People tend to be very protective about their teeth and even when they find out that they’re dying this can move them to try and avoid losing the tooth at any cost.
This becomes a relevant discussion when a tooth has an infection at the center of the tooth. In this scenario you end up with the choice of completely removing the offending tooth, or of trying to fix it with a root canal. Neither option is ideal and both have their drawbacks, so how do you decide which is right for you?
Who Needs Root Canal Treatment
Root canal treatments are used to treat infections that reach the ‘root’ of the tooth. These and similar procedures are sometimes described as ‘endodontics’.
Where does the infection come from? In most cases it comes from bacteria that lives inside the mouth and which causes tooth decay and infections. Infections will often actually be caused by tooth decay or in some cases by leaking fillings or traumas to the tooth. Either way, this allows bacteria to get inside the tooth where it will infect the pulp and the root that extends into the jawbone anchoring it in place and connecting it to the nerve.
Once this part of the tooth is infected, the bacteria will spread and the pulp will begin to die. Eventually it will travel along the root and to the part where the blood vessels enter. This creates pain (because the bacteria has reached the nerve) and it can cause the tissue around the nerve to become red and swollen. In some cases the patient’s whole face will look swollen in fact which is referred to as a ‘dental abscess’. At this point, something needs to be done.
How it is Performed
The root canal process will aim to remove the bacteria that is causing the problems. Dentists accomplish this by scooping out damaged and infected pulp from inside the tooth. While this might sound unpleasant it is usually more ‘uncomfortable’ rather than painful. The dentist will usually use a local anesthetic which will prevent the pain from getting too severe (though this does involve an injection into the gum which can be a little rough in itself).
Once the pulp is removed, the hollow of the tooth will then be filled and sealed with a filling or crown. The inflamed tissue normally heals on its own, removing the pain.
If you instead opt for extraction, this will basically remove pulling the tooth out of the dental alveolus (the socket). This is a quick and straightforward process in the majority of cases but can be painful. You’ll usually be given a bite pack immediately following this process to apply pressure to the socket and to limit bleeding.
So which should you choose? Generally tooth extraction is more painful and is more permanent. While root canals won’t always completely eradicate the problem they are effective in 90% of cases and so this should definitely be the first option unless you have already tried and failed or the tooth is too far gone.
If you’re unsure then just come and give us a visit. We will help you to make the best decision for your overall dental health and will provide a quick and easy procedure either way.
Many of us wish that we had straighter or whiter teeth. The mouth is one of the parts of our face that we focus on the most and is what we use to speak as well as to express any and all emotion.
For these reasons, a great smile can go a long way in making us more attractive – just as a crooked smile or stained teeth can do the opposite. This is why cosmetic dentistry procedures are so popular. Unfortunately, a lot of people are too afraid to consider this option as they assume that it will necessarily mean painful and invasive work being done.
The good news though is that cosmetic dentistry doesn’t have to be painful. In fact there are plenty of examples of cosmetic dental procedures that aren’t painful or invasive in the slightest. And one of the best of these is undoubtedly the use of veneers.
What Are Veneers?
Veneers are essentially ceramic caps that will attach to the outside of your teeth on the outward facing surface. These are essentially ‘cemented’ in place and will thus won’t move or come away.
Despite how easy this all sounds, this then has a number of fantastic benefits. For starters, veneers allow you to completely redesign how people see your teeth. They allow you to pick precisely the color you want your teeth to be (don’t go too white or you’ll look odd!) and they can even disguise any crooked areas or chips.
And veneers are even good for you. That’s because they protect your teeth underneath, thereby meaning that the fronts of your teeth at least won’t be vulnerable to staining or other issues.
What this means, is that in order to change your smile you won’t need to have any teeth removed and you won’t need any other painful procedures either. In fact, veneers aren’t at all painful or uncomfortable and the whole process barely takes any time.
This means that if you’re a busy kind of person, you can get veneers during your lunch breaks at work. It will take one visit to the dentist to discuss what you want your veneers to look like then another to have them attached. Once that’s done, you’ll be good to go!
Combing Veneers With Other Procedures
You can also combine veneers with a number of other dental procedures. For example, if you want to straighten your teeth and replace missing ones, you can combine veneers with a bridge or potentially a dental implant (the latter is more invasive but is also the closest you can get to getting missing teeth back). Likewise, if you want to cover up fillings then you might also use crowns in some instances.
In other words, there are plenty of options – many of which are quick and painless. So if you were thinking that your teeth had ‘had it’ there’s still hope. Give us a call and we’re confident we’ll be able to help you design a smile you’re truly proud of.
Getting married is an incredibly special occasion and is something that you (hopefully) will ever do once in your life. At the same time, it’s one of the only times you’ll ever have all your friends and family together in one place, it’s the time you get to pledge your love for the person who means the most to you and it’s a time when you’ll be taking a lot of photos.
So with all that in mind, it’s rather important that you be looking your best. And looking your best is rather difficult if your teeth are crooked and black…
Read on then and we will look at some of the things you can do to get your teeth looking their very best ready for the big day.
Visit the Hygienist and Get a Checkup
When you visit the dentist, if you also book yourself in for the hygienist they will be able to go over your teeth and give them a thorough clean. This is a great way to ensure your teeth are looking spotless and will remove any stains that may be the result of drinking lots of coffee or juice.
Getting a check-up early is also a good idea as you can that way ensure that you don’t have any potential problems on the approach. It’s better to know about an infection early on rather than to need a tooth removed the week before you wedding (or to go through the wedding in serious pain).
Visit your dentist 6 or more months prior to your wedding and then visit again a little closer to the time for a last cleaning effort.
