Endodontic therapy (root canal) is required when the nerve of the tooth has been damaged through trauma, infection, or deep decay. The alternative to a root canal is extraction, so if your dentist diagnoses the need for a root canal, you have a choice to make.
Save the Tooth or Extract
Many patients have heard the stories about getting a root canal, but in reality this is a procedure that is fairly quick, and with little discomfort (if any). A comparison of a root canal or selecting extraction follows:
Root Canal Treatment – A dental x-ray is needed to determine how many canals are involved and their placement. Your dental provider will begin the root canal procedure by numbing the area; a barrier will be used to keep the tooth dry. An access point will be created in the tooth and endodontic files will be used to remove the contents of the canals – nerve, pulp, and infectious tissue. The canals will be packed with gutta percha to provide stability for the tooth; the access point will be sealed often utilizing a dental crown.
Extraction – Your dentist will numb the area prior to extraction. Once the tooth has been removed, you are faced with a variety of situations like difficulty chewing, or smiling may reveal a gap where a tooth should be. You will most likely be advised to consider your tooth replacement options after extraction.
Recommendations From Your Dentist
If possible, it is always best to save a biological tooth. It will look and feel more natural; the dental crown placed to seal the opening will be made to match surrounding teeth so it will be aesthetically pleasing.
A root canal takes about an hour and one appointment; the dental crown needed to seal the opening takes approximately two appointments. But now the process (and your smile!) is complete.
To learn more about how root canal therapy can save your tooth, contact our team at Bliss Dental and schedule an appointment today.
A chipped tooth, dental stain, or dental decay can be treated with tooth colored fillings … the composite resin material used has many advantages over its predecessors, silver amalgam or metal.
Metal or amalgam were the only choices available for many years to repair broken or decaying teeth.
If one of those old fillings appears in your smile line, your dentist can remove that old filling and replace it with a tooth colored filling that will provide a repair that is aesthetically beautiful, durable, and eliminate that darkened silver repair that was placed years ago.
Present Day Uses for Composite Resin Fillings
Tooth colored fillings aren’t the only things that this plastic based resin can repair. Your dentist can make a chipped tooth appear whole again; dental stain is eliminated; and a cavity can be repaired. The advantages of using composite are plentiful.
Tooth colored fillings can be made to perfectly match existing dentition making any kind of repair virtually undetectable.
Deep dental stain that does not respond to attempts to lighten or remove it can be treated with the artful use of dental composite. Whether teeth are stained with white or dark spots, your dentist can apply the tooth colored material and blend away discoloration.
The differences in a cavity treated with composite resin versus dental amalgam include:
Amalgam: Much more of the tooth must be removed to place an amalgam filling. After decay is removed, your dentist will pack the tooth with the silver filling, and make it appear as good as a silver filling can.
Composite: Much less of a healthy tooth is removed. A small amount of resin is placed, and a curing light is applied before the next layer is added. This process continues until the tooth is filled. Your dentist will fashion the filling to match surrounding teeth making this repair cosmetically beautiful.
Tooth colored fillings are durable; much less of the tooth is removed enhancing the integrity of the remaining natural tooth; and the plastic based, tooth colored resin is safe for all applications.
For more information or to schedule a consultation, contact our team at Bliss Dental today.
Are you a soda drinker? The fizzy, refreshing nature of soda is very appealing – especially on a hot day. Unfortunately, despite the pleasant nature of these drinks, their ingredients are actually dangerous to oral health. Drinking soda regularly can increase your risk for developing tooth decay. Soda drinkers also are at risk for developing weakened teeth due to damaged tooth enamel. If you drink soda frequently, it is important that you understand the need to reduce your soda intake and visit our practice regularly for cleanings and checkups with our dentist so that you can protect your oral health.
Sugar and Soda
Unless it’s a diet variety, sodas contain sugar. Whether this sugar is in the form of corn syrup or cane sugar does not matter to bacteria in your mouth. Bacteria will feed on anything that contains sugar and sugar derivatives. The reason bacteria love sugar so much is due to the fact that sugar is the natural food source for bacteria. When we drink a soda, the sugar compounds left behind on our teeth, tongue, and roof of our mouth will send bacteria into a feeding frenzy. Well-fed bacteria will colonize, too. Once bacteria colonize, patients are at risk for developing plaque and tartar accumulation, especially if they do not practice proper oral hygiene.
