Do I Need a Root Canal?

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Most people cringe when they hear the phrase root canal – it evokes all of the ubiquitous imagery of the horrors of the dentist, drills, and Novocain. The unfortunate truth is, if you need a root canal, you really need a root canal. But the good news is that they aren’t quite as horrifying as they make them out to be on television, and our root canal dentist in Agoura Hills has all of the tools and expertise necessary to make the process as efficient and painless as humanly possible.

 

So, what exactly is a root canal? Within the tooth is something called pulp, and the places where the pulp meets the roots of the tooth is called the root canal.  Sometimes, the root, the pulp, or the nerve of a tooth becomes so severely infected that it cannot be saved, causing a lot of pain. In cases where the inside of the tooth is decayed beyond redemption and the outer portion can still be saved, the tissue in peril is removed in a procedure of the same name, a root canal.

 

Root canals are perfectly safe, as the sensitive inner tissue of the teeth really doesn’t serve much of a purpose after childhood when all the adult teeth have grown in.  There are many issues which can result in a root canal being necessary. Most dentists will agree that the most common of which is probably ordinary decay. Infection and inflammation of the outer tooth can sometimes travel inward, bringing with it heightened sensitivity and severe pain. Damage resulting from physical trauma is also a frequent culprit; cracks and fractures provide outside bacteria and plaque to penetrate the enamel and affect the delicate tissue within. Disease, especially periodontal disease, also puts one at an increased risk.

 

How can a person know whether or not a root canal is necessary? Acute pain while eating, brushing, flossing, or otherwise putting pressure on the tooth or teeth in question is one easily-perceived early indicator of underlying damage; sensitivity to temperature is also something important to watch out for. Sometimes an infected root will present itself as a small lump pushing through the surface of your gums; bring up any newly-formed sores or lesions when you go in for your semi-yearly check-up. Discoloration may also be a warning sign, as are tenderness or swelling of the gums surrounding the affected tooth.

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The Process for Getting Same Day Inlays and Onlays

Two women hugging and smilingSame day inlays and onlays are the fast, easy way to get your badly damaged teeth restored. Unlike other major restorations, these inlays and onlays can be made and placed in just one dental visit. We can eliminate the wait and second visit and reduce your chair time by using same-day dental restorations.

The process is simple, and it begins much like any the process for other restoration. Our dentist will evaluate the broken or decayed tooth to ensure an inlay or onlay is the right choice. Next, he will prepare the tooth, which includes numbing it, removing any decayed tissue and reshaping it. Next, an impression will be made.

Unlike the typical impression, which uses a sticky compound that solidifies as it is in your mouth, we will use a digital impression. Our dentist uses a small, handheld wand to take a picture of the tooth, and the 3D image of your tooth and surrounding tissues are sent to the computer. We will use a special program to design your new inlay or onlay. This design is sent to the on-site milling unit to create your restoration. In the final step, we will bond the restoration to your tooth, providing you with a natural-feeling, beautiful-looking tooth.

Call our dental office today to learn more about same day restorations or to schedule an appointment with our cosmetic dentist.

Why is Invisalign Teen Different?

Experts advise parents to take their children to see an orthodontist by the age of seven. At this age, they can adequately see how the teeth and jaws are developing, and possibly even whether orthodontics will be needed at some point. If so, most patients of our cosmetic dentist in Agoura Hills receive treatment during the early teenage years. Invisalign offers a special teen treatment just for these patients. Here is why.

The early teen years are the best for restructuring and straightening the teeth and jaw for two reasons. First, all of the adult teeth have fully grown in by this point. So any movements by the appliances will be permanent ones. Secondly, though the jaw is fully developed, as well, it is still malleable and can be guided easier. Invisalign Teen is specifically designed for these situations.

Another great example is the incoming wisdom teeth. The aligners used for teen patients are expandable, and can accommodate any growing teeth that may come in during treatment. This means that no new aligners will be needed, as the original ones will work just fine.

Invisalign Teen treatment also offers dots on the aligners to indicate use, and up to six replacement aligners. Talk to our Invisalign Teen dentist for more information today.

