Root Canal Therapy: Everything You Need To Know

What is a root canal treatment?

A root canal treatment is a curative dental treatment. This involves taking the pulp and surrounding tissues of a tooth out and filling the area with a dental filling. It is one of the most common dental procedures and is usually a result of severe dental cavities. It is also called endodontic therapy in dentistry.

Why do you need root canal therapy?

You need root canal therapy when you have a condition called pulpitis. Pulpitis is a condition in which the pulp of a tooth is contaminated with bacteria. This happens when bacteria penetrate a tooth or the pulp of a tooth has been exposed.

Why you may get pulpitis

You may need pulpitis broadly because of two reasons. The first is the most common of the two- poor oral health. When plaque and tartar have built up on your teeth, they can form cavities if not cleaned. Untreated dental cavities let bacteria further penetrate the tooth to reach the pulp of the tooth.

You may also get pulpitis if the pulp of a tooth has been exposed. This may happen due to a dental injury. When you have a chipped or cracked tooth, the innermost layer can get exposed to the bacteria inside your mouth.

Symptoms that you may need root canal therapy

Often times, pulpitis could go unnoticed. This is because the symptoms may feel very subtle in the beginning. It’s only at an advanced stage that you feel like something’s seriously wrong with your tooth. To stay ahead, look for these common symptoms that you need root canal treatment:

    • Heightened teeth sensitivity
    • Toothache
    • Sensitivity to hot and cold food.
    • Fever
    • Swollen lymph nodes
    • Persistent bad breath
    • Swollen gums around a particular tooth.

The root canal treatment procedure

    1. At first, the dentist will create an access hole in your infected tooth.
    2. Dental files will be used to pull out the infected pulp and surrounding tissues through the access hole.
    3. A dental filling called Gutta Percha will be used to fill the hollow area.

Is a root canal treatment Painful?

A root canal treatment probably wouldn’t hurt you at all. This is because firstly, the dentist will provide sedation to you to ensure a painless dental procedure. Secondly, due to pulpitis, nerve tissues around the pulp could be too much damaged to transfer distress signals.

Often, the nerve tissues do stay proactive despite the infection. What if you can’t find a dentist who provides sedation in that case? Don’t panic! You can get the best dentist for root canal treatment near you in Jacksonville FL who offers sedation, here.

About Dental Implants And Their Benefits

Dental implants are the strongest form of dental restoration in the field of dentistry. These are titanium posts that are implanted into the jawbone and a crown is attached to this post. This is perfect to restore teeth for patients who have lost just one or two teeth.

However, with all-on-4 implants and implant-supported dentures, dental implants can now also be used for full-mouth reconstruction.

Dental implants are becoming increasingly popular especially in the USA. As per a report published by Reuters, over 3 million people in America had dental implants in 2015 and the number has grown drastically by now.

“About 3 million people in the U.S. have dental implants, and another 500,000 implants are placed each year, according to the American Academy of Implant Dentistry.”

This is indicative of the benefits that dental implants have over the other forms of dental restoration. Thus, let’s jump into the amazing benefits of dental implants.

Benefits of dental implants

1. Immensely strong

Dental implants are immensely strong. This is because they are made of titanium, which is the strongest known alloy in the world. This strength makes them the best replacement for your strong natural teeth.

2. Durable 

As per WebMD, with proper care, dental implants can last a lifetime. Usually, titanium implants can last a lifetime. This is because of how well dental implants fuse and heal around the bone and surrounding tissues.

3.  Permanence 

Permanence and convenience come hand in hand with dental implants. Since they are not removable, you can brush and floss your implants just normally! Dental implants require no special care. Furthermore, they don’t slip out, unlike dentures!

4.  One-time investment 

Dental implants are a one-time investment. You just get your dental implants and they become a part of your body forever! Unlike other forms of dental restorations, you don’t have to break your bank for their aftercare!

If you’re still reading this article, we are guessing that you’re interested to get dental implants. Since it’s a one-time investment, don’t just choose any dentist. Choose the best cosmetic dentist for dental implants in Jacksonville FL near you!

Why you should choose professional teeth whitening over at-home whitening

teeth whitening at dental clinic
Image Source: Freepik

Professional teeth whitening is an expensive cosmetic dental procedure, which is why patients don’t consider getting it too often. The best alternative to professional teeth whitening is at-home whitening. However, there are certain flaws in at-home whitening that professional teeth whitening perfectly eradicates.