Acid and Soda
The other harmful aspect of soda is the presence of acid. Soda makers utilize different acidic compounds as preservatives, formula stabilizers, and flavoring agents. Unfortunately, our teeth cannot handle consistent exposure to strong acid. The outer coating of our teeth, tooth enamel, is comprised of minerals. These minerals protect teeth from cavity-causing bacteria. Once tooth enamel breaks down, teeth are left vulnerable to decay.
Alternatives to Soda
Since soda can negatively affect our teeth, it is important that patients know there are abundant alternatives to this popular beverage. For instance, carbonated water, fruit-infused water, and unsweetened drinks like tea and coffee are suitable alternatives to soda. Lastly, the best thing a person can drink is plain water. Drinking water helps rinse away food and debris. It also dilutes acid.
If it’s time for a cleaning or checkup with our dentist, call us today to reserve an appointment.
Healthy teeth and gums do not happen by accident. Patients that have developed good oral hygiene habits of daily brushing and flossing along with visits to the dentist every six months are likely to enjoy great oral health that will ultimately contribute to good overall health.
Some of the dental myths that may be damaging your dentition include:
If I only drink diet soda, I can drink all the pop I want without worrying about my teeth. Wrong …
Diet soda may not contain sugar but carbonation and acids in diet soda can damage dentition.
I don’t eat sugary treats, so I don’t have to worry about getting cavities. Wrong …
Bacteria live on teeth; foods and beverages consumed that are allowed to linger on teeth contribute to plaque formation on teeth. Plaque build-up leads to decay and gum disease. Once plaque hardens, it can only be removed by your dental provider.
I brush and floss every day so I don’t need to see my dentist every six months. Wrong …
You are commended for good daily oral hygiene habits, but plaque builds on the teeth of even the most diligent patient. Also, those regular dental checkups not only keep teeth cleaned, but your dentist is looking for the potential for serious problems such as oral cancer.
Crooked teeth are just an aesthetic issue. Wrong …
Crooked teeth are breeding grounds for bacteria and plaque formation creating areas in the mouth where your toothbrush might not thoroughly clean.
Bleeding gums are normal. Wrong …
If your gums bleed during brushing you are likely using the wrong tools and excessive pressure. If they are bleeding without provocation, see your dentist right away as this may be a symptom of the onset of gum disease. In the meantime, invest in an electric toothbrush that does all the work for you. You just need to make sure you reach all your teeth.
If I lose a permanent tooth, I can get by without replacing it. Wrong …
You might get by, but a multitude of problems could occur like remaining teeth shifting creating a malocclusion, dental bone loss, inability to chew properly, and aesthetic issues.
There are many myths regarding your dental care; daily brushing and flossing and regularly kept six month dental visits are a great start to maintaining great oral health. Call the office of Dr. Sheth today to schedule your appointment!
When women become pregnant, their bodies undergo many changes. While many people tend to focus on their dietary and vascular health during pregnancy, it is important to note that oral health can be affected, too. Keeping your teeth healthy during pregnancy should be a priority for any expecting mother. We recommend that expecting mothers monitor their sugar intake, practice thorough oral hygiene, and keep regular appointments for checkups and cleanings to safeguard their oral health. If you are pregnant, be sure to mention this with our dentist so that we can help accommodate your unique needs.
Monitor Sugar Intake
For many women, pregnancy brings unsuspected cravings. Sometimes women crave foods they normally don’t think about. Whether its pickles, ice cream, or something else, it is important to monitor sugar intake – especially during pregnancy. Sugar feeds oral bacteria and this can lead to an increased risk for tooth decay. If sugary foods or drinks are consumed, be sure to drink water afterwards to help rinse away food particles.
Practice Proper Oral Hygiene
Oral hygiene is always important but pregnancy brings wild hormonal fluctuations. Hormonal fluctuations increase blood flow to soft tissue, including tissue like the gums and linings of cheeks and lips. Increased blood flow means that the gingiva become more sensitive than usual. Sensitivity can amplify the risk for gingival irritation, which increases the incidence of periodontal disease among women who are pregnant. Since pregnant patients are at risk for common oral conditions like periodontal (gum) disease, brushing and flossing thoroughly can control substances like plaque and tartar that inflame the gums. Brushing and flossing is essential for preventing tooth decay as well.
Keep Regular Dental Appointments
Regular visits to your dentist are necessary – even during pregnancy. Checkups and cleanings can help avert the progression of disease through early detection of potential issues and preventive treatments.
