What a Root Canal Does to a Tooth

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Root canal therapy is essentially a radical cleaning of a tooth’s interior. A slightly darker vision is that it prepares a dead tooth for viewing by embalming it. This is not necessarily true, although necrotic tissue can be one of the reasons root canal is needed.

When performing a root canal, the dentist aims to rid the tooth entirely of any contaminate that may cause further infection or injury. This seems like a straightforward process, but it isn’t always. The root canal of a tooth can branch into more and more intricate canals that are hard for a dentist to detect, let alone clean and seal. Because these subsidiaries of the main canal are so hard to reach, they make perfect habitats for breeding bacteria. This is how a tooth can explode into pain without warning, as infection spreads throughout the main canal toward the tooth roots themselves.

Our root canal dentist in West Hollywood aims to clean and seal your infected tooth so you can avoid an extraction. They remove all the infected pulp, and replace it with a benign material called gutta-percha. This enables the tooth to stay in the mouth even after the loss of so much living tissue.

For more about root canals, contact our West Hollywood dentist.

When is a Smile Makeover the Right Option?

Beauty face of the young beautiful woman

Have you suffered with multiple flaws in your smile for too long? Maybe some flaws, such as wear, cracks, and stains have accumulated over time, leaving your once perfect smile lacking. Our cosmetic dentist in West Hollywood wants you to know that there is a way to correct any dental issues within a short period of time.

Smile makeovers are used by a wide variety of patients, including A-list celebrities. The process involves addressing all of the flaws in the teeth, often at the same time. Issues like stains, cracks, crooked teeth, spacing issues, missing teeth, and gummy smiles can be corrected with treatments and procedures such as:

• Orthodontics
• Crowns
• Fillings
• Dental bonding
• Dentures, dental bridges, and implants
• Whitening or bleaching
• Veneers
• Gum contouring or grafting
• And more

A smile makeover may be the right option for you if you have more than one issue with your teeth that needs correction, and you have the time needed to undergo the treatments and procedures necessary. A consultation appointment with our expert will give you a better idea if this option could benefit you.

What Cosmetic Dentistry Can Do

Two women hugging and smilingCosmetic dentistry has become extremely popular in recent years as people recognize the impact that their appearance has on their lives. An attractive smile produces confidence that enhances your professional and social life. But what exactly does cosmetic dentistry do?

Whiten Teeth

Stained and discolored teeth can be whitened with teeth whitening treatments or porcelain veneers. Porcelain crowns accomplish the same thing for teeth where veneers are not appropriate. Bonding can also be used as a less expensive alternative.

Repair Chips and Cracks

Minor chips and cracks can be repaired with porcelain veneers or bonding. Crowns may be used when the defect is large.

Correct Misshapen Teeth

Porcelain veneers are often used to correct teeth that are too short or otherwise oddly shaped. Crowns may be chosen instead for teeth that are severely misshapen.

Straighten Teeth

When teeth are crooked or uneven, orthodontic treatments can correct the problem while preserving the natural teeth. But for patients who do not want to wait the time required for braces, porcelain veneers or crowns can be used.

Close Gaps Between Teeth

Porcelain veneers or crowns can fill in unsightly gaps between teeth. Bonding can sometimes accomplish the same thing at a lower cost. But when gaps are large, braces are often a better choice. If a tooth is actually missing, a dental implant or bridge is generally used to fill in the space.

To find out how your smile can be transformed through cosmetic dentistry, contact our cosmetic dentist in West Hollywood.

Reasons a Tooth May Have to be Extracted

Two women hugging and smilingWhile the practice of dentistry generally focuses on the preservation of teeth, sometimes it is not possible to hang onto all of your teeth. To preserve your overall oral health, it may occasionally become necessary to pull a tooth. Here are reasons why a dental extraction may need to be performed.

