Root canal and pain go hand in hand in many people’s minds. Generally our fears and anxiety stem from others telling us their experiences and not from our own. A root canal (also referred to as RCT or root canal therapy) is a dental procedure where the damaged nerve (also called the pulp) of a tooth is removed. Following removal of the nerve, the canals of the tooth are cleaned and sterilized. Following this cleaning process the canals are filled and sealed permanently to avoid future dental infection. If treatment is not undertaken, the dental infection will affect the tooth along with surrounding oral structures (like gums and bone tissues) and a dental abscess can form in the area as the infection looks to escape.
The reason for the removal of the tooth’s nerve is because these nerves (along with associated blood vessels) is responsible with providing hydration and nutrients to our teeth. They also give us the ability to sense hot and cold.
Surveys year after year find that root canal therapy is considered the most feared of all dental procedures. These surveys also found people’s views on root canal therapy is based on what others have told them and not their own individual experiences. This leads to people believing mostly inaccurate stories about root canals. It is the fear of the unknown as I like to call it.
Is Root Canal Painful Or Can It Be Painless?
A root canal is necessary when the nerve of a tooth develops inflammation or becomes infected. This inflammation or dental infection can develop in a number of different ways:
-Tooth decay that pushes into the area of the nerve or pulp chamber.
-Fracture or chip in the tooth that gives bacteria a pathway to spread into the tooth’s nerve canal.
-Trauma. Traumatic 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 a dental abscess.
A tooth causing pain of this type is irreversible. To save the tooth a root canal must be performed.
Signs and symptoms that a root canal is probably necessary can include pain, extended sensitivity to temperature (either hot or cold or both), tenderness to touch and chewing, discoloration of the tooth, and swelling, drainage and tenderness in the lymph nodes, bone and surrounding gingival tissues. In some cases, no outward dental symptoms are present at all
A root canal usually requires one or more visits to the dentist and can be performed by either a general dentist or a specialist called an endodontist. An endodontist is a dentist who specializes in the causes, diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of diseases and injuries of the human dental pulp or the nerve of the tooth. Your dentist will generally make the call on who should perform the root canal. You will be referred to endodontist if any of the following are needed:
-Degree Of Difficulty. Some teeth have anatomy that is slightly abnormal which makes the canals of the tooth harder to access.
-Re treatment of a previous root canal.
You and your dentist will discuss who is best suited to complete this root canal for you and make the best, informed decision for your dental treatment.
Root Canal Procedure
-Anesthetic. Your dentist will use a local anesthetic to numb the surrounding areas to give you pain relief and also allow the procedure to be completed pain free. Some patients do not require any anesthetic but it will make it more comfortable.
-Cleaning Of Tooth Canals. Tiny instruments are used to slowly clean out and debride bacteria, decayed nerve tissues, and bacteria from inside the tooth’s canals. Sterile water, peroxide, or sodium hypochlorite are used periodically to flush away the debris and kill any bacteria present.
-Filling of Canals. Each canal is filled to the end of the tooth with a rubbery compound called gutta percha and permanently sealed. The process essentially is like a cork to prevent bacteria and fluid from re-entering the tooth, and keep it sterile. Many dentists prefer to wait a week or so before sealing the tooth. This will give the inflammation that has developed a chance to decrease back to normal levels. Others prefer to seal the tooth the same day it is cleaned out. If the root canal is not completed on the same day, a temporary filling is placed to keep out contaminants like saliva and food until the next appointment.
Following treatment, your tooth may feel sensitive for a few days to a week. This is especially true if there was pain or dental infection before the procedure. This discomfort can be relieved with over the counter or prescription pain medications or an antibiotic may be necessary if an infection was present. Follow directions given to you very carefully and feel free to ask your dentist questions if an issue comes up.
Your tooth may continue to feel slightly different from your other teeth for some time after your root canal treatment is completed. However, if you have severe pain or pressure or pain that lasts more than a few days, call your dentist immediately.
-Restoration of Tooth. Generally but not always a tooth that needs a root canal often is one that already has a large dental restoration or extensive tooth decay. Even when tooth decay was not a factor, the tooth treated with a root canal is weaker than a “live” tooth. Therefore, a crown, crown and post, or other extensive dental restoration often needs to be placed on the tooth to protect it, prevent it from breaking, and restore it back to full function again. After a completed dental restoration, you will not be able to notice any difference in its function or form or feel. You and your dentist will discuss this need further and make an informed decision together the best course of action for your dental care.
Is A Root Canal Painful Conclusion
A dental root canal is extremely successful with a more than a 95% rate of success. Many teeth with a completed root canal can last a lifetime with no issues.
