What are the Signs a Root Canal is Needed?

Each year, over 60 million Americans visit the dentist. Many of these visits can be attributed to cavities, which are small holes in your teeth that allow bacteria to get inside. But sometimes, other dental issues occur that require additional treatments. If you experience severe tooth pain, bleeding, or swelling (other than after eating), you may need a root canal treatment.

Root canals are considered the best option for saving a damaged tooth when an abscess is present. Here are some signs you might need a root canal.

Persistent Pain

Having persistent pain is one way to tell if you need a root canal. The pain might be constant, or it might go away, but it always comes back. You may feel the pain deep in the bone of your tooth, or it might be in your jaw, face or other teeth.

Tooth pain may have other causes, such as gum disease, cavities, or an impacted tooth, but it’s always a good idea to talk with your dentist if you have tooth pain.

Tooth Discoloration

An infection in the pulp of your tooth can cause your tooth to become discolored. Trauma to the tooth or the breakdown of the internal tissue can damage the roots and give the tooth a grayish-black appearance. While there might be other reasons a tooth is discolored, it could be cause for a root canal so talk with your dentist!

Sensitivity to Heat and Cold

When your teeth start to hurt from drinking a hot cup of coffee or drinking ice water, you may need a root canal.

The pain can be just a dull feeling, or it can be a sharp pain that lingers for an extended period of time, even after you’ve finished eating or drinking. If your tooth hurts when you eat or drink something hot or cold, it may be an indication that the blood vessels and nerves in your tooth are infected or damaged.

Swollen Gums

Swollen gums near the painful tooth can be a sign of an issue that requires a root canal. The swelling may come and go. It may be tender when you touch it, or it may not be painful to the touch.

There also might be a pimple like abscess on your gum, which may ooze pus from the infection of the tooth. This can give you an unpleasant taste in your mouth and make your breath smell bad.

A Chipped or Cracked Tooth

If you’ve chipped or cracked your tooth in an accident, in a contact sport, or by chewing on something hard, bacteria can set in and lead to inflammation and infection. Even if your tooth didn’t crack but you did injure it, the injury can still cause damage to the nerves of the tooth. The nerve can become inflamed and cause pain and sensitivity, which may require root canal treatment.

These are just a few signs that you may need a root canal. If you have any of these symptoms, it’s a good idea to talk with your dentist. Call us at (402) 420-0999 or and we can talk you through possible solutions.

Steps for Getting A Root Canal

Root canals are no fun, but millions of teeth are treated and saved every year with root canal treatments. Root canal treatment is one type of endodontic treatment, which means it treats the inside of the tooth. Endodontic treatment is necessary when the pulp, the soft tissue inside the root canal, becomes inflamed or infected. The inflammation or infection can have a variety of causes: deep decay, repeated dental procedures on the tooth, or a crack or chip in the tooth. In addition, an injury to a tooth may cause pulp damage even if the tooth has no visible chips or cracks. If pulp inflammation or infection is left untreated, it can cause pain or lead to an abscess.

Even though root canals can be scary, our dentists walk you through each step and answer all your questions. Keep reading to learn more about the steps of getting a root canal.

Before Treatment Begins

When you arrive at your dentist’s office, you can first expect your dentist to go over any X-rays that have previously been taken to prepare for the procedure. Then, they will administer a local anesthetic using a small needle to numb the area. You may feel a slight pinch, but there is very little pain when the anesthetic is administered. The numbing sensation will take effect almost immediately.

Once numb, the dentist will place a dental dam, which is a small rubber sheet, over the affected tooth to protect and isolate the area. This will keep the tooth clean and dry during the procedure.

During Root Canal Treatment

The root canal treatment itself will take about ninety minutes. Using a specially designed drill, your dentist or endodontist will create an opening in the top of the affected tooth, which will fully expose the top of the tooth pulp, containing the tooth’s damaged nerve and blood vessels. The doctor will then remove tooth pulp from the inside of the tooth and the root.

The space that the pulp occupied will then be carefully cleaned and widened shaping the inner chamber to accommodate a filling. The dentist will then irrigate the area with a variety of solutions to wash away any remaining pulp. The tooth and surrounding area will be thoroughly dried before moving onto the next step.

To prevent infection, an antimicrobial medication will be put on to the root canal. The majority of cases the tooth canals will now be filled with a biocompatible material. The material used is typically gutta-percha, a rubber-like material, that seals to the tooth with an adhesive cement and helps prevent further infection.

Finally, a temporary filling is put in place on top of the tooth to provide protection from food and debris until a permanent filling or crown can be placed. In some cases, your dentist may be able to skip this step and place a permanent filling in the same appointment.

