Posts for category: Dental Procedures
Root canal treatment can end your pain and help you avoid the loss of a tooth. Downingtown, PA, general dentist Dr. Carl Horchos offers root canals at Chestnut Dental Associates.
What is root canal therapy?
During root canal therapy, your Downingtown dentist removes the pulp from the center of the tooth. The pulp, a collection of connective tissue, nerves and blood vessels, fills the center portion of your tooth but also extends into the small canals in the roots of the tooth.
Once pulp tissue has been removed, the tooth is filled with gutta percha, a rubber-based material. Your treated tooth may also require a crown to protect the tooth.
Why are root canals needed?
Root canals are performed when the pulp becomes inflamed or infected, causing pain. The problem can occur if a cavity isn't treated and tooth decay eventually penetrates the pulp. It's not unusual to need a root canal after an accident that damages or loosens your tooth.
If you don't have a root canal, you will eventually lose your tooth or develop an abscess. Root canals help you avoid these unpleasant consequences.
Isn't root canal therapy painful?
Many people are worried that root canal therapy will be an awful experience. That's not surprising, considering the jokes that circulate about root canals. Fortunately, everything you've heard about root canal pain is wrong. You'll receive local anesthesia when you arrive at the office, and your dentist won't proceed with the therapy until you're comfortably numb. From your perspective, the root canal procedure won't seem much different than having a filling.
Will my tooth feel better immediately?
You may notice some sensitivity in the treated tooth for a few days. Over-the-counter pain medications can be helpful if you do notice mild pain. Within a week or two after your root canal, you'll notice that your pain is finally gone.
Improve your oral health with root canal therapy. Call your Downingtown, PA, general dentist Dr. Carl Horchos of Chestnut Dental Associates at (484) 364-4292 to schedule an appointment.
Placing a dental implant within the jawbone requires a surgical procedure. For most people it’s a relatively minor affair, but for some with certain health conditions it might be otherwise. Because of their condition they might have an increased risk for a bacterial infection afterward that could interfere with the implant’s integration with the bone and lead to possible failure.
To lower this risk, dentists for many years have routinely prescribed an antibiotic for patients considered at high-risk for infection to take before their implant surgery. But there’s been a lively debate among health practitioners about the true necessity for this practice and whether it’s worth the possible side effects that can accompany taking antibiotics.
While the practice still continues, current guidelines now recommend it for fewer health conditions. The American Dental Association (ADA) together with the American Heart Association (AHA) now recommend antibiotics only for surgical patients who have prosthetic heart valves, a history of infective endocarditis, a heart transplant or certain congenital heart conditions.
But patients with prosthetic joint replacements, who were once included in the recommendation for pre-surgical antibiotics, are no longer in that category. Even so, some orthopedic surgeons continue to recommend it for their joint replacement patients out of concern that a post-surgical infection could adversely affect their replaced joints.
But while these areas of disagreement about pre-surgical antibiotics still continue, a consensus may be emerging about a possible “sweet spot” in administering the therapy. Evidence from recent studies indicates just a small dose of antibiotics administered an hour before surgery may be sufficient to reduce the risk of infection-related implant failure with only minimal risk of side effects from the drug.
Because pre-surgical antibiotic therapy can be a complicated matter, it’s best that you discuss with both the physician caring for your health condition and your dentist about whether you should undergo this option to reduce the infection risk with your own implant surgery. Still, if all the factors surrounding your health indicate it, this antibiotic therapy might help you avoid losing an implant to infection.
If you would like more information on antibiotics before implant surgery, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Implants & Antibiotics: Lowering Risk of Implant Failure.”
Once upon a time, celebrities tried hard to maintain the appearance of red-carpet glamour at all times. That meant keeping the more mundane aspects of their lives out of the spotlight: things like shopping, walking the dog and having oral surgery, for example.
That was then. Today, you can find plenty of celebs posting pictures from the dentist on social media. Take Julianne Hough, for example: In 2011 and 2013, she tweeted from the dental office. Then, not long ago, she shared a video taken after her wisdom teeth were removed in December 2016. In it, the 28-year-old actress and dancer cracked jokes and sang a loopy rendition of a Christmas carol, her mouth filled with gauze. Clearly, she was feeling relaxed and comfortable!
Lots of us enjoy seeing the human side of celebrities. But as dentists, we’re also glad when posts such as these help demystify a procedure that could be scary for some people.
Like having a root canal, the thought of extracting wisdom teeth (also called third molars) makes some folks shudder. Yet this routine procedure is performed more often than any other type of oral surgery. Why? Because wisdom teeth, which usually begin to erupt (emerge from beneath the gums) around age 17-25, have the potential to cause serious problems in the mouth. When these molars lack enough space to fully erupt in their normal positions, they are said to be “impacted.”
