Is your mouth trying to tell you that you may need to get a root canal?
No one wants to hear from their Rio Grande, NJ dentist Dr. William Panico that they need a root canal. In fact, we hate having to tell our patients this. If you are dealing with certain changes to your oral health that concern you, find out if any of these symptoms could be trying to tell you that a root canal is in your near future.
Trying to figure out if you need root canal therapy can be a difficult task to do on your own, which is why you should see our Rio Grande, NJ general dentist every six months or if you start to notice symptoms of a problem.
In fact, there are many warning signs that a tooth isn’t healthy and may require a root canal. Even though we are the only ones who can properly determine whether you will need this treatment or not, if you start to notice any of these symptoms then you need to call us right away:
- Tooth sensitivity (particularly to hot or cold foods/drinks)
- Dental pain (it may be a persistent or intermittent ache)
- Tooth pain that occurs while chewing
- Swelling or inflammation of the gums
- Discolorations or darkening of a tooth
When you come in for treatment we will talk to you about the symptoms you are experiencing and how long they’ve been going on. Then we will examine your smile to check for any signs that you may have an infection.
What is the purpose of a root canal?
A root canal is designed to treat an infection that has reached the inside structure of the tooth, known as the pulp. A root canal is also required if the dental pulp has become inflamed due to trauma or injury. During a root canal, we will remove the diseased or damaged tissue to prevent the problem from progressing so severely that the tooth has to be removed. The goal of root canal treatment is to actually preserve as much of the tooth as possible so it doesn’t need to be extracted.
Do you have questions about getting a root canal in Rio Grande, NJ? If so, then don’t hesitate to turn to Whitecaps Dental today for all of your restorative, general and preventive dental care.
Weakened or damaged teeth can take a toll on your smile and lead to much more complex issues. Luckily, crowns and bridges give you the opportunity to take your smile back by strengthening your teeth and filling in your gaps. Learn about how these dental restorations can work together to restore your smile with help from your Rio Grande, NJ dentis,t Dr. William Panico.
What are crowns?
Dental crowns are tooth-shaped dental restorations which have many uses. Before placing a dental crown, your dentist must prepare the tooth by shaving small amounts of enamel from the top and sides of the tooth. This shapes the tooth into the correct form to fit inside of the crown and ensures a strong and secure bond between your tooth and its restoration. Dentists use crowns in many situations, including:
- to strengthen a damaged tooth
- to stabilize a tooth with a large filling or after root canal therapy
- to improve the appearance of a misshapen or severely discolored tooth
- to complete a dental implant
- to restore the biting surface of a worn tooth
What are bridges?
Dental bridges fill the gap left behind by a missing tooth. The restoration itself usually consists of three prosthetic teeth in a row. The bridge has a dental crown on either end which secures it into place using the surrounding natural teeth. A removable bridge uses metal clasps to attach itself to the surrounding teeth in place of dental crowns. Missing teeth have several side effects which a bridge reduces the risk of.
Crowns and Bridges in Rio Grande, NJ
Crowns and permanent bridges have similar procedures. In both cases, your dentist must prepare the tooth to receive the crown by forming it into the correct shape. A temporary crown protects the tooth or teeth while the dental laboratory creates and customizes the restoration itself. A second appointment to place the crown or bridge onto the teeth completes the process.
Crowns and bridges can work together to take care of several dental issues at once. Consult with your dentist to determine if crowns or bridges are a good choice for you and your smile. For more information on dental crowns and bridges, please contact Dr. Panico in Rio Grande, NJ. Call (609) 886-2277 to schedule your appointment for a consultation today!
Dental implants are an effective and permanent way to replace teeth that go missing due to infection or injury. They can be used to replace one or more missing teeth, and can also be used with bridgework and dentures. There are three key steps in the dental implant process: the placement, the healing period and the crown installation. Learn what you can expect when you get dental implants at the Rio Grande, NJ office of Dr. William H. Panico.
The Placement Appointment
Before your dentist starts the process of installing a dental implant, you must first visit the office for an initial exam to ensure that your gums are healthy enough to accept implants. After your dentist has confirmed that you are a viable candidate for this dental treatment, the next appointment will be to install the implant. This is a surgical procedure that takes about an hour or more depending on how many dental implants are needed. You will be sedated for this appointment for a comfortable experience and your Rio Grande dentist might also administer antibiotics to prevent infection.