You may though want to go even sooner if you plan to have any cosmetic dentistry to completely redesign your smile to make it look its very best.
An example of a popular cosmetic dentistry procedure is to get veneers. This essentially involves attaching ceramic caps to the outward facing surfaces of your teeth. This allows you to cover up any crooked teeth and to hide any discoloration as well. Veneers are non-invasive and allow you to completely redesign your smile.
Likewise you may decide you want to get a bridge. This is a false tooth that anchors to teeth either side in order to fill gaps and is a great way to replace any missing teeth.
Finally, many people will choose to have their teeth whitened before their big day. A subtle whitening can ensure they look stellar in photos and is a great way to do a little something extra.
On the day itself you can also use a few tricks to make your teeth look whiter. Ladies for instance can try wearing a bold shade of lipstick which often makes teeth look whiter by contrast. Both genders can work on getting a bit of a tan which will have the same effect.
For more tips and options, give us a call at [PHONE] and we’ll help you to look your very best on the biggest day of your life!
Phobias are fears that are disproportional to the potential threat presented and are often entirely irrational. Common phobias include phobias of snakes, guns, heights, small spaces, large spaces and crowds. Less common examples are phobias of buttons, balloons and ‘ducks watching you’ (anatidaephobia – yep, it’s real!).
Another fairly common phobia is of the dentist. In fact, this is a phobia that even has its own name: odontophobia (though it also goes by dentophobia and dental phobia). And unlike fears of ducks (which are ultimately avoidable), this is an anxiety disorder that can end up having severe and negative consequences on your health and on your lifestyle.
Why Odontophobia is a Real Problem
The problem, is that if you’re afraid of the dentist, then there’s a good chance you won’t go. In turn, this can then mean that you’re less likely to notice if you have a build-up of plaque or if you have a gum infection – which in turn means you’re less likely to catch it in time and you’re more likely to end up needing your tooth completely removed. It might even just fall out all on its own… Ironically, it’s a phobia of the dentist that ends up leading to a more painful dental procedure in the end! Truly, the only thing to fear is fear itself.
Odontophobia can also just be impractical. Say you have a cosmetic dentistry procedure that you want carried out so that you can be more confident about your smile – odontophobia is going to make that impossible. Likewise, you might even find yourself coming out in cold sweats when taking your children to the dentist!
For all these reasons, this is an issue that you should address as soon as possible.
How to Combat Dental Phobia
So how exactly do you go about getting over dental phobia?
One option is to use cognitive behavioral therapy, also known as CBT. CBT is a psychotherapeutic approach that basically involves ‘reprogramming’ the way you think about the dentist. The underlying belief behind cognitive psychology in general is that our behavior and our beliefs are determined by thought patterns and ruminations.
So when you think about the dentist, it may be that you also find yourself imagining your teeth being pulled out, or a serious problem being uncovered. You might have images of blood and you might be worried about the money.
A cognitive behavioral therapist will help you to identify these maladaptive thought patterns by using something called ‘mindfulness meditation’. From there, they will then help you to overcome them by using positive affirmations as well as ‘thought challenging’ and ‘hypothesis testing’. This basically means challenging your own beliefs and asking what is really likely to happen. For instance, you might just remind yourself that a dentist won’t do anything without your say so.
At the same time, it helps to ensure you are happy with your dentist and that they are good at making you feel calm and comfortable when you’re being seen. At Lakeway Smiles, that’s our top priority. Come in and visit us and we’ll be sure to help ease any fears or concerns you may have.
A certain amount of wear and tear to our teeth is inevitable as we get older. At the same time, it’s all too common to find your gums receding as you reach old age: hence the phrase ‘long in the tooth’.
This is of course a somewhat unhappy fact of life and can force us to confront our own mortality – which is never fun.
That said though, it’s actually even more upsetting when the damage to your teeth was entirely avoidable. When this happens, you’ll not only have to live with the deterioration to your tooth but also the knowledge that it could have been avoided – that if you had just been a bit more careful, your pearly whites would still be perfect.
Chipped teeth are one example of tooth damage that is almost always avoidable. Here we will look at some of the best ways to prevent this damage and to keep your gnashers healthy for much longer.
Stop Holding Things in Your Mouth
A lot of us make the mistake of holding things in our teeth when our hands are full. Keys are a common choice here but some people will even hold bottles in their teeth when they’re out at the pub.
Not only is this seriously unhygienic but it also creates a big opportunity for your teeth to get damaged. It only takes for that item to slip or for you to bite a little too hard and you can lose a bit of your tooth. Not really worth it when you could have just put the item down for a moment!
Wear a Gum Shield
If you take part in any kind of contact sport, then wearing a gum shield should be a top priority. Not only will this protect your teeth from impact but it will also ensure that your teeth can be more easily reconstructed if anything should go wrong.
Another tip that will help during sports is to keep your mouth closed. If your mouth is open then you can bite down if you trip causing damage.
Jackie Chan always says that he is far more likely to injure himself doing ‘easy’ stunts versus difficult ones. Why is that? Because it’s easier to be complacent during the simpler stunts.
The same goes for eating. We eat at least three times a day, 365 days a year, which means we’re pretty blasé about the whole affair.
That’s why when we find a stone in our fruit that we weren’t expecting, it’s easy to bite down hard on it and damage our teeth. The moral of the story? Just make sure you are present while eating and that you think about what’s in your mouth.
Crunching ice is one of the easiest ways to get chipped teeth. Consider it a bad habit and one to stop!
These are just a few of the ways you can avoid chipping your teeth. Of course it can still happen if you fall over or just get unlucky though, so if you need a chip repaired be sure to give us a ring!