What to Expect from a Root Canal

If you have recently visited the dentist and require a root canal, you may be scared and fearful as to what is to come. Most everyone does not like going to the dentist and can easily become afraid of treatment needed to do the unknown. By learning more about this procedure, you will be able to feel more secure as you arrive at the dentist to complete the procedure.

Root Canal

This type of treatment is provided by a dentist for a variety of reasons, including a cracked tooth, an injury to a tooth or a deep cavity. A root canal will remove the pulp of the tooth, the threadlike tissue that is located at the center of the tooth. Once the tooth pulp is dead, has a disease or damaged, it will require removal. The space that remains after the pulp has been removed will be cleaned, then shaped and filled. The root canal is sealed off and you will no longer feel uncomfortable or pain.

A tooth that has a pulp issue can become infected. If the tooth is left untreated it can lead to pus buildup. The pus can then form an abscess on the tooth. This will destroy the bone that surrounds the tooth and cause you to feel pain.

The Procedure

If you have never had a root canal, then you may be wondering how it is completed. The treatment type has several steps. You may need to visit the dentist a few times before the procedure will be complete. First, the dentist will review your issue and tell you that a root canal is needed. The first portion of the treatment is to create an opening at the back of a front tooth, or within the crown of a molar. This is where the diseased pulp will be removed.

The dentist will complete a pulpectomy which will see the pulp removed. The chamber where the pulp was located and the root canals are then cleaned. The dentist will enlarge the area and shape it to prepare for filling.

If you will be required to visit the dentist more than one time, a temporary filling will be placed on the affected tooth. This protects the tooth between your dental visits. When you arrive back at the dentist, the temporary filling will be removed and then the tooth filled permanently. A specific material is placed inside the root canal to protect the tooth.

The final step of the process is a crown. This will help to restore the shape and appearance of the tooth. In some cases, a post might be required to help build up space for the crown to be added.

A tooth that is treated with a root canal should last a lifetime, as long as it is properly cared for. Treated teeth can still be subject to tooth decay, so be sure to take care of your oral hygiene with proper brushing and flossing daily.

Winn Family Dentistry offers root canal services along with a host of other treatment options. Schedule an appointment today if experiencing any tooth pain that might be associated with root canal needs.

Teeth Whitening: What Are the Options?

Everyone wants to have a bright white smile, but it is not always obtainable. Over time, teeth can become stained due to the foods and drinks we consume. Coffee, wine and other items can stain the teeth which creates a yellowing appearance. Thankfully, there are products and services available today that will help to brighten a smile, but what should you use? What are the best options that will produce the whitest smile?

Who Qualifies for Teeth Whitening?

Individuals who have healthy and unrestored teeth and gums will be able to use teeth whitening agents to brighten their smile. Teeth that have yellow tones will respond best to treatment options. However, with so many options available, it is important to consult with your dentist to make sure you are a candidate for the treatment you wish to use.

Using over the counter products can work, but it can also be harmful to your teeth. There are trusted products on offer by top-name dental brands as well as unknown brands offering the same products. Learning more about your options will ensure you do not use anything dangerous or cause unwanted harm to your teeth.

Whitening Toothpaste

One of the simpler formats of teeth whitening is a whitening toothpaste. These toothpastes have a polishing or chemical agent that will help to remove stains. These products do not have bleach in them and simply work to remove stains helping to bring back the original coloring of the teeth.

Whitening Gels and Strips

Another option is gels and strips, a product that is applied to the surface of the teeth to provide whitening. The product will contain peroxide for whitening and the amount of this chemical will vary depending on what you buy. When using such products, you must be careful and follow the directions exactly. Results usually begin to appear in the first few days and will last for a few months before the product needs to be reapplied.

In-Office Whitening

While there are many whitening products available on the market today, the best solution is the in-office option provided by your dentist. This is a quick way to effectively use bleach to whiten the teeth. The product is applied directly to the teeth and is used in combination with a special light or laser and heat. Results will be seen in one treatment that can last from 30 to 60 minutes.