Most root canals are completed to relieve the pain of toothaches caused by pulpal inflammation or dental infection. With modern advancements in techniques, dental materials, and anesthetics, most patients state that they do not feel any pain once the procedure is underway. Root canal procedures have an undue reputation of being painful. Usually most patients report that the procedure itself is no more painful than having a routine dental restoration placed. The misconception has developed because the majority of the pain stems from the dental infection and pulpal inflammation that has developed. This can be tricky to get good anesthesia but a good dentist will be able to make you comfortable during the procedure.
As noted above, the pain from root canals in modern dentistry is mainly from the dental infection that presents to the dentist and the actual procedure should be pain and worry free. The best defense against developing a toothache and the need for a root canal is to see your dentist regularly, maintain proper oral hygiene, and call your dentist at the earliest signs if you have any pains or discomfort.
Dental implants vs bridge is a question many patients are faced with when attempting to replace a lost tooth or multiple teeth. The traditional dental bridge was the main dental procedure used by dentists for a very long time to replace missing teeth. As dental implants have become popular due to long term success rates the traditional dental bridge has become in many people’s mind the lessor alternative. Dental implants vs bridge is an interesting scenario as they both achieve the same thing but in different ways. The dental implants vs bridge debate is one that many of us will face in our lives. Below are some facts about both to help with your decision.
Dental Implants Vs Bridge Procedure
Steps For A Dental Bridge
During the first visit to your dentist for the fabrication of a dental bridge, the teeth surrounding the missing tooth are prepared to accept a dental crown. The preparation involves removing the outer layer of teeth to allow for a dental crown to be placed over top them. Next, dental impressions of the teeth are taken, which give the dental lab technician a precise dental model from which the dental bridge, pontic (fake tooth between the dental crowns), and dental crowns will be fabricated. Your dentist will create a temporary dental bridge for you to wear to protect the exposed teeth and gums while the dental bridge is being made. This generally takes about 2 weeks.
At the second visit, your temporary bridge will be removed, the temporary cement will be cleaned off the teeth, and the new porcelain or metal bridge will be checked and adjusted, as necessary, to achieve an ideal fit. Depending on how extensive the dental bridge is multiple visits may be needed to check the fit of the metal framework and ensure the bite is correct. This is dependent on each individual’s case as metal can distort as well as teeth moving ever so slightly during time in between visits. If the fit is acceptable to the dentist, the dental bridge will then be cemented permanently in place. In the discussion of dental implants vs bridge, a traditional bridge is placed in only one way (cemented) while a dental implant can be placed in 2 different ways (screw retained or cemented).
Steps For A Dental Implant
-Initial Consultation. At this initial appointment, your dentist will complete a thorough dental examination, including all necessary x rays, and then take dental impressions of your teeth. After your dentist gathers all the necessary preliminary information, your dentist will talk with you about the recommended treatment plan. You may also discuss at this time whether or not there is a need for a bone graft. At this visit, you can ask about the dental implants vs bridge discussion. Your dentist will happily review the positives and negatives with you.
-Bone Grafting And Teeth Removal. If the tooth needs to be extracted, your dentist will evaluate the bone density and quality and decide if a bone graft is necessary. The bone graft will add 4-6 months generally to the time line. This extra time gives your bone time to heal properly and add the new bone structure.
-Dental Implant Placement. Once healing has taken place you will be ready for the dental implant placement. The procedure generally takes about 1-2 hours and completed under anesthesia. Once the dental implant is placed, you will need approximately 6 months for healing to take place and the dental implant to integrate into the bone (this process is called osseointegration).
-Healing Cap And Temporary Dental Crown. With the dental implant fully integrated in the bone, your dentist will attach what is called a healing collar to the top of the dental implant. This healing collar will allow the gum tissue to form around the implant in a natural looking way. The healing collar is simply a round piece of metal that keeps the gum tissue away from top of implant. The healing cap stays on for about 7-14 days. In some cases a temporary dental crown is fabricated as well at this visit.
-Abutment Placement. The healing cap will be removed and a dental implant abutment will be replace it. This abutment will be where the new dental crown will attach (either thru a screw or cement). Once the abutment is in place, your dentist will take a dental impression and send it off to the dental laboratory for fabrication of your new dental crown.
-Permanent Dental Crown Placement.
Dental Implants Vs Bridge Maintenance
This is where a dental implant will shine in the debate of dental implants vs bridge. A single dental implant will be cleaned just like your natural teeth. This means you can floss around the tooth just like a natural tooth. A dental bridge since it is one longer piece encompassing multiple teeth you will not be able to use regular floss. You will need to use what is called a floss threader. This will allow you to get under each part of the dental bridge and effectively clean around the areas of the dental bridge. This can be an issue for some patients with dexterity issues.
