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Dental services offered in our Milton office

At Apple Dental Milton, we utilize cutting edge technology to provide a full range of general and cosmetic dental procedures for your entire family.

Dental Cleaning
Dental Cleanings for a Lifetime of Dental Health

The dental profession refers to the dental cleaning appointment as a “dental prophylaxis,” or “prophy.” Its most significant functions are prevention of dental disease and patient education. It is likely the most important and valuable visit a patient may ever make to the dentist.

The routine dental cleaning is anything but routine, and should include:

  • Personal oral hygiene evaluation, home care review and recommendations.
  • Tooth brushing and flossing instructions.
  • Supra gingival (above the gum) scaling to remove plaque and tartar from all visible tooth surfaces.
  • Debridement of tartar beneath the gum, as conditions warrant.
  • Topical fluoride treatment to the age of 13.
  • Polishing the teeth.
  • Nutrition assessment, if needed.
  • Periodontal charting and scheduling of additional periodontal care as indicated.
  • The dental prophylaxis is the cornerstone for a lifetime of dental health.

Ultrasonic and Hand Scaling

Plaque is the colonization of natural oral bacteria on food debris that remains on the surface and in the crevices of the teeth and gums. Combining with minerals in the saliva, it ultimately forms a hard, rough sediment known as dental tartar or calculus, which attracts further plaque buildup. Calculus must be removed by a dental professional for the prevention of periodontal disease.

Removal of calculus may be performed by a licensed dental hygienist or dentist, either by manual scaling of the teeth or with an ultrasonic device. The choice of technique is a personal preference by the hygienist or wishes of the patient.

Light or moderate tartar buildup is commonly removed by manual scaling instruments of various shapes and sizes. The hygienist’s skills are especially important for this procedure.

The ultrasonic scaler, commonly called by the brand name Cavitron®, is often indicated for the efficient removal of heavy, tenacious tartar and stains. The hygienist may follow its use with hand scaling for a more finite smoothing of tooth and root surfaces.

Caution is warranted for people who wear pacemakers, as the ultrasonic sounds may interfere with the function of the pacemaker.

Root Planing

Accumulation of plaque causes inflammation of the gums and an ensuing breakdown of the periodontal attachment (the fibrous connection of the teeth to the supporting structures). Pockets between the teeth and soft tissue become deeper and the underlying bone recedes. Increased pocket depth encourages the formation of more calculus, plaque and further tissue breakdown. The ongoing bacterial colonization byproducts perpetuate the disease process.

Root planing is a procedure to treat periodontal conditions (moderate to advanced gum disease) by thoroughly scaling the roots of teeth to establish a smooth, calculus free surface. The process may be performed by a dental hygienist, dentist or periodontist (gum specialist), and usually requires local anesthesia to prevent pain. Thorough periodontal scaling customarily involves several dental visits.

More advanced conditions may necessitate periodontal surgery for complete debridement of the roots and recontouring of the hard and soft tissue to arrest the disease process or to restore, in select situations, lost bone.

Polishing

The dental prophylaxis is refined by a final polishing of the teeth to remove stains and create a sensation of fresh breath and a clean mouth.

The Dental Recall Appointment

Patients should schedule their recall appointments on a regular basis for the early diagnoses of dental disease. The hygienist or dentist may recommend a prophylaxis visit every two to six months. Even if your dental insurance plan only covers the procedure twice a year, it’s money well spent. Recall frequency depends on many factors and should be determined on an individual basis. Some people tend to have more buildup of calculus than others and some may be more prone to periodontal inflammation or the development of tooth decay. Patients with inadequate oral hygiene practices will require more frequent cleanings.

Dental Cleaning for Children

The dental prophylaxis is especially important for children to establish good oral hygiene practice and to appreciate the importance of dental health. Easy dental prophy appointments help create self-esteem and will lessen anxiety should dental restorative care become necessary in the future.

The regular application of topical fluoride, early detection of orthodontic (bite) problems, and an evaluation for pit and fissure sealants are part of preventive dental health.

Dental cleanings include tooth and gum treatments.

