A Guide to Root Canal Treatment

rootcanal2Endodontics is the process for eliminating infection inside your tooth and protecting it from future infections. It involves the pulp of your tooth, which is the material on the inside. The term root canal has become synonymous with endodontic treatment. With a longstanding negative reputation, improvements in this field are helping to turn around the image of root canal treatment.

When is root canal treatment necessary?
When your tooth pulp becomes damaged or infected, it can lead to pain when you eat, drink, or even just lay down. The pulp may become inflamed and very sensitive, causing a toothache that you can’t ignore. The infection may spread to the bone and supporting tissue, and cause further issues if untreated. Root canal treatment is the solution.

What is the procedure?
Patients are often referred to an endodontist to perform this procedure. First the area will be deadened with a local anesthetic, so that the affected nerve can be drilled and the pulp can be removed from the tooth. The pulp chamber and associated root canal will be cleaned, sterilized, and sealed to prevent re-infection. The natural structure of your tooth can be saved with this process.

Are there other options?
If your tooth is severely damaged and weakened, root canal treatment is the only choice. It is the best way to save your tooth and relieve your discomfort.

How long does root canal treatment take?
Specific treatment times vary depending on the tooth’s condition, but root canal treatment can usually be done is only one or two dental visits. After a short recovery time, you will feel much better and be glad you pursued treatment.


Root canal dentist in Shreveport, LA

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Ways to Replace Missing Teeth

Dental-Implant-MPOLosing teeth as a result of injury or disease happens to millions of adults. Missing teeth makes eating and speaking difficult, and makes you self-conscious. Dentists are able to offer several methods that can restore your mouth’s function and give you back your willingness to smile.

Dental implants
The newest technology in tooth replacement is dental implants, which provide a very natural and comfortable option for restoring both function and appearance. A titanium artificial tooth root is surgically inserted directly into your jaw. A metal post goes into your bone under you gums, and then a replacement tooth (also called a crown) is attached to the post. Implants are often the preferred option because they don’t affect neighboring teeth, and they are completely secure. They are even usable when multiple teeth are missing because implants can be used in conjunction with bridges or dentures. However, for implants to be successful, the patient must have sufficient jawbone to secure the implants and gums must be healthy.

Getting their name because they bridge the gap between missing teeth and your surrounding teeth, dental bridges are another tooth replacement option. Fixed bridges are bonded onto the neighboring teeth, while removable bridges can be taken out for cleaning. Bridges can be made from several materials such as porcelain, alloys, and gold. They allow you to eat, smile, and speak with confidence and comfort.

When many or all teeth are gone, dentures may be the best tooth replacement choice for that situation. Complete dentures are used when you have no natural teeth left, and they cover your upper and lower gums. Overdentures may be used if you have some teeth left to provide support. Dentures are sometimes difficult at first while you get used to how they feel and how they affect your speaking and eating.


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Are Oral Piercings Dangerous?

piercing-oralYou may like the way oral piercings look, but you might not like the dangerous risks that come with them. Because your mouth contains millions of bacteria, infection and swelling often accompany oral piercings. It can really take the fun out of this popular way to express yourself. Make sure you think it through before getting a piercing, to make sure you’re ready for the responsibility and willing to perform tasks to keep the area healthy. This information will help educate you about what oral piercings involve.

What kinds of things can an oral piercing cause?
Piercing your lips, tongue, cheeks, or uvula can interfere with speaking, swallowing, or chewing. It can also cause:

  • Infection – the moisture in your mouth is home to lots of active bacteria, so it’s a perfect place for infection. Infections can be life-threatening if untreated, and associated swelling can block your airway.
  • Nerve damage – your tongue may be numb after piercing, which may be temporary or permanent. It can affect your ability to taste and move your mouth.
  • Gum, teeth, and fillings damage – biting or playing with your piercing can harm your gums and crack or scratch your teeth. Piercings can also damage fillings, and cause tooth sensitivity.
  • Allergic reactions – some people are allergic to metals and have reactions at the piercing site.
  • Drooling – tongue piercings can increase saliva production and cause drooling.
  • Dental care problems – oral jewelry can hamper dental care and block X-rays.

What should I do if I already have piercings?
If you have any oral piercings, contact your dentist or doctor right away if you have signs of infection. These include swelling, pain, fever, chills, or red streaks near the piercing site. Always keep the piercing area clean and use a mouth rinse after meals. Avoid clicking the jewelry against your teeth and gums, and remove it before participating in sports. See your dentist regularly for checkups.


Family and cosmetic dentist in Shreveport, LA

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Making Your Dental Veneers Last

healthysmileOne of the most popular ways to improve your smile is with dental veneers. These natural-looking porcelain shells are used to cover stained teeth, close gaps, and hide cracked or chipped teeth. Although they are simple and painless, you’ll want them to last as long as possible. Here are some tips on increasing the lifespan of your dental veneers.

Proper hygiene
Brushing and flossing with veneers is just as important as doing so on your teeth without them. These hygiene activities help remove plaque, prevent tooth decay, and avoid gum disease. Use a soft toothbrush or an electric toothbrush, but skip the sonic toothbrush because the vibration may damage your veneers. Make sure you clean the edges where the veneers meet your gums, and don’t press too firmly. Try to clean your teeth after meals and before bed.

Gentle toothpaste
Use a gentle whitening toothpaste, which helps prevent stains and plaque without scratching them with abrasive ingredients. Your dentist may recommend a certain toothpaste that is formulated for veneers. These toothpastes target stain removal without using the harsh components found in some brands.

Good habits
Your dentist will provide some guidelines about things to avoid that can harm your veneers, such as smoking and eating foods prone to staining. Using non-alcohol based mouthwash is also recommended, because alcohol can loosen the bonding material used to attach your veneers.

Regular checkups
Visit your dentist every six months for checkups and cleanings. This will not only help maintain your veneers, but also improve your overall oral health.


Contact us today to schedule a consultation to learn more about cosmetic dentistry options in our Shreveport, LA dental office.

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