The dental implant will require more time (at least 6-7 months in best case) to allow for each step to be completed and healed properly. The dental implant tends to cost more overall especially if bone grafting is involved. In my opinion, dental implants vs bridge cost will be up to the patient. Time in some cases is just as important as the financial factor.
Dental Implants Vs Bridge Pros And Cons
-Surrounding Teeth Unaffected.
-Success Rate And Durability. Dental implants should with proper care last a lifetime and have a better than 98% success rate.
-Bone Loss Prevention. With a dental implant in place, your bone structure will remain as is and not resorb or break down. This is what happens when a tooth is missing in an area of the mouth
Dental Implant Negatives
-Surgery Required. A big negative in the dental implants vs bridge debate. This is especially true of those with dental phobia.
-Healing Time Needed. As mentioned above a minimum of 6-7 months are needed in the best case scenario to complete a dental implant procedure from start to finish.
-Financial Expense. There is generally a slightly higher fee for a single dental implant vs bridge and could go even higher if other procedures are needed like a bone graft.
Dental Bridge Positives
-Permanent. The dental bridge will be cemented in place and will never be removed to clean unless your dentist finds an issue.
-Simpler and Quicker Dental Procedure. Generally takes only 2 dental visits and can usually be completed in about 2 weeks time. This can be a huge positive for many in the dental implants vs bridge discussion.
Dental Bridge Negatives
-Dental Hygiene More Difficult. With a dental bridge, you must brush and floss under and around the false tooth. Using floss threader as mentioned above may be difficult for some. Dental hygiene maintenance is a must if there is any chance of long term success for a dental bridge.
-Lifespan Shorter. A dental bridge generally lasts about 7-10 years. Some dental bridges can last longer and some can fail sooner. This is due to the wear and tear on adjacent teeth (these teeth remain susceptible to periodontal disease and tooth decay. Either tooth decay or periodontal disease can weaken support for the dental bridge.
-Surrounding Teeth Affected. A dental bridge requires support from the surrounding teeth that are used to hold the artificial tooth in place. If these teeth are not strong enough to have dental crowns, a dental bridge might not even be possible.
Dental Implants Vs Bridge Conclusion
Choosing dental implants vs bridge can be a difficult decision. Your dentist will help guide you through the process and help you make an educated dental implants vs bridge decision that is best for your smile. It is important to maintain regular dental visits no matter which side you choose in the dental implants vs bridge decision.
Dentist Vs Orthodontist – Which To Choose?
There are many misconceptions between dental specialties as the lines become blurred. Many services that were only done by specialists are now routine in a family dental office. These procedure include dental implants, root canal therapy, and orthodontics. A family dentist vs orthodontist begin with same basic training in dental school and then the paths diverge following graduation from dental school. Read below for further clarification on dentist vs orthodontist.
Dentist Vs Orthodontist Education And Training
Following 4 years of dental school, a dentist has multiple paths to go forward into their future career. They can enter private practice or they can complete a dental residency for advanced training or they can go on to further schooling to specialize in a particular specialty branch of dentistry. These specialties can include oral surgery, periodontics, or orthodontics.
Those who choose to specialize will apply to graduate programs in the field of their choice. Between 6 and 8% of all dental school graduates go on to become orthodontists. Orthodontic training continues from the basics learned in dental school and narrows the focus to a branch of dentistry dealing with irregularities of the teeth (such as malocclusion) and their correction (as by braces). That definition comes directly from Merriam Webster. Both are extremely important to ensure your mouth functions properly when eating and chewing. If your teeth are crooked or your jaws are misaligned this can cause digestive problems and dental hygiene issues, such as gingivitis (gum disease). It can also make it difficult to clean your teeth properly.The extended training takes between 2-3 years and adds about 5,000 hours of orthodontic training. Orthodontists have many techniques and dental materials at their disposal to help them move the teeth and jaws into proper alignment, including traditional braces, lingual braces (attached on inside of teeth) and clear aligners (like Invisalign), among other orthodontic appliances. Because every patient has their own unique alignment issues, orthodontists use X-rays and pictures of the teeth to create personalized treatment plans. These plans can be simple to very extensive depending on the issues with your smile.
Family dentists treat patients’ overall oral and dental health. Through routine checkups, dentists can detect and treat cavities, periodontal disease, and oral hygiene problems, and they can also extract teeth as necessary. Dentists also can improve the function and cosmetic appearance of teeth with the following services: tooth bonding, porcelain or composite veneers or dental crowns to teeth that are broken, chipped, misshapen or have been affected severely by tooth decay. Your dentist will also evaluate the tissues inside your mouth for signs of oral diseases (such as oral cancer) and gives advice on how to maintain your oral health. If your dentist notices a problem beyond the scope of their education, they will refer you to a dental specialist or physician as they see fit. An orthodontist is one of those specialists your dentist may refer you to for further treatment.
