When it comes to Edmond dental care, no procedure carries a worse reputation for causing discomfort than a root canal.
For many patients, simply hearing the term “root canal” is enough to cause them to squirm uncomfortably in their chair. After all, a root involved drills and needles and all the things we dislike about visiting the dentist. However, a new study shows the pain associated with root canals more fiction than fact.
In actuality, a root canal doesn’t cause nearly as much discomfort as what many people think when compared to other dental procedures. When asked to self-report their experiences at the dentist, the study participants found the procedure to cause no more discomfort than other types of dental work, such as deep cleanings and fillings.
More Myth Than Fact
As part of their study, researchers from the Adelaide Dental School selected nearly 1,100 Australians between the ages of 30 to 61 to participate in submitting health information through questionnaires, medical records, and dental records. The participants self-rated dental health score was later checked when they underwent dental work and then again two years later.
When participants who underwent the procedure were asked to describe their root canal experiences, it was favorably compared to other dental care procedures such as tooth restoration, tooth extraction, filling placement, or gum disease treatment.
While no one our Edmond dental care office would claim that these types of procedures cause no discomfort, they certainly don’t cause the type of anxiety inducing pain that most people associate with the procedure.
Sure, undergoing a root canal may cause some slight discomfort, but it’s nothing that can’t be managed by a little topical pain medication.
Sadly, the reputation carried by root canals may cause far too many patients to avoid what could be a tooth saving procedure.
Root Canal to the Rescue
Each year millions of root canals are performed worldwide, with over 22 million performed in the U.S. alone. A root canal works to save a tooth badly damaged by tooth decay or dental disease.
When the roots of a tooth become badly damaged as a result of decay, a root canal is required to save the tooth. During a root canal at our Edmond dental care office, our doctors remove the delicate roots and pulp that sit at the center of a tooth. Once the organic material in the center of a tooth has been removed, the tooth is then cleaned and sealed. With further decay now stopped, and the integrity of the tooth maintained by filling and sealing it, the tooth is now saved and returned to health.
When patients avoid receiving a root canal due to feelings of dental anxiety or out of a fear of discomfort, they jeopardize their long-term oral health. Without treatment, a tooth that requires a root canal will eventually die, resulting in permanent tooth loss.
Patients who fear a root canal are also less likely to undergo other complicated dental procedures such as a dental implant or bridge. When a tooth goes missing in a smile, it causes teeth that neighbor the gap to move out of position. This can create a smile that’s crooked, crowded, or misaligned.
Even more troubling, failing to replace a missing tooth can result in the underlying bone structure that holds our teeth into position to erode, leading to the loss of more teeth in the future.
So while a root canal may seem scary, the procedure could actually help to save the health and appearance of your smile.
If you have any questions about root canal or other dental procedures, make sure to ask any member of our team during your next appointment at our Edmond dental care office.
You don’t need to work in a dental office in Edmond, OK to know that smoking ranks as the most destructive habit a patient can have that threatens both their oral and overall health. Not only does smoking contribute to the development of cardiovascular and lung disease, but the habit also contributes to the development of chronic bad breath, tooth decay, plaque buildup, and gum disease.
Patients who spend years smoking also have a higher risk of permanent tooth loss, a problem usually treated with the placement of a dental implant. Unfortunately for smokers, the risk of implant failure greatly increases for patients who smoke. This makes smoking a habit that not only destroys your oral health but makes it far more difficult to receive the right kind of care at our dental office in Edmond, OK.
On the positive, the cessation of smoking significantly lowers a patient’s risk for developing not only lung and oral cancers, but oral health problems like gingivitis, periodontitis, and permanent tooth loss.
If not yet convinced about the risk smoking presents to your oral health, here are some of the biggest effects smoking can have on your teeth and gums.
Research has shown that tobacco smoke contains around 7,000 different chemicals, including carbon monoxide, arsenic, cadmium, butane, acetic acid, acetone, lead, formaldehyde, tar, benzene, ammonia, and many more. Many of these toxic chemicals work to breakdown and destroy tooth enamel, making the teeth of smokers far more susceptible to the effects of decay. Others, such as carbon monoxide and arsenic, are deadly when ingested at a higher dose.
If a patient has a higher risk for tooth decay, the higher their risk for permanent tooth loss actually becomes. Once a patient loses a tooth, the teeth that neighbor the gap in a smile will start to move into the now open space. As teeth move to fill the void, a patient can start to develop a misaligned bite that can make eating painful.
As mentioned previously, many of the treatments we typically use to treat tooth loss – such as implants – at our dental office in Edmond, OK become less effective when a patient smokes.
When combined with the irritation of gum tissue smoking causes, the chemicals found in tobacco can cause a degeneration of the bone structure and soft tissue that hold our teeth into position. Studies have also found that smoking impacts how the cells in gum tissue typically function. This interference increases a smoker’s risk for developing an oral infection like gum disease, while also impacting blood flow to the gums. A lack of proper blood flow makes it far more difficult for the body to repair the damage smoking causes to the gum tissue.
