Posts for: April, 2018
Dental pain, sensitivity, drainage--these signs indicate a serious problem with your tooth. To save it, you may require root canal therapy from your Charlottesville dentist, Dr. Michael Tisdelle. A highly reliable and comfortable treatment, endodontic therapy, as it's also called, relieves pain and infection, preserving your tooth for years. Here's more on the whys and hows of root canal therapy.
The sick tooth
Maybe you injured a tooth in a fall. Maybe you have a deep cavity that has become infected. Whatever the reason, you know you have a problem because you exhibit symptoms of:
- A throbbing toothache
- Sensitivity to pressure, heat or cold
- Reddened, swollen gums
- A change in tooth color
- Continual bad breath
An oral examination and X-rays confirm the need for root canal therapy. This process removes the diseased pulp from the tooth's interior, including its root canals. This step also seals the tooth and following which the tooth will need to be restored fully and likely be protected with a porcelain crown.
The American Association of Endodontists says that dentists in the United States perform more than 15 million root canal procedures each year. Most succeed and extend the lives of teeth by many years. Despite what you may have heard about endodontics, the treatment may take just a couple of appointments, and unlike decades ago modern root canal therapy is quick and painless.
To access the interior chamber of the tooth, Dr. Tisdelle opens a small access hole, and inserts a series of tiny metal files into the first root canal, cleaning out the diseased material and smoothing the walls. The dentist then fills the canal with inert gutta-percha. At the next visit, Dr. Tisdelle protects the tooth with a beautiful porcelain crown.
Results of root canal therapy
Basically, you have a fully restored tooth. It looks good, feels normal and bites and chews just as your other teeth do. To care for it, brush twice a day according to American Dental Association guidelines, and floss daily to maintain a plaque-free environment. Get your six-month check-ups and cleanings with Dr. Tisdelle, too.
If you think a tooth is in trouble, please don't wait. Call Dr. Tisdelle and his dedicated team will help you achieve your healthiest smile. Call for an appointment: (434) 977-4101.
When it comes to replacing a missing tooth, you have several options, including a removable partial denture or a fixed bridge. But the premier choice is “the new kid on the block” at just over thirty years old: dental implants. Implants are by far the most popular tooth replacement choice among both patients and dentists.
But they also happen to be the most expensive option, at least initially. So the question is, why invest in dental implants over less costly choices?
Here are 3 reasons why implants could be well worth their price.
More Like a real tooth than other restorations. Implants can match the life-like appearance of any other replacement choice, often utilizing the same types of materials. But where they really excel is in function—how they perform while biting and chewing. This is because the dental implant’s titanium post imbedded in the jawbone replaces the tooth root. No other dental restoration can do that—or perform better when comparing the resulting functionality.
Best long-term solution. As we mentioned before, the initial implant cost is typically higher than either dentures or bridges. But you should also consider their durability compared to other choices. It could be potentially much longer—possibly decades. This is because the titanium post creates an ultra-strong hold in the jawbone as bone cells naturally grow and adhere to this particular metal. The resulting hold can withstand the daily forces generated during eating and chewing. With proper care they might even last a lifetime, and actually cost you less in the long run over other choices.
Adaptable to other types of restoration. Implants have greater uses other than as individual tooth replacements. A few strategically placed implants can also be used to support removable dentures or a fixed bridge for multiple teeth or an entire dental arch. As the technology continues to advance, implants are helping to make other restoration options stronger, more stable and longer lasting—and adding more value to your investment.
If you would like more information on dental implants, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Dental Implants 101.”
Because the mouth is one of the most sensitive areas of the body, we go to great lengths to eliminate pain and discomfort associated with dental work. Anesthesia, both local and general, can achieve this during the actual procedure—but what about afterward while you’re recuperating?
While a few procedures may require prescription opioids or steroids to manage discomfort after a procedure, most patients need only a mild over-the-counter (OTC) pain reliever. There are several brands available from a group of medicines called non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). NSAIDs like aspirin or ibuprofen work by blocking the release of prostaglandins into the body, which cause inflammation in tissues that have been damaged or injured.
Unlike their stronger counterparts, NSAIDs have fewer side-effects, cost less and aren’t addictive. And unlike opioids NSAIDs don’t impair consciousness, meaning patients can usually resume normal activities more quickly.
But although they’re less dangerous than opioids or steroids, NSAIDs can cause problems if taken at too strong a dose for too long. Its major side effect is interference with the blood’s clotting mechanism, known as “thinning the blood.” If a NSAID is used over a period of weeks, this effect could trigger excessive external and internal bleeding, as well as damage the stomach lining leading to ulcers. Ibuprofen in particular can damage the kidneys over a period of time.
To minimize this risk, adults should take no more than 2400 milligrams of a NSAID daily (less for children) and only for a short period of time unless directed otherwise by a physician. For most patients, a single, 400 milligram dose of ibuprofen can safely and effectively relieve moderate to severe discomfort for about 5 hours.
Some patients should avoid taking a NSAID: pregnant women, those with a history of stomach or intestinal bleeding, or heart disease (especially if following a daily low dose aspirin regimen). If you have any of these conditions or similar concerns, be sure you discuss this with your dentist before your procedure for an alternative method for pain management.
If you would like more information on managing discomfort after dental procedures, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Treating Pain with Ibuprofen.”