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Saving Your Tooth with Root Canal Treatment

Saving Your Tooth with Root Canal Treatment

Millions of root canal treatments are performed every year, and it is an effective and safe way to save a damaged tooth. Unlike its reputation over the years, modern dentistry allows this procedure to be practically painless and to provide relief from symptoms right away.

Anatomy
The first thing to understand is the anatomy of the tooth. Under the hard enamel on the outside of the tooth and the dentin below that, the interior of a tooth contains pulp. It houses the nerves, blood vessels, and connective tissues that all nourish the tooth. This allows it to grow properly and contributes to good oral health. After the tooth is fully developed, the tooth can get its nourishment from surrounding tissues and the pulp is not as necessary.

Necessity
The pulp can become infected, inflamed, or damaged by problems like decay, injury, repeated dental procedures, or a bad crown. If the damaged pulp is not treated, an abscess can develop or severe pain can result. Often, root canal treatment is the only way to save the tooth instead of having to extract it. Dentists advise that saving a tooth is almost always a better option, providing the most natural appearance, efficient function, and protection of oral health.

Procedure
Many patients report that root canal treatment is not much different for them than having a regular filling done. X-rays are taken and a local anesthetic is administered. Once numb, a dental dam is placed to protect the area during the procedure. Then the pulp is removed, the area is thoroughly cleaned, and then it is filled with special material for this purpose. The tooth is sealed for protection, and finally a crown is placed on top to protect the tooth. Most patients are able to return to normal activities immediately following treatment, and the procedure is permanent in most cases.

If you need a root canal dentist in Baltimore, contact our office today.

Types of “No-Prep” Veneers

Types of “No-Prep” Veneers

Porcelain veneers have become a popular option in the past few years for dental patients who wish to brighten and repair their smile. While traditional porcelain veneers offer a lifelike quality and excellent durability, their placement usually requires the removal of some of the tooth surface enamel, which is an irreversible procedure.

A promising solution for patients who wish to avoid altering the tooth structure are no-prep or minimally invasive veneers. No-prep veneers offer the same advantages of traditional veneers but eliminate or reduce the need to grind, cut, or file down the teeth.

Lumineers are one of the most popular of the “no-prep” variety of veneers. Lumineers use an extremely thin veneer that is placed on the front side of your teeth. The placement of Lumineers does not require the modification of the natural tooth structure or the use of temporary veneers. Lumineers produce beautiful smiles for patients who prefer to not physically alter their teeth.

DURAthin veneers are similar to Lumineers in that they require no modification of the tooth structure or filing of the enamel. DURAthin veneers utilize very thin customized porcelain shells that match the shape and color of your teeth. These shells are roughly the width of a contact lens and are bonded to the front of your teeth. Because of their size and shape, DURAthin veneers are an ideal choice for correcting minor cosmetic dental issues.

Vivaneers are among the thinnest veneers available, making them easy to apply in as little as one office visit. Because they require no preparation to your natural tooth, there is no need for shots, drilling or anesthesia. If you are unhappy with the results, Vivaneers are easily reversible.

To find out if these or other “no-prep” veneer options would be a solution for improving your smile, schedule a consultation with a Baltimore cosmetic dentist Dr. Farrugia .

Avoiding Tooth Decay: Where Sugar Hides

Avoiding Tooth Decay: Where Sugar Hides

You may already know that consuming sugar brings health risks with it. It can contribute to obesity, diabetes, and heart disease, but it can also harm your teeth and gums. Even if you avoid desserts and sugary treats, you may be consuming more sugar than you realize. You should be aware that sugar is hidden in foods that you may not have considered.

Since the sweetened taste of sugar entices many people, manufacturers tend to add sugar to just about anything. Examples include crackers, condiments, salad dressing, peanut butter, yogurt, sauces, and protein bars. Manufacturers also list sugar on food labels under other names to trick people. Some alternate names for sugar are sucrose, dextrose, maltose, and molasses. Another hidden ingredient to avoid is high fructose corn syrup.

How can you avoid sugar if it’s lurking in the foods you enjoy? Here are some helpful hints in limiting your sugar intake:

  • Eat whole food instead of processed food. Vegetables, fruits, and nuts are some other choices that will fill you up without the added sugar.
  • Look for products that are sugarless or don’t have added sugars. Even foods labeled “low sugar” may contain more than you’d like.
  • Drink sugarless beverages that won’t flood your mouth with sugar. Sodas, sweetened juices, and sweetened coffee provide lots of sugar and calories. Water is always an ideal choice to quench your thirst.
  • Steer clear of artificial sweeteners, which don’t fill you up and leave you craving more sweets.
  • Give yourself time to get used to having less sugar in your diet. Foods may taste less satisfying as you adjust, but you’ll get accustomed to the flavors that foods provide without the extra sweetness.

