Signs You May Need Root Canal Therapy

Brunette man with facial hair in a gray shirt strokes his chin while wondering if he needs root canal therapy

For some, just hearing that you might need root canal therapy is enough to cause a toothache. But how do you know that you may need to get one? Here are some of the warning signs to look out for.

Why Would I Need Root Canal Treatment?

Root canal therapy is required when the pulp, the innermost soft layer of a tooth, becomes damaged or infected. The cause of this could be advanced decay or even serious trauma to the tooth such as a bad chip, break, or a bad crown. Additionally, if you’ve had a lot of dental work done around the tooth, it might have sustained enough damage to require root canal treatment.

How Do I Know If I Need Root Canal Therapy?

Common warning signs that indicate you need root canal treatment include severe and throbbing pain (especially when you apply pressure on the tooth), your tooth becoming darker, extreme sensitivity, and swelling around the tooth.

The Root Canal Therapy Procedure

After we have determined that you require root canal therapy, we will first numb the area around your tooth so you won’t feel any pain during your procedure. We will then remove the infected pulp from your tooth and clean out the canals to remove all traces of infection and damage from the area. After the tooth is cleaned out and free of infection, we’ll fill the canals with a special material called gutta-percha to strengthen the tooth and ward off future infection. Then, the area will be fortified with a filling or dental crown, depending on the extent of the damage.

How to Prevent Root Canal Therapy

In order to prevent root canal treatment, it is important to maintain exceptional oral health habits. Brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes each time, floss daily, brush your tongue every day, stay hydrated with water, chew only sugar-free gum, consume a balanced diet, and come visit our Villa Vista Dental team for cleanings and exams twice a year, even if your teeth seem perfectly healthy.

Don’t Delay Receiving Treatment

If you are feeling pain, sensitivity, or discomfort, don’t wait to see a dentist. It’s better to catch things as early as possible to prevent further damage.

Schedule a checkup today!


Dental Implants vs. Veneers

Man and woman with dental implants and veneers smile as they cuddle on the couch with orange mugs

Dental implants and veneers are increasingly common dental procedures, but patients are often uncertain which one is best for them. Simply put, dental implants are intended to solve an oral health problem, while veneers are intended to solve merely a cosmetic problem. In this article, we give an overview of both dental implants and veneers, and summarize the benefits of each.

Dental Implants

When teeth are missing or removed, the only options are to do nothing or to add artificial replacement teeth. Traditionally, replacing teeth has been accomplished with dental bridges or dentures. But dental implants are now recognized as the superior option for a permanent solution. They serve as artificial tooth roots, with a biocompatible titanium rod being surgically inserted into the jawbone to bond with the natural bone. Then, an “abutment” is connected to the top of the dental implant that serves to hold an artificial crown, which is custom-made to match the look and feel of your natural teeth.

Benefits

Not only are modern dental implants the strongest and most realistic option to replace teeth, but they require virtually no more maintenance than regular teeth. They are also the only tooth replacement option that actually helps stimulate bone growth to prevent bone loss.

Veneers

Dental veneers are thin pieces of tooth-colored porcelain that are cemented to the front surfaces of natural teeth. They offer a permanent solution to many cosmetic dental issues, such as teeth that are misshapen, discolored, or otherwise imperfect. Gapped teeth or crooked teeth are typically treated with braces or other orthodontic treatments, but veneers can often accomplish the same cosmetic effect. Of course, it doesn’t correct the underlying condition, but the cosmetic flaws are rendered invisible.

Benefits

Veneers are designed to look just the way you want, so you can create your dream smile! Additionally, being stain-resistant, veneers offer a permanent way to whiten your smile. There’s never any need for whitening treatments!

If you have any questions about dental implants or veneers, contact us today to set up a consultation at Villa Vista Dental!


Root Canal Therapy Explained

woman looking up information about root canal therapy on laptop

If the Internet is any indication, there’s nothing more terrifying than a diagnosis that requires a root canal, but the fact of the matter is this is simply not the case. In the interest of easing your anxiety, we’d like to demystify the process of root canal therapy. Villa Vista Dental’s Dr. Tin believes that the more you know, the more comfortable you’ll feel, and this is especially true in regards to root canals.

What Is Root Canal Therapy?

Endodontic therapy, also known as root canal therapy, is a multistep restorative dental procedure that removes infection and protects the affected tooth from future bacterial infection. Root canal therapy allows Dr. Tin to clean and seal off the space inside the tooth that holds the nerve. There’s no need to be worried about getting a root canal: millions of teeth are saved by this procedure every year. It’s also very similar to a routine filling as it’s relatively painless and very effective. Root canal therapy is just the thing to get you smiling (and biting and chewing) again!

Why Would I Need a Root Canal?

A root canal procedure is necessary when the pulp, the soft tissue inside the tooth’s root canal becomes inflamed or infected. Untreated inflamed pulp can cause pain, lead to an abscess, and even require a premature extraction of the tooth. Check out our root canal page to see some of signs that you might need a root canal.

How Is a Root Canal Performed?