Our practice is happy to accommodate expecting patients. Be sure to let us know if you are expecting so that we can tailor appointments to your needs. Call us today to ask questions or reserve an appointment.
Visiting your dentist regularly is the best way to prevent tooth decay and gum disease, but it can also help protect your heart. Studies have shown that, if you have gum disease, your risk of cardiovascular disease rises. So visiting the dentist regularly is one way to keep your heart healthy.
The Link Between Gum Disease and Heart Disease
Over the last several years, doctors have been studying the links between gum disease and cardiovascular disease. There is definitely a correlation between the two—the presence of gum disease is linked to a higher risk of cardiovascular disease. What hasn’t been completely established yet is the reason why this correlation exists.
While searching for the answer to this conundrum, researchers discovered that the bacteria found in the mouths of those with gum disease can also be found in other areas of the body. When the bacteria migrates out of the mouth, it can contribute to inflammation elsewhere, and inflammation is an underlying cause of numerous problems, including heart disease. Recent studies have even found bacteria in the brain that normally exists in the mouth, indicating it has migrated through the bloodstream. The discovery has led researchers to look more closely to determine if there might also be a link between gum disease and Alzheimer’s.
Why Isn’t At-Home Cleaning Enough?
Diligent at-home care is vital, but regular visits to the dentist are necessary to ensure your teeth and gums are as healthy as they can be. There are several reasons for this:
- The dentist can take X-rays of your teeth
- The dentist can more easily find early signs of decay or gum disease
- Professional-strength fluoride treatments help reduce decay
- Professional cleaning helps remove plaque and tartar you might have missed
With access to special tools and knowledge of the earliest symptoms of gum disease, your dentist is an important ally in the quest to maintain your overall health. By diagnosing gum disease in its earliest stages and recommending treatment, your dentist can help protect not only your teeth, but your heart.
Discoloration is a common problem often treated by a cosmetic dentist. In fact, teeth whitening treatment is the most common treatment sought by patients. When teeth whitening doesn’t correct the issue, though, you and your cosmetic dentist might consider using veneers.
Discoloration and Teeth Whitening
Teeth whitening is a simple, non-invasive procedure that can correct a range of staining issues, but it is best at treating extrinsic staining—that is, staining that affects only the surface of the teeth. Intrinsic staining, which affects deeper layers of the tooth, does not respond well to traditional whiteners.
Some causes of intrinsic staining include:
- Exposure to certain medications, particularly antibiotics, while the teeth are developing
- Exposure to excessive amounts of fluoride while the teeth are developing
- Damage to the tooth’s interior
- Congenital issues with the enamel
- Wear that has damaged the enamel, leaving the underlying dentin exposed
In addition, some external staining can be so severe that even repeated bleaching treatments do not bring about the desired results. In these cases, veneers can restore the proper whiteness to the teeth and can also help strengthen the tooth.
How Veneers Work
Veneers are typically made of porcelain. They are very thin—often no thicker than a fingernail—and are affixed to the tooth’s surface. Although they are delicate on their own, they provide a strong, durable surface when they’re set permanently into place. Porcelain is semi-translucent, so it allows some light to penetrate, just like your natural enamel. For this reason, porcelain veneers are much more natural-looking than solid porcelain crowns or prosthetic teeth made of tooth-colored resins, which tend to have an opaque, “plastic” appearance.
Typically, veneers are placed in two stages. First, your dentist prepares your teeth and places temporary veneers. The permanent veneers are manufactured off-site and are custom-made and color matched to provide you with your perfect smile. When they’re complete, your dentist will remove your temporary veneers and apply the new, permanent ones. The procedure is simply and relatively non-invasive. In a matter of days, you’ll have the bright, white smile you’ve always wanted.
Are you ready for a better smile? Contact us today!
Porcelain veneers can make a huge difference in the look of your smile. They require very little reshaping of your teeth, making them one of the least invasive cosmetic dentistry treatments. They are also one of the most versatile treatments and can be used to correct a wide range of cosmetic issues. Though porcelain veneers are very durable, taking proper care of them helps keep them looking their best for a decade or more.
Taking Care of Your Veneers
Once they’re adhered to your teeth, porcelain veneers are strong and durable. However, they are still susceptible to cracking or chipping, and the tooth beneath the veneer can be vulnerable to decay. For these reasons, it’s important to take proper care of your veneers so they will keep your smile looking beautiful for years to come.
