As a practice, we are true believers that preventative care and education are the keys to optimal dental health. We strive to provide “dental health care” vs. “disease care”. That’s why we focus on thorough exams – checking the overall health of your teeth and gums, performing oral cancer exams, and taking x-rays when necessary. We also know that routine cleanings, flossing, sealants, and fluoride are all helpful in preventing dental disease. Not only are we focused on the beauty of your smile, we’re also concerned about your overall health.
The mouth is a vulnerable entry point for bacteria - the same bacteria that are associated with serious medical conditions such as oral cancer, heart disease, stroke, osteoporosis, respiratory problems and pre-term low-birth weight babies. In addition, when the body has to cope with oral infections, it makes it susceptible to other health challenges. For instance dental problems can cause headaches, face pain, and have an affect on sleeping patterns, appetite and mood.
Root Canal Treatment
Root Canal treatment deals with disorders of the tooth nerve, or pulp. It used to be that a tooth with a diseased or infected nerve had to be removed. In virtually all cases today, we believe in saving the tooth. A root canal becomes necessary when the tooth pulp becomes irritated and infected. Bacteria grow within the pulp, causing pressure and pain which can be accompanied by swelling of the face. If left, the bacteria will eventually destroy the pulp, and the bone surrounding the tooth may become infected and abscessed, leading to the destruction of the bone around the tooth.
The root canal procedure involves removal of the diseased pulp, sterilization of the tooth interior and finally filling and sealing the tooth to restore chewing function.
Dental caries (tooth decay) often occurs in the chewing surfaces of back teeth. However, your dentist can help prevent or reduce the incidence of decay by applying sealants.
What causes decay?
Decay is caused by dental plaque, a thin, sticky colorless deposit of bacteria that constantly forms on everyone’s teeth. When sugar is eaten, the bacteria in plaque produce acids that attach to the tooth enamel. After repeated acid attacks, the enamel breaks down, and a cavity (hole) is formed in the tooth.
What is a Sealant?
A sealant is a clear plastic material that is applied to the chewing surfaces of the back teeth (premolars and molars), where decay occurs most often. The sealant acts as a barrier, protecting the decay-prone areas of the teeth from plaque and acid. The application of the sealant material takes only a few minutes to seal. Generally, a single application is sufficient per tooth but the tooth will be monitored at regular check-ups to ensure that reapplication is not necessary.