We look forward to seeing you in our Baltimore dental office

 

Smokeless Tobacco Does Not Mean It’s Harmless

Smokeless Tobacco Does Not Mean It’s Harmless

Everyone knows that tobacco is harmful to your health, but many people believe that smokeless tobacco doesn’t fall into the same category. Just because it’s smokeless doesn’t mean it’s harmless. It’s dangerous for your overall health, but also for your oral health. Here are some possible oral health outcomes of using smokeless tobacco.

Tooth decay
Smokeless tobacco contains sugar, which combines with the plaque on your teeth to damage your tooth enamel and cause decay.

Receding gums
Placing chewing tobacco in your mouth at the same spot over and over can permanently damage your gums. It can also harm your bone structure. Your irritated gums may pull away from your teeth, expose your tooth roots, and leave your teeth painful and susceptible to decay. Receding gums sometimes also loosen your teeth and cause them to eventually fall out.

Tooth discoloration
Smokeless tobacco stains your teeth, causing embarrassing yellow and brown discoloration. It is extremely difficult to remove with normal brushing, and even professional teeth whitening may not completely remove these stubborn stains.

Bad breath
Your breath will suffer from tobacco products of any kind. Don’t be fooled into thinking that mint-flavored smokeless tobacco hides the problem.

Tooth abrasion
Smokeless tobacco can be gritty and scratch your teeth, wearing down the enamel. Loss of tooth enamel increases sensitivity and may require treatment.

Cancer
The consistent placement of tobacco inside your gums and the irritating juices accompanying it can cause a pre-cancerous condition called leukoplakia. All smokeless tobacco contains cancer-causing agents, which subject users to higher cancer risk in the oral cavity, larynx, esophagus, and pharynx.

Our dental office is located in Baltimore

Making your smile sparkle

Making your smile sparkle

Your smile can be one of your strongest assets, or it can be one of your biggest detriments if you don’t take care of it! Studies show that people are more likely to underestimate your age if you are smiling. On the flip side, a smile containing yellow or damaged teeth has the opposite effect of making you appear older. Luckily, there are many options available to help. Here are some tips for achieving an awesome smile.

Don’t forget to floss
Many people are in the habit of brushing their teeth every day, but flossing is often neglected. It’s the best way to get rid of plaque and bacteria in those hard-to-reach areas around your teeth. Otherwise, food particles and bacteria will build up and harm your teeth and gums.

Get your calcium and Vitamin C
Strong teeth and jaw bones are a sure way to a healthy mouth. Calcium, most often found in dairy products and vegetables, will help you develop strong teeth and bones. Vitamin C, often found in citrus fruits and vegetables, also strengthens teeth by repairing tissues and preventing bacteria from accessing your gums.

Avoid food and drink enemies
Some foods and drinks have a negative effect on your oral health. Avoid sugary foods, sodas, and sticky items. Foods high in acid content can weaken your tooth enamel. Also steer away from foods and beverages that commonly stain teeth, like coffee, red wine, and dark berries. If you consume staining foods, perform good dental hygiene afterwards.

Give professional bleaching a try
Teeth whitening at your dentist’s office is effective and provides quick results.

Whiten your teeth at home
A less expensive whitening option is done at home with products you can purchase at your drugstore. Whitening strips and toothpastes can help brighten your smile, although you have to be more patient than with the professional methods.

Learn makeup tricks
Believe it or not, your makeup techniques can help your smile appear brighter. Lipstick shades with a blue undertone and bronzer make ups that darken the skin both provide a greater contrast to your teeth and help them look brighter.

We treat patients from Baltimore and the surrounding area

Great Snacks for Your Kid’s Teeth

Great Snacks for Your Kid’s Teeth

The school year has started and kids are busy with school, sports, and social activities. It’s a challenge sometimes to get your kids to eat healthy when they are on-the-go, not only for their overall health but also for their oral health. Here are some tasty and healthy snacks that you can offer your kids, and chances are they’ll like them!

Yogurt
Dairy foods help build strong bones, and they’re also great for a strong mouth. Eating low-fat yogurt provides calcium. Try mixing it with berries and granola for a healthy parfait, or making homemade fruity yogurt popsicles to attract your children’s attention.

Cheese
Besides providing calcium, cheese helps fight cavities. It triggers saliva production, which washes away food particles in your mouth and the acids that can weaken your teeth. In these ways, cheese halts the process of cavity formation. Cheese not only contains calcium but also phosphorous, which both help rebuild the enamel on your teeth.

Blueberries
These berries may be small, but they’re packed with Vitamin C, minerals, and folic acid. They also contain ingredients which studies show help prevent diabetes and cancer. Try adding blueberries to pancakes and muffins, or sprinkling them with a small amount of sugar and topping them with whipped cream.

Almonds
Nuts like almonds contain ingredients to fight diseases, as well as Vitamin E, fiber, calcium, and iron. Most kids enjoy eating almonds raw, but remember they are a choking hazard for young children.

Whole wheat bread
Bread made with whole wheat provides kids with iron, zinc, magnesium, and vitamins. Whole grain cereal offers calcium, fiber, and vitamins. Enjoying these whole wheat snacks with milk provides an even healthier snack for your kids.

Schedule your appointment at our Baltimore dental office