Digital dental X-rays
Digital X-Rays

Going digital will benefit you:

  • SAFER: Reducing radiation by up to 90% compared to traditional film-based X-Rays.
  • HEALTHIER: eliminating the need to use caustic chemicals in the office.
  • FASTER: producing images that can be viewed immediately by you and your dentist. To make them even easier to see, we’ll enlarge them on a large monitor and lighten or darken them for best viewing.
  • BETTER: providing more diagnostic information that enables your dentists to identify problem areas earlier. Detecting a cavity sooner and smaller than before means we can fix it earlier, before it seriously weakens your tooth.
  • EASIER: with images stored on the computer that can be quickly duplicated for insurance company claims and other records.

Here’s how digital X-Rays at GreenLife Dental work.

  1. A small film, about the size of half a teabag, is placed into the patient’s mouth.
  2. An image pops up immediately on a nearby computer screen.
  3. You and your dentist look at the images on a large LCD monitor, in real time, and make decisions about your dental health.
  4. Images are then stored on our server for easy retrieval when needed.
Cosmetic dental procedures
Cosmetic Procedures

Today, everyone wants a beautiful smile. People who feel good about themselves interact positively with family, friends and business contacts. A beautiful, confident smile plays a significant role in your self-image. Advances in modern dentistry make it easy to restore a life-like beauty to teeth that are stained, chipped, crooked, missing, or separated by a wide space.

Many adults dislike their crooked teeth and sometimes orthodontic treatment can be provided with braces. Thanks to improved technology and materials, our office can now skillfully and quickly change those crowded, crooked and missing teeth into beautiful smiles. Bonding and porcelain laminate veneers are available to restore and correct teeth. Cosmetic dentistry is no longer just for the front teeth. Those old silver fillings that have made your back teeth dark and unattractive can now be replaced with state-of-the-art materials that will make your teeth stronger, healthier, and much more attractive.

Teeth Whitening

Has coffee, tea, red wine or cola taken its toll on your teeth? Maybe the natural aging process or long-term use of some medications is the culprit. The good news is that you can regain that white smile once again.

There is a wide range of dental products available to today’s consumer to combat discolorations of teeth. They range from whitening toothpastes and adhesive bleaching strips to custom-made bleaching trays and in-office “light-enhanced” bleaching. With all the choices, it certainly can be confusing.

Whitening toothpastes will cause teeth to lighten to some degree. One must be careful with the abrasive nature of some whitening toothpastes. If enough of the tooth’s outer layer is made thin through long-term use of abrasive whitening toothpastes, then the yellow sublayer begins to show through.

In-office, one-day bleaching is a good option for patients who want whiter teeth in an instant. We utilize ZOOM! technology with a quick result with at-home trays to be used for 3 days after treatment.

Another popular method that consistently provides predictable satisfactory results is the at-home method with custom-made whitening trays. First, models of your teeth are made. The dentist makes thin, clear, flexible trays that can comfortably be worn one to two hours a day while the whitening gel is held closely around every curve and corner of your teeth. Most patients arrive at satisfactory results within two weeks. The same trays can be used for a brief touch-up, when needed.

Crowns

A crown is a permanent covering that fits over an original tooth that is either decayed, damaged or cracked. Crowns are made of a variety of different materials such as porcelain, gold, acrylic resin or a mix of these materials.

This process generally consists of a minimum of 2-3 visits over a three to four week period. Once the procedure is completed, proper dental hygiene, including daily brushing and flossing, is required to maintain healthy, bacteria-free teeth, gums and crowns.

Veneers

Veneers are thin, semi-translucent “shells” typically attached to your front teeth. Veneers are customized from porcelain material and permanently bonded to your teeth. Veneers are a great alternative to otherwise painful dental procedures to improve the appearance of your smile.

Porcelain Veneers can correct the following situations:

  • Spaces between the teeth
  • Broken or chipped teeth
  • Unsightly, stained or discolored teeth
  • Permanently stained or discolored teeth
  • Crooked or misshapen teeth
  • Veneers are a great aesthetic solution to your smile that may even help you avoid orthodontic treatment. Subtle changes to your smile can be achieved with veneers, and in most cases, veneer application is completed in only two office visits.

