My Blog

Posts for tag: restorative dentistry

By Blue Ridge Dental
March 27, 2019
Category: Dental Procedures

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 Root Canal Tooththat 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!

By Blue Ridge Dental
June 12, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures

Tooth decay--it's common in children, teens, and adults. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control states that 91 percent of Americans fillingbetween 20 and 64 years of age have had at least one cavity. If you needed a filling, would you know the signs? At Blue Ridge Dental in Mount Airy, NC, your dentists prevent, diagnose and treat tooth decay. Here's what Dr. Lynette Smith and Dr. G. Bennett Smith say are telltale signs of decay.

What is a dental cavity?

It's a pit or hole in your tooth enamel caused by the acids oral bacteria secrete. As that hole grows, it spreads across and downward in the tooth surface. Ignored, this cavity may invade the yellow dentin and soft pulp interior to your tooth enamel, resulting in infection and tooth failure. In addition, areas of decay weaken and undermine healthy tooth structure and the integrity of existing restorations, such as crowns, veneers, and fillings.

How to protect your teeth

Of course, your daily flossing and twice daily brushing with a fluoride toothpaste does much to protect your teeth from decay. Preventive services such as fluoride treatments and plastic sealants guard teeth from acidity and bacterial invasion. Plus, the American Dental Association recommends semi-annual cleanings, to remove plaque and tartar, and examinations with your dentist in Mount Airy to inspect for decay and other kinds of dental breakdown. These practices, combined with a low-sugar/carb diet, do much to keep gums and teeth strong.

Moreover, knowledge is indeed power. You should know and recognize the signs that you may need a filling so you get treatment right away. These signs include:

  • Dental sensitivity to heat, cold, or sugary foods and drinks
  • A throbbing toothache
  • Sharp pain when biting and chewing
  • Tooth discoloration
  • A chip, crack, or area of roughness
  • Lost filling or crown
  • Drainage from the tooth or redness along the gums

If you exhibit any of these signs, contact Blue Ridge Dental right away. In the meantime, you can take over-the-counter acetaminophen or ibuprofen for pain, and apply ice if your jaw is tender or swollen. Cover rough areas or obvious holes with orthodontic wax, and if you lose a filling or crown, bring it with you to the office if possible.

Avoid complex care and dental extractions

Be aware of what's happening with your teeth and gums, and if it's time for your six-month visit to Blue Ridge Dental, please contact us. Keep ahead of tooth decay so you continue to have a beautiful, long-lasting smile. Call (336) 789-5306.