After Root Canal Treatment

Once the root canal procedure is completed, you’ll need to make sure you take extra precautions with the treated tooth. You may experience sensitivity or mild discomfort in the area for a few days- you can use over the counter pain medicine such as acetaminophen. If significant pain or swelling continues, call your dentist. You will most likely have a follow up appointment with your dentist to restore the tooth or remove the temporary filling and place a permanent filling.

After the root canal treatment and restoration with a filling or crown has been completed, your tooth can now provide normal, healthy function. We’re happy to help with any questions you have. Call (402) 420-0999 to schedule an appointment.

Are Dental Implants Safe?

Dental implants have become many dentists’ go-to procedure for replacing missing teeth. Dental implant surgery replaces tooth roots with metal, screwlike posts and replaces damaged or missing teeth with artificial teeth that look and function much like real ones. This surgery is a great alternative to dentures and can offer an option when a lack of natural teeth roots don’t allow building denture or bridgework tooth replacements.

What are the risks?

Like any type of surgery, there are a few risks to getting dental implants. However, the problems that come with dental implant surgery are rare and typically minor and very treatable. Risks include:

  • Sinus problems, when dental implants placed in the upper jaw protrude into one of your sinus cavities
  • Injury or damage to surrounding structures, such as other teeth or blood vessels
  • Nerve damage, which can cause pain, numbness or tingling in your natural teeth, gums, lips or chin
  • Infection at the implant site

The advantages of using dental implants

Dental implants are one of the most reliable dental procedures with a 95% success. They also offer advantages that other missing teeth solutions do not, such as:

  • Appearance – Implants look and feel like your natural teeth.
  • Speech – No need to worry about slipping dentures or loose bridges that can cause slurred speech.
  • Comfort – Implants are permanent and stable, so no chaffing or discomfort will happen like with dentures.
  • Oral health – Implant placement does not require modifying surrounding teeth as a bridge does. Also, implants stop bone deterioration and stimulate healthy bone tissue growth.

Dental Implant Procedure

When considering having a dental implant procedure, a patient will typically go through the following steps:

  1. First, the patient will go through a thorough exam and consultation with the dentist. The dentist will then make an individualized treatment plan.
  2. At the next appointment, the team will place your implant, which acts as a substitute tooth root.
  3. Then, the tooth is given time (about 2-3 months) to heal and integrate with the bone tissue.
  4. Once the implant has bonded to the bone tissue, a small connector called an abutment is attached to the implant.
  5. Impressions are taken of your teeth to create either a custom crown to replace one tooth or an implant-supported bridge or denture for multiple missing teeth. Crown restorations are custom tinted, so they blend in beautifully with your natural teeth.
  6. The finished crown, bridge, or denture is attached to the implant(s).

Once you get the finished implant, your new teeth are ready to use! If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to us at (402) 420-0999. We want your implants to look and feel like real teeth and you smile looking its best!

What Are the Pros and Cons of Dental Implants?

One of the hottest topics in dentistry today is the use of dental implants. Implants have certainly revolutionized the field of replacement teeth. If you are considering tooth implants for missing teeth, you need to know the facts. There are pros and cons of dental implants that are carefully weighed by your dentist before surgery can be scheduled.

Research continually shows that dental implants are the best long term solution to replace missing teeth. However, like any type of surgery, there are advantages and disadvantages.

Cons of Dental Implants

No procedure is right for everyone, including dental implants. While there are some risks associated with dental implants, they are relatively mild. The disadvantages include:

  • You have to meet a set of requirements
    In order to have dental implant surgery, you first have to meet certain criteria. As the procedure involves anchoring the implant to your jaw bone, if you’ve experienced significant bone loss as a result of losing teeth, there may not be enough for the dental implant to be successful. You also have to be in good health so your jaw bone can fully recover.
  • The cost of the procedure
    While dental implants are the best long term solution for tooth loss, they’re not always the most cost effective. However, dental implants are well worth the price for the comfort, confidence and natural feel they give you.
  • The procedure can be lengthy
    Dental implants are not a quick fix and can take several months to complete. If you’re replacing an existing damaged tooth, this will first need to be removed. Your dentist will then need to prepare the tooth site before fitting the implant anchor. Once the anchor has been fitted, you’ll need to wait several months while it heals and the surrounding bone grows. The final stage of the procedure involves placing the artificial tooth.

Pros of Dental Implants

While there are some drawbacks to dental implants, the advantages far outweigh the disadvantages.

