A root canal might sound like an intimidating procedure, but it is an extremely useful treatment for saving badly infected teeth. In the very center of the tooth is the pulp which contains nerves and blood vessels. It’s needed as the tooth is developing, but adult teeth can survive without it. If the pulp becomes infected, it will have to be removed to save the natural tooth.
How does the tooth become infected?
The plaque that naturally forms on the surface of the teeth contains bacteria that are harmful to teeth. It’s cleaned away with regular brushing and flossing, but if these habits become lax, the bacteria are allowed to attack the teeth surface, causing cavities. Dental fillings can usually successfully treat cavities, but if the decay has progressed, it could reach the pulp. Damaged teeth (through either chips or cracks) can also allow bacteria to get inside the tooth.
Root Canal Procedure
A root canal is carried out under a local anesthetic to minimize pain and discomfort. The pulp is accessed through the crown of the tooth. It is cleaned out completely and specially shaped to clean out the root canals that are attached to the pulp. Once all the infected tissue has been removed, the chambers are thoroughly disinfected. If the infection was quite severe, the empty canal could then receive antibiotics. The tooth is sealed up and restored with either a filling or a crown.
Root canal therapy, along with dental fillings, can easily be avoided with good oral hygiene. Regular brushing and flossing, plus regular check-ups, ensure the health of the teeth.
Damaged, chipped, or cracked teeth take away from the appearance of a smile and can make anyone feel insecure. If you have any of these dental issues, dental bonding may be the cosmetic dentistry procedure for you.
What is dental bonding?
This procedure is when a composite resin (color-matched to the natural teeth) is applied directly to a tooth, then shaped to the desired appearance. The resin material used is biocompatible; in fact, it’s the same material that is used for dental fillings. It’s most appropriate for cases where only one or a few teeth need adjustments.
Most Common Issues
Dental bonding is most commonly used to fix issues having to do with the appearance of the teeth. Chips and cracks can be patched up; the size and shape of the tooth can be altered; it can even help fill in small gaps in between teeth. Bonding can also be used to adjust the color of the tooth and to cover exposed tooth roots caused by decay or gum disease.
Advantages and Disadvantages
Like with any other dental treatment, dental bonding is not a perfect solution. It cannot cover large areas, so if you need a full-smile cosmetic restoration, it probably isn’t the best option. However, it is usually more affordable compared to other methods of dental restoration, and faster because it is applied directly to the teeth. It usually does not require any anesthesia as it is a non-invasive procedure, and it does not require any trimming to the teeth. This means that the tooth maintains its structural integrity.
If dental bonding sounds like the right procedure for you, schedule an appointment with your dentist for a consultation.
If you’ve ever gotten a cavity, which you most likely have, that means you’ve also gotten a dental filling. These are super important to prevent any more tooth decay from growing or spreading. So because of the importance dental fillings have in our mouth, there are also certain precautions you should take in order to best take care of your new filling.
What Happens After the Filling?
You should never experience pain after a filling, you may still feel numb from the procedure, but that will wear off soon enough. In the worst possible case scenario, you may feel a bit of sensitivity for a few days or so following the procedure. If you’re concerned that your sensitivity is more intense or long-lasting than you would hope, don’t hesitate to call your dentist immediately.
Am I Limited to Specific Foods and Drinks?
You should wait a few hours before eating and drinking. This is mostly, so the anesthesia doesn’t affect the way you eat too much. The numbness in your mouth can lead to a messy meal! Consume soft foods if possible and avoid cold or hot foods as they can irritate the space around the filling.
What to Do About Pain and Discomfort
There can be an imbalance in your bite when just receiving a filling. Be sure to let your dentist know while you’re still in the operating chair if you feel your bite different from when you came into the dentist. Again, with pain, don’t hesitate to call your dentist and let them know to see if it is a problem that should be handled by them.
What About Children?
As a parent, be sure to observe your children and how they are treating the mound part of their mouth. Make sure he or she do not chew on their cheek while they can’t feel it.
If you or a member of your family needs a dental filling themselves, we at Ramona Dentistry of Chino, CA would be more than happy to assist you. Our experience over the years has allowed us to turn common everyday dental procedures into great experiences. Give us a chance to show you how much we care for our patients and how our gentle care and touch translates into our work. Give our office a call today to schedule an appointment!