The words no one wants to hear! Most root canal treatment is straightforward, though many people have heard stories from someone who has had a difficult one. Root canals are needed when a tooth has had damage to the nerve and needs to be cleaned out. All back teeth that have had a root canal need a crown to make them stronger.
Composite Tooth Colored Fillings
These fillings are the most common material we use. They are tooth-colored, bonded, and are much more conservative than amalgam fillings. These fillings do not stress teeth like silver fillings because we do not have to cut away as much good tooth to make the fillings stick.
Silver Amalgam Fillings
There is a great deal of controversy surrounding amalgam fillings due to the mercury they contain. The use of silver fillings is decreasing, and we are placing these fillings less and less. They can cause a tooth to be sensitive to cold and, if large enough, can cause stress on a tooth—possibly leading to a fracture. They are long lasting, as many people have had them for 10–20 years or more, and are more effective in areas where it is difficult to keep the tooth dry.
Lasers are relatively new to dentistry; they are very useful in procedures where we need to change soft tissue or gum tissue. There is very little post-operative discomfort or pain with laser treatment. Lasers are used to remove suspicious tissues in the mouth for biopsy and for people who are tongue-tied or have a tight upper lip.
Also known as TMJ, you may have a TMD issue if you have any of these signs or symptoms:
- Headaches—in the morning when wake up or as the day goes on.
- Sore jaw
- Worn teeth
- Cracked teeth
- Broken teeth
- Noticeable clenching during the day
- Limited mouth opening
- Grinding your teeth at night
- Bite feels off
- Ear pain
Any of these can point to an issue with position or condition of your jaw (or temporomandibular) joints. There are too many variations on conditions and symptoms to go into a full discussion here, but if you have any of these symptoms or signs, it would be wise for us to have a discussion about this. Untreated issues with the TMJ complex do not tend to get better. The symptoms may go away, but damage will progress.
Do you grind your teeth at night? Do you wake up with headaches? Are your teeth worn? An Occlusal splint may be right for you. Made to fit your mouth precisely (unlike store-bought varieties), these splints are made of hard plastic and are used to control the way teeth fit together and protect your smile. The positioning of your jaw has a lot to do with headaches and TMJ pain, so an occlusal splint can often help with these issues.
Snoring can be detrimental to relationships, but sleep apnea can be detrimental to your health. We can help with both. We have a few basic screening tools to see if you are a candidate for a sleep study. While snoring can be annoying and indicate poor sleep, sleep apnea is an actual stoppage of breathing multiple times in the night. This can be life-threatening. CPAP is no longer the only treatment for sleep apnea.