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Do You Really Need Root Canal Treatment?

Today, we are seeing thousands of patients get root canal treatment even when there really is no need for them to do so. The reason for this is that the dental profession sometimes misconstrue gum tissue abscesses as nerve abscesses. In fact, gum tissue can easily be healed without root canal treatment.

Why is the dental profession very zealous in prescribing root canals? Obviously, there is some economic pressure behind this – root canals are expensive. On the other hand, gum abscess can be cleared up by the cleaning the area of the infection or with the use of an antibiotic. Either way, these fixes are less costly, simpler and perhaps better for the long-run.


Differentiating between gum abscess and nerve abscess is not exactly easy. One way to do so is with an the use of an irrigating device that flushes out the infection. If the swelling starts to go away, then there is more likely a gum abscess, and the infection is already healing. But if symptoms persist, professional care is necessary.


Before actually getting a root canal treatment, first make sure that you really need the procedure. There are specific signs and symptoms that a patient can watch out for. First, and perhaps the most obvious is if the affected tooth has recently darkened in color, because this mostly means that nerve damage has already occurred.


Also check for tooth sensitivity to heat that can be relieved by cold. If hot liquid makes the tooth hurt and a colder one eases or eliminates the pain, there is most likely nerve damage,. Another indicator of nerve damage is if the tooth is sensitive to pressure, like when it is pushed toward the jawbone with the fingertip. Take note, though, that these tests are not conclusive.


After some period of careful cleaning with a soft toothbrush and rinsing with salt water, and the symptoms still exists, then you most definitely need to see a dentist. However, before a dentist can tell you that you need to get root canal treatment, make sure that you were able to go through the following steps.



The dentist was able to perform careful visual exam of the teeth to check for color changes.


  1. The dentist was able to check for temperature sensitivity, particularly in hot and cold sensitivity.

  2. The dentist was able to observe additional sensitivity to pressure, either from pushing or tapping on the affected tooth, or from biting.

  3. The dentist was able to carefully x-ray the areas in question. Take note: never allow the dentist to let you get root canal merely from an x-ray diagnosis. There are times when a tooth appears to need it on x-ray, but can actually heal without it.

  4. The dentist was able to test the tooth with an electronic nerve tester. This is a simple device that measures the ability of the nerve to react to mild electrical stimulus.


If the dentist has not assessed the nerve in these ways, and recommends root canal therapy, it would be best to first discuss the decision with the dental professional. If they refuse to do the tests, never permit to start the treatment because you full commitment is needed once the treatment starts. There is no backing out halfway through the therapy.

A patient who has gone through and tested positive in all these tests is most likely 99 percent sure that root canal therapy is necessary. However, if one or two of the indicators are not conclusive, it is generally best to wait things out for a while.



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What is the Difference Between Porcelain Veneers and Dental Bonding?

Porcelain veneers and dental bonding are two of the best ways to change the shape, color and size of your teeth, which then enhances the appearance of your smile. A veneer is a thin piece of porcelain placed in the whole front of the tooth. On the other hand, with bonding, a dentist applies a resin to the tooth to cover an imperfection. The option that is best for you will depend on your particular dental issue and your goals. Read on and find out which one it is.


Porcelain Veneers

Porcelain veneers help with discolored or broken teeth, as well as change irregularly shaped teeth. Veneers are as strong as natural tooth enamel and create a natural look. They are considered a non-removable treatment because the dentist will have to change the shape of your natural teeth before applying veneers.

Veneers are custom-designed to fit the patient, which are made after a thorough evaluation by the dentist. After a small amount of enamel is removed from the natural teeth, the dentist will apply a thin ceramic layer to create the veneer. The veneer is attached using a special adhesive, which is then cured using a special light.


Porcelain Veneers Pros


  • Veneers are custom-designed and give a natural look

  • Veneers are stain-resistant, so your teeth will stay white and bright

  • Veneers are durable and sturdy, designed to withstand the same amount of regular use as natural teeth for up to 15 years


Porcelain Veneers Cons


  • Veneers change the natural tooth and are non-reversible, making this a non-option for those who want to preserve their natural teeth

  • Veneers can be damaged by some activities; those who grind their teeth at night might need a nightguard

  • Veneers are durable and customized, so this option can be very expensive compared to other procedures like bonding


Dental Bonding

Dental bonding involves the application of a composite resin using adhesive and a special light. It is mostly to fix a part of a tooth. After conditioning the underlying tooth, the dentist will add a soft resin and shape it to match the rest of the tooth before it is hardened using high-intensity light. The whole bonding procedure can take less than an hour.

