Why You Shouldn’t Fear a Root Canal

Man with his hand to his cheek because of tooth pain.

If you’ve been experiencing painful toothaches accompanied by extreme sensitivity when your teeth are exposed to different temperatures, you might be suffering from an infected tooth root. When an infection spreads down to your tooth roots, the life of the tooth is threatened. Is it possible to save the tooth? That’s where root canal therapy comes in! Root canals play a pivotal role in maintaining a healthy smile.

Why Get a Root Canal?

Root canals have a reputation for being painful, long procedures. Actually, the truth is that they’re not that much different from any other restorative treatment, like getting a cavity filled. A root canal is designed to remove infected tissue from the tooth root and salvage any of the tooth’s natural healthy tissue. Infections typically spread to the root because of an untreated cavity or decay that is caused by poor oral hygiene or trauma.

Signs You Need a Root Canal

Your body will send some signs to alert you when it is invaded by infection. Here are some of the typical signs that indicate you have an infected tooth root.

  • Severe toothache that throbs when you bite down
  • Sensitivity to hot & cold temperatures
  • Tooth discoloration
  • Painful, swollen, or bleeding gums
  • Bad taste in mouth
  • Bad breath
  • Chips or cracks in teeth
  • Wiggly tooth
  • Gumline abscess

Procedure for Root Canal Therapy

Before you get root canal therapy, Dr. Ricky Tin will take x-rays of your tooth to identify the extent of the infection in your tooth. Our team will then carefully numb the area around your tooth to help make your procedure pain free. During the procedure, we will dry the area around your tooth and drill a small hole into it to access the infected tissue. Next Dr. Tin will flush out all of the infected tissue, replacing it with a substance called gutta percha before sealing up the tooth. Depending on the extent of the damage to your tooth, we may close out the procedure with either a filling or a crown. If a crown is needed, we offer Cerec Same Day crowns.

Caring for Your Tooth After a Root Canal

It’s common to feel pain or sensitivity around your tooth after root canal therapy, and you can use over-the-counter pain medication to help with it. Our team will give you thorough aftercare instructions to help you heal faster. Once your tooth is healed, you can proceed with your regular dental care regimen. Be sure to brush and floss your teeth thoroughly twice a day to prevent infection and visit Villa Vista Dental twice a year to prevent or treat cavities in their early stages.

Affordable Root Canal Therapy in Elk Grove, CA

If you are experiencing symptoms of a root canal infection, contact our office to schedule a consultation right away. We promise you that the pain of an ongoing infection and subsequent tooth extraction are far worse than root canal therapy! Villa Vista Dental proudly offers a variety of financing options to make our services affordable. Our staff is always willing to help answer any questions you might have about your visit, so don’t hesitate to give us a call. We look forward to seeing you!

Root canals eliminate pain & save your tooth!


What Your Tooth Pain May Be Telling You

Dark haired woman with her fingers to her cheek because of tooth pain.

Living life to the fullest with tooth pain can be very difficult. Things like speaking, chewing, and even yawning can cause sharp pain. If you’re currently experiencing tooth pain, Villa Vista Dental will help you find a solution so you can become pain free. Read on to learn about some of the common causes of tooth pain.

Reasons You May Be Experiencing Tooth Pain

The first step to combatting tooth pain is to identify the underlying cause. There are many factors that may be causing your tooth pain. Dr. Tin will seek to discover what is causing your tooth pain before determining a treatment plan that best suits your situation. Here are some of the most common reasons for tooth pain.

  • Cavities
  • Decay causes the dental pulp inside the tooth to become swollen so that it puts pressure on the tooth’s nerve.

  • Cracked or Broken Tooth
  • Dental trauma can damage or expose the tooth’s nerve, causing pain and discomfort.

  • Enamel Erosion
  • Enamel is the protective outer layer of teeth. When enamel is lost it exposes the sensitive dentin layer underneath.

  • Gum Recession
  • Gum recession exposes the tooth’s roots. This can cause extreme sensitivity when brushing or eating hot and cold foods.

  • Periodontal (Gum) Disease
  • Gum disease causes soft tissue inflammation and can lead to tooth decay.

