A root canal is a dental procedure that allows your tooth to be saved when the only other option is extraction. There are many reasons a root canal may be needed … a hairline fracture to a tooth may allow bacteria to permeate the tooth impacting the nerve; excessive tooth decay; or a traumatic event may result in damage to a tooth. Whatever the cause, your dentist will almost always recommend saving the tooth over extraction whenever possible.
What is a Root Canal?
A root canal (also known as endodontic therapy) involves cleaning out the contents of each root of a tooth. Those contents include blood, pulp, and nerve tissues. When a tooth is damaged, bacteria can enter the pulp chambers leading to infection or an abscess. Removing the contents of the tooth’s roots allows your dentist to save your tooth.
Some symptoms that indicate the need for a root canal include swelling around the face, toothache, gum swelling or a pimple like sore on the gum that does not heal, and/or sensitivity to temperature. In some cases, there may be no symptoms at all – your dentist may see the need for a root canal following a routine dental x-ray.
The Root Canal Process
An x-ray will show how many roots are involved and their precise location. It is imperative that all roots be treated for a successful outcome.
Anesthetic is administered and the damaged tooth is segregated by a rubber dam. A small access point is created in the tooth. Endodontic files are used to remove the contents of the pulp chambers. Each chamber is thoroughly flushed – if infection is present, medication may be placed and an oral antibiotic may be prescribed. The empty chambers are filled with a rubber compound. The final step is to seal the access point most often using a dental crown.
Root canal therapy allows a tooth to be preserved – with daily oral care and regular visits with our team at Bliss Dental, this treatment option may help patients keep their natural teeth for a lifetime.
You work hard all your life and finally reach those golden retirement years … it would certainly be nice to arrive with all your biological teeth intact. Striving to maintain healthy teeth and gums is important for people of all ages, but once you have reached retirement, maintaining your oral health is just as important as it can impact your overall health … making time to visit your dental office continues to be a necessary step.
Follow These Habits to Keep Teeth and Gums Healthy
In retirement, your daily schedule may feel like it has changed. The need to hurry may be replaced with more time on your hands. Rushing off to work may be replaced with more recreational fun or just taking time to relax. But don’t get complacent with your daily oral hygiene regimen that should include brushing two minutes twice every day with a fluoridated toothpaste and flossing daily to remove what your toothbrush missed.
Watch what you eat. Meal structure may change; your primary daily diet should be comprised of healthy grains, protein, dairy, vegetables, and fruit. Make sure you stay hydrated drinking water throughout the day.
Schedule regular visits with your dental office to have teeth cleaned; an oral exam is important as you age to ensure your dental health.
Importance of Regular Dental Visits
Your disposable income may be diminished somewhat in retirement. But skimping on your dental health is not an area where you should consider cutting back.
Waiting to see the dentist until you are experiencing a problem may result in needing treatment that may cost more than if you had caught a potential issue early and dealt with it.
If tooth loss should occur, a solution should be sought. Facing life with one or more missing teeth can impact your ability to eat a healthy diet as well as damage your self esteem. Work with your dentist to find the best way to resolve tooth loss.
As years go by, dental problems such as worn dentition, dental decay, gum disease, or missing teeth may feel overwhelming. It is important to remember that seeing your dentist regularly to maintain your oral health can make a huge difference for your overall health as well as helping you and your teeth to age gracefully.
If it’s time to schedule your next exam and cleaning, contact our team at Bliss Dental today.
Not all teeth whitening options are created equal. In fact, it’s a common misconception that store-bought teeth whitening products effectively whiten teeth. The truth is that the best way to improve the color of your teeth is to visit a dentist for a professional whitening treatment. Professional teeth whitening is more than effective; it’s also safe and long lasting.
Why Over the Counter Whitening Falls Short
If you’re tempted to buy a teeth whitening kit from your nearest pharmacy retailer or grocery store, you might want to reconsider. Store bought whitening products like strips, rinses, and toothpastes are not strong enough to lift permanent tooth stains that form below tooth enamel.
While some of these products might lighten teeth a shade or two by addressing surface stains, their formulas can contribute to permanent tooth sensitivity.
Since over the counter whitening is often ineffective and potentially harmful, it’s best to save your money and opt for a professional whitening treatment.
How Professional Teeth Whitening Works
Unlike store bought products, professional teeth whitening solutions are prescription grade. This means that professional formulas contain potent concentrations of active ingredients that effectively lighten teeth below their enamel layer. Patients receiving professional teeth whitening can expect to see their teeth lighten eight to ten shades whiter.