First, Dr. Tin will administer local anesthesia to numb the tooth. It’s common to feel a small pinch, but not to worry, it’s only a small pinch. Once the tooth is numb, Dr. Tin will place a “dental dam,” usually a small protective sheet, to help isolate the area and keep it clean and dry during the procedure.

Next, Dr. Tin will use very small instruments to make a hole in the tooth’s crown to clean the irritated pulp from the tooth’s chamber and root canals. He will also use a small file to shape the inner chamber of the tooth to make room for the filling. He might flush it with water to remove any remaining pulp and/or treat the chamber with an antibacterial solution to kill any remaining bacteria and reduce the risk of future infection.

Once the chamber is clean and dry, Dr. Tin will fill it. After it’s filled, he can then place a crown over the hole in the tooth. Since Villa Vista Dental is equipped with CEREC® same-day dentistry technology, your permanent crown can be milled, placed, and polished that very same day.

If you are worried that you might need a root canal, your best course of action is to make an appointment with Dr. Tin at Villa Vista Dental in Elk Grove. He will make sure you get the appropriate treatment, whether or not that’s a root canal. As with many restorative dental procedures, prompt attention increases the likelihood of success, so contact us today!

Don’t wait to get the dental care you need for a healthy smile!


The Evolution of Dental Implants

illustration of dental implant placed between teeth

It seems like for almost as long as people have been losing teeth, people have been trying to fix the problem. Do you remember being told that George Washington, our first President, had wooden teeth? Although the wooden teeth are a myth, President Washington did have poor dental hygiene and he experimented with an early type of dental implants, dental transplants made of ivory, human teeth, and metal fasteners. Believe it or not, that isn’t even the earliest example of dental implants.

Early Evidence of Dental Implants

Archeologists have discovered evidence of early dental implants dating back as far as 600 A.D. Ancient Mayans were discovered with seashells and carved stones embedded in their jaws. Thankfully, we’ve come very far since those days. Even in the past fifty years we have made leaps and bounds in the evolution of dental implants, thanks to ingenuity and modern technology.

The Osseointegration Breakthrough

The 1930’s led to a major breakthrough. Brothers and dentists, Drs. Alvin and Moses Strock discovered the best way to ensure that the body accepts the foreign material and reduce the risk of infection is to place the implants into the bone. This discovery, termed osseointegration, was the major step forward in modern dental implants. Osseointegration literally means ‘bone’ (osseo) ‘fusion’ (integration) and leads to the combining a biocompatible material with living bone.

Introducing Titanium

Titanium came on to the dental implant scene in the 1950’s and revolutionized the science of dental implants. Titanium posts fuse directly with bone, creating a strong foundation for replacement teeth (mimicking the natural teeth root) that allows the crowns to be placed over them. This makes dental implants as close to natural teeth as you can get.

Advancements in Imaging

Since the advent of titanium for dental implants, improved imaging technology and software have led to further advancements. Dr. Tin at Villa Vista Dental takes pride in staying on the leading edge of all these developments. For example, thanks to new innovations in dental implants, Dr. Tin can stabilize loose dentures with mini implants in one day, replacing an entire row of teeth so that you can go home and use them to enjoy your dinner that very night!

Check out our implant page to read more and watch videos to learn more! If you’re missing teeth or struggling with ill-fitting dentures, dental implants could be your answer to give you the ability to eat, speak, and laugh with confidence again.

Email us or call our office today to schedule a consultation!


Are Dental Implants Right for Me?

illustration of dental implant being placed

If you are missing one or more of your natural teeth, you may be wondering, “Are dental implants right for me?” Due to recent advancements in technology, the answer is most likely YES! Almost anyone who is missing teeth is a candidate for dental implants.

What are dental implants?

Dental implants are posts, usually made of titanium, that serve as replacements for the natural tooth root. The dental implant is placed into the jaw in place of the natural tooth root, so that it can fuse with the jawbone to create a sturdy foundation for the replacement tooth or teeth.

Before dental implants, bridges, dentures, and crowns were the traditional fixes for missing teeth. However, they can be difficult to maintain and they lose their effectiveness over time. Dental implants are often considered the closest you can get to your natural teeth, and they allow you to eat, talk, and smile with confidence.

Want to learn more? Read more and watch videos on our dental implants page!

Am I a candidate for dental implants?

Good oral health is vital to the success of dental implants. The health of the gums and jawbone is also important. A candidate for dental implants must have enough bone to support the post. If your tooth has been missing for a while, the surrounding bone may have shrunk. In these cases, Dr. Tin might suggest a bone graft to rebuild the bone for successful placement of the dental implant.

Patients who smoke or use tobacco should be make sure the team at Villa Vista know before initiating a dental implant procedure as tobacco use can slow healing. Patients with chronic illnesses, like diabetes or leukemia, should also be cautious about dental implants as chronic illnesses impact the healing and can cause an increased risk of infection.

If you are considering dental implants, give us a call at Villa Vista Dental today! Dr. Tin will determine if you are a candidate for dental implants and go over the whole process with you.

Call or email us to schedule your appointment today!