The Healing Process
After your implantation appointment, the next step is for you to heal at home. You will be given detailed instructions on how to maintain optimal oral hygiene at home so that your implant will heal quickly. Eating healthy foods (including calcium and iron-rich vegetables) and drinking plenty of water also helps. The length of time it takes for the implant to heal varies from two to nine months.
The Crown Placement
The final step of the dental implant process is to install an abutment and permanent crown. The abutment is a device that is positioned slightly above the gum line and is designed to hold the crown in place. The crown is commonly made of porcelain, a very durable and attractive material that looks identical to your natural tooth enamel. It will last for 15 or more years and your implants will last a lifetime if you prioritize your dental health.
Visit Dr. Panico for a Consultation
If you think that you would benefit from dental implants, call to consult with Dr. William H. Panico. Call his Rio Grande, NJ office at (609) 886-2277 today to schedule an appointment with a friendly staff member.
Mouthguards are just as essential as pads and helmets if you or your children play sports. William H. Panico, DMD, your dentist in Rio Grande, NJ, is here to answer a few commonly asked questions about mouthguards.
Why are mouthguards important?
One blow to your mouth from a ball, stick or elbow can knock out a tooth or damage your mouth. Mouthguards help absorb the force of a blow and help prevent dental injuries to your teeth, jaw, lips and face. They can also prevent damage to braces. Wearing a mouthguard is just as important whether you play on an official team or play in pickup games on the weekend.
Where can I get a mouthguard?
You can buy a mouthguard at any sporting goods store. Stores generally offer ready-to-wear guards that can be put in your mouth immediately after opening the package or boil and bite versions that are boiled first to provide a more custom fit. Unfortunately, many people find store-bought mouthguards uncomfortable and never wear them more than once.
Your Rio Grande dentist offers custom-made versions that may change your mind about mouthguard comfort. Custom mouthguards are made from an impression of your teeth, so they fit your mouth perfectly. Cheap mouthguards are often bulky, but custom versions are made of lightweight material that makes them less noticeable while you're playing your favorite sport.
How should I take care of my mouthguard?
Mouthguard care is fairly simple. Rinse it after you use it and keep it fresh by brushing it with a little toothpaste. At least once a week, wash it in soapy water and rinse it well. When you're not wearing your mouthguard, place it in the case provided to prevent damage. Never leave it in the sun, as exposure to hot temperatures can affect the fit. If you notice wear or the mouthguard doesn't fit as well as it once does, replace it as soon as possible.
Interested in a custom mouthguard? Call your Rio Grande, NJ, dentist, William H. Panico, DMD, at (609) 886-2277 and schedule an appointment.
Semi-annual office cleanings are important for keeping teeth healthy and disease-free. If you’ve replaced some of your teeth with dental implants, though, you may be thinking they don’t need as much attention from your hygienist.
It’s quite the opposite — cleaning around implants is important, and actually requires additional attention. The reason for this relates to both how dental implants attach to the jaw and their constructive materials.
Natural teeth are held in place by the periodontal ligament with tiny fibers that attach to the teeth on one side of it and to the jawbone on the other. The ligaments and the gingival (gum) fibers (which are also attached to the tooth) provide some disease resistance to the teeth through its rich blood vessel and collagen network. Dental implants, on the other hand, anchor directly into the jawbone. The titanium integrates with the bone, which naturally attracts to the metal and grows around it, which provides the implant’s eventual attachment strength. The implant doesn’t attach to the gum tissue and won’t develop the same relationship with the periodontal ligament as natural teeth.
Bacterial plaque, the primary cause for tooth decay and periodontal (gum) disease, can collect on an implant crown just as readily as on a natural tooth. Although the materials that make up an implant can’t be affected by a plaque-induced infection, the gum tissues and supporting bone around it can. In fact, because implants lack the disease resistance of the gingival fibers and the ligament attachment, an infection can turn rapidly into a condition known as peri-implantitis that could cause bone and tissue loss and lead to the loss of the implant.
Your hygienist understands the importance of removing plaque and calculus (hardened plaque deposits) from around your dental implant. This often calls for different instruments made of plastics or resins that won’t scratch the implant’s highly polished surface. Scratches provide a haven for bacteria to collect and make it more difficult to dislodge them. Likewise, if the hygienist uses ultrasonic equipment that loosens plaque through vibration, the hygienist will often use nylon or plastic tips to minimize damage to the implant.
And don’t forget your own personal hygiene habits — they’re just as important with dental implants as with natural teeth. Keeping plaque under control, both at home and with your dentist, is crucial to longevity for your dental implants.
If you would like more information on maintaining and cleaning dental implants, 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 “Dental Implant Maintenance.”
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