  • Teeth Grinding
  • Grinding wears down teeth over time and can expose sensitive nerves.

  • Whitening Treatment
  • After a whitening treatment, you may experience temporary tooth sensitivity.

Schedule Your Tooth Pain Consultation

Are you suffering from chronic tooth pain? The sooner you seek treatment the better. Tooth pain can indicate a serious underlying dental issue. The longer you wait, the more severe the dental problem may become, eventually resulting in a dental emergency. At Villa Vista Dental, Dr. Ricky Tin and our knowledgeable team have years of experience diagnosing and treating dental pain. Our mission is to help patients regain a healthy, pain-free smile. Please contact our office to schedule your dental consultation. We look forward to hearing from you!

Come see us to eliminate your tooth pain!


Don’t Avoid Your Dental Cleaning Due to COVID

Cartoon of a family of four standing next to an oversized tooth and toothbrush.

Are you one of those people who has put off their dental care due to the pandemic? We understand the conundrum, but we are here to assure you that you can safely visit Villa Vista Dental. The last thing we want is for your teeth to suffer. Read on to hear how we’re keeping our patients safe while keeping their teeth healthy.

COVID-19 Protocols at Our Practice

There’s nothing more important to us than the health of our patients and our staff. As such, we have developed a plan to service our patient’s smiles safely and effectively during this time. We are currently following any and all CDC guidelines and tracking them as they evolve and change. This includes social distancing, sanitizing, and any other protocols that help to make our office safe and comfortable for everyone in it! Additional time has been scheduled between appointments and a Covid-19 questionnaire has been implemented to ensure that everything runs smoothly and exposure to illness is avoided. Comprehensive information about our COVID-19 protocols is available on our website, and you can always call our office with your questions!

The Importance of Routine Dental Care

It’s so important that you keep up with your dental care now that our offices are back up and running. With regular dental care we can catch issues early and prevent them from becoming something much worse. If you keep up with your visits every six months and continue with a good oral care routine at home, you will likely keep your smile beautiful and healthy for years to come.

Dental Health & Wellness in Elk Grove, CA

We believe that dental care is about more than just the health of your smile. We’re here to keep our patients’ smiles looking great and their whole health in check. Villa Vista Dental takes a comprehensive approach to dental health. We look forward to seeing our regular customers back in our office. And as always, new patients are welcome. Make an appointment by calling us directly or clicking the contact link.

Don’t put off getting the dental care you need!


Tips for Healthier Gums

Cartoon of a mouth with bleeding gum due to gum disease.
Image by Authority Dental under CC 2.0

Did you know that 50% of adults over 30 have gum disease? Gum disease often develops when you don’t maintain good oral hygiene. Tender, bleeding gums are usually a sign of gum disease. If untreated, it can cause tooth decay, tooth loss, and even bone loss. How do you keep your gums healthy? Here are some tips.

Brush & Floss Every Day

Brushing and flossing well are the best things you can do for your gum health. When you don’t clean your teeth well, plaque and tartar build up and irritate your gums. When brushing, be sure to hold your soft-bristled brush at a 45-degree angle against your gum line.

Don’t forget to floss once a day! Flossing is very important for gum health because it removes food and plaque from places your brush can’t reach. If you haven’t flossed in a while, a little bleeding is normal. Not getting the results you want from brushing and flossing? During your dental exam, ask Dr. Tin for advice.

Don’t Use Tobacco

Smokers are twice as likely to get gum disease as non-smokers. This is because smoking weakens your immune system and makes it harder for your body to fight gum disease. Chewing tobacco comes with an increased risk for cavities, gum irritation, and mouth cancers. If you want healthier gums and you use any tobacco products, quitting is a great idea.

Eat a Balanced Diet

Your whole body – including your teeth and gums – benefits from a nutritious diet. Fresh produce, dairy, and whole grains are all linked to better gum health. These foods are packed with nutrients that support your soft tissues. Many also help the body fight against harmful bacteria. If you’re looking for another reason to improve your diet, healthier gums is a good one!