The main benefit of professional teeth whitening is the fact that you get guaranteed results. With at-home teeth whitening, many consumers complain that the progress is so slow that you hardly get to know if your teeth are being whitened at all. And by the end of this article, you’d realize that the cost of professional teeth whitening is largely overshadowed by the benefits that come along with it.

It’s a fast procedure 

When you get professional teeth whitening, you just walk into your dentist and walk out with a pearly white smile! It’s that quick! No waiting, no unnecessary patience! This is the main reason why people actually prefer professional teeth whitening over at-home whitening.

Furthermore, professional teeth whitening yields a brighter shade of white than at-home teeth whitening. The shade of white that is attained by one appointment of professional teeth whitening can take months for at-home whitening to accomplish!

Professional teeth whitening lasts longer 

Professional teeth whitening lasts much longer than at-home whitening. On average, professional teeth whitening lasts for about 6 months. On the other hand, at-home whitening may only last for about 3-4 months. If you have smoking habits, this duration may further be shortened.

To sustain white teeth, it is mandatory to limit your tobacco and caffeine intake. These are known to stain your teeth and such strong stains are hard to remove with brushing. This is why dentists recommend using fluoride toothpaste after teeth whitening. Fluoride keeps your teeth strong and clean, besides retaining the whiteness.

Professional teeth whitening gives you custom-fit trays 

One of the major benefits of professional teeth whitening is the fact that you get custom-fit whitening trays from your cosmetic dentist. Over the counter whitening kits come with whitening trays that are of general fit. This means that they are not designed to fit perfectly on most sets of teeth.

With custom-fit trays, you get to have more efficient results in a shorter period. This is because each tooth, regardless of its shape or alignment, gets to absorb the whitening solution completely, unlike in the case of over the counter whitening kits. This brings us to the next and probably the most important benefit!

Unmatched consistency 

Whether you get professional teeth whitening or custom-fit whitening trays from your dentist, you’d get an evenly white set of teeth. This consistency is rarely accomplished by over the counter at-home whitening kits, resulting in patches of white on your teeth.

One more thing to consider about professional teeth whitening is the fact that it is done under expert supervision. Thus, you always stay on track with your whitening progress even when you’re using your custom-fit whitening tray. Teeth whitening requires a skilled cosmetic dentist, and that’s why, if you’re in Jacksonville, you should only contact the best cosmetic dentist for teeth whitening in Jacksonville open today!

How do I make my child’s diet safe for his or her teeth?

The food you feed your child can have a lasting effect on his or her oral health. In fact, diet plays a major role in whether a child develops cavities and decay, which can lead to many dental visits and potential tooth loss. So what should you feed your child to ensure he or she has a healthy smile for life?

Foods to Avoid

It is normal for your child to take interest in many foods — especially those filled with sugar and carbohydrates. But as tasty as these foods are, they can cause rapid decay when eaten in excess. That’s not to say your child can never have sugar again. Dr. Franklin Rios and our staff suggest limiting starchy and sugary foods such as candy and potato chips as much as possible.

Remember that some seemingly healthy foods can present the threat of decay too. Some of the most common culprits are sticky foods like peanut butter, raisins, and granola bars, which can stick to the teeth after eating. If you serve these foods to your child, be sure to have him or her brush immediately after eating to remove any lingering sugary residue.

Beverages

Many beverages marketed toward children contain sugar servings that far exceed the daily recommendations from national health organizations. They suggest no more than three to four teaspoons of added sugar per day for young children.

Make an effort to serve only water to your child any time other than meal times. During meals, allow your child to have milk or juice, but in limited serving sizes. Most importantly, never allow your young child to sleep with a bottle or “sippie cup” full of juice or milk. Doing so can cause rapid tooth decay: a condition known as “baby bottle caries.”

A Healthy and Balance Diet

So long as your child is brushing regularly and eating a healthy, balanced diet full of fruits, vegetables, lean proteins and whole grains, you should have little or no problem with tooth decay. For more questions about how your child’s diet affects his or her oral health, contact our Jacksonville office to schedule a consultation.

Dental Fear in Children: Brought on by parents?

A study conducted in Washington State in 2004 and another conducted in Madrid, Spain in 2012 both reported findings that support a direct relationship between parents’ dental fear and their child’s fear of the dentist.

The Washington study examined dental fear among 421 children ages 0.8 to 12.8 years old. They were patients at 21 different private pediatric dental practices in western Washington state. The Spanish study observed 183 children between the ages of seven and 12 as well as their parents.

