Keeping Your Teeth Merry and Bright
Most people aren’t aware that your oral health significantly impacts your overall health. Your teeth affect the way you eat and speak and are also responsible for altering the shape of your face. That is why taking care of your pearly whites is critical for more reasons than having a bright smile.
If you have a cavity, a missing tooth, or broken teeth, you may need restorative dentistry treatments to repair your smile. Various restorative dentistry procedures such as root canals, tooth extractions, fillings, and dental implants can take your smile from dull to sparkling.
When the dentist tells you that you require a dental procedure, it can often be scary, especially if you don’t know what the treatment will entail. Northwest Dental Group breaks down some of the most common restorative dentistry treatments to inform you of what to expect the next time you need to repair your smile.
Research shows that nearly 92% of adults from the ages of 20 to 64 have had cavities in their permanent teeth. A cavity develops when acid in your mouth breaks down part of the enamel, or protective outer layer, of your tooth. These decayed areas create small holes in your tooth and are largely responsible for most toothaches. Tooth sensitivity, black staining on the surface of your tooth, or pain while chewing are other symptoms that may indicate a cavity.
If your dentist suspects you have a cavity, they will perform a restorative dentistry procedure known as a filling. Before any work is done to restore your tooth, the dentist will apply a topical anesthetic or numbing cream to the affected area. Once the area is numb, the dentist will begin to remove the damage and decay from the tooth and then clean the area with a cleaning gel. They then fill the area with dental filling material, followed by adhesives and composite material to protect and seal the tooth. At the end of the procedure, a bonding light is applied to the tooth to harden the material. The dentist then polishes and smooths the tooth to make it as good as new!
As a preventative measure, your dentist performs a thorough oral exam during your dental check-ups by visually looking at the health of your teeth and completing dental x-rays.
Your oral hygiene habits, as well as your diet, can also prevent cavities. Sipping sugary drinks and snacking on chips, pretzels, cookies, and other foods with high sugar content is extremely damaging to your teeth. That is why it is vital to your oral health to brush your teeth two times per day, for two minutes each time. Flossing is also an essential step because it removes excess plaque and bacteria from in between your teeth.
One of the restorative dental procedures people dread the most is root canals. According to the American Association of Endodontists, 25 million root canal procedures are performed every year.
When tooth decay seeps deeper beyond the enamel, or outer layer, to the tooth’s pulp and root, you may need a root canal. The tooth pulp contains nerves and blood vessels that may be damaged due to the infection. Although the only way to know if you need a root canal is by visiting the dentist, you may experience some of the following symptoms:
- Persistent Pain.
- Sensitivity to hot and cold foods and beverages.
- Swollen gums.
- Extreme pain when eating.
- Pain to the touch.
- Tooth discoloration.
- Chipped or cracked teeth.
Similar to the cavity filling procedure, your dentist will numb the affected area before proceeding with treatment. The dentist creates an opening in the top of the affected tooth to expose the infected tooth pulp to begin the procedure. Then, the dentist removes the tooth pulp from the inside of the tooth and root. This is how the procedure got its name!
After the dentist removes the pulp, the center of the tooth is cleaned. The tooth’s center is then widened and shaped to prepare the tooth for a filling using special tools. The tooth becomes filled and sealed to help prevent future infections. Because the tooth is more fragile, it is common for it to be covered with a crown.
The benefit of a root canal is that it leaves your natural tooth intact. Once your procedure is complete, you may experience some sensitivity or mild discomfort. Speak with your dentist to receive post-care instructions on how to best care for your tooth.
Restorative Dentistry at Northwest Dental Group
The team of dental professionals at Northwest Dental Group can handle any dental challenge you may face. It is our mission to restore your smile in the most comfortable way possible. That is why we use hassle-free digital technology and a holistic approach to taking care of your smile.
For high-quality restorative dentistry, contact us online or call our office at (507) 203-2332 today.