One potential problem with impacted wisdom teeth is crowding. Many people don’t have enough space in the jaw to accommodate another set of molars; when their wisdom teeth come in, other teeth can be damaged. Impacted wisdom teeth may also have an increased potential to cause periodontal disease, bacterial infection, and other issues.
Not all wisdom teeth need to be removed; after a complete examination, including x-rays and/or other diagnostic imaging, a recommendation will be made based on each individual’s situation. It may involve continued monitoring of the situation, orthodontics or extraction.
Wisdom tooth extraction is usually done right in the office, often with a type of anesthesia called “conscious sedation.”Â Here, the patient is able to breathe normally and respond to stimuli (such as verbal directions), but remains free from pain. For people who are especially apprehensive about dental procedures, anti-anxiety mediation may also be given. After the procedure, prescription or over-the-counter pain medication may be used for a few days. If you feel like singing a few bars, as Julianne did, it’s up to you.
If you would like more information about wisdom tooth extraction, please call our office to arrange a consultation. You can learn more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Wisdom Teeth” and “Removing Wisdom Teeth.”
We’ve been treating one of your decay-prone teeth for some time with one filling after another. Each incident required a little more removal of decayed tooth material until now there isn’t enough structure to support another filling.
We could remove the tooth and replace it with a bridge or a dental implant, both viable restoration options. But keeping the tooth if possible would be more beneficial in the long-run for your gums, bone and remaining teeth. If it still has a healthy and stable root, it’s possible to permanently cover or “cap” the tooth with a life-like crown.
Crowns have been used for decades: the first were mainly composed of metal like gold or silver and later dental porcelain, a ceramic material that could be molded, shaped and oven-fired to resemble a real tooth. The earliest porcelains, though, were brittle, so a hybrid with a metal interior for strength and a fused exterior porcelain layer for appearance came into prominence.
Today, advances in materials have led to all-porcelain crowns strong enough to withstand biting forces. While the metal-porcelain hybrid still account for about 40% of crowns installed annually, the all-porcelain types are steadily growing in popularity.
Regardless of the type, though, the process for fitting any crown is relatively the same. The first step is to reshape the affected tooth so that the future crown will fit over it, followed by an impression mold of the tooth a dental technician will use to form a custom crown. Once the new crown has been prepared, we then permanently bond it to the tooth.
With a crown, you’ll be able to enjoy normal function and have a tooth that looks as healthy and normal as its neighbors. Be aware, though, that your underlying tooth is still subject to decay — so diligent, daily hygiene and regular dental visits are a must. With proper care your newly crowned tooth can continue to serve you and your smile for many years to come.
If you would like more information on dental restoration options, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Crowns & Bridgework.”
How sealants from your dentist in Downingtown, Pennsylvania can save your child’s smile.
You should teach your child to brush and floss regularly, but even that might not be enough to prevent tooth decay. That’s because there are tiny grooves and crevices which are a normal part of tooth anatomy. These tiny grooves and crevices are the perfect place for decay-causing bacteria to hide. That’s where sealants can help. Dr. Carl Horchos at Chestnut Dental Associates in Downingtown, Pennsylvania wants to introduce you to the benefits of dental sealants and how they can help your child.
Sealant treatment begins with an etching material which is placed on the chewing surfaces of your child’s teeth. The etching material is rinsed off after a few seconds, creating tiny pore-like openings to retain the sealant material.
The sealant material is a liquid resin, which is flooded into the grooves and crevices. It’s then hardened with a dental light, creating a solid, strong protective covering. Sealants make it impossible for bacteria and food debris to get inside the deep anatomy. Bacteria and food debris simply slide off of the top of your child’s teeth.
Parents and children both like sealant treatment because it is:
- Pain-free, requiring no anesthetic
- Quick, requiring only minutes
- Inexpensive, when compared to fillings
- Effective, with a long history of safety and effectiveness
The current recommendations are for sealant placement on the first permanent molars when your child is between 5 and 7, and the second permanent molars when your child is between 11 and 14. Sealant placement at the appropriate time can save you and your child from years of extensive and expensive restorative work.
For more detailed information about dental sealants, please visit the Sealants page on the Chestnut Dental Associates website at https://www.chestnutdentalassoc.com/library/7800/Sealants.html
Sealants can mean the difference between a beautiful smile, and a mouthful of cavities! Sealants are easy, safe, inexpensive, and they can be completed in just a few minutes. To make sealants part of your child’s dental care, call Dr. Carl Horchos at Chestnut Dental Associates in Downingtown, Pennsylvania today!