Posts for: March, 2019
As the host of America's Funniest Home Videos on ABC TV, Alfonso Ribeiro has witnessed plenty of unintentional physical comedy…or, as he puts it in an interview with Dear Doctor–Dentistry & Oral Health magazine, "When people do stuff and you're like, 'Dude, you just hurt yourself for no reason!'" So when he had his own dental dilemma, Alfonso was determined not to let it turn onto an "epic fail."
The television personality was in his thirties when a painful tooth infection flared up. Instead of ignoring the problem, he took care of it by visiting his dentist, who recommended a root canal procedure. "It's not like you wake up and go, 'Yay, I'm going to have my root canal today!'" he joked. "But once it's done, you couldn't be happier because the pain is gone and you're just smiling because you're no longer in pain!"
Alfonso's experience echoes that of many other people. The root canal procedure is designed to save an infected tooth that otherwise would probably be lost. The infection may start when harmful bacteria from the mouth create a small hole (called a cavity) in the tooth's surface. If left untreated, the decay bacteria continue to eat away at the tooth's structure. Eventually, they can reach the soft pulp tissue, which extends through branching spaces deep inside the tooth called root canals.
Once infection gets a foothold there, it's time for root canal treatment! In this procedure, the area is first numbed; next, a small hole is made in the tooth to give access to the pulp, which contains nerves and blood vessels. The diseased tissue is then carefully removed with tiny instruments, and the canals are disinfected to prevent bacteria from spreading. Finally, the tooth is sealed up to prevent re-infection. Following treatment, a crown (cap) is usually required to restore the tooth's full function and appearance.
Root canal treatment sometimes gets a bad rap from people who are unfamiliar with it, or have come across misinformation on the internet. The truth is, a root canal doesn't cause pain: It relieves pain! The alternatives—having the tooth pulled or leaving the infection untreated—are often much worse.
Having a tooth extracted and replaced can be costly and time consuming…yet a missing tooth that isn't replaced can cause problems for your oral health, nutrition and self-esteem. And an untreated infection doesn't just go away on its own—it continues to smolder in your body, potentially causing serious problems. So if you need a root canal, don't delay!
If you would like additional information on root canal treatment, please contact us or schedule a consultation. You can learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine articles “A Step-By-Step Guide to Root Canal Treatment” and “Root Canal Treatment: What You Need to Know.”
Find out why these simple dental checkups are necessary for healthy teeth and gums.
Just as you should visit your family doctor once a year for preventive checkups you should also visit our Erie, PA, family dentist, Dr. Rosanne Palermo, for the same preventive care for your teeth and gums. So, why are these routine cleanings and exams so important and just how often do you need to come in for care?
What is involved in a dental visit?
Each six-month checkup consists of a dental exam and a cleaning. During the cleaning, our dental hygienists use special tools to remove plaque and tartar buildup, the culprits behind decay and gum disease.
Along with getting your cleaning, we will also check the health of your gums to look for early warning signs of gum disease, a condition that affects nearly 50 percent of American adults and is the leading cause of tooth loss. While it is known as a “silent killer” because it doesn’t often cause symptoms until it has progressed to a harmful stage, coming in to see your Erie, PA, family dentist every six months can prevent gum disease or to at least detect it early enough that it can be properly treated or even reversed.
We will also examine your oral tissue, tongue, throat, face and neck for any early signs of oral cancer. An oral cancer screening only takes a minute, is completely painless, and it could just end up saving your life.
What are the benefits of regular dental appointments?
Preventive dentistry is so important for protecting your smile against cavities, gum disease, and other issues. Of course, sometimes these problems can still set in but it’s comforting to know that our dentist will be able to catch them early on when they are much easier to treat and are less likely to cause serious complications.
This is also a time for you to ask questions or address any concerns you may have about your own oral health and at-home care during these checkups. Want to know if Invisalign is right for you? Wondering what toothbrush is going to help you get a more thorough clean? These are all questions we can discuss with you so that you can make more informed decisions about your oral health.
Is it time to schedule your next dental cleaning?
We work with your busy schedule to provide you with an appointment that’s ideal for you. Call our Erie office today at (814) 833-3001 to schedule your six-month checkup. Your smile will thank you!
While children are less likely than adults to experience periodontal (gum) disease, the same can't be said for tooth decay. One aggressive form of decay called early childhood caries (ECC) can have a profound effect on a child's dental development and future health.
That's why dentists who treat young children often use a variety of preventive measures to reduce the risk of ECC and other dental diseases. One popular method is dental sealants, dental material coatings applied to the biting surfaces of teeth that fill in the naturally occurring pits and crevices. These areas are highly susceptible to plaque formation, a bacterial biofilm of food particles that tends to accumulate on teeth. It's the bacteria that live in plaque that are most responsible for the formation of tooth decay.
Roughly one third of children between the ages of 6 and 11 have received some form of dental sealant. It's a quick and painless procedure applied during a routine office visit. The dentist brushes the sealant in liquid form on the teeth, and then hardens it with a special curing light. It's common for children to begin obtaining sealant protection as their molars begin to come in.
With their increased popularity among dentists, researchers have conducted a number of studies to see whether dental sealants have a measurable effect reducing tooth decay. After reviewing the cases of thousands of children over several years, many of these studies seemed to show that children who didn't receive sealants were more than twice as likely to get cavities as children who did.
As evidence continues to mount for dental sealants' effectiveness protecting young children from decay, both the American Dental Association and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry now recommend it for all children. Not only can sealants help preserve children's teeth now, but they can reduce future costs for dental treatment that results from tooth decay.