Please contact our office if you have any further questions on veneers.

Invisalign Orthodontics

The Invisalign System utilizes advanced 3-D computer graphics technology. Invisalign aligners are designed to move your teeth in small steps to the final position prescribed. They are precisely calibrated and manufactured to fit your mouth at each stage of the treatment plan and each is worn for about two weeks and only taken out to eat, brush and floss. As you replace the aligner with the next, your teeth will begin to move gradually – week-by-week until the final alignment prescribed is attained. To see if Invisalign can help you achieve the smile you have always desired, just call our office to set up a consultation.

Childrens dental health
Children’s Oral Health

At what age are my children supposed to see a dentist?

The general rule is between 18 and 24 months. Some children require a bit more time to be comfortable. If an area of concern is noticed, then the child should see a dentist as soon as possible.

Why is it important to fix baby teeth that have decay? Aren’t they going to come out soon anyway?

It is very important to maintain the baby teeth because these teeth hold space for the future eruption of the permanent teeth. If a baby tooth decays or is removed too early, the space necessary for the permanent teeth is lost and can only be regained through orthodontic treatment. Infected baby teeth can cause the permanent teeth to develop improperly resulting in stains, pits and weaker teeth.

When will my child lose his/her baby teeth?

Children will begin losing their teeth at approximately age 4. They will usually lose their front teeth first. Children will continue to lose baby teeth until the age of 12 or 13 when all of the permanent teeth finally erupt.

When does thumb-sucking become damaging to the teeth?

Generally, if the child has stopped sucking his/her thumb by age 5 there is no permanent damage. If the child is a vigorous and constant thumbsucker, however, there can be moderate to severe movement of teeth and prevention of normal bone growth.

Should my child wear a mouthguard while playing sports?

It is strongly recommended that children wear a mouthguard while playing any contact sport. It is always better to prevent an injury than to repair one. The earlier a child begins to wear the mouthguard, the easier it is to become comfortable and continue to wear it as they get older.

What should I do if my child gets a tooth knocked out?

If the tooth is a permanent tooth, time is extremely crucial. Immediately stick the tooth back in the socket. Don’t worry about getting it in straight or having it turned backwards, just get it in the socket and immediately call your dentist. If you are uncomfortable placing the tooth in the socket, put it in a glass of milk and get your child to the dentist as quickly as possible. If the tooth is a baby tooth, do not put it in the socket because damage to the permanent tooth can occur. When in doubt, put the tooth in milk and see your dentist immediately.

Composite resin (white fillings)
Composite Resin (White Filling)

A composite resin is a tooth-colored plastic mixture filled with glass (silicon dioxide). Introduced in the 1960s, dental composites were confined to the front teeth because they were not strong enough to withstand the pressure and wear generated by the back teeth. Since then, composites have been significantly improved and can be successfully placed in the back teeth as well. Composites are not only used to restore decayed areas, but are also used for cosmetic improvements of the smile by changing the color of the teeth or reshaping disfigured teeth.

How is a composite placed?

Following preparation, the dentist places the composite in layers, using a light specialized to harden each layer. When the process is finished, the dentist will shape the composite to fit the tooth. The dentist then polishes the composite to prevent staining and early wear.

How long does it take to place a composite?

It takes the dentist about 10-20 minutes longer to place a composite than a silver filling. Placement time depends on the size and location of the cavity-the larger the size, the longer it will take.

What are the advantages of composites?

Esthetics are the main advantage, since dentists can blend shades to create a color nearly identical to that of the actual tooth. Composites bond to the tooth to support the remaining tooth structure, which helps to prevent breakage and insulate the tooth from excessive temperature changes.

What are the disadvantages?

After receiving a composite, a patient may experience post-operative sensitivity. Also, the shade of the composite can change slightly if the patient drinks tea, coffee or other staining foods. The dentist can put a clear plastic coating over the composite to prevent the color from changing if a patient is particularly con-cerned about tooth color. Composites tend to wear out sooner than silver fillings in larger cavities, although they hold up as well in small cavities.