Get a Healthy Smile at Villa Vista Dental

At our Elk Grove office, we offer cleanings and exams that keep your gums healthy. If your gums need some extra love, we’ll most likely recommend scaling and root planing. This deep cleaning treats more advanced gum disease. If you have any questions for Dr. Tin or you want to schedule an appointment, please get in touch today!

Good hygiene & regular dental exams keep your gums healthy!


Types of Dental Cleanings

Cartoon showing little elves helping with a deep teeth cleaning.
Image by Authority Dental under CC 2.0

Did you know that there’s more than one type of dental cleaning? You may not think twice about it if you regularly visit the dentist for a standard cleaning. However, there are more specialized types of dental cleanings to take care of specific problems. Here’s a quick rundown of the main types of dental cleanings.

Prophylaxis Cleanings

The name sounds fancy, but this is actually the standard teeth cleaning and most likely what you’re getting when you go in for your check-up. During a prophylaxis cleaning, any plaque or tartar that has built up on your teeth is removed. Tartar forms when plaque has hardened, and it can only be removed by a dental professional with special tools. No matter how well you care for your teeth at home, you can’t remove all of the plaque that builds up over time. Basically, this is the kind of cleaning you get if you have a generally healthy mouth.

Scaling & Root Planing

Sometimes referred to as a deep cleaning, scaling and root planing is used to treat gum disease. The “scaling” portion is when plaque and tartar are removed from not just the surface of the teeth, but also from the pockets under your gum line. The “root planing” portion is when your tooth roots are essentially smoothed out, making it easier for the gums to reattach. Since this type of cleaning is more intensive, it is often performed with local anesthetic.

Debridement

A debridement or gross debridement cleaning is used for people who have never visited the dentist, who haven’t visited the dentist in quite some time, or who have struggled to maintain a healthy oral care routine. Performed with a special electrical tool, this kind of cleaning can remove a heavy build-up of plaque and tartar.

Dental Cleanings in Elk Grove, CA

Speaking of dental cleanings, is it time for yours? Book your appointment at Villa Vista Dental by calling us or clicking the contact link below. In addition to routine exams and cleanings, we also offer a wide variety of other dental services. Whatever your smile needs may be, we’re here for you.

Twice a year dental cleanings keep your smile in great shape!


How to Help a Child’s Fear of the Dentist

Little girl riding a trike with parents helping from behind.

It is natural for children to be afraid of things that are unfamiliar to them, even something as fun as riding a bike! Is your child afraid of going to the dentist’s office? This is quite a common issue with young patients. Many adults also deal with dental anxiety! The good news is there are plenty of strategies you can try as a parent to help alleviate your child’s fear so they can build healthy dental habits in the years to come.

Stay Positive

When talking about the dentist, make sure you stay positive. Avoid using any scary-sounding words like “pain,” “surgery,” or “drill.” Whether you’re talking about your treatment or your child’s, these words heard by young ears can make the dental office seem pretty frightening. If you’ve had negative dental experiences in the past, be careful about sharing those with your child. You don’t want to pass on your concerns to them.

Play Pretend

Before it’s time for your child to go in for their dental appointment, consider a game of pretend. In the familiarity of your home you can walk them through what they’re going to experience at our Elk Grove office. For example, you can pretend to be a dentist teaching them about their teeth. Show them how to brush and hold up a mirror like dental hygienists normally do. Alternatively, you can let your child pretend to be the dentist who’s taking care of their stuffed animal or doll’s teeth. Either way, they’ll become more familiar with the general process.

Read Dental Books for Kids

Switch up the normal bedtime story routine and read your child a colorful picture book related to dental care. There are lots of children’s books available at public libraries that are designed to show kids how fun and important visiting the dentist is, and what it means to have good oral hygiene. With these fun stories in the back of their mind, a dental visit can seem far less intimidating.

Family Dental Care at Villa Vista Dental

If you’re still having trouble getting your child to feel comfortable at a dental office, please feel free to reach out to us at Villa Vista Dental. We see patients young and old at our inviting Elk Grove practice, and we’re happy to help you figure out the best way to ease your child’s concerns. Call or email us today!

We want your child to feel comfortable at the dentist!


Benefits of Saving Your Natural Tooth Over Extracting It

Graphic showing how a root canal is used to eliminate infection and save the natural tooth.