The Washington study used responses from both parents and the Dental Sub-scale of the Child Fear Survey Schedule. The survey consisted of 15 questions, which invited answers based on the child’s level of fear. The scale was one to five: one meant the child wasn’t afraid at all, and five indicated he or she was terrified. The maximum possible points (based on the greatest fear) was 75.

Spanish researchers found a direct connection between parental dental fear levels and those among their kids. The most important new discovery from the Madrid study was that the greater the fear a father had of going to the dentist, the higher the level of fear among the other family members.

Parents, but especially fathers, who feared dental procedures appeared to pass those fears along to every member of the family. Parents can still have some control over fear levels in their children. It is best not to express your own concerns in front of kids; instead, explain why going to the dentist is important.

Dr. Franklin Rios and our team work hard to make your child’s visit at our Jacksonville office as comfortable as possible. We understand some patients may be more fearful than others, and will do our best to help ease your child’s anxiety.

Pregnancy: What should I know about my oral care?

Dr. Franklin Rios and our team at Baymeadows Park Dental know this is an exciting time as you anticipate the arrival of your new little one. We want to take this opportunity to provide you with some important information pertaining to your oral health during pregnancy. Just as the rest of your body is changing, the amount of bacteria in your mouth also changes. Scientists don’t understand all the reasons why, but during pregnancy, your mouth is more susceptible to bacterial complications that could result in increased risk for gingivitis or periodontal disease. What researchers do know is the change in hormones creates a more favorable environment for gum infections and diseases when you are pregnant.

You may experience an increase in gingivitis, even while continuing with regular daily brushing and flossing, and routine semi-annual month cleanings. You will likely complain of increased bleeding of the gums with routine daily care and more tenderness in the mouth. This is due, in part, to the increased blood flow and volume that naturally occurs with pregnancy. There is a greater amount of blood flowing through your veins, which translates into slightly engorged gum tissues. If gingivitis prevails, you may also experience pain and tenderness. We can help you navigate through your specific needs.

Brushing your teeth two times a day may not be quite enough. Similarly, if you only floss on occasion, consider making this activity a daily habit. Mouthwash is also advised, or sometimes a mild saltwater rinse may feel better than a commercial brand. Consider other products with xylitol and a WaterPik for additional cleaning.

Finally, we now know that bacteria in the mouth circulate throughout the body. These harmful bacteria compromise your immune system and may increase your risk for respiratory illness and cause other strains on your immune system. Remember that nutrients as well as pathogens are shared with your baby. If you feel tired or tempted to slack on your home-care routine, remember the importance and implications of your daily decisions on how your care for your oral health.

Contact our convenient Jacksonville location if you have more specific questions. We’re here to help you!

What’s on your fall reading list?

How better to spend the fall months than inside by the fireplace with a warm cup of cider and a book in hand? Dr. Franklin Rios and our team at Baymeadows Park Dental encourage you to warm up your mind this fall season with a few great books. Sure it may be easy to put off reading when balancing a hectic schedule, but reading is vital to brain development. Besides, reading is always a blast!

This week, we thought we’d ask what you or your child are reading this fall. Do you have any suggestions for must-read books this year? Out of ideas for great fall reads? Ask us for suggestions, and we would be happy to provide a few. You may also ask a local librarian here in Jacksonville for some ideas.

Happy reading! Be sure to share with us your fall picks or your all-time favorites below or on our Facebook page!

Eating and Invisalign®

One of the greatest advantages to using Invisalign is that it provides maximum results with minimal impact on your everyday life. Invisalign is comfortable, easy to insert, and simple to remove. Because you can remove Invisalign aligners, you can enjoy all your favorite foods and beverages without worries about getting food stuck in the wires and brackets of traditional braces.

Eating and Invisalign

While the aligner is durable and strong, you should remove it before you eat or drink beverages, as the chewing action inside your mouth can break, crack, or distort the aligner. Even minute damage to the Invisalign tray will prevent it from aligning your teeth properly. Furthermore, eating with Invisalign in your mouth can be quite messy.

Beverages and Invisalign

Repeated exposure to hot liquids may also cause the Invisalign aligner to distort. This distortion changes the shape of your aligner in a way that will affect how it straightens your teeth. Contact our Jacksonville office if your Invisalign aligner has distorted after consuming a hot beverage.

Fluids can settle inside the aligner to “bathe” the teeth. Bathing teeth in acidic fluids can be especially problematic, as the acids can wear away tooth enamel. Exposure to acidic fluids is not normally a problem, as saliva neutralizes and buffers the acid then washes it away. Wearing an aligner, however, prevents the saliva from doing those jobs, increasing your risk for tooth decay.

