Posts for category: Dental Procedures
Dr. Lynette Smith and Dr. G. Bennett Smith at Blue Ridge Dental perform root canals for patients in Mount Airy, NC. If you're having tooth pain, come see your dentist while we can still save your tooth with a root canal!
What is a root canal?
A root canal, or endodontic treatment, is a way to salvage an infected tooth. If you have an infection the tooth pulp can be removed, preserving the rest of your natural tooth.
First, your tooth and the area around it are numbed. The root canal procedure includes creating an opening in the crown of the tooth and removing the tooth's root and the infected tooth pulp, as well as a thorough cleaning of the tooth's canal system. Your dentist may place medicine in the tooth to prevent infection. A filling is placed to prevent further infection and finish your tooth. This procedure can save your natural tooth and keep you from needing a dental implant.
When do I see my dentist about a root canal?
Patients who need a root canal often notice worsening pain in the tooth. The goal of regular dental appointments is to help you before you need a root canal, but don't ignore any of these signs:
- Tooth pain
- Tooth sensitivity
- A gum blister
- Jaw pain or swelling
These are all signs that you may have an infected tooth, but you can actually have tooth decay without feeling pain or experiencing symptoms. This is another reason it's important to have regular exams.
Many patients try to delay coming to the dentist for a root canal because of fear of the pain, but the procedure is similar to getting a filling in terms of discomfort, as you are numbed during the root canal. You may have some discomfort for a few days after the procedure, and your dentist will recommend the best way to relieve any pain. A root canal actually saves you from further tooth pain or a complete dental abscess.
Keeping up with regular dental appointments is important to prevent root canals, but if you do get an infected tooth Dr. Lynette Smith and Dr. G. Bennett Smith can help. Call Blue Ridge Dental in Mount Airy, NC, at (336) 789-5306.
All your oral health needs are cared for at one comfortable, convenient location. Does this sound too good to be true? It's not if your dentists are Dr. Lynette Smith and Dr. G. Bennett Smith in Mount Airy, NC. Known for their compassionate preventive, restorative, and cosmetic care, your team at Blue Ridge Dental really loves all their patients. Let's learn about just a few of their treatments.
This takes care of gum disease, the leading cause of tooth loss among American adults (according to the CDC). With every check-up at Blue Ridge Dental in Mount Airy, both your hygienist and your dentist will perform a complete soft tissue assessment, looking for signs of dangerous gum disease.
If you show symptoms, Dr. Smith will devise the right treatment plan to manage your condition and prevent further damage. Care could include antibiotic therapy, tooth scaling and root planning, and tips and techniques on improving both flossing and brushing at home.
Root canal therapy
This reliable, restorative treatment heals an infected or damaged tooth, removing its inflamed pulp, sealing it, and crowning it for many years of additional use. Your dentist does the exam, X-rays, and complete restoration entirely in our Mount Airy, NC, office.
Most patients do very well with just a local anesthetic, and typically, teeth restored in this way last just as long as other natural teeth, says the American Association of Endodontists. That saves you extraction and expensive tooth replacement.
At Blue Ridge Dental, we do all we can to preserve your natural tooth structure. However, sometimes a tooth must be extracted for the good of your oral and systemic health. Our dentists do both simple and surgical extractions involving:
- Irretrievably decayed, infected, or damaged teeth
- Baby teeth that impede orthodontic treatment
- Erupted or impacted wisdom teeth
Plus, if you require tooth replacement afterward, we provide that as well.
How your smile looks and how you feel about it are important, too. For an assessment of how your smile can change for the better, come in for a cosmetic dentistry consultation with Dr. Smith. Tell your dentist what you want to improve, and together, you'll discover how to reach those aesthetic goals.
Our cosmetic dentistry services include:
- Porcelain veneers
- Porcelain crowns
- White fillings
- In-office and take-home teeth whitening
At Blue Ridge Dental in Mount Airy, NC, your dentists, and their staff consider patients as long-term friends. Count on their excellent dental treatments and your thriving oral health for years to come. Phone for an appointment with either Dr. Lynette Smith or Dr. G. Bennett Smith: (336) 789-5306.
Your mild gum disease (gingivitis) may lead to aggressive periodontitis, tooth loss and serious health problems. At Blue Ridge Dental in Mount Airy, NC, Dr. G. Bennett Smith and Dr. Lynette Smith provide periodontal treatments that really work. They can help you regain full oral health.
The symptoms of gum disease
Bleeding gums is the primary indicator, says the American Academy of Periodontology (AAP). More quickly than you think, this mild sign of gingivitis progresses to:
- Puffy, tender, red gum tissue
- Receding gums
- Dental sensitivity (pain when biting down or consuming hot or cold foods)
- A long tooth appearance due to uncovered tooth roots
- Loose, gapped teeth
- A changed dental bite
- Sores on the gums and pus between teeth
- Bad breath which is consistently strong and unresponsive to mouth rinses or tooth brushing
Also, your dentist at Blue Ridge Dental observes gum disease during a routine exam, measuring gum pockets with a tiny probe. Pockets, or sulci, are diagnostic for periodontitis when they are deeper than three millimeters.
Periodontal treatments at our Mount Airy office
Recommendations to resolve gum problems vary according to patient need. Thankfully, they can achieve good results when you adhere to a maintenance plan at Blue Ridge Dental.
1. Deep cleaning and root planing removes extensive deposits of plaque and tartar between teeth and well below the gum line.
