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Posts for: March, 2017

By Michael J. Tisdelle DDS
March 29, 2017
Category: Dental Procedures

Tooth decay can wreak more havoc than just producing cavities. It can work its way into the innermost parts of the tooth — the pulp and tiny passageways called root canals that lead to the tooth's connection with the bone.

If that happens, you'll need more than “drilling and filling.” Without intervention, your tooth could be lost. That intervention is a root canal treatment, a procedure that removes the infection from within the tooth and preserves it from re-infection.

You've probably heard the old belief that root canal treatments are painful. With modern anesthetic techniques to deaden pain, that's not true. In fact, root canal treatments stop the pain caused by infected nerves within the pulp and root canals. More importantly, it saves your tooth.

Root canals can be performed by a general dentist. More extensive decay or complex root canal networks may require the services of an endodontist, a dentist who specializes in root canal anatomy and treatments. Endodontists have advanced techniques and equipment to handle even the most difficult case.

Regardless of who performs it, the basic procedure is the same, as is the goal: to completely remove all diseased tissue within the tooth and seal it with a special filling to prevent re-infection. To access the diseased pulp, we first drill an access hole, usually in the biting surface of a back tooth or the back of a front tooth. We then use specialized instruments to remove the infected tissue and flush out the space with antibacterial solutions.

We then insert a filling called gutta percha into the empty pulp chamber and root canals, seal off the filling with adhesive cement, and close the access hole with filling. These fillings and sealants prevent bacteria from reentering the tooth. For added protection against infection and fracturing, we also recommend placing a full-coverage dental crown. This also enhances the appearance of the tooth, which must be modified during the root canal procedure.

The end result: your once endangered tooth has been preserved for hopefully many years to come. So if we recommend you undergo a root canal treatment, don't wait — the tooth you save may be your own.

If you would like more information on root canal treatment, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation.

By Michael J. Tisdelle DDS
March 14, 2017
Category: Dental Procedures

When the multi-platinum recording artist, songwriter and TV personality Jason Derulo was recently asked about his ideal woman, his answer covered a remarkably broad spectrum. "There’s no specific thing," he said, "so I think it’s unfair to say what my ‘type’ is." But it turns out that there is one thing the So You Think You Can Dance judge considers essential: A beautiful smile.

"I’m not into messy teeth," Derulo said. "If the grill has spaces and different colors, it’s not my vibe."

As it turns out, he may be on to something: A number of surveys have indicated that a bright, healthy smile is often the first thing people notice when meeting someone new. Yet many are reluctant to open up that big grin because they aren’t satisfied with the way their teeth look. If you’re one of them, consider this: Modern cosmetic dentistry offers a variety of ways to improve your smile — and it may be easier and more affordable than you think.

For example, if your smile isn’t as bright as you would like it to be, teeth whitening is an effective and economical way to lighten it up. If you opt for in-office treatments, you can expect a lightening effect of up to 10 shades in a single one-hour treatment! Or, you can achieve the same effect in a week or two with a take-home kit we can custom-make for you. Either way, you’ll be safe and comfortable being treated under the supervision of a dental professional — and the results can be expected to last for up to two years, or perhaps more.

If your teeth have minor spacing irregularities, small chips or cracks, it may be possible to repair them in a single office visit via cosmetic bonding. In this process, a liquid composite resin is applied to the teeth and cured (hardened) with a special light. This high-tech material, which comes in colors to match your teeth, can be built up in layers and shaped with dental instruments to create a pleasing, natural effect.

If your smile needs more than just a touch-up, dental veneers may be the answer. These wafer-thin coverings, placed right on top of your natural teeth, can be made in a variety of shapes and colors — from a natural pearly luster to a brilliant "Hollywood white." Custom-made veneers typically involve the removal of a few millimeters of tooth enamel, making them a permanent — and irreversible — treatment. However, by making teeth look more even, closing up spaces and providing dazzling whiteness, veneers just might give you the smile you’ve always wanted.

If you would like more information about cosmetic dental treatments, please call our office to arrange a consultation. You can learn more in the Dear Doctor magazine article “Cosmetic Dentistry — A Time for Change.”

By Michael J. Tisdelle DDS
March 10, 2017
Category: Oral Health
Tags: oral hygiene  

Everyone deserves a healthy smile. An effective dental hygiene routine is essential for maintaining good oral health, as well as regular oral hygienevisits to Dr. Michael Tisdelle in Charlottesville, VA. Here are five habits to keep if you want to keep your smile healthy.

#1- Brushing Twice Daily

Brushing your teeth once a day could leave you with cavities and periodontal disease. Brush your teeth at least twice a day with a toothpaste that contains fluoride. Don't brush your teeth more than three times a day. Brushing your teeth too much can wear down the enamel on your teeth.

#2- Flossing Once a Day

Floss your teeth at least once a day. Use dental floss to clean the spaces between your teeth. Flossing removes food particles and plaque in places where a toothbrush cannot easily reach. By flossing your teeth every day, you lower your odds of developing tooth decay and periodontal disease.

#3- Using Mouthwash

Using mouthwashes can make a positive impact on your oral health, so you should consider adding it to your oral hygiene routine. Mouthwashes are used to help prevent tooth decay, freshen breath, reduce plaque, and prevent periodontal disease.

#4- Visit Your Dentist

Regular dental checkups are essential for the maintenance of healthy gums and teeth. During your exam, your dentist will examine your gums for signs of periodontal disease and other health problems. Your dentist can detect tooth decay easily by examining your teeth, probing your teeth with dental instruments, and looking at dental x-rays. If left untreated, tooth decay can cause an infection, pain, and tooth loss.

#5- Have Your Teeth Cleaned

We floss and brush to stop plaque from building up and hardening into tartar. Tartar is rough and porous and can lead to receding gums and periodontal disease. The only way to remove tartar is to see your Charlottesville, VA, dentist for a dental cleaning. Most dentists recommend having your teeth professionally cleaned every six months.

If regular dental checkups haven't been one of your top priorities for the last few years, they should be. Going to the dentist is important at any age. Call Dr. Michael Tisdelle at 434-977-4101 today to schedule a dental appointment in Charlottesville, VA. Remember, a healthy smile is a gorgeous smile.