In addition to stronger formulas, professional whitening solutions do not contain harsh abrasives that contribute to tooth sensitivity. Since these formulas are potent enough to lighten deep stains, abrasives aren’t necessary.
Those receiving professional whitening are under the care of a dentist, who can ensure their safety. When it comes to in-office treatments, precautions are taken to ensure that whitening solutions do not irritate soft oral structures. This means that oral healthcare providers will use protective lip balms, liquid dam, and gauze to keep whitening solutions off the gums and linings of lips.
As for take-home professional whitening, patients enjoy custom trays to keep whitening solutions on teeth and away from sensitive oral structures.
If you have questions about cosmetic dentistry, call our team at Bliss Dental to schedule an appointment.
Your dentist advises you to brush your teeth twice every day; however, many people do not know the correct way to brush so they may be doing more harm than good.
Bad Brushing Habits
Scrubbing Teeth – A heavy hand using a sawing, back and forth motion can lead to premature gum erosion and worn dental enamel. Employ even, circular motions brushing a few teeth at a time. Make sure you brush the back, front, and top surfaces of all teeth.
Brushing too soon after eating – You may be tempted to brush right away, but many of the foods and beverages we consume can soften dental enamel. Wait at least thirty to sixty minutes to prevent damaging precious enamel.
Overusing your toothbrush – Your toothbrush should be replaced every three months or more often if you see bristles have become worn.
Ineffective brushing – You may think a quick spin around your mouth is sufficient, but you should be brushing a full two minutes at least twice a day to keep teeth as clean as possible.
Taking care of your toothbrush – You brush and throw it into a jar until the next time. Or you may think you should enclose your toothbrush in a container to prevent contamination. The correct way to store your toothbrush is to allow it to air out between uses by placing it head side up making sure it does not come into contact with any other users’ toothbrushes.
Good Brushing Habits
Thoroughly rinse your toothbrush both before and after brushing making sure to store it properly.
Use a fluoridated toothpaste.
Once you’ve brushed your teeth for two minutes, thoroughly rinse your mouth to flush away all harmful bacteria and food debris.
One of the best tools you can invest in to properly care for your teeth is an electric toothbrush. The benefits are plentiful. Thanks to the rapid brushing action, you merely have to guide the brush head to reach all areas of your mouth. And since there is a timer to signal when you’ve brushed the full two minutes, you have the assurance of knowing you’re not skimping in this important aspect of dental care.
Visit our dentist at Bliss Dental as often as recommended to have teeth cleaned and examined to help you maintain optimum oral health.
Did you know that your wisdom teeth pose risks to your oral health if they are retained? It’s true. Having your wisdom teeth removed by your dentist could save you permanent damage to your oral health, money spent on corrective dental treatments, and discomfort.
If you’ve ever wondered why wisdom teeth removal is necessary, read on for answers to frequently asked questions.
What are wisdom teeth?
Wisdom teeth are a third set of molars that tend to erupt between the ages of 17 and 25. Most people will have between one and four wisdom teeth emerge in early adulthood.
Why do we have third molars?
In the past, people didn’t have access to effective oral hygiene tools or professional oral healthcare. As a result, they lost their first and second molars quite early in life. Since their other molars were gone, having a third set emerge wasn’t as problematic as it is now. This is because we retain our molars far longer in life than our ancestors due to increased access to professional care and oral hygiene tools.
How can wisdom teeth affect my health?
Keeping your wisdom teeth could have far-reaching effects on your health and your comfort. Wisdom teeth cause crowding, which leads to teeth shifting out of place. They also increases a person’s risks for tooth decay and gum disease because cleaning between crowded teeth is difficult.
Another way that wisdom teeth affect oral health is due to the fact that they rarely erupt through the gums upright. Since there isn’t enough room for their arrival, wisdom teeth tend to become impacted in the bone and gums. This means that only portions of wisdom teeth emerge, with the majority of their structures stuck beneath the gingiva. Impacted teeth greatly increase a person’s risks for tooth decay and gum disease.
The emergence of wisdom teeth presents quality of life issues, too. Many people suffer with facial pain and headaches as a result of their third molars.
Will I be comfortable during wisdom teeth removal?
Oral healthcare providers take every measure possible to ensure patient comfort during treatments. They administer pain-relieving and sedating medication to keep patients physically and emotionally comfortable.
Call Bliss Dental today to reserve a wisdom teeth removal consultation with our dentist.
