Posts Tagged ‘root canal specialist’

root canal

Everything you should know about a root canal

A root canal is one of the most common oral surgeries performed in dentist’s offices across the country. Despite how common they are, many patients feel uncertain or even frightened of the prospect of having to undergo a root canal. However, root canals are very simple and often do not require the hours of time and intense pain that they did in the past. 

The Fundamentals of Root Canals

“Root canal” can also refer to the inner part of the tooth between the pulp – the soft tissue of the tooth – and the tooth roots. Root canals are also a standard dental procedure to remove the infected material and to relieve pain in the root canal caused by the pulp becoming infected.  Once an adult tooth has emerged from the gums, the nerve inside only serves to detect changes in temperature, from hot to cold, and some other stimuli. Treating nerve pain is the standard procedure for teeth that have become infected due to tooth decay or due to an infection of the root pulp.

Causes of Root Canals

There are three primary causes of root canals. Luckily these are largely manageable factors, so as long as you stick to a daily dental care regimen your chance of having to undergo a root canal is minimal.  Tooth decay is the most common cause and is when bacteria have eaten through the outer layers of the teeth and began to grow inside the tooth, causing root canal pain.  Damage is another major cause, as cracked or chipped teeth can allow for bacteria to get into the soft, exposed tooth root and so multiply and cause tooth decay and root canal pain. Various oral diseases are also big factors in increasing your risk for infection, as they lower your body’s ability to fight off infection. If the cause of your tooth pain is serious decay or infection in the tooth pulp, your dentist may recommend a root canal. 

How do I know if a root canal is appropriate for me?

It is important to note that not every kind of tooth pain is an indication that you are due for a root canal. However, there are a number of signs that your tooth pain is an infection severe enough to require a root canal.  Serious tooth pain while eating or when putting pressure on the tooth is a big sign of a serious infection. Additionally when the tooth pain lingers, or when sensitivity to hot or cold remains after the hot or cold thing is removed can be a major single.  More subtle signs include a small, pimple-like bump forming on the gums near the area of tooth pain, and a darkening of the tooth. Also, be mindful of swelling of the gums around the area with the most pain.

What can I be expected to pay?

The cost of a root canal procedure is largely dependent on your insurance coverage, but on average the cost of a root canal in the United States is around $350 for an incisor and at least $520 for a molar.  Factors such as the severity of the infection, the kind of dental professional you are seeing and even the location can all play into the final end price. However, a root canal is many times less expensive than getting a tooth removed and replaced with a dental implant

How does a Root Canal happen?

Root canals have a number of steps during the dental procedure that involves, basically, removing the infected material from the tooth (the tooth pulp) and then sealing the tooth to prevent any more future tooth pain. Here’s what a root canal generally looks like:
  1. First, your dentist will take an x-ray to see the extent of the infection. This will allow them to know where the infection is present in the root.
  2. Local anesthesia is then applied to the area to numb the pain and prevent tooth pain while the procedure is occurring. You will receive the local anesthesia and a rubber dam, which is used to keep the area dry during the procedure.
  3. Your dentist or endodontist will then drill a small access hole into the tooth and use specialized tools to remove the damaged nerve and pulp tissue. 
  4. After the infected material has been completely removed, the dentist will then seal the tooth that same day or put a temporary filling to protect you from further root canal pain until a custom crown has been created. They seal to the tooth by placing a rubber compound into the cleaned tooth in place of the removed material. A filling is then placed over the access hole. 
  5. After the crown, filling, or other kinds of tooth restoration has been set, you should be relieved of tooth pain. Sometimes the dentist will leave the tooth open to drain any additional material out of the tooth or put a temporary filling to help with this. Most people compare a root canal to getting a cavity filled, a relatively painless procedure. 

How to care for your teeth after the procedure?

Generally, the next appointment will involve getting a crown fitted, which is made from a special composite filling that is placed in the center of the tooth. Teeth that have undergone a root canal are almost always capped with a crown to protect the remains of the tooth and to guard against future tooth pain.  You may continue to experience some tooth pain and sensitivity after the procedure. Be sure to maintain a regular dental regimen to help minimize the chance of further infection. If you have more questions or want to arrange an appointment call Golden Smiles Dental in Rancho Cucamonga, CA at (909) 481-8990 today.
cosmetic dentistry

Cosmetic Dentistry: Treatments and Trends

What is Cosmetic Dentistry?