Many dentists would recommend dental bonding for patients looking for small repairs in their tooth, not those that require covering the whole tooth. This procedure is most useful in repairing chipped teeth, as well as covering discolored teeth, protecting the tooth root in receding gums, and changing the shape of irregular teeth.


Dental Bonding Pros


  • Bonding is much easier compared to other procedures, and do not involve much waiting outside a laboratory to complete it

  • Bonding involves little to no change to the natural tooth, so patients can keep their underlying natural teeth intact

  • Bonding is less costly compared to many other cosmetic dental procedures, and it is more accessible to more patients


Dental Bonding Cons


  • Bonding uses a material that is not as stain-resistant as porcelain, which also makes it more prone to chipping and even breaking

  • Bonding uses composite resin that does not last as long as porcelain, so it will have to be replaced more frequently



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What are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Composite Fillings?

Today, dentists and patients alike have a wide range of choices when it comes to fixing fractured or decayed teeth. Those who are looking for a natural-looking filling may find composite fillings to be a good option.


Composite resin is a mix of powdered glass and plastic so that it mimics the natural appearance of the tooth. they are used to make cosmetic improvements to the teeth, like closing gaps, repairing chips, restoring decay, changing the color and making teeth appear more even.


The dentist will prepare the resin and apply it in layers to the affected tooth. A special light hardens every layer. After the hardening process, the dentist will shape the composite so it fits the tooth. It is then smoothed and polished to prevent premature staining and wearing.


Advantages of Composite Fillings


  • Composite fillings bond to the tooth so it has greater strength, which will help prevent any breakage

  • Composite fillings require less drilling, which saves as much of the tooth structure as possible

  • Composite fillings look more pleasing aesthetically because they match the appearance and color of natural tooth

  • Composite fillings harden in a just a matter of seconds, and not days like other material options

  • Composite fillings can easily be repaired if it is damaged


Disadvantages of Composite Fillings


  • Composite fillings are more labor intensive procedure for the dentist

  • Composite fillings can make you experience some amount of tooth sensitivity for a short while after the procedure

  • Composite fillings has a tendency to wear out sooner compared to metal fillings, especially among those who do heavy chewing and grinding

  • Composite fillings can stain from prolonged or frequent exposure to tea, wine, coffee and other food and drinks that have staining properties

  • Composite fillings can degrade from prolonged or frequent exposure to drinks with high alcohol content

  • Composite fillings are more costly compared to silver fillings

  • Composite fillings may require patients to pay higher co-payments and additional cost for resin fillings


If you are wondering if composite fillings is the right choice for you, talk to a reputable dentist in your area. They should be able to explain all the different fillings options available for you and guide you in deciding what is best for your particular needs.


  • Gold fillings. With a lifespan of more than 15 years, gold fillings offer durability. They are also non-corrosive. There are patients who like the look of gold fillings better compared to silver amalgam fillings. The downside is that these can cost more than silver fillings and will require multiple visits to the dentist to get the right fit.

  • Silver amalgam fillings. Stout and sturdy, silver amalgam is the same as gold fillings, except that it has a more appealing price tag. One big disadvantage is that they are not the most aesthetically-pleasing options. Some patients might be turned off by its appearance.


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Use of Stem Cells in Dental Implant Site Development

For most people, a toothache is one of their most dreaded feelings. The thought of going to the dentist can send you through a wave of emotions that can end up with you avoiding your appointment altogether. When left unattended, teeth problems can only get worse. Eventually, you may have to replace a lost tooth.


Traditionally, dentists use dentures and dental bridges to replace diseased teeth. One of the biggest dental innovations of the late 20th century is dental implants, which is the replacement of teeth with space-age metal. But new advances in stem cell research promises a future where tooth replacement even better.


Stem Cells for Natural Tooth Replacement


Humans only have two sets of teeth over their lifetime. Deciduous or baby teeth are lost by the time a person is 12 or 13 years old, and are then replaced by adult teeth, which is the second and last set of teeth. Other species have unlimited teeth in their lifetimes. For instance, a shark can replace their teeth in just a few weeks – a proof of nature’s ability to grow new teeth even in adulthood.


Studies have looked into this lead and have thought about using stem cells to grow new teeth in an adult human. After all, nature has advantages over dental implants. Because of complexity and cost, the latter is not a common dental procedure. With stem cells, humans can have a more accessible and affordable way to replace lost teeth.


What are Dental Implant Stem Cells?