Some patients think that dental exams are a hassle or a nuisance, but seeing your dentist twice each year offers significant protection to your oral health. You receive important professional services during these appointments, and they entail a minimal investment of your time and energy and result in maximum benefits.
Services Included In Dental Exams
When a dentist examines your teeth and gums and other soft oral tissues, your smile is inspected for signs of oral diseases, including cavities and gum disease. You will also receive an oral cancer screening. Patients get x-rays annually, as well, so that any cavities between the teeth or issues with the bone can be detected. Additionally, a dental hygienist will thoroughly clean your teeth to eliminate any plaque and tartar that may have accumulated since your last checkup.
Interesting Dental Exam Facts
- It won’t hurt! The external surfaces of your teeth don’t have any nerve endings, so you won’t feel anything as the dental hygienist cleans your teeth. Similarly, the exam doesn’t involve anything that causes pain for the patient. If you are still nervous about discomfort during the exam, you can talk to your provider about possible sedation options.
- They can save your life. Oral cancer screenings are part of the dental exam, and when this condition is diagnosed early before it can spread to surrounding tissues, the patient’s long-term prognosis is quite good. The five-year survival rate declines significantly when oral cancer has metastasized.
- You need to have exams every six months even if you brush and floss every day. Daily oral hygiene habits are tremendously important, but they are not sufficient alone to protect your oral health. You still need to have cleanings by a professional hygienist and have your smile examined every six months for optimal oral health.
- Routine care can prevent the need for more involved interventions. Some patients put off seeing a dentist until they’re facing some sort of emergency situation, but this approach is misguided. It actually increases the likelihood that you’ll need to have a more involved treatment. Semiannual exams improve your chances of early treatment for oral diseases, which are conservative and highly effective.
Has it been more than six months since your last dental exam? Get back on track by calling our team at Bliss Dental today to schedule an appointment.
Gum disease is a threat to your wellbeing and your oral health. This condition can develop with little noticeable symptoms in the beginning. Without proper treatment, it can advance to the point of wrecking the entire oral health system. In fact, periodontal (gum) disease can lead to bone and tooth loss when it progresses to its more advanced stages.
The most common sign of gum disease is bleeding gums. If you find that your gums bleed when you brush or floss, continue your oral hygiene routine as directed and call your dentist to schedule a checkup. While bleeding gums is a common symptom of this condition, there are other signs that might signify that it is time to improve your oral hygiene routine and/or make an appointment for a gum health evaluation.
Common Signs of Periodontal Disease
Beyond bleeding gums, there are other signs of periodontal disease that you should know. One common symptom of gum disease is persistent bad breath. This is because the infection associated with periodontal disease can be chronic. As bacteria infect the gums and kill tissue, it can leave behind an unpleasant smell – even if one performs proper oral hygiene.
Gum disease can present sensations of tender gums. They may also appear swollen. Discoloration of the gingiva is common, too. As the gums become diseased, they pull away from teeth (recede) as an inflammatory response. Gum recession leaves the roots of teeth exposed to surface debris like plaque and tartar. Since the roots of teeth do not have protective tooth enamel, they are incredibly vulnerable to cavity-causing bacteria after gum recession.
In addition to attacking the gingiva, gum disease attacks bone. The infection present in the gums can affect the health of the jawbones. Bone deterioration, along with gum recession, leads to the loss of teeth. As a matter of fact, gum disease is the leading cause of adult tooth loss.
If you have signs of periodontal disease, it is important to act quickly. Call us today at Bliss Dental to reserve an oral health examination with our experienced dentist.
The use of tooth colored fillings has enhanced the appearance of many patients. This material provides solutions for cosmetic improvements as well as to correct dental decay. The result from using tooth colored fillings has made dental repairs a much more aesthetically pleasing experience than ever before.
The composite resin used for cavity repair can be matched to your natural tooth color making decay correction virtually impossible to detect. While silver amalgam was the standard for many decades, tooth colored fillings are designed to be long lasting; leave the damaged tooth stronger (material is bonded to the tooth – not just filling a hole drilled into the tooth); and since much less of the natural tooth is removed when repaired with composite, the tooth’s integrity is left stronger.
If a composite filling is damaged, it can usually be repaired … unlike its amalgam counterpart which usually requires total replacement.
Bonding is a tool your dentist can use to correct a chipped tooth, help blend away deep dental stain, and correct worn dentition. The material is malleable allowing your dentist to craft away problems; with each layer put in place, a laser is used to harden it in preparation for the next layer.