The tar and nicotine in cigarettes discolor the teeth of smokers more quickly than many patients may perceive. Smoking also creates an environment within the mouth that allows plaque to produce far more quickly when compared to nonsmokers. Not only does smoking encourage plaque growth, but the habit also makes plaque more resilient and more difficult to remove through daily brushing and flossing. When plaque builds upon the surface of our teeth, it hardens, becoming tartar, a yellowish substance that also works to discolor teeth and ruin the complexion of our smiles.
Every year in the U.S., oral cancer contributes to the deaths of over 13,000 people. When compared to other forms of cancer, oral has a far higher mortality rate than more common types of cancer, such as prostate and breast. One of the reasons why oral cancer has a much higher mortality rate is due to how late in the disease’s progression a patient typically receives a diagnosis.
Research has found a connection between cigarette smoking and tongue cancer. Symptoms that typically begin as small white bumps that continue to grow when left untreated continue to become worse, causing the patient to finally seek out treatment. Only then do they realize a far more serious problem has developed.
Fortunately, the majority of oral cancer can be easily treated when caught early on in their progression. But if a patient continues to smoke, the disease could spread to other parts of the body, including the lymphatic system.
Don’t allow smoking to ruin your oral health. Take the steps needed to cease this harmful habit. Your oral health will thank you.
At Santa Fe Dental, we use the latest technology at our dental office in Edmond, OK to provide our patients with the outstanding care they need to enjoy a healthy, great looking for a lifetime.
One of the tools we use to help improve patient care is the Gallileos 3D cone beam digital scanner from Sirona. This remarkable technology provides our dentists with an extraordinary amount of information they can then use to better diagnosis patients for a variety of oral health problems.
Unless you work with this type of equipment firsthand, it can be difficult to fully understand how digital scanners can improve the level of dental care patients receive.
After all, medical technology continues to progress at such a remarkable rate, and keeping up-to-date can prove challenging for patients who live busy lives.
Let’s take a look at how digital 3D dental technology can help to improve your dental care.
What is 3D Dental Technology?
When treating patients, 3D dental technology provides dentists with far more information than what they once received using film X-rays of the past.
Think of the difference like using a microscope instead of a magnifying glass. While both can provide you with a clearer picture of what you’re looking at, the microscope can delve far deeper into a particular subject.
With cone technology, dentists can basically map out a patient’s mouth into a fully rendered 3D image.
How is that beneficial? Well, it offers several advantages for the dentists at our dental office in Edmond, OK.
First, 3D technology is far more efficient to use. Instead of requiring a patient to sit still while X-rays are taken and then developed, beam technology can fully map out a patient’s mouth in no time.
Second, the technology offers far more precision. Not only do 3D images show the shape and health of a patient’s teeth, but it also shows how the teeth align with each other and where they sit in relation to their neighbors.
Finally, using the 3D models created with a digital scan, our dentists can map out a more comprehensive oral health plan to better meet a patient’s needs. When it comes to the placement of a dental crown, bridge, or implant, this increased level of detail can go a long way towards ensuring a successful treatment.
For example, digital technology allows our dentists to focus on one specific area of a patient’s mouth they’d like to examine, even if that area is as small a single tooth root. That kind of incredible detail can make all the difference when planning out patient care.
When is Digital Technology Typically Used?
At our dental office in Edmond, OK, we use the Gallileos 3D cone beam digital scanner for a variety of procedures that include:
- Cosmetic/Restoration. Cone beam technology helps to better prepare a patient for oral surgery or reconstructive therapy by giving the dentist a better ability to effectively plan complex treatments. These treatments can include bone grafts, root canals, and even the placement of inlays and onlays.
- Orthodontic. 3D technology creates images dentists can use to diagnose orthodontic problems and plan patient treatment.
- Implants. Allows dentists to gain a better understanding of a patient’s oral health so they can find the optimal placement for an implant.
Schedule Your Next Exam at our Dental Office in Edmond, OK
At Santa Fe Dental, we remain committed to always providing our patients with the latest and most advanced care possible. If you believe your oral health only deserves the best, then schedule your next exam and cleaning with our team and come experience for yourself the Santa Fe Dental difference.
You don’t become the best dentist in Edmond, OK without being able to help restore a patient’s smile back to health. For patients that have lost multiple teeth, dentures offer an affordable and lasting solution for repairing the long-term oral health of their smiles.
While you might think that dentures look unnatural or phony, dentures today have come a long way, and now look just as realistic as your natural teeth. Not only do modern dentures look better than ever, they also fit more comfortably and are easier to wear.
Our team at Santa Fe Dental know that patients have a lot of questions about getting dentures, and we wouldn’t be your choice for the best dentist in Edmond, OK if we didn’t answer them. So here’s what you need to know about getting dentures.
What are dentures?
Let’s start with the basics and clear up any misconception about what separates dentures from other replacement tooth options.
Dentures sit inside the mouth and act as a replacement for missing teeth. Unlike a dental implant and attaching crown, dentures can and need to be removed for cleaning.
When a patient has some natural teeth remaining, partial dentures can work to bridge the gap between teeth. When a patient has as no remaining teeth, a full set of dentures acts as a replacement so you can enjoy a smile that dazzles.