For dramatic results, a patient will need to visit their dentist on a regular basis, setting up appointments for multiple treatments. The first treatment will show a dramatic result but to maintain the whitening look, additional appointments are needed.

If you are interested in whitening your teeth, speak with your dentist. Having your teeth reviewed and knowing your dental history can help the dentist to provide the best treatment for your individual whitening needs. At Winn Family Dentistry, teeth whitening services are provided, helping you to achieve that bright white smile you seek! Contact the office today to schedule a teeth whitening appointment.

Teeth Grinding: Can A Night Guard Really Help?

Most people grind their teeth at some point in time in their life, but the issue is not severe enough to create a health issue. However, there are individuals who grind their teeth so severely that they can have teeth issues in the future, including cracking, jaw pain, morning headaches, and other problems. Known as bruxism, teeth grinding that is severe needs to be treated to ensure the individual does not have issues in the future. It can be difficult to stop grinding your teeth on your own. A common way to stop is to use a night guard when sleeping.

Teeth Grinding

An individual who suffers from teeth grinding will have a habit of clenching the teeth in a tight fashion or rubbing them together. Grinding can happen during the daytime hours but for the most part, it occurs in the nighttime when sleeping. This is what makes the issue so serious because you have no physical control over what you do at night.

For most people, they are unaware of any grinding until they are told by someone else. Someone else hears the teeth grinding and then makes the individual aware. Children can grind their teeth at a young age but usually outgrow the act as they age, causing no harm to the teeth.

Whether you are grinding your teeth as an adult or have a child that has begun to grind theirs, it is important to be evaluated by a dentist. This way, the severity of the issue can be discovered, and a night guard or other treatment recommended.

What is a Mouth Guard?

A mouth guard is a plastic retainer that will cover your bottom or top teeth. The guard will be made specifically for your mouth and will help to cushion and guard your teeth against the force that happens when teeth are clenched. The guard will help to prevent your teeth from grinding together, thus stopping any future cracking, headaches, and other teeth grinding symptoms.

A night guard is created after the dentist takes a mold of your mouth. This will ensure the guard fits your teeth perfectly. Night guards can be purchased at a pharmacy but will not have an exact fit and can feel uncomfortable during sleep. With a customized guard, your teeth will be protected and you will be able to sleep with the guard in your mouth with ease.

Additional Treatment Options

Other than a night guard, there are other ways to stop teeth grinding. When teeth are not straight it can lead to grinding. Straightening the teeth with braces can help to stop malocclusion which can attribute to grinding.

Anxiety can also play a role in teeth grinding. The dentist may suggest that you use relaxation methods such as mediation to help you relax before bed to avoid grinding.

Is Your Dental Hygiene Up to Par?

When it comes to your teeth and gums, are you taking care of your mouth as you should be? If you are like most people, then the answer is no. Brushing your teeth each morning does not guarantee that your mouth is clean and healthy. Learning a few simple tips can ensure that your teeth and gums stay healthy, preparing you for quality oral health in the future.

Proper Brushing

Have you ever considered your brushing technique? If you are using the bristles for only a few seconds, then your teeth are not cleaned well. You should be holding your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle and use short motions going back and forth. Clean the sides, front and back of the teeth. You should also brush your teeth at least two times a day for two minutes each time. Start a timer to help with the length of time.

Flossing and Mouthwash

Most people also forget or avoid using floss and mouthwash. Without these two components, food particles, as well as bacteria, can remain in your mouth. When flossing, remove a portion of floss that is around 18 inches long to help you use clean floss for every few teeth. Use a quality mouthwash that is approved by the American Dental Association to ensure your mouth is rinsed with a good product.

Cleaning Your Toothbrush

It is also important to remember to clean your toothbrush. A toothbrush needs to be cleaned regularly and avoid using a covering. When you cover your toothbrush, you can see bacteria growth and then when you use it, the bacteria get into your mouth. After you brush your teeth, be sure to rinse your toothbrush and allow it to air dry.

For all your teeth health needs, rely on Winn Family Dentistry. With quality service options, your teeth can be cleaned, and quality suggestions made for home care.