2. Antimicrobial medications speed healing and help gums re-attach to root surfaces.
3. Adjustment of your dental bite with a mouth guard, crowns or a periodontal splint. Typically, splints are thin strips of metal bonded to the backside of selected teeth to stabilize and support them.
4. Oral hygiene at home must include daily flossing and twice a day tooth brushing with a soft brush. Your dentist may advise an anti-plaque mouth rinse, too.
5. Stop tobacco usage.
6. Drink water to increase your saliva production and keep tooth surfaces and soft tissues clean and hydrated.
7. Begin a healthier diet to include fresh vegetables and fruit and high-fiber cereals and breads.
When patients suffer tooth loss due to periodontitis, our dentists evaluate them for dental implant placement. Grafting may precede implant procedures if tests show sufficient bone in the jaw to support dental implants.
Learn more about gum disease
You can get ahead of gum problems when you recognize and treat them. At Blue Ridge Dental in Mount Airy, NC, our periodontal treatments work. Dr. G. Bennett Smith and Dr. Lynette Smith want all their patients to enjoy vibrant oral health. Call us today for a consultation: (336) 789-5306.
Wondering if those puffy gums could actually mean that you have gum disease?
While gum disease can wreak serious havoc on our oral health, it’s often hard to detect during its early stages. In fact, many people have gum disease, yet don’t even know it! Although the condition can be easy to overlook, it’s still important that regularly attend your six-month dental checkups with our Mount Airy, NC, dentists, Drs. Ben and Lynette Smith, to ensure that if there is something wrong, it can be caught early!
The Stages of Gum Disease
There are several stages of gum disease. The first stage is known as gingivitis, which causes inflammation to the gum tissue due to plaque buildup between the teeth and the gums. If your Mount Airy, NC, general dentist detects gingivitis, it can often be reversed with professional dental cleanings and improved at-home dental care.
Once gum disease advances, it turns into periodontitis. While periodontitis cannot be reversed, it can be treated with a simple scaling and root planing procedure (essentially this is a very deep cleaning for your teeth, their roots, and your gums). It’s important to note that periodontitis doesn’t just impact the health of your gums, it also affects the jawbone and your teeth.
If the problem isn’t addressed this could lead to bone and tooth loss. If bone or tooth loss has already occurred, you may need to see a periodontist who can provide more advanced and specialized treatment to restore lost bone and tissue.
The Warning Signs of Gum Disease
It’s surprisingly easy to protect your gums from gum disease. By brushing and flossing regularly you can greatly reduce your risk. Of course, it’s also important that you keep an eye out for any of these warning signs of gum disease,
- Gums that bleed, especially when brushing or flossing
- Receding gums (teeth that appear longer than they normally do)
- Puffy, inflamed gums
- Gums that are tender to the touch
- Pain when chewing
- Persistent and unexplained bad breath
- Changes in bite
- Loose teeth
These are symptoms that should not go on ignored, for they will only get worse with time. Even something as simple as gums that bleed every time you floss is a warning sign that you could be dealing with gum disease!
Contact us today!
Are you concerned about the health of your gums? Dealing with any of the symptoms above? If so, call Blue Ridge Dental in Mount Airy, NC, today to schedule your next dental appointment. Our number is (336) 789-5306.
Discover the purpose behind root canal treatments and why they are necessary.
Have our Mount Airy, NC, dentists Drs. Lynette and Bennett Smith told you that you need root canal treatment? We know that finding out that you need any kind of dental work can be a little stressful, especially if you don’t know what to expect. Our goal at Blue Ridge Dental is to keep you informed about any dental procedures you need to undergo, so that you are never left in the dark. Find out more about root canals and how they could end up saving your damaged teeth.
Why do I need a root canal?
In order to understand how a root canal works, it’s first important to understand the anatomy of a tooth. Inside the hard outer layers of the tooth lies a structure, known as the dental pulp. This soft tissue is made up of nerves and blood vessels, and it's instrumental in the development of the tooth. However, when the pulp becomes inflamed or infected, then our Mount Airy, NC, general dentists will recommend root canal treatment.
How does dental pulp become inflamed or infected?
Whenever bacteria get inside the tooth, it can infect the dental pulp. This often occurs if you are dealing with,
- Deep decay
- A cracked or fractured tooth
- A traumatic injury to the tooth
Sometimes, if a tooth has had to undergo several dental procedures, it can also weaken the tooth and affect the health of the dental pulp. When this happens, the only way to treat the problem is to remove the pulp. If left untreated, the bacteria can spread to neighboring teeth, as well as, the jawbone and cause a widespread, serious infection, resulting in tooth and bone loss.
What should I expect from a root canal?
A root canal can be performed in just a single visit. Dr. Smith will first numb the area with a local anesthesia. From there, we will go inside the tooth to extract the pulp and to clean out any bacteria trapped inside the tooth.
Once the tooth has been thoroughly disinfected, we will fill the tooth with a special material to support and preserve the structure. The root canals will also be sealed up to prevent bacteria from entering. Since any tooth that has been damaged by decay, infection, or trauma is now weaker, it’s important that we place a permanent dental crown over the tooth to protect it from further damage and to restore it. Since crowns are custom-made, you will need to come back into our office one more time after your root canal, so that we can place the crown.
Here at Blue Ridge Dental, your oral health is our top priority. No matter whether you’re dealing with a toothache or you just need to schedule your next dental checkup, our Mount Airy, NC, dental team has you covered! Call (336) 789-5306 today!