• A severely damaged tooth: Sometimes a tooth is too severely injured or decayed to be restored. In these cases, the only option may be to pull the tooth.
• An infected tooth: While a root canal can often remove an infection, a tooth with a severe infection or a complex inner anatomy of canals can make a root canal extremely difficult to perform. If a root canal in such a tooth is not attempted or if one is attempted and fails, the tooth often needs to be pulled.
• Overcrowding: Sometimes a mouth is too full to safely accommodate all of the teeth. In these cases, a tooth often needs to be pulled to preserve the health of adjacent teeth.
• Periodontal disease: If periodontal (gum) disease has progressed to the point that teeth have become loose, it may become necessary to pull them.

No one wants to lose a tooth unless it is necessary. Our dentist in West Hollywood is highly experienced in evaluating the condition of teeth and assessing whether a tooth can remain in the mouth or needs to be pulled. Call our office to schedule a consultation.

Treatment Options for Gum Disease

woman beauty

Gum disease is the result of plaque and tartar that have been allowed to accumulate and cause decay. There are stages of gum disease, and the earlier it is caught and treated, the better your chances of avoiding serious health concerns.

The first stage of gum disease is called gingivitis. It is characterized by red, swollen gums that tend to bleed easily during regular brushing and flossing. At this point, gum disease is highly treatable and reversible. In some cases, better oral hygiene practices at home, along with more frequent professional dental cleanings can effectively treat gingivitis. For others, scaling and root planing may be necessary. Scaling involves our West Hollywood dentist scraping all the plaque and tartar away from above and below the gumline. Root planing involves the dentist removing the rough bacterial deposits that form at the root of each tooth.

Periodontitis is the next stage of gum disease, and it is characterized by deep periodontal pockets, bleeding gums, and loose teeth. Sometimes scaling and root planing is able to treat periodontitis, but surgery is often necessary. Flap surgery is when our gum treatment dentist in West Hollywood surgically lifts back the gums to remove the plaque and tartar. If there are any bone irregularities, they are smoothed out. In other cases, bone or gum graft surgery is required to restore the tissue loss that occurs during this stage of gum disease.

How Effective is Zoom Whitening?

Beautiful Girl Relaxing on the Beach

Zoom whitening is a teeth whitening treatment that uses a 25 percent hydrogen peroxide whitening solution along with a special lamp in order to whiten your teeth. While only a dentist will be able to advise you as to which whitening solution is best for your needs, Zoom whitening has been shown to be very effective at whitening teeth by several shades.

The Zoom whitening gel is applied to your teeth for fifteen minutes at a time, with the lamp being used to accelerate the bleaching process. This combination of the whitening gel and lamp is done a total of three times during the treatment, which means that the treatment involves a little under an hour in chair time. There are some candidates, such as those who suffer from tetracycline stains, for which a whitening treatment may not be the best solution. It is also good to keep in mind that most dental restorations, such as fillings, dental bonding, veneers, or crowns, will not respond to whitening treatments. In most cases, though, Zoom whitening has been shown to be extremely effective at whitening teeth.

If you would like to know if Zoom whitening is the right cosmetic solution for your smile, contact our West Hollywood cosmetic dentist to schedule a consultation.

Why You Need Dental X-Rays

Examining radiography

During the course of your examination, the dentist will do a complete scan of your teeth, gums, mouth and throat. They are looking not only for decay, but also for any complications that can pose an issue to your oral health. No matter how thorough your dentist is, though, it is unfortunately not possible for them to see everything with their naked eye alone. Dental X-rays are used to let the dentist see those areas that otherwise remain hidden from view.

Areas that can only be properly evaluated by X-rays include the spaces between your teeth, areas below the gumline, and issues involving your jaw. X-rays also show our West Hollywood dentists if you are developing any other issues, like oral cancer. X-rays provide a baseline for the dentist that will allow them to notice any changes that may occur in your oral health.

X-rays are usually only given to patients every few years or so. In the case of patients with particularly bad oral health, X-rays may be given more frequently. The amount of radiation involved with dental X-rays is relatively low as it is, and digital X-rays expose the patient to even less radiation.

If it has been a while since your last exam, contact our expert in dental x-rays in West Hollywood to schedule a consultation.