How long will a composite last?

Studies have shown that composites last 7-10 years, which is comparable to silver fillings except in very large restorations, where silver fillings last longer than composites.

Custom tooth whitening
Whitening

How Can You Brighten Your Smile?

Your wedding is coming up and you want your smile to be its brightest. Or maybe you have an important speaking engagement. Whatever the reason, tooth bleaching isn’t just for the movie stars, and it isn’t just for one day. Many people have had their teeth bleached, and probably millions more are thinking about it. The desire for a brighter smile with whiter teeth is very strong, and tooth bleaching safely lightens the color of the teeth, lasting for up to five years. The most effective and safest method of tooth bleaching is dentist-supervised.

Is bleaching for you?

Generally, bleaching is successful in at least 90 percent of patients, though it may not be an option for everyone. Consider tooth bleaching if your teeth are darkened from age, coffee, tea or smoking. Teeth darkened with the color of yellow, brown or orange respond better to lightening. Other types of gray stains caused by fluorosis, smoking or tetracycline are lightened, but results are not as dramatic. If you have very sensitive teeth, periodontal disease, or teeth with worn enamel, your dentist may discourage bleaching.

What’s involved?

First, the dentist will determine whether you are a candidate for tooth bleaching and what type of bleaching system would provide the best results. If you’re in a hurry for whiter teeth, you may decide to have your teeth lightened immediately. Your dentist will use either an in-office bleaching system or laser bleaching while you sit in the dental chair. However, most patients choose dentist-supervised at-home bleaching, which is more economical and provides the same results. At the next appointment if you don’t choose laser bleaching, the dentist or hygienist will make impressions of your teeth to fabricate a mouthguard appliance for you. The mouthguard is custom made for your mouth and is lightweight so that it can be worn comfortably while you are awake or sleeping. The mouthguard is so thin that you should even be able to talk and work while wearing your mouthguard. Along with the mouthguard, you’ll receive the bleaching materials. You’ll be given instructions on how to wear the mouthguard. Some bleaching systems recommend bleaching your teeth from two to four hours a day. Generally this type of system requires three to six weeks to complete, and works best on patients with sensitive teeth. Other systems recommend bleaching at night while you sleep. This type of system usually requires only 10-14 days to complete.

How long does it last?

Lightness should last from one to five years, depending on your personal habits such as smoking and drinking coffee and tea. At this point you may choose to get a touch up. This procedure may not be as costly because you can probably still use the same mouthguard. The retreatment time also is much shorter than the original treatment time.

How does it work?

The active ingredient in most of the whitening agents is 10 percent carbamide peroxide (CH4N2O2), also known as urea peroxide; when water contacts this white crystal, the release of hydrogen peroxide lightens the teeth.

Is it safe? Any side effects?

Several studies, during the past five years, have proven bleaching to be safe and effective. The American Dental Association has granted its seal of approval to some tooth bleaching products. Some patients may experience slight gum irritation or tooth sensitivity, which will resolve when the treatment ends.

What are realistic expectations?

No one can really predict how much lighter your teeth will become. Every case is different. Typically, there is a two-shade improvement as seen on a dentist’s shade guide. The success rate depends upon the type of stain involved and your compliance. Bleaching can only provide a shift in color from gray to a lighter shade of gray, for example. Bleaching does not lighten artificial materials such as resins, silicants, or porcelains.

Bridges
Bridges

A bridge is a dental appliance that replaces one or more natural missing teeth, thereby “bridging” the space between two teeth. Fixed bridges are cemented into place next to the “abutment” teeth- -the surrounding teeth on either side of the space, or “span”.

Who should get a bridge?

If you are missing any teeth and are committed to maintaining good oral hygiene practices, you may be a good candidate for a bridge. A bridge is the most natural choice to fill the space in your mouth left by missing teeth. If left unfilled, this space can cause the surrounding teeth to drift out of position and can cause teeth and gums to become more susceptible to tooth decay and gum disease that can cause further tooth loss. Fixed bridges not only correct an altered bite, improve your chewing ability and speech, but they also safeguard your appearance by preventing the collapse of your facial features that can cause premature wrinkles and age lines.

