What is Periodontics?

Oct 17th, 2013
Easton Dentists Mar 1st, 2017

Periodontics is the treatment of diseases and conditions that afflict the support structure of teeth. This includes the gums, tooth ligaments, and bone tissue in your jaw. These are susceptible to just as many things as your teeth are, and you need a properly trained periodontist to treat them. Unclean or improperly cleaned teeth can have plaque build-up, and that leads to gingivitis. Clinical gingivitis leads to periodontitis, and that causes loss of bone tissue in the jaw. That twice daily recommended cleaning doesn’t sound so bad now, does it?

Your regularly scheduled dental appointments will include more rigorous cleanings designed to get the stuff you can’t always prevent on your own. Dentists use a method called scaling and root planing to remove plaque, build-up, and dental calculus. No, not that high-brow math you’re afraid of, but you should be just as afraid of this gunk. Without regular cleaning, plaque turns hard and more difficult to remove. That’s dental calculus. Your dentist will use a tool called a hand scaler, most of which are now powered with ultrasonic technology. The vibrations emitted by these advanced tools help break down bacterial cell membranes to ensure plaque is thoroughly removed. A hand scaler may still be used to collect what was left behind by the ultrasonic one.

Gingivitis that advances to periodontitis involves plaque that builds up beneath the gum line. More sophisticated sonic tools are used to create vibrations and break down these unwanted deposits. Regular flossing and use of anti-bacterial mouthwash can help keep your gums from reaching this state, though.

Happy teeth are healthy teeth! Whether you suspect that you have a periodontal disease or not, a dental cleaning keeps your mouth in tip-top condition. Call us today to set up an appointment!

What are the Signs of Needing a Root Canal?

Oct 11th, 2013
Easton Dentists Mar 1st, 2017

When it comes to endodontic therapy (root canals), there are many signs to indicate that you may need work done. With all dental work there are symptoms you may notice on your own and those that only a dentist can spot. The same is true with root canals, even though the most obvious signs you’ll be able to catch on your own. Here are a few things to keep an eye out for.

Tooth pain is the biggest indicator of needing a root canal. Persistent or recurring pain in a tooth on daily or monthly frequencies could be an indicator of a need for endodontic therapy. This can be anything from dull ache to unbearable pain. Whatever you have now, get it checked out by a dentist as soon as possible. If you need a root canal, the pain will only get worse the longer you put off your appointment. Another big sign is tenderness of the gums or anything more severe than that. Infected gums may ache, or they may swell noticeably even on the outside of your face.

Your dentist performs regular X-rays on your mouth, and these are the best way to detect low-grade infections. Dark spots (called a ‘radiolucency’) are indications of infected teeth. Similarly, more progressed infections will be visible to the naked eye as a tooth slightly darker than the teeth surrounding it.

While working, your dentist may sometimes notice that a tooth’s nerve has become exposed. This would eventually lead to an internal infection, so they may opt to do a root canal at that time to save you the trouble of waiting until a dangerous and painful point down the line.

No website can help you with self-diagnosis. If you think you may exhibit some of the symptoms listed here, call The Dental Center to have a professional help diagnose what’s going on in your mouth.

Myths about Root Canals

Oct 7th, 2013
Easton Dentists Mar 1st, 2017

When it comes to dentistry, many people are a little afraid of having someone poking around in their mouth with sharp objects. And as they see after a few appointments, there’s nothing to worry about. The root canal is one of the most feared dental procedures, and the same applies to it. There are a few big myths and misunderstandings about endodontic therapy (root canals).

A root canal is not a painful procedure.
Contrary to popular belief, a root canal is among the least painful procedures you can have done at a dentist’s office! The myth about it being painful has stuck around for quite a long time. The last time root canals were painful was before the use of anesthetic to numb the area. The painful part most people think of is when they realize that they need a root canal; when their tooth is throbbing with pain from an infection.

An extraction is not a good alternative to a root canal.
The best teeth are your teeth. They already fit, your body makes them pretty strong, and they’re pretty hard to get out of your jaw anyway. It’s always best to keep your original teeth whenever possible. Extracting a tooth exposes more areas to infection and disease. In addition, the teeth around the gap will often be used as a bridge to hold an artificial, replacement tooth in place.

Root canals do not lead to other infections throughout the body.
Incorrect research was done circa 1910 about bacteria entering the bloodstream through a root canal. Every report since has either refuted or been unable to replicate the original researcher’s findings. Natural bacteria live in your mouth no matter how often you brush your teeth, and these have no negative effect on you. In fact, your body is programmed to kill bacteria in your bloodstream.

Consider these myths debunked. Feeling a little more comfortable with root canals? Call The Dental Center to speak to a qualified professional about endodontic therapy.

What is a Root Canal?

Oct 4th, 2013
Easton Dentists Mar 1st, 2017

A root canal (aka endodontic therapy) is a common procedure used by dentists to clean out infected teeth. Teeth can become infected for a variety of reasons. Many times, the nerve inside a tooth becomes infected as a result of trauma – either a broken tooth or a hard bump that may not even leave any external blemishes. Sometimes, it can take years for a tooth to become infected and noticeably decay before you feel anything. A dentist may recommend endodontic therapy even if you don’t yet feel any pain.

Many patients get nervous when they hear the words “root canal.” Anyone who’s had a root canal procedure done can tell you that there’s almost no pain involved. A hundred years ago, before the popular use of anesthetic, this was true. Yet for some reason, this stereotype still lasts. The pain most people associate with root canals is actually from the infection before they seek help. Your dentist is invested in making endodontic therapy as relaxing as possible. He or she will apply anesthetic and protect the procedure area with a rubber dam to keep out any saliva. This dam allows you to swallow normally during the operation.

Next, the dentist drills a small hole into the inner part of your tooth to remove any infected pulp and dead nerve cells. This fluid is what’s causing the pain you’ve felt. Using varying sizes of tools, your dentist will then clean out the roots and remove any dangerous abscesses or liquid that lie in your jaw. At this point, your first procedure may be over. Not every root canal takes more than one appointment, but some will pause once the cleaning is done. You’ll leave with a temporary crown until your next appointment.

Once a tooth has been cleaned, it’s important to protect it against future infections. The spaces inside a tooth are commonly filled by gutta-percha, a semi-organic material made from the sap of gutta-percha trees. This natural latex is lightweight and durable. Finally, the tooth is capped with a crown and the tooth is just as strong as it was before!

Feeling recurring pain in your teeth? Call The Dental Center to talk to a qualified professional about if you’re a good candidate for a root canal and what you can expect from the procedure.