Why should I consider dentures?
Patients select dentures when they want to find a lasting solution for replacing missing teeth. As they grow older, many patients may start to lose permanent teeth due to the effects of gum disease, cavities, and even injury.
Missing teeth can cause a variety of oral health problems. Not only does missing teeth make it harder to eat, drink, speak, and smile, the loss of permanent teeth can cause a cascade of other problems to develop.
When a smile misses a few teeth, the gap that’s created can cause the neighboring teeth to shift to fill the space. This leads to teeth becoming crooked, which can then lead to the development of a misaligned bite that makes chewing uncomfortable.
As teeth shift, the underlying bone structure that holds them into place also begins to deteriorate. This deterioration increases the risk of further tooth loss. So, not only do dentures help to plug an existing gap in a smile, they can also help to prevent further tooth loss.
How do I get dentures?
Getting dentures starts by making an appointment to see the best dentist in Edmond, OK at Santa Fe Dental.
During your dentures consultation, our team will examine the current state of your oral health and make recommendations on the type of dentures best suited to meet your individual needs.
Once the type of denture you’ll receive has been decided upon, our team will take an impression of your mouth. This impression will be used in the creation of your custom dentures.
The placement of dentures can begin immediately for patients with no remaining natural teeth. For patients with teeth, our team may need to remove some of their teeth to make room for the placement of dentures. Don’t worry, we will always discuss the tooth removal process and whether it’s actually necessary with you before starting the procedure.
After the mouth has been prepared and your dentures custom crafted, our team will provide your new replacement teeth with instructions on how to properly care and wear them.
What should I expect after getting dentures?
It can take some time getting used to wearing dentures. Fortunately, you don’t have to undergo the process alone. Our team at Santa Fe Dental will provide you with tips on how to best acclimate to wearing dentures. We will also provide you with recommendations on which foods to initially avoid and what types eat while breaking your dentures in.
Once your dentures have been adjusted and properly fitted, you’ll soon forget your wearing dentures at all.
As an emergency dentist in Edmond, Oklahoma, our team at Santa Fe Dental understands that some dental problems just can’t wait until an appointment opens up on the schedule. That’s why we offer same day emergency dental appointments to patients who need immediate care.
Of course, not every twinge of pain or uncomfortable bite means that you need to see an emergency dentist in Edmond, Oklahoma. Some types of oral health problems can cause discomfort but don’t require the need to seek immediate dental care. Being able to differentiate between what can wait and what needs immediate care can save you a lot of time and stress.
Here are a few of the types of dental emergencies that require seeking immediate care.
Few things cause more stress and shock for a patient then a knocked out tooth. Visions of living life with a gap in their smile can leave many patients feeling anxious and overly concerned about repairing their tooth back to health.
Fortunately, when quickly addressed with immediate care, a knocked out tooth can potentially be restored back to health. By following the steps below, the odds become very good that the tooth can be reinserted and preserved by an emergency dentist in Edmond, Oklahoma.
- Pick the tooth up by the crown (top). Take care not to touch the roots.
- Very gently rinse the tooth off to remove any dirt or debris. Do not scrub the tooth or use anything other than water to clean the tooth.
- If possible, place the tooth gently back into its socket. Only return the tooth after you have rinsed it off.
- If you can’t place the tooth back in its socket, put the tooth into a small container or in a cup of milk. Placing the tooth in milk will help to preserve the health of the tooth longer.
- Call our team at Santa Fe Dental immediately. The sooner you receive treatment, the more likely it can be restored back to health.
If after an accident you feel a tooth has become loose or knocked out of alignment, you need to call our team at Santa Fe Dental to schedule an emergency exam. Little separates a loose tooth from one that’s knocked out entirely. The longer you wait the more permanent damage can be done.
If you have a tooth that’s been knocked out of alignment, you can try to push it back into position using your finger and very light pressure. Do not attempt to force your tooth back into place. You can bite down on the tooth to keep it from moving, but don’t do anything else to the tooth until seen by our team at Santa Fe Dental.
Chipped, Cracked, or Broken Tooth
A chipped tooth that causes you no discomfort doesn’t rank as a dental emergency and can wait to receive treatment for a few days. However, you need to take care while chewing so as to not damage the tooth any further. Our team at Santa Fe Dental may be able to smooth out a chipped tooth, or add composite material to repair the tooth.
Conversely, a broken or cracked tooth constitutes a dental emergency and requires immediate care. When a tooth breaks or cracks, it indicates that damage likely occurred within the tooth as well as the outside. If a severe fracture occurs, many times the tooth cannot be saved. If you experience a cracked or broken tooth, you need to schedule an immediate appointment after following these steps:
- Clean out your mouth by gently rinsing with warm water.
- If the fracture was the result of a facial trauma, apply a cold compress to the affected area.
- Take an over-the-counter pain reliever
- Never apply a pain reliever directly to the gums as it can burn the gum tissue.
While we never hope that our patients suffer a dental emergency, know that the team at Santa Fe Dental is here to help if you do.