Choosing Between Dentist Vs Orthodontist
When choosing dentist vs orthodontist there will be some overlap between dental services offered. Many family dentists will also offer some orthodontic services to their patients. Orthodontists are only able to offer services that fall under their specialty. A dentist can perform orthodontics but an orthodontist cannot treat periodontal disease or fabricate a dental crown. This is a major difference in the dentist vs orthodontist debate.
Dentist Vs Orthodontist Treatments Offered
Family dentist services can include but not limited to the following:
-Treatment and Restoration of Tooth decay
-Root Canal Therapy
-Treatment of Periodontal Disease
-Dental Crowns and Dental Bridges
-Porcelain and Composite Veneers
-Dental Implants (placement and restoration)
Orthodontists provide services related to:
Dentist Vs Orthodontist Conclusion
A dentist should be your go to for all your dental needs. An orthodontist will be necessary when your dentist decides treatment behind their scope is needed. An orthodontist is someone you will see for a fairly short time while a dentist will be someone you will see for a lifetime to maintain healthy teeth and gum tissues. The dentist vs orthodontist question is not a battle but a partnership. They work hand in hand to deliver high quality dental care to their patients.
What Is A Snap On Smile?
Snap on smile is a dental appliance that is removable which is designed to snap over the existing teeth to enhance your smile. The snap on smile removable appliance is made from an extremely strong dental resin. It can be used as a short term or a long term cosmetic dentistry option. Snap on smile is a fantastic solution for many cosmetic dentistry issues. The beauty of the snap on smile is that it is a completely reversible cosmetic dentistry option. The snap on smile is far more affordable than porcelain veneers or porcelain crowns. In general, the snap on smile procedure costs about the price of a single dental crown.
Is Snap On Smile Painless?
The snap on smile procedure itself is completely pain free. All your dentist needs to do is take an impression of your teeth and send it to a qualified dental laboratory technician to fabricate. It requires zero shots, zero drilling and zero removal of your natural tooth structure.
As with any dental appliance there will be an adjustment period that is temporary as you get used to having your snap on smile in your mouth. This is very common and most people report that their speech is back to normal within a few weeks. Wearing your Snap On Smile regularly will allow you to return to your normal speech pattern much faster.
Does Snap On Smile Cover All My Teeth?
Snap On Smile has been designed to cover your entire upper and/or lower arch of teeth.
How Do I Keep My Snap On Smile Clean?
A special cleaning solution will be supplied when you first receive your Snap On Smile from your dentist. Refills can be re ordered and are available through your dentist. Your dentist will recommend lining inside of snap on smile with fluoride as a layer of protection for your teeth against tooth decay.
Is Snap On Smile Covered By Insurance?
Snap On Smile is a cosmetic dental procedure. Generally, cosmetic dental appliances are not covered by dental insurance. You will want to discuss your individual insurance policy with your dentist and also give your dental insurance company a call.
I Am Missing Teeth. Will Snap On Smile Work For Me?
Snap-On Smile is the perfect solution for people with missing teeth. Your cosmetic dentist can determine if Snap-On Smile will work for your individual smile.
Dental Appointments Needed For A Snap On Smile?
The following are the steps involved in the fabrication of a custom snap on smile:
-Consultation and Preparation. A full dental health evaluation must be completed prior to snap on smile fabrication. A complete set of x-rays and dental exam are needed to fully assess whether this is the proper cosmetic dental treatment for you. Your smile line, lips, they way you bite, cavities, and periodontal disease must be addressed prior to any dental appliance being fabricated. Once any and all issues have been addressed, the dentist can consult with you to decide whether this is the proper treatment for your individual smile. A professional dental cleaning and all tooth decay must be taken care of prior to the next steps beginning so that the final snap on smile will fit perfectly and last for a long time.
-Dental Impressions. This will include impressions of the teeth, photographs, and an occlusal bite registration. A bite registration allows the dental lab to know the relationship between the upper and lower teeth. At this visit you and your dentist will also pick out the style, shape, and color of your new smile.
-Dental Laboratory. The information gathered by the dentist is then sent off to the dental laboratory. The dental technician will digitally create the custom made snap on smile. You may request a digital image of your snap on smile from the lab before it is completed. There is an additional fee for the digital imaging.
-Snap On Smile Insertion. Following custom fabrication by the dental laboratory, your cosmetic dentist will then place the final product over your teeth. The snap on smile pops right in over your own teeth and should fit with little, if any modification. The snap on smile is durable and unlike other brands can be used for eating. Your snap on smile does comes with a warranty which can be extended by you with the Den Mat company.
Snap On Smile Conclusion
The snap on smile is so simple to complete without the need for removing any of your natural tooth structure or need to use any anesthesia. The beauty is that it is completely removable at any time with no long term effect to your natural teeth.