Posts for: April, 2018
Even people with little to no experience with root canal therapy have probably heard the rumors that it is a painful and traumatic procedure somewhere on the spectrum between a dental necessity and indescribable torture. In fact, the horrors of root canals are a common and longstanding staple of comedy routines and pop culture. Due to its scary reputation, many people put their oral health and smile at risk out of fear. But the truth about root canal therapy is much less scary. While it might make for good jokes and funny skits, in reality, a root canal is a lot closer to the procedure for filling a cavity than it is with a cruel form of ancient torture. Dr. Angela Toy, a dentist at Arbor Hills Dental in Newberg, OR, reminds patients that contrary to popular belief, a root canal is actually a treatment for pain from a badly decayed or infected tooth.
Root Canal Therapy in Newberg, OR
The inside of each tooth is made up of a network of nerves, blood vessels, and connective tissue known as pulp. Bacteria can enter the canal and cause inflammation and infection, which causes pain and swelling, and puts the tooth at risk of permanent damage to the nerves. Root canal therapy (also known as endodontic treatment) removes the damaged root and tissue and essentially cleans the tooth from the inside out to remove bacteria and prevent further damage and possible extraction of the tooth. Bacteria usually gets inside a tooth from severe tooth decay or trauma.
After applying local anesthesia and topical numbing agents, the dentist will drill a small hole in the tooth to remove the damaged tooth and clean out the canal. The tooth is then sealed and good as new! In terms of pain and discomfort, most people report that the procedure feels very similar to getting a dental filling.
Find a New Dentist in Newberg, OR
If you are nervous or worried about root canal therapy or other problems with your oral health or have questions about cosmetic dentistry, contact our office by calling (503) 538-2143 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Toy today.
It’s been widely established for decades that cigarette smoking contributes to cancer and heart disease. But did you know smoking will also increase your risk of tooth decay and periodontal (gum) disease, as well as nuisance problems like tooth staining, bad breath and diminished taste perception?
Its effects on your teeth and mouth are all the more reason to quit smoking. But deciding and following through are two different things: many smokers find it painfully difficult to quit due to their addiction to nicotine, tobacco’s active ingredient.
But while difficult, it can be done. Here are 4 tips to help you follow through on your decision to quit smoking.
Change Your Response to Stress. Cigarette smoking is closely tied to the pleasure and reward areas of your brain. With its “hit” of nicotine, you sub-consciously identify smoking as a way to relieve the unpleasant feelings of stress. Instead, substitute other stress relievers when it occurs: going for a walk, talking to a friend or taking a few deep breaths. In time, this substitution will wear down the trigger response to stress you’ve developed with smoking.
Gradually Reduce Nicotine. You don’t have to quit abruptly or “cold turkey”: over the course of a few weeks, try switching to brands with decreasing levels of nicotine. Each week change to a brand with 0.2-0.4 milligrams less nicotine yield than the brand you were smoking the previous week. When you reach the lowest nicotine yield you can find, begin reducing the number of cigarettes you smoke each day. You can find a list of nicotine yields by brand at www.erowid.org/plants/tobacco/tobacco_nic.shtml.
Quitting Loves Company. While you’re responsible for quitting, you may also benefit from the support of others. Usually eight to ten weeks of peer group sessions, a cessation support group provides instruction and ample structure with others engaged in the same struggle. You can usually locate one of these support groups by asking your healthcare provider.
Talk to Your Doctor or Dentist. Next to you or your family, no one wants you to quit more than we do! We can provide you information, treatment and encouragement as you take this big step toward improving your life and health.
If you would like more information on how to quit smoking, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic and more tips for quitting by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “10 Tips to Help You Stop Smoking.”
You’re satisfied with your smile appearance except for one thing — your teeth aren’t as white and bright as you wish they could be. So, you’ve decided to do something about their dull yellow color.
You’re also thinking about buying a whitening product you can use yourself rather than a professional application. But you still want the answers to two questions: are home whitening kits safe? And, are they effective?
By and large the answer to the first question is yes — if you use it as directed. The whitening agents in FDA-approved products are in safe proportions to other ingredients and won’t cause any major health issues. That said, if you go beyond the instructed dosage you could damage your teeth, especially your enamel, and cause long-term problems with your dental care.
In addition, if you (or a family member) are still in your early teens, you may want to wait until you’re older. Although most permanent teeth have come in by puberty, their enamel still needs to mature. The chemicals in a whitening kit could be too strong for their under-developed enamel. It’s best to get our advice on whether your teeth are mature enough for whitening.
As to their effectiveness, home whitening kits should perform as their labeling indicates. But there are some differences in effects between a home kit and a professional application.
Although a home kit usually uses the same whitening agents (like carbamide peroxide), its strength is much lower than a professional treatment — about 10% of volume compared to around 30% in clinical solutions. This means it will take much longer to achieve the desired whitening effect that a professional application can in fewer sessions, and with less precision. In addition, home kits are only effective on surface staining of the enamel — discoloration within a tooth requires treatment by a dentist.
You can get satisfactory results from a home whitening kit. But before you make a purchase, consult with us first — we can advise you on what to look for in your purchase, as well as determine if your teeth can benefit from whitening at home.
If you would like more information on teeth whitening, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Tooth Whitening Safety Tips.”