If you’ve been told that you need to undergo gum surgery, you might be a little nervous—or very nervous—about what’s ahead. But, by having an understanding of what happens during this procedure, and what to expect after it, you can feel a bit more at ease. So, to give you a general overview of what’s involved in gum surgery, we’ve compiled some helpful information below. read more
Dental Procedure Articles
The “dreaded” root canal is now a simple procedure, thanks to advanced technology and materials. When it comes to a root canal, people tend to frown at the idea of it; however, a root canal is a wonderful and necessary remedy to help salvage a tooth. In fact, a root canal is usually no more painful or challenging than a traditional tooth filling. Why Root Canals Are Indicated Some of the most common issues requiring a root canal include: 1. Dental Caries When caught early, a cavity can often be treated with a small dental filling. However, if you let the decay becomes more severe, it can often cause caries to enter the pulp, causing the pulp to become infected with bacteria. 2. Dental Trauma Blunt trauma can cause a tooth to become dead (necrotic) and discolored. 3. Repeated Dental Treatment When a filling frequently needs replacement, it causes the pulp to get inflamed or infected. 4. Fractures If a tooth fractures from biting into hard food, and the fracture extends into the pulp, the tooth could need a root canal. Signs You May Need a Root Canal Common signs you may need a root canal include: • Severe, persistent pain while eating or sleeping. • A dental abscess on the gum below the infected tooth. • Swelling. • Temperature sensitivity to heat and cold foods and drinks. • Cracked or fractured tooth. • Gum sensitivity. • Tooth discoloration (black or gray). The Root Canal Process A root canal involves removing the pulp of the tooth, which is made up of nerves, blood vessels, and tissue. You will require an X-ray to confirm decay is in the pulp. The pulp chamber and canals are then cleaned, disinfected, and filled to prevent bacteria from entering. The dentist may also put a temporary filling to avoid contamination by saliva, food, and plaque. You may be prescribed an oral antibiotic. Often, you will need a crown in a separate procedure to complete the treatment and preserve the tooth. It is common to experience some swelling and soreness once the local anesthesia wears off. You can take over-the-counter pain medications such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen as needed. You should avoid chewing while numb to avoid biting your cheek, lip, or tongue, and skip biting into hard foods and ice to reduce further injury to the tooth. You will have to follow up with your regular dentist for a permanent crown or filling to help support the tooth. Alternative Treatment to a Root Canal If you decide you don’t want a root canal, other treatment options include a tooth extraction. You can then replace the extracted tooth with an implant, bridge, or removable partial appliance to restore function and prevent teeth-shifting. Preventing a Root Canal To keep your teeth and gums healthy, you should maintain good oral hygiene habits such as daily brushing and flossing. You should limit the frequency of sugar in your diet to reduce your chances of developing tooth decay. If you play sports, wear a mouthguard to prevent dental trauma. If your dental treatment plans include smaller fillings, having the procedure done quickly can limit the potential of having the cavities get deeper and possibly requiring a root canal. Costs of a Root Canal Costs vary depending on which tooth needs treatment, your dental insurance, and if you are seeing a general dentist or an endodontist (a specialist in root canal treatment). Molars are often more expensive and more difficult to treat than anterior teeth. Most dental plans will cover a portion of a root canal. Generally, you can expect to pay up to $2,000 for root canal therapy. Dr. Erica Anand is a pediatric dentist in private practice focused on preventative dentistry including SDF, SMART fillings, and myofunctional therapy. She also writes professionally in the dental industry, working with marketing and consulting firms. Her extensive education includes treating children with special needs, dental phobias, and oral rehabilitation under general anesthesia. She maintains memberships of the American Dental Association, American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry and New York State Dental Association, and is an American Board of Pediatric Dentistry Candidate. Learn more about Dr. Erica Anand on her website.