Long ago, before modern dentistry, simply removing a tooth that caused problems was very common. Thankfully, dentistry has advanced so now we know how to keep teeth strong and healthy. When teeth do suffer from problems like an infection, we try to save the natural tooth instead of extracting it. Why? What are the benefits of saving a natural tooth?

Natural Teeth: There’s Nothing Better

When you have a tooth removed, you can get a replacement, but no matter how good the replacement is, it’s not the same. When a tooth is extracted, it affects the natural structure of your mouth and removes the root. Replacements like dentures and bridges help restore your smile and chewing function, but they don’t replace the root. As a result, your jawbone doesn’t receive stimulation from chewing. Over time, you lose bone density, which leads to other tooth problems and changes in your facial appearance.

What About Dental Implants?

Dental implants replace roots with a biocompatible titanium post, which helps with jaw stimulation. They still aren’t better than a healthy natural tooth, however. The process of getting dental implants also takes a while and they can be costly. If you’ve already lost a tooth, implants are great, but if you still have your natural tooth, we will do what we can to preserve it.

How We Save Teeth

Whenever possible, Dr. Tin will save your natural teeth. A root canal is one of the most common and effective ways to do that. Root canals have a bad reputation, but they are a much better alternative to extraction and they have a high success rate. Thanks to modern dentistry, root canals are not scary anymore. After treatment, you might experience some inflammation or mild discomfort, but it’s nothing compared to what you likely felt before the root canal.

Protecting Your Teeth at Villa Vista Dental

Here at our Elk Grove office, we want to protect your smile and oral health. Saving a natural tooth instead of extracting it is one of the ways we do that. You can keep your teeth strong and healthy with good oral hygiene habits at home and checkups every six months. You may never need a tooth-saving treatment like a root canal, but if you do, we’re here to make the experience as smooth and comfortable as possible. Please contact us today with any questions!

We work hard to protect your smile and oral health!


Electric vs. Manual Toothbrushes

3 cartoon electric toothbrushes on a stage competing for "best toothbrush".
Image by Authority Dental under CC 2.0

Proper brushing is vital to your oral health. When you brush at least twice a day, you remove the sticky plaque and bacteria that cause tooth decay. Is it better to use an electric toothbrush or a regular manual one? Villa Vista Dental in Elk Grove, CA provides a look at some key features and how the toothbrushes compare to each other.

Ease of Use

Electric toothbrushes do more of the work for you. Thanks to a battery-powered motor, the toothbrush head moves quickly. All you need to do is guide the brush around your teeth. Electric brushes are especially useful for people who have limited mobility, like someone with arthritis. With a manual brush, you’re responsible for moving the brush head over each tooth.

Cleaning Power

Research shows that, in general, electric toothbrushes remove more plaque. Most electric brushes also offer a variety of cleaning modes like a deep clean mode, sensitive mode, gum care mode, and so on. A timer on the brush ensures you clean as long as recommended by dentists. This doesn’t mean that manual brushes are ineffective. Proper brushing technique and brushing for two minutes with a manual toothbrush gets your teeth clean. It just takes more attention.

Price

Electric toothbrushes are always more expensive than manual brushes. Some are significantly pricier. You also have to keep buying replacement heads, which can cost more than a manual toothbrush. A possible benefit is that if your oral health significantly improves with an electric toothbrush, you save money on other dental costs like cavity fillings. If your oral health is already great with a manual toothbrush, an electric one may not be worth the cost.

Final Call?

So, what’s the verdict on electric vs. manual toothbrushes? When it comes to ease of use and cleaning power, electric toothbrushes win. On price, manual toothbrushes are better. Manual toothbrushes can also clean just as well as electric brushes if used properly. Whatever you choose to brush with at home, getting regular cleanings and exams at Villa Vista Dental in Elk Grove is important, too. If you have any questions or want to book an appointment with Dr. Tin, please contact us today!

Need help deciding if an electric toothbrush is worth the expense?