Some basic guidelines for caring for your veneers include:
- Use a soft toothbrush to clean your teeth regularly
- Avoid biting hard objects, which could chip the edges of your veneers
- When you go to the dentist, tell your hygienist that you have veneers
- Visit the dentist regularly to ensure no cavities are developing
For the most part, you can treat your veneer-treated teeth in the same way you do your untreated teeth, with minor additions to your everyday care designed to protect the porcelain.
Choosing Cosmetic Veneers
If you have issues with the way your smile looks, ask your dentist about veneers. They can be used to disguise issues like severe discoloration, surface damage, or even minor misalignment and small gaps between the teeth. The porcelain reflects light much like natural enamel does, so your teeth will even have the same luster after they’re treated. Veneers are also custom-made and color matched so they don’t look out of place in your mouth.
Veneers can last a long time – often ten to fifteen years or more – if you take proper care of them. So, if you do decide on cosmetic veneers, maintain excellent oral hygiene and visit the dentist regularly to keep your smile looking bright well into the future.
Dental restorations can range from relatively small fillings to extensive work that requires restructuring of the tooth, root canal treatment, or dental crowns. If a tooth has been severely damaged, a crown might be necessary to keep it intact and prevent eventual removal.
Types of Tooth Restorations
Your dentist must perform a tooth restoration if your tooth has been damaged or has experienced decay. Small to medium cavities can be restored with fillings, in which the decayed portion of the tooth is removed and replaced with dental amalgam or with a tooth-colored resin. However, if the cavity is extremely large, or if you experience additional decay in a tooth that has already been filled, a crown might be necessary.
Very severe cavities, cracks in the teeth, or broken-off teeth might require a root canal treatment. This procedure is necessary if the tooth’s interior becomes infected. A dentist or endodontist removes the infected tissue from inside the tooth, then fills it and fits the tooth with a dental crown.
Common Uses of Dental Crowns
Dental crowns were once used routinely for cosmetic purposes, but now your dentist is more likely to recommend dental veneers for purely aesthetic treatment. Crowns are more invasive than veneers, and so are usually reserved for restorations. In order to place a crown, the underlying tooth must be reshaped to fit inside it, which usually involves removing a substantial amount of the enamel and dentin. The crown is custom-made to fit your tooth and to complement your bite, and is permanently fixed in place with special cement.
In general, your dentist will recommend dental crowns if:
- Your tooth is cracked
- Your tooth has broken off
- Your tooth has been treated with root canal therapy
- Your tooth is severely decayed
- You are suffering from decay in a tooth that has already been filled
Dental crowns can be constructed of metal, tooth-colored resins, porcelain, or metal bound with porcelain. Talk to your dentist about what type of crown is best for your particular restoration.
If your gums bleed when you brush, this could be a symptom of gingivitis, an early form of gum disease. Gingivitis is easily treated, so if you let your dentist know as soon as possible, you can prevent it from developing into more serious forms of periodontitis, which could require deep cleaning or even gum surgery.
Causes and Symptoms of Gum Disease
A wide variety of bacteria naturally lives in your mouth. These bacteria can build up if you do not practice good oral hygiene. Sugary drinks and sticky foods cling to the teeth, providing nutrients for these bacteria. As they multiply, they can cause inflammation in the gum tissue, causing the gums to draw back from the tooth roots. Your dentist evaluates the condition of your gums during regular visits by measuring the pockets around your teeth.
Some symptoms to watch out for that could indicate gum disease include:
- Swelling or redness in the gums
- A shiny or purple look to the gums
- Pus or pimple-like growths
- Extreme sensitivity
- A bad taste in the mouth
- Persistent bad breath
- Bleeding when you brush your teeth
Bleeding when you brush is one of the earliest symptoms of gingivitis. If you do notice your gums bleeding, be sure to mention this to your dentist.
Treatment for Gum Disease
The main way to deal with gum disease is through prevention. Maintaining good oral health means regular dental hygiene and twice-yearly visits to the dentist. If your dentist does diagnose gingivitis or gum disease, you might require treatment.
Treatment for gum disease can include:
- Antibacterial toothpaste or mouthwash
- Deep cleaning techniques such as planing and scaling
- Gum surgery
- Gum grafting
The more serious your gum disease is, the more invasive your treatment will be. Very serious gum disease requires gum grafting, in which infected gum tissue is removed and replaced with tissue from the roof of your mouth. Shoring up the gumline in this way provides the necessary support and foundation for your tooth roots, and can prevent long-term tooth loss.
For more information, contact our office today.
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