What Invisalign is Like

While many are familiar with traditional metal braces are how they work, not everyone is as knowledgeable about Invisalign. If you are an orthodontic patient of our Agoura Hills cosmetic dentist, and are currently deciding between which type of treatment to get, knowing more about the Invisalign experience might help you make up your mind.

At your first appointment, our dentist will take impressions of your arches. These impressions will be sent to a lab, which will use them to create your custom aligners. They work by applying pressure in order to slowly shift them into the correct, healthier spaces. The first set of aligners will be very similar to where your teeth are now, but each one will push them a bit more, until the final result.

Unlike braces, which remain on the teeth until the end of treatment, Invisalign aligners can be removed easily by the patient. They should be taken off to eat, drink liquids other than water, and clean the teeth. Patients are in charge of making sure they are worn for at least twenty hours a day. There will be fewer appointments to attend, as there are no wires to tighten, but you will need to see our dentist every four to six weeks so they can track your progress.

If you have more questions about the Invisalign experience, schedule an appointment with us today.

Different Denture Types

Dentures are one of the three appliances used to replace teeth that have been knocked-out or needed to be extracted. They are made of artificial teeth and gums that replace the natural ones in both look and functionality. Most types use suction and clasps in order to remain in place, while others utilize implants for added stability. Here is some vital information about a few different types of dentures.

Full Dentures

If a patient has lost most of their teeth, and the other ones remaining are not of perfect health, full dentures will likely be used. Our dentist in Agoura Hills will extract the remaining teeth, work with the patient to recreate a new smile, and place dentures for both top and bottom arches.

Partial Dentures

These can be used to replace a few missing teeth in a row. They can also be designed to accommodate for healthy existing teeth breaking up a gap.

All-On-Four Dentures

One of the most common complaints about dentures is that they tend to slip and fall out. All-On-Four dentures eliminate this problem by utilizing four dental implants to support full dentures. This is typically a larger process, as the implants take some time to heal, but the benefits are worth it.

Do You Have Bruxism?

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Bruxism, or tooth grinding, affects between eight and thirty percent of adults. It is a common and often underdiagnosed problem that can damage your teeth, gums, and jaw. Recognizing the symptoms of tooth grinding can ensure you get the prompt, effective treatment you need.

You might grind your teeth if you:

• Occasionally or regularly awaken a sleep partner with the sounds of grinding or clenching
• Have tight or tense jaw muscles
• Have an earache without an ear infection or other ear problem
• Have worn enamel
• Have flattened, chipped, or fractured teeth
• Have sensitive teeth
• Bite or chew on the insides of your cheeks
• Bite or chew on your tongue or have indentations on your tongue
• Wake with a dull headache

If you believe that you suffer from teeth grinding, you need to schedule an evaluation. Our dentist will examine your teeth to determine the extent of the damage and discover any underlying issues.

Most patients who grind their teeth respond well to night guards. A night guard is a custom designed mouth guard that slips over your teeth and prevents grinding, protecting the wearer from further dental damage. A night guard may be used alone or in conjunction with other anti-bruxism therapies. Call our office today to find out more or to schedule an appointment with our dentist in Agoura Hills.

Process of Kor Whitening

Three young people smilingOur teeth start out bright, white, and ready to be shown off. But over time, they can become yellowed and darkened due to the foods we eat and other staining habits, such as smoking. This can make not only the smile, but the person look unhealthy overall. Fortunately, there are several types of teeth whitening treatments available to eliminate extrinsic stains and brighten the smile.

Our dentist in Agoura Hills uses Kor whitening, a deep cleaning procedure considered one of the best available today. It involves a special tray that keeps the saliva in the mouth contained in order to prevent the dilution of the teeth whitening material. This allows the material to work for about six hours, as opposed to the normal thirty to forty-five minutes, meaning it has longer to work and therefore the ability to remove more stains. Our dentist ensures that the at-home trays are custom made to fit around your teeth and avoid the gums, preventing sensitivity and abrasion. This is followed by the in-office portion, which is able to eliminate the harder to access stains.

After treatment, our dentist will inform you of the best ways to keep your smile bright and stain-free. This will involve proper brushing, flossing, and recommended mouth wash. Be sure to return to our dentist at least every six months to ensure the teeth stay white and healthy.