How do I care for a bridge?

With a bridge, it is more important than ever to brush, floss and see your dentist regularly. If you do not control the buildup of food debris and plaque-the sticky film of bacteria formed from food acids-your teeth and gums can become infected, requiring further treatment and resulting in possible loss of the bridge. Your dentist may also recommend using floss threaders that help remove bacteria from hard to reach spaces between the bridge and adjacent teeth and gums. If you maintain optimal oral hygiene care, you can expect your fixed bridge to last as many as 8-10 years, or even longer.

Crowns
Crowns

A crown is a restoration that covers, or “caps,” a tooth to restore it to its normal shape and size, strengthening and improving the appearance of a tooth. Crowns are necessary when a tooth is generally broken down and fillings won’t solve the problem. If a tooth is cracked, a crown holds the tooth together to seal the cracks so the damage doesn’t get worse. Crowns are also used to support a large filling when there isn’t enough of the tooth remaining, attach a bridge, protect weak teeth from fracturing, restore fractured teeth, or cover badly shaped or discolored teeth.

How is a crown placed?

To prepare the tooth for a crown, it is reduced so the crown can fit over it. An impression of teeth and gums is made and sent to the lab for the crown fabrication. A temporary crown is fitted over the tooth until the permanent crown is made. On the next visit, the dentist removes the temporary crown and cements the permanent crown onto the tooth.

Will it look natural?

Yes. The dentist’s main goal is to create crowns that look like natural teeth. That is why dentists take an impression. To achieve a certain look, a number of factors are considered, such as the color, bite, shape, and length of your natural teeth. Any one of these factors alone can affect your appearance. If you have a certain cosmetic look in mind for your crown, discuss it with your dentist at your initial visit. When the procedure is complete, your teeth will not only be stronger, but they may be more attractive.

Why crowns and not veneers?

Crowns require more tooth structure removal, hence, they cover more of the tooth than veneers. Crowns are stationary and are customarily indicated for teeth that have sustained significant loss of structure, or to replace missing teeth. Crowns may be placed on natural teeth or dental implants.

What is the difference between a cap and a crown?

There is no difference between a cap and a crown.

How long do crowns last?

Crowns should last approximately 5-8 years. However, with good oral hygiene and supervision most crowns will last for a much longer period of time. Some damaging habits like grinding your teeth, chewing ice, or fingernail biting may cause this period of time to decrease significantly.

How should I take care of my crowns?

To prevent damaging or fracturing the crowns, avoid chewing hard foods, ice or other hard objects. You also want to avoid teeth grinding. Besides visiting your dentist and brushing twice a day, cleaning between your teeth is vital with crowns. Floss or interdental cleaners (specially shaped brushes and sticks) are important tools to remove plaque from the crown area where the gum meets the tooth. Plaque in that area can cause dental decay and gum disease.

Implants
Implants

Dental implants are artificial tooth replacements that were first developed half a century ago. Implants arose from the patient’s need to secure loose-fitting dentures. Since the advent of the implant, engineering and enhancements to the implant have enabled dentists to expand the implant’s usefulness, including the replacement of missing or lost teeth. Today, implant techniques provide a wide range of tooth replacement solutions including:

  • Single Tooth Replacement
  • Anterior Replacement
  • Posterior Replacement
  • Full Upper Replacement

The root implant—by far, the most popular—is the most effective because it mirrors the size and shape of a patient’s natural tooth. This implant is often as strong as the patient’s original tooth. The implant or artificial root is placed into the jawbone under local anesthesia, then allowed to heal and integrate with the bone. Once the healing process is completed and the jawbone is attached to the implant, the patient returns to the dental office where the implant is fitted with the new tooth. This process generally takes anywhere from three to eight months.

Invisalign
Invisalign

The clear alternative to braces.

Invisalign uses a series of clear aligners that are custom-molded to fit you. The virtually invisible aligners gradually reposition your teeth into a smile you’ll be proud of.

