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Friday
Jul012011

What to Expect from a Root Canal in Fort Smith & Rogers Arkansas

tooth after endodontic treatment

What is a root canal?

A root canal (non-surgical root canal therapy) is a common procedure in which the tooth is de-vitalized, meaning that the nerve and blood supply (the pulp) is removed and disinfected, and the space left is re-filled with an inert filling material to seal out bacteria.

What causes a tooth to need a root canal?

A root canal is a necessary procedure to save the tooth when the nerve has become affected, causing irreversible damage or even killing it. By far, the most common way that a tooth's nerve is affected in this way is from a cavity (dental decay) reaching the nerve allowing it to be infected by bacteria. Other ways that the nerve can be affected are through trauma which disrupts the blood supply to that tooth causing the nerve to die, fracture into (or close to) the nerve, cracks that extend into the nerve, and repeated dental procedures. The commomn signs and symptoms that alert dentists and patients to the need for a root canal are constant or un-elicited pain, extreme sensitivity to hot or cold, pain to tapping on the tooth, or x-ray evidence of an infection...

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Wednesday
Jun292011

How to Protect Your Children's Teeth

A 2002 report from the surgeon general of the United States tells us that tooth decay is the most chronic childhood ailment, and in 2005 the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention call tooth decay the most common disease in children 5 to 17 years old. 

The first group of teeth that children get is called their primary or deciduous teeth, meaning that they will loose them at some point and that they will be replaced by their adult teeth.  In most children, this process happens gradually between about 5 and 12 years of age.  When primary teeth get cavities, it is important to restore them whenever possible, especially if it is going to be several years until that tooth’s permanent counterpart comes in.  Primary teeth are important in speech, chewing, comfort, esthetics, and space maintenance.  Most of these are self evident, but space maintenance might not be—if a primary tooth is removed prematurely, then other teeth tend to collapse into the vacant space left by the missing tooth and can cause crowding and mal-positioned adult teeth in the future.

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Tuesday
Mar222011

How to Endure a Root Canal

A root canal procedure is a treatment used to repair and save a tooth that is badly decayed or becomes infected. During a root canal procedure, the nerve and pulp are removed and the inside of the tooth is cleaned and sealed. Without treatment, the tissue surrounding the tooth will become infected and abscesses may form. "Root canal" is the term used to describe the natural cavity within the center of the tooth. The pulp or pulp chamber is the soft area within the root canal. The tooth's nerve lies within the root canal. Having been equipped with the knowledge discussed below, you'll surely be able to endure a root canal treatment.

Steps

  1. Know why the pulp needs to be removed. When nerve tissue or pulp is damaged, it breaks down and bacteria begin to multiply within the pulp chamber. The bacteria and other decayed debris can cause an infection or abscessed tooth. An abscess occurs when the infection spreads all the way past the ends of the roots of the tooth. In addition to an abscess, an infection in the root canal of a tooth can cause:
    • Swelling that may spread to other areas of the face, neck, or head.
    • Bone loss around the tip of the root.
    • Drainage problems extending outward from the root.
  2. Determine whether you need a root canal or not. Sometimes no symptoms are present; however, signs to look for include:
    • Severe toothache pain upon chewing or application of pressure.
    • Prolonged sensitivity/pain to heat or cold temperatures (after the hot or cold has been removed).
    • Discoloration (a darkening) of the tooth.
    • Swelling and tenderness in the nearby gums.
    • A persistent or recurring pimple on the gums.

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Tuesday
Mar222011

How to Treat a Broken Tooth

While teeth are very strong, they sometimes can break or chip due to an injury, biting down on something hard, or from being weakened by cavities. Knowing how to treat a broken tooth can help you with pain and cosmetic management until you can get in to see your dentist for a more permanent fix.

Steps

  1. Know about the different kinds of breaks.
    • When large pieces of tooth break off, the nerve in the tooth can cause major pain when it is exposed to saliva, air or if you eat or drink hot or cold food or beverages.
    • A minor crack or fracture may go unnoticed because it is unlikely to create symptoms. As that crack or fracture intensifies with time, however, you may feel pain as the damage extends down to the nerve. You may also feel pain when you chew because of the pressure that you are putting on the fracture.
  2. Do what you can for a broken tooth until you can get to the dentist.
  3. Save the pieces of the broken tooth if at all possible. This can be done if you are mindful at the time of the break that there is a potential issue and you don't swallow the pieces of tooth.
    • Spit out whatever is in your mouth into a napkin, and discern tooth fragments from food items.
    • If possible, rinse the tooth pieces under running water, but be careful not to lose them down the sink.

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Tuesday
Mar222011

How to Clean Toddler's Teeth

It's always very important to keep a clean and healthy mouth no matter what age you are. Insure your toddler's oral care is excellent from the very moment they have teeth. Here's a how-to article on how to clean your toddler's teeth and to keep them healthy and strong.

Steps

  1. Start in infancy. You should start gently wiping your baby's tooth when it first emerges with a soft, clean washcloth. Your child will get used to the feeling long before toddlerhood.
  2. Use toddler tooth care products. Toddlers have smaller mouths than adults, and ideally should use toothbrushes designed for them. Use "training toothpaste" which does not contain fluoride in concentrations enough to cause harm if swallowed. Have him or her get excited about picking out a colorful toothbrush and a favorite flavor.
  3. Floss. Remember to floss daily, so you can pick up plaque from your child's teeth and gums before it hardens.

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