Getting your teeth cleaned professionally on a regular basis, such as once or twice a year, is highly recommended. But you already knew that, right? And you’ve no doubt heard about the many benefits that can come from a cleaning at your dentist’s office. This simple procedure can thoroughly remove plaque and tartar -- in fact, you can only remove tartar with a professional cleaning, as you can’t brush it off at home! Plus, it can help you keep your gums healthy, clean, and strong. Yet, there are some rumors out there, claiming that dental cleanings might damage your pearly whites. Is that true? We get to the bottom of this question below so you can rest assured you’re making the right decisions to keep your teeth and gums healthy. A Concern About Enamel Keeping your enamel intact is a key component to maintaining healthy teeth, as it’s the protective layer on the outside of every tooth. But some people are concerned that the scraping that happens during a dental cleaning might be able to wear away the enamel, making teeth more prone to damage and decay. Valid argument? Thankfully, no. Even the scraping that occurs during a dental cleaning, when done by a professional, will not adversely affect the enamel on your chompers. The scraping that you hear and feel during your cleaning is nothing more than the hygienist using a special tool to remove plaque and tartar that have accumulated on your teeth. Once all of that nasty stuff is removed from the surface, your teeth will feel smoother. What’s That Sensitivity About? Some people are also concerned about the effects of dental cleanings because they tend to experience tooth sensitivity afterwards. But, again, this is nothing to worry about, and it’s totally normal and temporary. What causes your pearly whites to be a little more sensitive than usual after a cleaning? Well, it basically has to do with the removal of tartar using special tools. Areas that used to be covered by a lot of tartar and plaque might be more exposed and, therefore, more sensitive after everything has been scraped off. And your gums might even be sensitive and bleed a bit as a result of the tools that are used during the cleaning. Also, if you require a longer cleaning, a deeper cleaning, or multiple cleanings because of a lot of tartar along the gum line, your mouth might be even more sensitive and sore as a result. This, too, is usually considered normal and temporary. Tip: Talk to your dentist if you experience sensitivity after a dental cleaning, and be gentle at home while brushing so you can help your gums heal. If your teeth and/or gums are still sensitive days or weeks after a cleaning, your dentist can figure out why, so let him or her know about your symptoms and how long they last. Deep Cleaning the Gums: It Also Won’t Damage Teeth What if your dentist tells you that you need to undergo a deep cleaning known as scaling and root planing? Will this do any harm to your teeth? Again, the answer is simple: no. Scaling and root planing is recommended to patients who have been diagnosed with gum disease. Basically, plaque and tartar are scraped off the surface of teeth, like during a standard cleaning, but the hygienist will also go ahead and clean beneath the gum line too. That’s followed by root planing, which involves smoothing out the roots of the teeth so your gums can heal and reattach themselves to your chompers. As you can imagine, you might have some pain and sensitivity after this type of cleaning, but it doesn’t mean any damage was done. Your mouth just needs to heal, and your dentist can give you tips on how to take care of your teeth and gums until they’re all better. Trust Your Dental Hygienist! A professional hygienist knows how to properly perform scaling and polishing during a dental cleaning. This common procedure shouldn’t cause any damage to your teeth or gums. So don’t worry, and be sure to schedule those appointments for cleanings and checkups to help keep your smile healthy and bright. Sources: https://oasisdiscussions.ca/2019/04/26/myth-buster-series-can-a-cleaning-at-the-dentists-damage-tooth-enamel/ https://www.oatlandsdentallounge.com/will-the-hygienist-remove-the-enamel-from-my-teeth/ https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/wjgnxb/is-a-dental-deep-cleaning-ever-really-necessary https://www.colgate.com/en-us/oral-health/conditions/tooth-sensitivity/sensitive-teeth-after-cleaning-1015 https://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/s/scaling-and-root-planing https://www.colgate.com.au/products/colgate-sensitive-pro-relief/learn-about-sensitive-teeth/sensitive-teeth-after-cleaning https://reboldental.com/why-are-your-teeth-sensitive-after-a-teeth-cleaning/
A dental fluoride treatment is one of the safest ways to protect our teeth from cavities. It is also one of the simplest ways. The many benefits of fluoride treatment include strengthening tooth enamel and remineralizing the structure of the tooth to prevent cavities. People are can have more cavities if they have poor oral hygiene, a high-sugar diet, or medications that make the teeth susceptible to breaking down. Here are four reasons why a fluoride treatment can be beneficial for you. 1. Fluoride Treatment Helps Fight Tooth Decay Our teeth are exposed to sugars every day through what we eat and drink. It is a common misconception that cavities are only caused only by sweets such as candy and beverages including soda and juice. While these high-sugar-content foods can cause cavities, a majority of cavities are caused by refined sugars and processed white flour carbohydrates. Most diets consist of a high frequency of pastas, breads, crackers, cereal, and desserts, exposing the teeth to sugars around the clock. Cavities are caused by bacteria in our mouth breaking down the sugars from our meals to create an acid. This acid weakens or demineralizes the enamel surface and eventually causes a small hole, otherwise known as a cavity. The minerals in our saliva help buffer these acids to prevent the breakdown of the enamel. This process is called remineralization. Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral that helps increase the remineralization process and prevent tooth decay. For those of us with poor or high-carbohydrate diets, a fluoride treatment is not only beneficial, but also necessary. 2. Professional Fluoride Treatments Are for the Entire Family Fluoride treatments are beneficial for both young people and adults. Since fluoride helps remineralize teeth, it is a great adjunct to brushing and flossing to help prevent cavities in any high-risk patient. This can include a child with a sweet tooth, a special needs patient, or an elderly patient with dry mouth. A fluoride treatment is not just for children—ask your dentist about getting a professional fluoride treatment to also help alleviate dental sensitivity. Often, as we age, we see recession near our gums where small parts of the root surface are exposed. This type of sensitivity can be uncomfortable while eating and drinking, and a fluoride treatment can improve this condition. 3. Protect Your Teeth While You Whiten! Teeth whitening is a common dental treatment to help brighten smiles and improve self-esteem. Unfortunately, many people experience discomfort while whitening because of post-sensitivity. Many dentists will recommend pre- and post-professional fluoride treatments to help reduce post-whitening sensitivity. They will also help coat your teeth in vitamins to help nourish them and protect your mouth from dehydration, which can raise your risk for tooth decay. 4. You Can Eat and Drink Right Away! A professional fluoride treatment is so simple that you can eat and drink immediately after your application. This is because newer fluoride treatments are done using a fluoride varnish, which is a paint that adheres to your teeth for several hours. Fluoride Treatments Are Quick and Cost-Effective The process of a fluoride treatment involves the application of fluoride in the form of a varnish, gel, or foam. The fluoride is applied directly into the tooth to form and serve as a protective layer. You can help restore your teeth to optimal health by avoiding hot foods or rinsing for a short period of time. A fluoride treatment can benefit people of all ages. If you are in orthodontic treatment, have poor oral hygiene and are prone to cavities, or are undergoing any type of radiation treatment, consider reaching out to your dentist as soon as possible to schedule a fluoride treatment to prevent your teeth from developing any cavities. Dr. Erica Anand is a pediatric dentist in private practice focused on preventative dentistry including SDF, SMART fillings, and myofunctional therapy. She also writes professionally in the dental industry, working with marketing and consulting firms. Her extensive education includes treating children with special needs, dental phobias, and oral rehabilitation under general anesthesia. She maintains memberships of the American Dental Association, American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry and New York State Dental Association, and is an American Board of Pediatric Dentistry Candidate. Learn more about Dr. Erica Anand on her website.
Veneers are a really popular dental treatment that can make your teeth look perfect. But, what exactly are veneers? And what do they generally cost? We’ve got you covered with some helpful information below. What Are Veneers? There are many scenarios in which your dentist might recommend veneers as a treatment to improve the look of your smile. For example, if your teeth are too worn, if you’ve chipped a tooth or broken it, if your pearly whites are uneven or there are gaps between them, or even if your chompers are discolored, veneers might be a great solution. Veneers, which are applied to the front of the teeth, look totally natural. They’re thin and customized to suit your mouth, and they can effectively change the size, shape, and color of your teeth. Plus, because porcelain veneers, in particular, are long-lasting (they might last longer than 10 years!) and resistant to stains, they can help keep your smile bright as well. Porcelain vs. resin composite veneers When it comes to veneers, there are a couple of materials that you can choose from: porcelain and resin composite. Your dentist will discuss the pros and cons of each of these options to help you decide which one is right for you, but here’s a basic breakdown of some of the differences: When it comes to resisting stains, and being less likely to become damaged, porcelain veneers are the better choice. The nice thing about resin composite is that less enamel might need to be removed before the veneer is set in place, and your dentist may be able to get it all done in one appointment, rather than the two or three appointments that porcelain veneers generally require. In terms of price, porcelain is more expensive. It might also be harder to fix, if that’s ever necessary. However, porcelain tends to last longer than resin composite (10-15 years for porcelain versus 5-7 years for resin composite). What Do Veneers Typically Cost? If you’ve thought about getting veneers, one thing to consider is their cost. Although the price will vary based on several factors, such as the professional that you’re using, where you’re located, the material that’s used, and how many teeth your dentist will be working on, you can expect that this procedure will be on the expensive end. The average price range for veneers is anywhere from $1,000 to $2,000. And that’s per tooth! But, as we mentioned above, the price will depend on factors like the material that the veneer is made of. So, to