  • They look and feel like natural teeth
    Dental implants have the appearance of real teeth. In fact, once your implant has been fitted, you’ll hardly be able to tell the difference between your replacement tooth and your real teeth. Implants also won’t feel any different from your regular teeth. Since the implants are anchored to your jaw, they’ll feel just as strong as your regular teeth too.
  • You can eat and chew with ease
    Unlike dentures, implants won’t feel any different than your regular teeth when eating and chewing. Once the dental implant procedure is complete, you can eat what you want! Whether you fancy crunchy snacks, chewy foods, or hot or cold drinks, you can eat and drink without concern — just remember not to overdo the sugary treats.
  • Dental implants can last a lifetime
    Implants are a long-lasting tooth replacement solution. You may need to replace the crowns every 10-15 years, but if you look after the implants, they can last a lifetime.
  • They’re easy to take care of
    You should take care of your implants the same way you would take care of your regular teeth with daily brushing and flossing, regular dental checkups and a healthy diet.
  • They prevent bone loss
    Dental implants are anchored into your jaw, similar to your real teeth. The screw thread of the implant acts as the root of a natural tooth, so with dental implants, your jaw bone remains strong and you won’t experience bone loss.

You can see that the advantages heavily outweigh the disadvantages. Dental implants have been proven to be a great option for people who suffer from tooth loss. We always want to make our patients look and feel great, and dental implants is a great way to do that. We’re always happy to answer any questions you may have, so give us a call at (402) 420-0999!

Dentures: To Be or Not to Be – That is the Question

Sometimes things happen to your teeth. Whether it’s the result of an unfortunate accident or just old age, you may have lost some of your teeth, as many people do. Unless you’re a shark (or under the age of six), you won’t be growing them back! Fortunately, thanks to modern dentistry, a well-fit set of dentures can help your mouth look and feel normal again.

The history of dentures goes back hundreds of years. They were a little crude at first. You’ve probably heard of Benjamin Franklin’s wooden dentures. They were better than nothing but still a long way from looking and working like real teeth.

The dental community has worked out many of the kinks since dentures were made of wood. Still, even with modern advancements, deciding to wear dentures every day is a big decision. It can involve making some permanent changes to the way you live your life. So, it’s good to know what to expect before you decide dentures are the right solution for you. Here are some of the pros and cons…

Dentures Pro: You Can Eat and Speak Normally

Tooth loss carries with it more than aesthetic consequences—after all, we grow them for a reason. When you’re missing a significant number of teeth, it can be difficult to chew your food or pronounce certain words clearly. Dentures can fix both of these issues, allowing you to speak and eat as you normally would.

Dentures Con: Unusual Feeling While Eating

Dentures can allow you to eat your food in a somewhat normal manner, but the sensation can seem strange when you’re first getting used to your replacement teeth. In addition, the presence of the dentures in your mouth may make food taste different. They cover your palette, so they can block the taste of food.

Dentures Pro: They Help Fill Out Your Face Where Teeth Are Missing

Dentures not only affect the appearance of your smile but also can change the look of your face in general. When you’re missing teeth, it may be difficult to hold your jaw in its normal position and your face might appear to “droop”. Even when your mouth is closed, dentures improve your appearance by providing needed structure for your jaw and face.

Dentures Con: Possible Removal of Additional Teeth

Depending on the condition of your teeth, to properly fit your dentures you may need to remove a few (or all) healthy teeth. If you’re considering dentures, chances are you’ve lost quite a few already. It might not be possible to wear dentures unless your dentist clears away additional teeth. However, this isn’t true in every situation or with every set of dentures, so talk with your dentist to see what your options are.

 

Dentures can be very beneficial overall for someone who’s lost a significant number of teeth. It can make their day-to-day experience more normal – speaking and eating are much easier with teeth or dentures. And the cons are mostly minor. If you’re sick of living with missing teeth and you believe dentures might be a good solution, give us a call at (402) 420-0999 and we’ll be happy to help you decide whether dentures, for you, are to be or not to be!

Introduction to Different Types of Dentures

Dentures are a normal, everyday part of life for many people all over the world. In fact, we know they’ve been in use for thousands of years! The oldest record of denture use dates back to 700 BC in Northern Italy, and they were used throughout the years of the roman empire. So, if we’ve talked with you about dentures or you suspect you will need them, know that you’re not alone! Men and women have been wearing dentures through some of the most momentous events in history.

The cosmetic benefits of dentures are obvious, but they also can help people eat and speak, which is why they’ve been so popular for so much of the world’s history.

Did you know there are many different types of dentures? No matter how you lost your teeth, there’s a set of dentures that can help you look and feel normal again.