Dental Emergencies: How to Handle Common Tooth Injuries

With brushing and flossing, we take care of our teeth daily in order to have a bright and healthy smile. But no matter how much we care for our teeth, accidents can happen. From unfortunate injuries to accidents, teeth can be broken or knocked out, leading to the need for emergency assistance. Learning what to do in the event of a dental emergency will help you to hopefully save your tooth and receive the medical care needed.

Common Types of Mouth Injuries

Both kids and adults can experience common mouth injuries. Teeth can be cracked, broken or knocked out due to contact sports, biting down on food, or other regular activities. The severity of the injury will determine if emergency service is needed as well as the location of the tooth. When dealing with a chipped tooth or a minor fracture, the situation should be manageable during the next business day.

However, if a major crack or large portion of the tooth is missing, it requires immediate assistance. You will also need to contact the dental emergency hotline if the tooth has been knocked out completely or has nerve damage. You want to handle the tooth correctly, so the dentist can work on it when you arrive at the office.

If a tooth is knocked out completely, handle it with care. If you can put the tooth back in the socket and bit down on gauze, it will help when you arrive. If you cannot do this but have the tooth, rinse it off and place in a milk or some of your saliva to keep it ready for use when you arrive at the dentist. You will need to use a cold compress on the area to stop bleeding from the tooth socket.

If you have a partially dislodged tooth, contact your dentist right away. Use a cold compress to relieve pain while you head to the dentist office. Over the counter pain meds can be taken to help with the pain until you can be seen by the dentist.

Not So Serious Emergencies

Just as there are dental emergencies that require you to see the dentist right away, there are issues that can wait. When an object becomes stuck between your teeth, it is not an emergency. Use floss at home to try and remove the lodged item. If you cannot get the object out with floss, schedule an appointment with your dentist the next business day.
A toothache is another issue that can usually wait until the dentist office is open normal hours. With a toothache, be sure to rinse your mouth with warm water and use floss to remove any food that may be lodged near the tooth. If you have swelling, use a cold compress outside the mouth. Schedule an appointment to have the tooth inspected by the dentist as soon as you can.

Overall, it is important to contact your dentist when a tooth emergency occurs, such as a knocked out or partially dislodged tooth. At Winn Family Dentistry, after hours services are available to ensure that you have the proper treatment needed to restore your smile when an accident or injury occurs.

Children’s Oral Health: Why Choose a Pediatric Dentist?

When becoming a parent, it soon becomes clear that we must teach our children how to be healthy. We want our kids to be productive and live long and happy lives. Part of being healthy includes oral cleaning of the teeth and gums. Without proper teeth health, children can have issues as adults, such as tooth decay. Part of oral health needs includes visiting a dentist. Once a child’s teeth begin to come in, they will be ready to start their dental habits. Choosing a pediatric dentist is one of the best ways to ensure your child is comfortable with dental visits.

Pediatric Care

Pedodontics is the branch of dentistry that focuses on child care. Dentists who train in this area will have to complete two additional years of training and sometimes three in order to be ready to begin their practice as a pediatric dentist. A dentist with this schooling knows how to treat all conditions that kids can face as well as having the right demeanor to help your child feel comfortable.

Pediatric dentists also have to meet separate standards than a general dentist, plus must learn how to address the specific needs of children and teenagers, which includes dental sealants and fluoride treatments.

Specialized Treatments

A pediatric dentist will be able to offer specialized treatments for your child’s dental needs. This will include oral exams for infants, relaxation medications for treatments, emergency dental care and more. Children need particular care due to their unease of the dentist or fear of the unknown. With the help of a quality pediatric dentist, your child can feel at ease and even look forward to their appointments.

At Winn Family Dentistry, pediatric care is offered to ensure every child has the proper care they need for quality oral health.

Quick Family Guide to Oral Health

As a parent, you want to ensure that your family has clean and healthy teeth and gums. You practice good oral hygiene by brushing your teeth and flossing, but is there more you can do? Below are a few tips to help you to focus on clean teeth and gums with proper oral health care habits.