  • Remove your aligners to eat, brush and floss
  • Change aligners every two weeks
  • Your teeth move little by little
  • Results often in 6 months to 1 year

Why people prefer Invisalign

The convenience and ease of use of the Invisalign system have made it the choice of over half a million people. In fact, Invisalign has been effective in giving hundreds of thousands of people amazing new smiles.

  • Most people won’t notice you’re in treatment
  • Won’t disrupt your lifestyle
  • Your teeth move little by little
  • Free initial consultation with participating doctors

No metal wires or bands to irritate your mouth, and best of all, most people won’t notice you’re in treatment. Invisalign®, the clear alternative to braces, has been chosen by over 500,000 people who want amazing smiles.

Porcelain Vaneers
Porcelain Veneers

Porcelain veneers are ultra-thin shells of ceramic material, which are bonded to the front of teeth. This procedure requires little or no anesthesia, and can be the ideal choice for improving the appearance of the front teeth. Porcelain veneers are placed to mask discolorations, to brighten teeth, and to improve a smile. Highly resistant to permanent staining from coffee, tea, or even cigarette smoking, the wafer-thin porcelain veneers can achieve a tenacious bond to the tooth, resulting in an esthetically pleasing naturalness that is unsurpassed by other restorative options.

Why a porcelain veneer?

Porcelain veneers are an excellent alternative to crowns in many situations. They provide a much more conservative approach to changing a tooth’s color, size, or shape. Porcelain veneers can mask undesirable defects, such as teeth stained by tetracycline, by an injury, or as a result of a root-canal procedure, and are ideal for masking discolored fillings in front teeth. Patients with gaps between their front teeth or teeth that are chipped or worn may consider porcelain veneers. Generally, veneers will last for many years, and the technique has shown remarkable longevity when properly performed.

What happens during the procedure?

Patients need three appointments for the entire procedure: diagnosis and treatment planning, preparation, and bonding.

Diagnosis and treatment planning:

It’s critical that you take an active role in the smile design. Spend time in the decision-making and planning of the smile. Understand the corrective limitations of the procedure. Have more than one consultation, if necessary, to feel comfortable that your dentist understands your objectives.

Preparation of teeth:

This appointment will take from one to two hours. To prepare the teeth for the porcelain veneers, the teeth are lightly buffed to allow for the small added thickness of the veneer. Usually, about a half a millimeter of the tooth is removed, which may require a local anesthetic. At this appointment, a mold is taken of the teeth, which is sent to the laboratory for the fabrication of the veneers. This can take about one to two weeks. If the teeth are too unsightly a temporary veneer can be placed, at an additional cost.

Bonding of veneers:

This appointment will take about one or two hours. First, the dentist places the veneers with water or glycerine on the teeth to check their fit and get a sense of the shade or color. While the veneers are resting on your teeth, view the esthetic results, and pay particular attention to the color. At this point, the color of the veneers can still be adjusted with the shade of the cement to be used. The color cannot be altered after veneers are cemented. To apply the veneer, the tooth is cleansed with specific chemicals to achieve a bond. Once a special cement is sandwiched between the veneer and tooth, a visible light beam initiates the release of a catalyst to harden the cement.

How about maintenance?

For about a week or two, you will go through a period of adjustment as you get used to your “new” teeth that have been changed in size and shape. Brush and floss daily. After one or two weeks, you’ll return for a follow-up appointment.

Have realistic expectations…

Porcelain veneers are reasonable facsimiles of natural teeth, not perfect replacements. It’s not uncommon to see slight variations in the color of porcelain veneers upon close inspection, as this occurs even in natural teeth. Nevertheless, this procedure can greatly enhance your smile, and can heighten inner satisfaction and self-esteem.

Root Canals
Root Canal

Underneath your tooth’s outer enamel and within the dentin is an area of soft tissue called the pulp, which carries the tooth’s nerves, veins, arteries and lymph vessels. Root canals are very small, thin divisions that branch off from the top pulp chamber down to the tip of the root. A tooth has at least one but no more than four root canals.

Why do I feel pain?

