better diagnosis of dental diseases or problems. This digital x-ray allows your dentist to take an image of your teeth and put it into an imaging program.
With this program, your dentist is able to use a number of tools that will allow a closer look at your teeth and surrounding structures with remarkable accuracy. Your dentist can examine small areas of decay between teeth and under existing fillings. Also, digital x-rays can help detect bone loss due to periodontal disease, dental infections and abscesses.
This pen-sized camera can view different angles in your mouth. The intra-oral camera is able to see things that we can’t see with the naked eye or an x-ray. Your dentist will be able to view your entire month on a monitor. Everything is magnified which gives a closer look at any potential issues or problems that may arise.
The intra-oral camera makes your visits faster and allows you to visually see the inside of your mouth in vivid detail.