Colored drinks may also change the color of your teeth. Most discoloration is temporary but stubborn stains may occur.

To prevent discoloration and tooth decay, brush your teeth after every meal or beverage before putting in your Invisalign aligners. If you do not have access to clean water, chew sugar-free gum to remove bacteria, acid, and food particles from your teeth. As a last resort, you may leave your aligners out for an hour or two until you can brush and floss properly. Before inserting Invisalign, rinse the aligner in lukewarm water or use the Invisalign cleaning kit.

Contact our Jacksonville office for more information about eating and Invisalign.

Are you at risk for oral cancer?

Nearly 40,000 people are diagnosed with oral cancer annually in the United States, with more than 8,000 dying every year from the disease. Oral cancer has a higher death rate than many other common cancers, including cervical cancer, testicular cancer, Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and thyroid or skin cancers. The high death rate results from the fact that most oral cancers go undiagnosed until the disease is well advanced and has spread to another part of the body, most often, the lymph nodes in the neck.

Dr. Franklin Rios and our team want you to know that cancers of the mouth and throat, which account for about three percent of all cancers in the United States, are largely preventable. However, we want you to know about certain risk factors that affect the likelihood of developing the disease.

  • Use of tobacco products including smoking cigarettes, cigars or a pipe, or chewing tobacco all elevate risk for developing oral cancer. Tobacco use especially, is a serious risk factor because it contains substances called carcinogens, which harm cells in your mouth.
  • Consumption of alcohol in excess can also increase your risk. If you drink alcohol regularly, you have an elevated risk of getting oral cancer. Alcohol abuse (more than 21 drinks in one week) is the second largest risk factor for the development of oral cancer, according to the Oral Cancer Foundation.
  • Excessive sun exposure. People who spend lots of time outdoors and do not use proper amounts of sunscreen or lip balm have a greater risk for developing lip cancer. Exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from sunlight may also cause melanoma, the most serious type of skin cancer.

If you notice unusual lumps, bumps, or red or white patches in your mouth that don’t go away, sores that won’t seem to heal, persistent soreness, or pain or difficulty swallowing please consult Dr. Franklin Rios and our team immediately.

Other factors that may influence your risk for developing oral cancer include:

  • Age: Oral cancer is typically a disease that affects older people, usually because of their longer exposure to other risk factors. Most patients diagnosed with oral cancer are over the age of 40.
  • Gender: Oral cancer strikes men twice as often as it does women.
  • A history with viral infections, such as human papillomavirus (HPV)
  • A diet low in fruits and vegetables

During your next visit, Dr. Franklin Rios will examine your mouth for signs of oral cancer. If you have been putting off a visit to our Jacksonville office for your regular checkup, now is an excellent time to schedule one. Regular visits can be the first line of defense against oral cancer because we can identify early warning signs of the disease. Give us a call today!

Most Valuable Dental Treatments

At Baymeadows Park Dental, we work to find a dental plan that will work best and most effectively for you. But we’ve found that three treatments tend to be the most common and useful. If you ever find yourself in any of the following situations, we suggest you look at these options.

If you’ve lost teeth due to trauma, fracture, or decay, dental implants are a great choice. With all the technology available to us now, dental implants look and function exactly the way a natural tooth would. They blend in perfectly and are custom made to fit you. They’re a great investment that will restore the balance to your smile.

If you struggle with stress and catch yourself clenching or grinding your jaw, you may want to consider a bite guard. Constant grinding of teeth is dangerous for fillings and crowns, as well as natural teeth. It can cause serious joint inflammation as well as headaches. Luckily, bite guards can be worn night or day (depending on what you need), and are a great way to prevent further grinding.

Finally, there’s teeth whitening. It’s not uncommon for patients to want to brighten their smile, and the best way to do it by far is with in-office tooth whitening. There are many DIY options out there, of course, but in-office whitening has greater benefits.

When the whitening gel is applied to your teeth, we make sure your gums are protected. The results are generally faster and last longer with this approach, as well. Other methods may work, but they typically don’t last as long; sometimes they may not fully whiten all areas of your teeth.

No treatment is as easy and free of challenges as it seems. You still have to care for implants like regular teeth, which means no skimping on brushing and flossing just because they’re fake. Bite guards must be worn regularly to be effective. They also must be customized for your teeth; otherwise, they can be uncomfortable.

Whitening may cause temporary sensitivity in some mouths. For others, genetics may prevent you from achieving the precise shade you want.

If you have additional questions, feel free to call our Jacksonville office. Our team is here to help you achieve your best possible smile!