Coffee Alternatives to Keep Your Teeth White

A coffee pot on a counter with window in the background and a steaming mug of yerba coffee alternative in the foreground
Image by Erica Ramirez from Pixabay

As dental professionals, we have a love/hate relationship with coffee. Yes, a cup of coffee can give you the energy you need to jump start your day. On the other hand, coffee is notorious for staining teeth. To help protect your pearly whites and your productivity, our Villa Vista Dental team has come up with some coffee alternatives to keep your teeth white.

Searching for a Coffee Alternative? There’s a Long List to Choose From!

White tea, yerba mate, and rooibos are great coffee alternatives that won’t stain your teeth. White tea comes from the same plant as green tea, but is minimally processed to preserve its health benefits. As an added bonus, research shows that white tea may also prevent cavities and gum disease!

Yerba mate is a naturally caffeinated coffee alternative from South America. It is full of antioxidants and pleasant to sip on without worrying about staining your teeth. Rooibos is another great alternative to coffee. Steep a nice cup of rooibos and enjoy the nutty flavor with peace of mind that your teeth are protected.

Even if you don’t care for tea, there are countless other coffee alternatives that can put a pep in your step during the morning. Former coffee drinkers swear by golden milk, lemon water, kombucha, and even apple cider vinegar as excellent substitutes for morning coffee.

But If You Must Drink Coffee…

If you truly can’t do without your morning coffee, there are some things you can do to mitigate its staining power. After you drink your coffee, follow it with some water to rinse your mouth. Some research shows that using a straw can also help minimize stains. No matter what, keep up with your regular at-home hygiene routine. Brushing your teeth twice daily for two minutes each time and flossing each day will help protect your pearly whites and your smile.

Preventive Care in Elk Grove, CA

Let Villa Vista Dental help you keep your smile in great shape with regular preventive care visits and professional cleanings. And if your teeth are already a little stained and need whitening, we can help with that too! To ask our team any questions about caring for your oral health or to schedule your next appointment, call our office today!

Schedule an appointment for preventive care at Villa Vista Dental in Elk Grove, CA.


5 Causes of Tooth Discoloration

woman wearing a hoodie smoking a cigarette

You know that taking good care of your teeth is all about keeping good habits. But what about bad habits? There may be ways that you’re sabotaging your oral health without even realizing it. Several habits can lead to problems like discoloration that can be hard to treat or reverse. Here are a few habits that you should avoid if you want to maintain bright, white teeth.

1. Using Tobacco Products

Smoking and using chewing tobacco is a quick way to stain teeth and cause discoloration. These products contain particles that will stick to the teeth and create a brownish hue. Not only that, cigarettes and tobacco products can cause oral and lung cancers. We recommend quitting as soon as possible if you use these.

2. Staining Beverages

Coffee, tea, and wine are some of the most popular beverages consumed by American adults. The problem is that they can also cause a lot of extrinsic staining on your teeth. That means that the dark tint these drinks create stay on the enamel, or outer layer of the teeth. If you’re not ready to give up your favorite morning or evening drink, try drinking them through a straw. This will reduce the chances of staining. When you do drink coffee, wine, and tea, be sure to drink plenty of water to rinse and brush teeth after if possible.

3. Abrasive Tooth Cleaning Products

“Natural” whitening products like charcoal toothpaste, baking soda, or fruit can create irreversible staining by eroding the enamel of the teeth. Unlike extrinsic staining, this type of staining is harder to fix. We recommend avoiding these types of products for tooth cleaning. If you’re interested in having your teeth whitened, let us know. We are happy to talk to you about professional whitening.

4. Bad Brushing Technique

Forgetting to brush or not brushing correctly is a surefire way to stain teeth. Be sure to brush your teeth twice a day for at least two minutes each day. We recommend using a soft-bristled brush. Many people brush their teeth too hard. This can also lead to enamel erosion and staining that’s difficult to correct. Brush gently and in circular motions.

5. Ditching the Dentist

Not prioritizing your biannual dental appointments will not only contribute to discoloration and staining, but it will also increase your chances of developing cavities, plaque and gingivitis. Coming in for regular cleanings is necessary for a bright, healthy smile.

Interested in Whitening Options?

Call today if it’s time to set up a checkup. Let us know at your appointment if you’re interested in whitening options for your teeth. We have solutions to help you achieve your brightest smile!

Want to avoid tooth discoloration?