Proper Teeth Brushing

Even though you have been brushing your teeth for many years, you might not be doing it the right way. At least two minutes must be dedicated to brushing the teeth, two times a day. It is best to brush in the morning as soon as you wake up and at night before bed. Be sure to floss as well to remove any stuck food particles or bacteria.

Limiting Sweets

Sweets affect the teeth in a negative manner, so one should always limit the number of sweets eaten each day. Snacks should be healthy and sugary options limited to ensure the teeth are not affected by too much sugar. If you do have a sugary treat, be sure to brush and wash out your mouth to avoid any stuck-on sugar.

Juice and soft drinks can also be an issue when it comes to sugar and starches in the mouth. Sugar and starch help to create plague which can be damaging to the teeth and gums. With too many sweets or sugary drinks, you are exposing your teeth to the possibility of tooth decay, which is something you want to avoid.

Regular Checkups

Along with brushing and flossing your teeth, plus avoiding too much starch and sugar is ensuring that you see a dentist regularly. Every member of your family needs to go to the dentist for cleanings as well as any time an issue arises. This way, the teeth are cleaned properly and treated if any oral health concerns are present.

Contact us today for all your oral health needs. We can easily set up an appointment for service to get you on the right track for healthy teeth and gums.

Teaching Teens About Dental Health

When you become a parent, your focus is always on the health of your child. From the time your baby develops teeth, you begin to teach them about oral health and quality cleaning habits. Over time, your child begins to brush and floss their teeth on their own. You rely on your child to do their very best, but they can easily begin to slack, especially during their teenage years. Even once your kids are teens, it is important to continue to speak to them about oral care, providing tips here and there to ensure a bright, white smile.

Important Points

Your teen needs to be brushing their teeth twice a day along with flossing. A fluoride toothpaste needs to be used to remove plaque build-up on the teeth. Teach your teen that as plaque builds up on the teeth, it can create gum disease and tooth decay. Flossing is also important as it removes plaque from the gumline as well as from in-between teeth.

Teens need to limit their intake of sugary and starchy foods, particularly snacks that are sticky. The sugar can stick to the teeth and cause a build-up which can lead to tooth decay. Provide healthy snacks to your teens and teach them how their food choices affect their teeth as well as overall health.

It is also important to schedule regular dental visits, so your teen can have their teeth cleaned every six months. Find a dentist that your teen can relate to, helping them to look forward to appointments rather than dreading them.

Special Dental Needs

It is during the teenage years that special dental needs may arise. During the pre-teen and teenage years, the teeth can begin to crowd or shift. Orthodontics may come in to play and this is something you should speak to your teen about. Talk about how braces can be used to fix crooked or crowded teeth, so in the future, their smile will be straight.

If your teen ends up with crowded teeth or a crooked issue, an evaluation by an orthodontist will help to determine if braces can help and if so, what type should be used.

Oral piercing should also be avoided. If your child has started asking for an oral piercing, teach them more about how such a piercing can cause complications, including an infection in the mouth or nerve damage. Any metal jewelry in the mouth can crack or chip teeth, even damaging the gums. By talking to a dentist about an oral piercing, teens can see how the piercing will affect mouth health.

Whiter Teeth

As a teen, many kids want to have a whiter smile. There are whitening tools that can be used such as toothpaste or professional methods that will brighten your teen’s smile. Have your child ask questions about teeth whitening and what can be done to help brighten teeth. Eating or drinking habits may need to change as well as a whitening toothpaste or treatment provided by the dentist.

Contact us today to learn more about teen oral health and schedule an appointment for cleaning and evaluation.

Oral Health: How Lifestyle Choices Can Affect Teeth and Gums

To keep your teeth and gums healthy, you brush and floss daily as well as see your dentist for cleanings. But did you know that there are lifestyle decisions that you can make that also affect your oral health? From poor sleep to smoking, there are ways that you are affected your mouth health that you may not be aware of. Learning more will help you to make the right decisions when it comes to your teeth and gums.