further break it down, consider the following: On average, a porcelain veneer for one tooth might cost anywhere from $925 to $2,500. On average, a resin composite veneer for one tooth might cost anywhere from $250 to $1,500. Will dental insurance help cover the cost of veneers? The answer to this question will depend on the dental plan that you have, and whether or not it covers restorative and cosmetic procedures. For example, your insurance might want to know if you’re getting veneers for a medical, rather than purely cosmetic, reason. If it’s only because you want your teeth to look good, and veneers aren’t medically necessary, your insurance might not help cover the cost. Check out the many options available from Spirit Dental to see if you can get support when undergoing this pricey treatment. Think Veneers Are Right for You? Overall, veneers are a fabulous option when it comes to perfecting the look of your teeth. If it’s a celebrity smile that you want, veneers might be the right way to go. Plus, they could be a good alternative to crowns. But they aren’t right for everyone, so your dentist will need to evaluate you and provide guidance. And it’s also important to keep in mind that this can be an expensive cosmetic treatment, so having the right insurance is wise. Sources: https://www.webmd.com/oral-health/guide/veneers#1 https://www.aspendental.com/dental-services/cosmetic-dentistry/dental-veneers https://www.colgate.com/en-us/oral-health/cosmetic-dentistry/veneers/how-long-do-veneers-last-0515 https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/dental-veneers https://www.yourdentistryguide.com/veneer-procedure/ https://lovethatsmile.com/dental-articles/does-dental-insurance-cover-cosmetic-dentist
One of the top ways to replace a missing tooth is with a dental implant. Unlike dentures, an implant will look and function just like a regular tooth because it’s set into the jaw, and you can care for it just like you would your natural pearly whites. What’s not to like? Well, the price isn’t so nice, especially if you don’t have a good dental plan to help cover the cost. Unfortunately, a single implant can be surprisingly expensive. Check out the information below to learn a bit about the cost of dental implants so you can avoid sticker shock if you’re thinking about talking to your dentist about this procedure. A Look at the Average Cost of Dental Implants The cost of implants varies based on factors like the dental professional you use, where you’re located, and the materials that the implant and crown are made of. And it also depends on whether or not you need additional treatments, such as extractions and bone grafts, prior to getting the implant. Here’s a basic breakdown of the price of dental implants: The average range for a single dental implant may be anywhere from $3,000 to $6,700. As an example, it might cost around $4,800 for the implant placement, the abutment, and the crown. See what we mean by sticker shock? Now that you know that the price of a single implant can be quite high, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that, if you need to have most or all of your teeth replaced with implants, it might cost anywhere from $25,000 to a whopping $80,000, on average. Yikes! Don’t forget that there might be additional costs to tack on as well. Those include: The price of an evaluation to determine if you’re the right candidate for dental implants. This might be anywhere from $50 to $300, on average. The price of X-rays to thoroughly evaluate the health of your teeth. A panoramic X-ray, in particular, might cost anywhere from $100 to $250, on average. The price of a CT scan, which may also be required to check the health of your jaw and teeth. This can add anywhere from $150 to $750 to your bill, on average. The cost of having a tooth extracted, if it is necessary. On average, this might cost you anywhere from $150 to $700. The cost of a bone graft, if it is necessary. This procedure might cost $200 to $3,200, on average. Wow, that’s a lot! But, again, these ranges are just averages. And various factors will play a role in the total cost of getting one or more implants. So it might be a good idea to consult with more than one dental professional to see who can give you the highest quality care at the most affordable price. Why Are Dental Implants So Expensive? Part of the reason why dental implants are priced high is because they involve multiple steps. This is a surgical procedure, and your dentist will need to see you over the course of several appointments to properly set the implant in place. And the implant itself consists of multiple parts, including the implant, abutment, and crown. Plus, the procedure occurs after spending time carefully evaluating your mouth to figure out if an implant is the right solution for you. So it all adds up! Can Dental Insurance Help? Yes! Not all insurance plans will cover major services and dental implants, so it’s wise to shop with care if you want to have a policy in place that will help cover the cost of this expensive procedure. At Spirit Dental, you’ll find plans that provide coverage for implants. That means you can rest easier, knowing that if you ever have to replace missing teeth, you’ll have insurance that will be there to support you. Ultimately, a dental implant might be exactly what you need to restore your smile, but you should go into it knowing that the price of this modern treatment will be high, especially if you don’t have the right insurance. Sources: https://www.authoritydental.org/dental-implants-cost https://www.medicinenet.com/dental_implants/article.htm#how_much_does_a_dental_implant_cost_does_insurance_pay_for_dental_implants https://www.aaid-implant.org/faq/#265 https://askthedentist.com/dental-implants-cost/ https://health.costhelper.com/dental-implant.html