When the pulp becomes infected due to a deep cavity or fracture that allows bacteria to seep in, or injury due to trauma, it can die. Damaged or dead pulp causes increased blood flow and cellular activity, and pressure cannot be relieved from inside the tooth. Pain in the tooth is commonly felt when biting down, chewing on it and applying hot or cold foods and drinks.

Why do I need root canal therapy?

Because the tooth will not heal by itself. Without treatment, the infection will spread, bone around the tooth will begin to degenerate, and the tooth may fall-out. Pain usually worsens until one is forced to seek emergency dental attention. The only alternative is usually extraction of the tooth, which can cause surrounding teeth to shift crookedly, resulting in a bad bite. Though an extraction is cheaper, the space left behind will require an implant or a bridge, which can be more expensive than root canal therapy. If you have the choice, it’s always best to keep your original teeth.

What is a root canal procedure?

A root canal is a procedure done to save the damaged or dead pulp in the root canal of the tooth by cleaning out the diseased pulp and reshaping the canal. The canal is filled with gutta percha, a rubberlike material, to prevent recontamination of the tooth. The tooth is then permanently sealed with possibly a post and/or a gold or porcelain crown. This enables patients to keep the original tooth.

What is involved in root canal therapy?

Once your general dentist performs tests on the tooth and recommends therapy, he or she can perform the treatment or refer you to an endo-dontist (a pulp specialist). Treatment usually involves one to three appointments.

First, you will probably be given a local anesthetic to numb the area. A rubber sheet is then placed around the tooth to isolate it. Next, a gap is drilled from the crown into the pulp chamber, which, along with any infected root canal, is cleaned of all diseased pulp and reshaped. Medication may be inserted into the area to fight bacteria. Depending on the condition of the tooth, the crown may then be sealed temporarily to guard against recontamination, or the tooth may be left open to drain, or the dentist may go right ahead and fill the canals.

If you’re given a temporary filling, usually on the next visit it’s removed and the pulp chamber and canal(s) are filled with rubberlike gutta percha or another material to prevent recontamination. If the tooth is still weak, a metal post may be inserted above the canal filling to reinforce the tooth. Once filled, the area is permanently sealed. Finally, a gold or porcelain crown is normally placed over the tooth to strengthen its structure and improve appearance.

What are the risks and complications?

More than 95 percent of root canal treatments are successful. However, sometimes a case needs to be redone due to diseased canal offshoots that went unnoticed or the fracturing of a canal filing instrument used-both of which rarely occur. Occasionally, a root canal therapy will fail altogether, marked by a return of pain.

What happens after treatment?

Natural tissue inflammation may cause discomfort for a few days, which can be controlled by an over-the-counter analgesic. A follow-up exam can monitor tissue healing. From this point on, brush and floss regularly, avoid chewing hard foods on the treated tooth, and see your dentist regularly.

Zoom Whitening
ZOOM! Whitening

A Closer Look at Zoom!® Whitening

Teeth whitening is one of the hottest cosmetic dental procedures today. With so many take-home products and chairside options, choosing the one that’s right for you can seem like a daunting task.

To start, it’s important to choose a teeth whitening system that’s proven to be safe and effective. Look for the ADA stamp of approval. And if your teeth are sensitive, you should also consider a product that’s gentle or made especially for sensitive teeth.

Other things to look for in a teeth whitening system include:

  • How fast it works
  • How convenient the product is
  • How long it lasts

The Zoom! whitening system, as shown on ABC’s show, “Extreme Makeover,” is a good example of a product that ranks high in all of these areas. Zoom! has been proven to make your teeth about eight shades whiter in as little as 45 minutes, and the results are long-lasting.

Unlike take-home whitening products, Zoom! is a chairside whitening treatment, which means that you can only get it in your dentist’s office. Treatment is straightforward: Your dentist will apply the Zoom! whitening gel to your teeth and then use a specially designed light to accelerate the whitening process.

So is Zoom! right for you? Zoom! may be the ideal choice for teeth whitening if time is of the essence and you want to avoid using the mouth trays usually available in take-home products.

As with every dental treatment, a qualified dentist can advise you as to what the best options are for you.

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