Here are some examples of the different types of dentures you and your dentist might decide to use, depending on your individual situation:

Full Dentures

When you hear the word “dentures”, you probably think of these. Full dentures are used to help a patient who’s lost most or all of their teeth. This type of denture needs to be custom-molded to your gums, so we may need to remove existing teeth if some are still left in place in your mouth. After your dentures are properly fitted, an adhesive is used to hold them in place over the course of each day. You’ll take them out and clean them every night.

Partial Dentures

Not every case of missing teeth is extreme enough to require a whole new set of dentures. When only certain portions of your teeth are missing, we may evaluate it together and consider a set of partial dentures. These not only help your teeth look natural, but also keep your remaining teeth from slowly drifting out of place and becoming crooked. Partial dentures are made of (1) a pink artificial root that matches the color of your gums, (2) false teeth to replace the missing ones, and (3) sometimes a clip or wire to hold everything in place.

Implant Supported Dentures

If you want your new smile to have a more solid foundation, you might consider implant-supported dentures. This style of denture includes four implants — titanium posts that fuse to your jawbone — which allow you to snap the dentures in and easily take them out for cleaning. The process of fitting and preparing implant supported dentures is more involved than fitting a set of traditional dentures, but the result is very convenient. This type of denture does not require the use of adhesive.

 

Our Goal is Your Beautiful Smile

We can help you find the right type of dentures for you, no matter what your situation. Modern dentures are more comfortable, convenient and realistic than ever before — the result of more than two thousand years of innovation! If you believe dentures might be a right fit for you, give us a call at (402) 420-0999. We’ll be happy to talk with you about the different types of dentures and what the fitting will entail, so we can get your smile to look the way you want it to.

Tooth Extractions: 4 Steps to an Easy Recovery

There are more than seven billion people in the world, and every one of them has a set of teeth—32 of them, in fact. Unfortunately, from time to time, some of them have to go. It’s not something anyone’s looking forward to. After all, your teeth have all been with you for years, reliably chewing anything you asked them to. Most of us are pretty attached to them!

Many patients dread the recovery period after an extraction, but as long as you know how to take care of yourself, an extraction can be one of the least troublesome medical events of your life. Today, we’ll tell you what you can expect, and what you can do to make your recovery as comfortable as possible.

The main concern in the period after a tooth extraction is the possibility of a dry socket. This is when a blood clot fails to form over the extraction site, or when the clot comes loose and exposes the wound, possibly even leaving the bone underneath exposed. Fortunately, it’s not incredibly common (it occurs in less than 5% of routine dental extractions).

The pain of a tooth extraction can be avoided by following these steps.

Step 1: Clear your schedule

The most important thing you can do to prepare for this procedure or any other is to make sure you’re ready for the recovery period. If you were thinking about going on a ten-mile bike tour or pushing a new one-rep-max at the gym, you’ll have to postpone it. Clear your schedule of strenuous physical activity for a few days after the extraction, so you don’t risk loosening the clot before it has a chance to heal.

Step 2: Stock up on soft foods

Avoid eating anything you’ll have to chew or suck. Stock up on soft foods like yogurt and applesauce. Or you could make a smoothie—but be careful not to use a straw. Sucking up any liquid may dislodge the clot and leave the wound exposed. Eggs can work too, if you’re craving something a little more substantial.

Step 3: Manage your pain

After the procedure, your poor gums are going to need a bit of babying. You’ll probably want a painkiller of some kind. The extraction site might not hurt badly right away, but you can manage the pain best by taking a Tylenol or similar drug early. The pain likely will increase for the first three days or so, but don’t worry, that’s normal. If pain continues to increase after the third day or doesn’t decrease, it’s possible you have a dry socket. Contact your dentist, and they’ll decide how to handle things from there.

Step 4: Be gentle with your teeth

Your nighttime routine will have to change, too. For the first two days, avoid rinsing out the extraction site so the wound can heal. After that, you should rinse gently with warm salt water to encourage healing. Brush your teeth gently, but avoid teeth right next to the extraction site for the first couple of days. Even after the first couple days, be very careful not to brush the site itself. When it’s time to go to bed, it’s best to prop your head up with an extra pillow or two.

Tooth extraction is a little uncomfortable for the first few days. But with just a little care, you can minimize the pain, and your teeth will be chewing reliably for you once again in no time. The key is to be patient with the healing process and gentle with your mouth for a few days. Putting up with the pain and inconvenience of an extraction is much better than living with the pain and infection risk of a cracked or impacted tooth!

Capital Dental is here to support you through extractions and all your dental needs. If you’re having tooth pain, or if you have questions about tooth extraction or any other procedure, give us a call at (402) 420-0999, and we’ll do everything we can to help.