The body has many kinds of cells. At birth, these cells that create all the various organs and systems of the body is possible because of the stem cells. Stem cells are undifferentiated cells that can change to every cell in the body. They are found in almost all body tissues, helping create and replenish the body, but are usually buried in hard to locate areas.


Scientists discovered that teeth hold stem cells, both baby and adult teeth, and have the complete ability to replicate themselves. Because of their compatibility with the human immune system, dental stem cells can be applied in medical science fields. Studies are showing promise on tooth implantation with dental stem cells.


Scientists are Growing Teeth in Animal Models


There has been progress in using stem cells in animal studies. Scientists were actually able to grow teeth at London’s King’s College while seeking out blood supply from surrounding tissue. Other studies have had teeth successfully implanted into rats. A low-power laser was used to activate the stem cells to regrow the tooth structure.


At Columbia University, researchers were able to guide stem cells to make a three-dimensional scaffold. This led to the creation of a complete tooth in about nine weeks. One thing that is left is to reproduce these results in humans. Although the human dentin is very similar to that of the rats, it is not exactly the same.


Taking Small Steps in Stem Cell Dental Implants


Perhaps the biggest challenge when it comes to dental stem cells is reproducing human clinical outcomes that are reliable. Rather than replacing the whole teeth, stem cells can instead help heal teeth temporarily. For instance, in cases of tooth decay, stem cells can help heal a cavity before going through root canal therapy.


The only thing that is certain is the human teeth contain stem cells. So rather than throwing an extracted tooth, it might possibly be used to extract cells to replenish a tooth in the future. Many people cryopreserve their cells, which can become standard for stem cells in the teeth, and then be used to fix smiles in the future.



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Top 10 Reasons Why You Should Consider Dental Implants

These days, we have several options when it comes to replacing damaged or missing teeth. But among all these options, one stands out above the rest: dental implants. Dental implants offer many benefits that other teeth replacement options cannot give. If you are thinking of getting a tooth replaced, here are 10 reasons why you should consider dental implants.


Dental Implants Prevent Bone Loss - Tooth loss usually leads to bone mass loss in the jaw. Remember that the jaw bone needs adequate simulation – something that teeth gives – in order to maintain its mass. Dental implants is the sole tooth replacement option that will replace the jaw bone simulation that natural tooth does, helping prevent bone loss.


Dental Implants Match Natural Teeth - Dental implants are available in a wide range of sizes and shapes. Your dentist will closely work with you in designing the implants so that it will not only perfectly fit in the gap, but matches the color of the surrounding teeth as well. Once the procedure is done, only you and your dentist will know that you had implants.


Dental Implants Restore Bite Force - Implants are securely anchored into the jaw using a titanium post that replaces the root of the tooth. This means that you can bite with almost the same amount of force as you would using your natural teeth. Because they merely sit on top of the gums, other options for tooth replacement will not restore almost as much of your bite force.


Dental Implants Prevent Face Shape Changes - Because the teeth supports the facial structure, any tooth loss can also mean loss of facial structure support. This can mean changes in the shape of the face that can make you appear older. Dental implants give the same kind of support to your face as natural teeth, preventing any changes in your face shape.


Dental Implants Enable Natural Speech - There are some tooth replacement options, such as dentures, that can significantly impact your ability to correctly pronounce certain sounds and words. Missing teeth has the ability to alter speech. Since dental implants feel and function like natural teeth, you should be able to speak naturally and easily as before.


Dental Implants are Cavity-Free - Artificial teeth like bridges and dentures will still require adequate care to prevent bacteria built-up that can increase your risk for infections. On the other hand, the materials used to make dental implants cannot decay. This means that you will never have to worry about getting cavities on your implants.


Dental Implants are Easy to Care For - Taking care of dental implants can be very quick and easy; all that you need to do is brush and floss as you normally would with your natural teeth. They do not require any special products – like cups, adhesives, cleansing tablets or special flossers – to keep them clean and in tiptop shape.


Dental Implants Has No Slippages - Patients who wear dentures usually feel self-conscious when eating, laughing or speaking in public because dentures can visibly shift inside the mouth or even slip out of it. By contrast, dental implants are securely anchored in place, so you are more confident and secure when facing other people.


Dental Implants Support Adjacent Teeth - When you have a gap in your mouth caused by a missing tooth, the teeth on either side of the gap usually has a tendency to shift their position. This can lead to misalignment and can cause several issues like bite problems. Dental implants will fill the gap, so you can still maintain your straight and even smile.


Dental Implants are a Permanent Solution - Other



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