The tooth colored filling material used for fillings and in many cosmetic applications provides a much more aesthetically pleasing result. Your dentist can color match to your natural shade making many corrections virtually impossible to detect.
Old fillings that were treated with silver amalgam have darkened over time affecting your appearance. Those fillings can be safely removed and replaced with the tooth colored filling material.
As in most cases, preventive measures are more advantageous than having to be reactive. With that in mind, make sure you eat a healthy diet (fruits, vegetables, dairy, protein, healthy grains); avoid soda and sugary beverages (water is a better choice; if you are going to drink a soda, consume with a meal – don’t sip on it all day).
Do not smoke or use tobacco in any form.
Brush twice every day with a fluoridated toothpaste for the recommended two minutes; floss every day to remove debris your toothbrush missed; and visit our team at Bliss Dental every six months (or as recommended) for cleaning and dental exam.
Maintaining healthy teeth and gums begins in infancy; keeping your adult teeth for a lifetime of service and smiles is possible, but it will take some time and effort. Besides daily brushing and flossing, regular visits with the family dentist will help assure your teeth and gums remain healthy and looking great.
Daily Dental Habits
Establishing a daily regimen to follow whether you are at home, on vacation, or a business trip, and sticking to it faithfully, is a good first step.
Brushing – Using the correct tools and technique are important. A soft bristle toothbrush and fluoridated toothpaste are best. It is not necessary to scrub teeth to clean them; however, it is important to brush for two minutes at least twice each day.
An electric toothbrush is an excellent tool; the rapid movement of bristles allows you to clean your teeth by simply guiding the brush to reach the front, top, and back of all teeth. And with a built-in timer, there is a signal when you’ve brushed two minutes.
Rinsing – After you’ve brushed make sure you thoroughly rinse. If your family dentist has prescribed any type of antibacterial or fluoride rinse, make sure you follow directions for use.
Flossing – When you brush, you only reach about two thirds of the teeth’s surfaces. Dental floss is designed to reach between teeth and around the gum line to remove food debris your toothbrush missed. Flossing should be done once daily.
Visits to the Family Dentist
While most of us are advised to visit the dentist twice a year for cleaning and dental exam, your dental condition may mandate a different schedule. Always follow the advice of your dental provider, and maintain their recommended schedule.
During your dental visit, your dental provider will remove all plaque that has formed since your last appointment. Once plaque has hardened on teeth, this is the only way to get rid of it. Teeth are cleaned, flossed, and polished to look their best.
A dental exam is performed to help you maintain the healthiest teeth and gums possible. With regular visits, problems can be diagnosed and treated before they have a chance to escalate. In addition, this exam may save your life. If there are any abnormalities, your dentist can spot them for needed follow up and treatment.
If it’s time to schedule your next cleaning and exam, contact our team at Bliss Dental today.
As the days begin to grow shorter and temperatures cool off, your child begins to think about the annual ritual of dressing up in a costume and running door to door to beg for candy. Halloween is the highlight of your child’s autumn; it is up to you to find the best ways to keep them safe … and that includes keeping their teeth safe as well. Your dentist can demonstrate ways you can be proactive to protect your child’s teeth.
A Parent’s Responsibility
Many parents do not realize that they should begin taking their child to see the dentist around the age of twelve months. This early start in dental care will help steer caregivers in the right direction to help their child maintain optimum dental health during early formative years and beyond.
Your child needs to learn how and when to brush and floss; this requires diligence, supervision, and patience as your child may try to evade this daily responsibility. A reward system works well (as long as the reward is not a sweet treat); trips to the park or a favorite book or game can be awarded when daily oral care goals are achieved.
Daily oral maintenance should be coupled with a healthy diet. The occasional sweet treat is allowed, but should not be daily fare. Fruits, vegetables, dairy, protein, and healthy grains should comprise the majority of the daily diet. Do not allow soda or sugary beverages to be consumed (with the exception of a special occasion) – encourage your child to drink water. This habit can be promoted early with baby bottles and sippy cups.
How Your Dentist Can Help
Your dentist can help educate you and your child. Additionally, topical fluoride treatments are available to fortify protective dental enamel. Teeth not already impacted by decay can be treated with dental sealants that are painted on the chewing surfaces of teeth to close off avenues where cavities are most likely to form.
On Halloween night, instruct your child not to consume anything until you have had the chance to inspect all their goodies. Limit consumption to one or two pieces, and make sure your child brushes before bed. Teach your child early on about generosity – allow them to keep a small amount of their bounty and donate the rest to the less fortunate.
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