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Archive for July, 2016

FAQs about Root Canal Treatment

Monday, July 25th, 2016

dentist South LoopRoot canals are one of the most feared and misunderstood procedures that your dentist performs. Unfortunately, many patients have misconceptions about the treatment. Following are some frequently asked questions:

What is a root canal?

A root canal is a treatment in which a dentist removes infected pulp material from the tooth’s inner core, cleans out the empty chamber and replaces the pulp with an inert rubber-like substance. The tooth is then fitted with a crown for additional protection.

Why are root canals necessary?

Root canals are indicated when decay is so extensive that it reaches the center of the tooth, where it triggers painful responses from the nerves in the pulp. The infection can even access the bloodstream and spread elsewhere in the body. Root canals may also be performed when a tooth is so extensively damaged by injury that the inner core is exposed to the oral cavity and the bacteria it contains.

What can I expect during and after the procedure?

The dentist will first numb the area using a local anesthetic and then drill a small hole in the tooth. Special instruments are used to clear out the pulp chamber, and then the empty chamber (or chambers) is filled with the rubber-like substance. Most root canals are completed in less than two hours. You will receive detailed instructions for self-care after the procedure. You may need to alter your diet for a short period of time, for example.

How much pain will I experience with my root canal?

The idea that root canals are associated with tremendous discomfort is a false one. Most patients report no more discomfort with a root canal than they have when getting a cavity filled.

How much will my root canal cost?

Costs of root canals vary from patient to patient, depending on the specific conditions of the tooth. Our staff will work to maximize any dental insurance benefits that you may have, however, and we accept a number of different payment types and offer financing plans for any costs not covered by insurance.

If you have any concerns or questions about a pending root canal treatment, we encourage you to contact us at Ora Dental Studio and speak with one of our experienced dental professionals. It’s important for you to fully understand the need for the treatment and what to expect from it before your appointment.

Inlay, Onlay or Crown?

Thursday, July 14th, 2016

dentist 60614Your dentist may use a variety of different restorations to repair damage to your teeth caused by tooth decay. The most appropriate treatment will be determined by the location and extent of the damage. Some restorations are more conservative than others.

Commonly used restorations include inlays, onlays or crowns. Inlays are used in cases when the decay is contained to a small area on the biting surface between the cusps of a tooth. Onlays are used when the area of decay is slightly larger, extending to the cusps. Onlays are often used on the rear teeth, which have large chewing surfaces. These restorations may also be called “partial crowns” and they cover a large portion of the chewing surface of the tooth.

A dental crown is a tooth-shaped cap that slides over the tooth and is bonded to it. The tooth is prepped by removing a thin layer of enamel to make enough room for the crown.

After assessing your case, your dentist will make a recommendation about the most appropriate and effective restoration for your tooth.

All of these restorations will be custom-designed to match the rest of your smile. They can be tailored in terms of shade and shape to look as natural as possible.

The restorations can be made of a range of materials, including metals, composite resins, porcelain or porcelain bonded to metal, in the case of dental crowns.

Most restorations are completed in two dental visits. At the first, your dentist will take impressions of the tooth, which are then sent to a lab so that the inlay, onlay or crown can be custom-crafted to your specifications. While awaiting the permanent restoration, a temporary device may be placed. You’ll return to the office in a few weeks to have the finished restoration bonded to your tooth. 

If you have any questions about the various types of treatments that can help to restore a damaged tooth, please call our office or schedule a time that is convenient for you to come in for an evaluation.

Why is Porcelain an Ideal Material to Use for Veneers?

Tuesday, July 5th, 2016

porcelain veneers ChicagoWith the ability to correct a range of defects such as stained, broken or slightly misaligned teeth, veneers may be the most versatile treatment used in cosmetic dentistry. These devices are often made of porcelain, and for good reason. A number of characteristics of this material make it ideal for veneers.

Porcelain is semi-translucent and reflects light in the same way that biological tooth material does, so porcelain veneers are aesthetically pleasing and blend in well with the rest of your natural smile. In contrast, composite veneers are not as effective at reflecting light, and they can look somewhat dull in comparison to the natural teeth.

The shade of porcelain veneers can be customized to match your other teeth, making it virtually impossible to pick out the veneers in the smile. In fact, it’s actually easier for your dentist to manipulate the shade of porcelain veneers than it is with some of the other materials that can be used to make veneers.

Porcelain is remarkably stain-resistant—even more so than natural enamel—which also makes this material especially suitable for use in veneers. Patients often get veneers in order to conceal stains, so the last thing they want is a veneer that is vulnerable to staining. They also don’t want a veneer that will be easily discolored by everyday activities like drinking coffee.

Although people tend to think of porcelain as a relatively fragile material, it’s actually quite strong when it is bonded to the teeth, which provide support for it. When you take good care of them as instructed by your dentist, porcelain veneers can last for up to a decade.

The process of getting veneers is relatively convenient and can be completed over the course of two appointments a few weeks apart. Patients appreciate the ability to enhance their smile in such a short timeframe.

If porcelain veneers might benefit you and upgrade your smile, we encourage you to call our office at Ora Dental Studio and schedule a consultation to learn more about the benefits of this treatment.