Posts for: July, 2017
Your teeth can't talk, but they can send strong signals that they need help. Ignoring the signs that you may need a root canal may increase your risk of a dental abscess, a painful bacterial infection. Our Folsom and Sacramento, CA, dentists, Drs. Julianne and Anthony Digiornio, share a few signs that may indicate that you need a root canal.
Your tooth hurts
Pain is a clear sign that your tooth is in trouble. A visit to our Sacramento or Folsom offices will determine if the pain is caused by a cavity, or if you need a root canal. When you need a root canal, pain can be constant or may come and go. You may notice that the pain gets worse when press on the tooth or eat or drink hot or cold foods and drinks.
Your tooth has gotten darker
You may need a root canal if your previously white tooth has turned brown or gray suddenly.
Your gums hurt
Swelling and pain in the gums surrounding your tooth may be a sign that you need a root canal.
You have an abscess
Symptoms of an abscess include fever, swollen lymph glands, a pimple on your gum, facial swelling and severe pain. If you notice these symptoms, call us immediately. Abscesses are dental emergencies. The infection in your tooth can spread to other parts of your body via your bloodstream if you don't receive antibiotic treatment.
You have a damaged tooth
A root canal may be needed if your tooth fractured or was loosened or knocked out.
A root canal can save your tooth
Root canals are performed when tooth pulp becomes inflamed or infected. If you do nothing about the problem, you'll eventually lose your tooth. During a root canal, the pulp is removed from the center of the tooth. The pulp also extends into small canals in the roots of your teeth. As part of the procedure, those canals will be cleaned and shaped. You'll leave your first root canal appointment with a temporary filling and return in just about a week to receive a permanent filling.
During the procedure, we'll use a local anesthetic to ensure that you don't feel any pain. After your root canal, your tooth may be sensitive for about a week, but any lingering pain should soon disappear. In most cases, you'll need to add a crown to your tooth to protect it.
Preserve your smile with root canal therapy. Call Drs. Julianne and Anthony DiGiornio at the Sacramento office at (914) 486-8525 or at the Folsom office at (916) 817-6453 to schedule an appointment.
All eyes were on Boston Celtics point guard Isaiah Thomas in Game 1 of the second-round NBA Playoff series against the Washington Wizards — and not just because he scored a game-high of 33 points! Even more dramatic was the moment his jaw collided with an opponent’s elbow, sending one of his front teeth flying out of his mouth and onto the floor.
Press reports said the Celtics’ team physician attempted to reinsert the tooth, but it didn’t remain in place when Thomas resumed playing the game. Over the next several days, he reportedly underwent a total of ten hours of oral surgery, and was fitted with a four-piece temporary bridge. A statement from the team noted that Thomas suffered “a complete fractured tooth and two other subluxed/shifted teeth… [He] will receive a permanent bridge at a future date.” So what does all that mean?
When we say a tooth is fractured, it means the crown (visible part) of the tooth has broken off from its roots, either above or below the gum line. Depending on the severity of the fracture, it is sometimes possible to save the natural tooth by performing a root canal to prevent bacterial infection, and then placing a crown (cap) on the tooth to restore its appearance and function. In more severe cases, however, the tooth can’t be saved and must be extracted.
Unfortunately, that isn’t Thomas’ only problem. He also has two subluxed teeth — that is, teeth that have shifted from their original position, but haven’t been knocked out of their sockets. Subluxed teeth often result from a severe blow to the mouth, and may be treated by stabilization or splinting. Team officials haven’t said exactly what was done during Thomas’ dental treatment, but it could very well have involved extracting the roots of any teeth that couldn’t be saved, and possibly placing dental implants in his jaw for future tooth restoration.
A dental implant is a small screw-shaped titanium post that is inserted directly into the bone of the upper or lower jaw in a minor surgical procedure. In time, it becomes fused with the bone itself, offering a sturdy anchorage for replacement teeth. One implant can support one replacement crown; two or more implants can support a number of replacement teeth joined together as a unit. This is called a dental bridge.
Bridges can also be supported by adjacent healthy teeth — but first, the outer surfaces of the crown must be prepared (reduced in size), so that the bridge can be attached over the remaining part of the crown. In many instances, implants are preferred because they do not compromise the structure of healthy teeth nearby.
Dental difficulties didn’t end Isaiah Thomas’ season — but an earlier hip injury that became aggravated finally did.Â As unfortunate as this is, maybe now at least the NBA star will have a chance to let those injured teeth heal, and show up next season with a smile that’s as good as new.
Academy Award-winning actress Kathy Bates knows how important it is to present your best face to the world — and one of the most important features of that face is a beaming smile. But there came a point when she noticed something was a little off. “I've always had good teeth, but it seemed to me as I was getting older that they weren't looking as good,” Kathy explained in a recent interview with Dear Doctor magazine.
That's when she decided it was time to take action. Kathy had orthodontic treatment when she was in her fifties, and she keeps her smile bright with tooth whitening treatments. She uses a kit provided by her dentist with a safe, effective whitening solution.
Of course, a bright, healthy smile looks great anywhere — whether you're on the red carpet or “off the grid.” And you don't have to be a Hollywood star to have professional whitening treatments. In fact, teeth whitening is one of the most popular and affordable cosmetic treatments modern dentistry offers.
The basic options for professional teeth whitening include in-office bleaching or take-home kits. Both types of dentist-supervised treatments offer a safe and effective means of getting a brighter smile; the main difference is how long they take to produce results. A single one-hour treatment in the office can make your teeth up to ten shades lighter — a big difference! To get that same lightening with at-home trays, it would take several days. On the plus side, the take-home kit is less expensive, and can achieve the same results in a bit more time.
It's important to note that not all teeth can be whitened with these treatments. Some teeth have intrinsic (internal) stains that aren't affected by external agents like bleaches. Also, teeth that have been restored (with bonding or veneers, for example) generally won't change color. And you can't necessarily whiten your teeth to any degree: Every tooth has a maximum whiteness, and adding more bleach won't lighten it beyond that level. Most people, however, find that teeth whitening treatments produce noticeable and pleasing results.
What about those off-the-shelf kits or in-the-mall kiosks? They might work… or they might not. But one thing's for sure: Without a dentist's supervision, you're on your own. That's the main reason why you should go with a pro if you're considering teeth whitening. We not only ensure that your treatment is safe — we can also give you a realistic idea of what results to expect, and we will make sure that other dental problems aren't keeping you from having a great-looking smile.
How often does Kathy Bates see her dentist for a checkup and cleaning? “I go about every four months,” she noted. “I'm pretty careful about it.” And if you've seen her smile, you can tell that it pays off. If you would like more information about teeth whitening, please contact us or schedule an appointment. You can learn more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Important Teeth Whitening Questions Answered” and “Teeth Whitening.”