Healthy Diet is Important

A healthy diet is important for overall health, but did you know that your teeth are affected too? It is important to eat plenty of vegetables and fruit as well as starchy foods like pasta, potatoes, bread, etc, in wholegrain versions. Protein should also be included with fish, beans, meat, and eggs, along with some dairy. One should avoid fat and sugar if possible so that teeth and gums remain healthy. The vitamins and minerals provided in such foods assist with oral health.

Avoiding Tooth Decay with Reduced Sugar Intake

Limiting the amount of sugar you drink as well as eat is essential in preventing tooth decay. Drinks and foods we eat are high in sugar and can negatively affect the teeth and gums. The sugar sticks to the teeth and gums and creates bacteria. This bacteria then sits on the teeth is not properly cleaned and turns in to tooth decay.

Such items to eat in moderation include:

  • Sweets like candy and cakes
  • Sugary drinks such as soft drinks, alcohol, fizzy drinks, etc.
  • Fruit juice
  • Sugary breakfast cereal
  • Ice cream
  • Syrups
  • Smoking

Any smoker already knows that the choice to smoke is bad for one’s overall health. It also affects the teeth and gums. When you smoke, the teeth will become yellow and the risk of gum disease is increased. Smokers tend to face oral cancer in the future or have issues with their teeth due to gum disease. The best way to avoid any problem is to stop smoking altogether.

Playing Sports

If you play sports or have children that do, it is important to protect the teeth. Enjoying sports is part of many lifestyles and something that can be harmful to the teeth. When playing sports such as football or hockey, a mouthguard is recommended. With a mouthguard, the teeth are protected from impact if tackled or knocked during gameplay.

Wearing a guard ensures the teeth are protected and not chipped or broken during impact. Discuss with your dentist what type of guard will work based on the sport you or your child plays.

Overall, it is important to make good decisions when it comes to oral health. Eat a balanced diet and avoid sugary drinks and foods. Take care of your teeth by not smoking and wearing protective gear when playing impact sports.

Contact us today to learn more about how you can make smart lifestyle decisions to have healthy teeth and gums.

Do I Need a Root Canal?

If you are having difficulty with a tooth, you may be wondering if you are in need of a root canal. This dental procedure is performed when the pulp of the tooth or the nerve becomes infected and swollen. This happens due to tooth decay or when a tooth is injured or cracked. Understanding more about the procedure and consulting with your dentist will help determine if a root canal is the right path for your tooth issues.

Symptoms of a Root Canal

There are symptoms associated with a root canal that you can be on the lookout for. If your experiencing tooth pain, the issue could involve the root of the tooth. Pain can range from mild to severe. The pain may lower in intensity during the day and get worse when you bite with the tooth. Sensitivity to hot or cold drinks or foods may also occur. The gums around the tooth may begin to swell or feel tender to the touch.

Contacting Your Dentist

If you are experiencing any of the symptoms associated, it is important to contact your dentist. Discovering the problem early on will ensure that the proper procedure or treatment will be provided so that the issue can be handled as quickly as possible with no further damage to other teeth. The severity of your symptoms will determine if you need to be seen right away or if an appointment will be made within the next few days.

During the appointment, the tooth will be examined, and x-rays are taken to be able to determine the underlying cause. Once the examination is complete, the dentist will be able to tell you if your issue requires a root canal or other procedure.

With a root canal, an endodontist will need to be seen. This type of dentist is an individual who treats the nerves of the teeth.

The Process

When a root canal is needed, an appointment will be scheduled for the procedure. The procedure involves local anesthesia applied to the tooth for numbing. Small tools are then used by the dentist to access the inside of the tooth. Damage and diseased pulp are removed from inside the tooth and irrigation used to wash away any pulp that remains.
After the area inside the tooth has been cleaned the hole created is then filled with a temporary filing. A permanent crown will be added in the coming weeks. Once the permanent crown is in place, the tooth is restored. Depending on the nature of the existing tooth, a supporting post might need to be added to help create more stability for the new crown.

If you are experiencing any pain or unusual feeling in your teeth, it is important to visit the dentist as soon as you can. This way, the issue can be discovered, and the proper treatment provided before any other issues are created.

Contact our office today to schedule an appointment if you are experiencing any tooth pain that might require a root canal or other treatment.