Unlike traditional dentistry which emphasizes oral hygiene and the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of disease in the mouth, the field of cosmetic dentistry focuses on improving the overall appearance of the teeth, the mouth, and most importantly, the smile.  Another way to put it, traditional dentistry is considered restorative or general practice and is only concerned with addressing dental problems that require necessary treatment, such as filling cavities or performing root canals. Cosmetic dentistry is an elective treatment that helps improve the aesthetic quality of the mouth. That isn’t to say that cosmetic dentistry is without any restorative benefit. Dental fillings are a good example in which restorative and cosmetic dentistry are combined. In the past fillings with gold, silver amalgam and other materials would leave noticeable dark spots on the teeth.  The filling materials used today could be considered cosmetic because you can select from a filling of either porcelain or composite materials that are matched to the color of your teeth, allowing you to keep the natural appearance of your teeth. As these materials become more available and affordable, many people are replacing their old fillings with these new ones. 

What kinds of trends are happening right now in cosmetic dentistry?

Developments in the technology behind cosmetic dental treatments have allowed for more natural-looking treatments that are durable for many years. Additionally, more and more dentists are using new techniques to be more conservative about how much teeth they remove, this leaving as much of the natural tooth as possible.  Some dentists are using laser technologies to perform procedures that are needed for cosmetic treatments right in their own offices, with no need for referrals to specialists. This means that cosmetic procedures are becoming more comfortable and convenient for patients and help to reduce recovery time.

What kinds of options of treatment are there?

The most popular cosmetic dentistry treatments options are:
  • Inlays or Onlays: Known as indirect fillings, inlays and onlays are made from porcelain and composite materials to create a long-lasting yet aesthetically pleasing way to fill a tooth that has tooth decay or other structural damage. Unlike traditional fillings, which are molded in place within the mouth during the dental visit, inlays and onlays are fitted and adhesively bonded to the teeth by your dentist.
  • Composite Bonding: When chipped, broken, decayed, or a discolored tooth needs to be repaired, they may have their appearance restored using composite bonding. Dental composite material is meant to resemble the look of the enamel and dentin is applied to the cavity, or on the surface of the tooth and then sculpted into shape, and then hardened by a high-intensity light. The result is a natural kind of restoration that blends with the remainder of your teeth to create a healthy, beautiful smile.
  • Teeth Whitening: This is perhaps the most commonly recommended procedure in cosmetic dentistry. Teeth can be stained over time from smoking, food, drinks like coffee and tea, or poor oral hygiene. Bleaching the teeth can enhance the appearance of your smile.
  • Dental Veneers: Dental veneers are composite or porcelain laminates that are adhesively bonded to the surface of the tooth so that the appearance of the tooth can be improved. Veneers are generally suggested after there is no success with bleaching the teeth or with gaps in the teeth. 
  • Dental Implants: Dental implants are essentially artificial teeth that can replace a lost tooth and are a kind of prosthetic to compensate for tooth loss. Dental implants can prevent some of the worst side effects of tooth loss, namely the change in the shape of your jaw, making you look older.
  • Smile Makeover: Smile makeovers are a comprehensive assessment and a treatment plan to overhaul your smile’s overall procedure. Typically there are one or two cosmetic procedures that you undergo depending on your needs and oral health. 

How to find the right cosmetic dentist

You must spend some time considering your options when finding a qualified cosmetic dentist. While there is no formally recognized cosmetic dentist, many dentists are now offering cosmetic treatments.  This combined with the wide variety of procedures to choose from means that your choices can be enormous. Try to follow these tips:
  • Consider the recommendation of your dentist or family dentist’s recommendation. Your general dentist will have the best picture of the current status of your mouth. They may even refer you to a dentist should the need be present. 
  • Do your homework and investigate the level of cosmetic dentistry expertise of each dentist before you set up a consultation. You may need to ask if the dentist is skilled in the procedure that you want to undergo.
  • Ask the following questions:
    • How long has the dentist been practicing?
    • Are there actual photos of patients that show before and after?
    • How extensive is the practice?
    • What technologies are used in the practice?
    • What kind of patient comforts are used in practice? How can you be made the most comfortable?
If you are looking to improve your smile and live in Rancho Cucamonga, CA call (909) 481-8990 and make an appointment for a consultation at Golden Smiles Dental.