Archive for April, 2015

Preparing for Root Canal Therapy

Tuesday, April 28th, 2015

Are you dreading an upcoming root canal treatment? With so many myths prevalent about the horrors of root canal therapy, it would be no surprise if you are not looking forward to the procedure. First of all, you should know that the goal of root canal therapy is to relieve you of pain, not to cause it. There are also several tips you can follow to make the experience easier and more successful:

  • Find out from your dentist if an antibiotic prescription will be necessary. Treating the infection around the tooth with an antibiotic can help rid the tissue of infection, which will also reduce potential swelling and improve healing after the procedure. Make sure you notify your dentist if you are allergic to any medications.
  • With your dentist’s consent, start taking a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication such as ibuprofen or naproxen several days prior to your root canal therapy. Continue the medication in the days following the procedure to help reduce pain and swelling.
  • If you are experiencing mild to severe anxiety, consult with your dentist about options for sedation during your root canal therapy. While mild anxiety is easily addressed with nitrous oxide, more severe cases may be helped by conscious or IV sedation.
  • Eat a healthy meal at least one hour prior to your root canal procedure. Treatment can take as long as three hours, followed by numbness that makes eating difficult, so eating a good meal prior to the procedure will make you feel more comfortable both during and after your root canal.
  • Follow-up with your dentist to schedule necessary restorative dental work in a timely manner. Your root canal treated tooth will require a crown or filling to ensure the treated tooth does not fracture.

Fortunately, with today’s dental technology, diseased and damaged teeth can be saved with root canal therapy. Following these simple tips will help you get through your root canal successfully and with minimal discomfort.

Interesting Dental Tidbits

Tuesday, April 21st, 2015

While most people know the basics about dental health, like brush twice daily and schedule routine checkups, those facts may be all they know. You can expand your dental knowledge to learn more information about dentistry. Modern dental care has helped protect our oral health and smiles, but these little factoids will impress your friends and family!

  • Before anyone invented toothpaste, people used mixtures of lemon juice, charcoal, ashes or even a mixture of tobacco and honey to clean their teeth.
  • In China, September 20th is Love Your Teeth day.
  • At one time, people used twigs or their fingers to brush their teeth.
  • Years ago, bad teeth were considered an issue for rich people because only individuals with money could afford sweets, which created cavities and rotted teeth.
  • One poll found that 73 percent of people would rather grocery shop than floss their teeth.
  • The Ancient Greeks were the first to use pliers to extract teeth.
  • During the 1600s, Japanese women made their teeth black as a sign of loyalty to their husbands.
  • Blue toothbrushes are more popular than red ones.
  • A beautiful smile can make you seem more attractive, intelligent, and successful to people you meet.
  • On average, women smile 62 times a day, and men smile just 15.
  • George Washington’s famous dentures were constructed from ivory, gold, lead and a mixture of human, donkey and hippopotamus teeth.
  • Your tooth prints are just as unique as your fingerprints, even for identical twins.
  • In 1866, Lucy Hobbs became the first woman to earn a D.D.S. degree, graduating from the Ohio College of Dental Surgery in Cincinnati, OH.

Dentists in Richmond

Examining Dental Veneers

Tuesday, April 14th, 2015

Smiles that are unattractive or embarrassing can impact your whole personality and the way you present yourself to others. There’s no reason to go through life hiding your smile when it can easily be transformed with dental veneers.

What are veneers?
Dental veneers are thin shells that are bonded to the fronts of your teeth to cover all kinds of imperfections. They can improve the shape, color and size of the teeth underneath them.

Who should get veneers?
There are numerous reasons that people choose dental veneers to beautify their smiles. Some common problems that veneers hide include:

  • Stained or discolored teeth
  • Cracked or broken teeth
  • Crooked teeth
  • Misshapen teeth, or teeth that are too big or small in your smile
  • Improperly positioned teeth
  • Unsightly fillings
  • Gaps between teeth or teeth that are too crowded
  • Smiles that show too much gum line (called gummy smiles)

Are there different types?
The most common kind of dental veneers are made of porcelain. They are durable, stain resistant, and natural-looking. They typically remain as white and bright as they were on the first day they were applied. Other choices are composite resin material or ceramic.

How are they applied?
Getting veneers is considered a minimally invasive process. Your tooth enamel is shaved a small amount so that the veneers can be securely attached to the fronts of your teeth. It is not painful and usually doesn’t require anesthesia. Once your teeth are prepared, the veneers are bonded and should stay in place for years. These are a permanent solution, so if your veneers ever fail they must be replaced. This is the most common way that veneers are applied. Another method is called “no prep” and uses very thin ceramic for the veneers that can be attached directly to the tooth surface without any sanding.

Protect Yourself from Oral Cancer

Tuesday, April 7th, 2015

Did you know that one person in the U.S. dies every hour from oral cancer? In fact, an estimated 30,000 Americans will receive an oral cancer diagnosis, and over 8000 people will not survive. Factors such as gender, age, alcohol consumption, and tobacco use may increase your risk for oral cancer. In about 25 percent of cases, patients have no risk factors at all.

Though oral cancer often starts with mild symptoms, certain signs may indicate cause for concern. Talk with your dentist if you experience any of the following potential warnings for oral cancer:

  • A mass or lump that you can feel inside the mouth or neck
  • Any sore or discolored area in the mouth that does not heal after two weeks
  • Continued hoarseness
  • Difficulty in speaking, swallowing, or chewing
  • Numbness affecting the oral/facial region
  • Persistent earache on one side

When caught early, the survival rate for oral cancer increases significantly. Many dentists regularly screen for oral cancer during checkup appointments. These steps can help you reduce your chances of developing oral cancer.

  • Perform a monthly self-exam. If you notice anything suspicious, contact your dentist immediately.
  • Schedule regular checkups. Even when you perform home checks, you may miss something. Your dentist is trained to look for signs of oral cancer.
  • Choose a healthy lifestyle. Eating right, cutting out tobacco use, and limiting alcohol will help protect your oral health and overall wellbeing.
  • Limit exposure to the sun. If you are outside, cover your lips and face with a UVA/UVB sun block.

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