Find out the common dental symptoms that may require root canal treatment.
If you are noticing some alarming changes in your oral health, you may be wondering what’s going on. You may even wonder whether or not you need to turn to our Lake Oswego, OR, dentist, Dr. Colin Smith, for care. Read on to learn more about root canal therapy and the warning signs that may mean it’s time to give us a call.
What To Look Out For
The most common symptoms and signs that point towards needing a root canal include,
- Severe tooth pain that’s worse when chewing or biting down on the tooth
- Lingering tooth sensitivity particularly to hot or cold
- Darkening of the tooth
- Swelling of the gums surrounding the tooth
- The development of an abscess (a pimple-like growth on the gums)
It’s important to understand that while a toothache doesn’t necessarily mean that you will need root canal treatment, it is a common warning sign. Either way, dental pain is your mouth’s way of saying that something is wrong, whether you are dealing with decay or infected dental pulp. Since a toothache does constitute a dental emergency, you will need to come in right away for an evaluation.
What Is Involved in a Root Canal?
A root canal is an endodontic procedure in which our Lake Oswego, OR, general dentist will need to go inside the tooth to remove inflamed or infected dental pulp (the soft connective tissue and nerves within the tooth). Dental pulp can become inflamed or infected by severe decay, pervasive bacteria, or a traumatic injury. Once the dental pulp is affected, the only option is to remove it.
Before we remove this pulp we will thoroughly numb the area around the tooth to reduce any discomfort. This can be a major relief for our patients who’ve been dealing with massive tooth pain. Plus, once the pulp has been removed, the toothache will be gone immediately. Once the area is numb, we will simply remove the dental pulp and clean out the inside of the tooth to remove any bacteria.
Once the tooth has been thoroughly disinfected, we will seal up the root canals to prevent bacteria from getting in them. We will also apply a special material inside the tooth to seal it up before placing a dental crown. The dental crown is designed to strengthen the tooth’s existing structure.
Concerned? Give Us a Call!
Are you experiencing any of the symptoms above? If so, it’s important that you schedule an appointment with the dental experts at Lake Oswego Smiles by calling (503) 635-3653. Let us alleviate your dental discomfort!
What your dentist in Lake Oswego, Oregon wants you to know
So, what is Invisalign? It’s the most revolutionary method for straightening your smile! Thanks to Invisalign, you don’t have to put up with uncomfortable brackets and wires. You can straighten your smile in comfort. There’s a lot you should know about Invisalign, and Dr. Colin Smith at Oswego Smiles in Lake Oswego, Oregon wants to share the facts about Invisalign and how it can help your smile.
Invisalign works differently than standard orthodontic treatment. Instead of brackets and wires, Invisalign uses a system of clear plastic trays, called aligners. These aligners offer benefits that can’t be matched by brackets and wires. Consider that Invisalign is:
- More comfortable, because the aligners have no sharp metal parts to irritate soft tissue
- More discreet, because the aligners are clear plastic, so they are virtually invisible
- More convenient, because you can remove the aligners to eat whatever you want
Invisalign is also healthier because you remove the aligners to brush and floss your teeth normally. You don’t have to worry about using cumbersome tools. Invisalign treatment is also fast, with the average completion time between 9 and 15 months.
You begin Invisalign treatment with your first set of custom-fit aligners which you wear for two weeks. You progress to a new set of aligners, which you wear for another two weeks. You move up to a new set of aligners every two weeks as your teeth gradually and comfortably move into their proper position.
Invisalign is revolutionary, but it can still correct the same issues as conventional braces, including:
- Overbite or underbite
- Crossbite or open bite
- Tooth overlap or gapped teeth
You deserve to find out for yourself why Invisalign is the orthodontic treatment of the future. If you’re thinking about orthodontic treatment, now you have another choice, Invisalign! To find out more about Invisalign treatment and what it can do for your smile, call Dr. Colin Smith at Oswego Smiles in Lake Oswego, Oregon today!
Your checkups with a doctor have lessened since childhood, so why do you still need to see your dentist as often as you did during elementary school? Dr. Colin Smith, your dentist in Lake Oswego, OR, understands that his adult patients have busy lives, but leaving your schedule open for regular dental checkups is important. Find out how making time twice a year to visit Lake Oswego Smiles can have a lasting effect on your health!
What happens during a dental checkup?
A typical checkup starts with X-rays from one of our trained dental assistants; you'll sit in one of our comfortable exam chairs, where a small sensor will be placed inside your mouth and repositioned for each image. Your Lake Oswego, OR, dentist will analyze your X-rays while a dental hygienist cleans your teeth, starting with a handheld tool called a scaler to remove any hardened plaque (known as tartar). We'll also use floss and a electric polisher to ensure that your teeth and gums are completely cleaned. During your checkup with Dr. Smith, any discrepancies on your X-rays will be examined further, and any follow-up treatments will be discussed.
How often do I need a dental checkup?
The "gold standard" for dental checkups is once every six months, regardless of the patient's age. However, everyone has unique needs when it comes to their dental health, and Dr. Smith is committed to tailoring each patient's experience to give them the best care possible. Someone with diagnosed gum disease, for example, may need to see their Oswego dentist more often to ensure that their treatment is working. Those who have shown risk factors for problems, such as excessive tartar buildup or precancerous lesions, should also plan to see their dentist more than twice a year. Conversely, patients who have excellent dental health and low risk of cavities or gum disease may be fine with only one checkup a year.
If you need to get back on track with your dental checkups, Dr. Colin Smith is ready to see you! Contact Lake Oswego Smiles in Lake Oswego, OR, to schedule an appointment today!
Close the gaps in your smile with dental implants. Dental implants can be used to hold artificial teeth, such as bridgework or dental crowns, securely in place. Dental implants are sturdy metal posts anchored to the jaw bone that take the place of a natural tooth root. If you have gaps in your smile where teeth are missing, dental implants can help. At Lake Oswego Smiles, Dr. Colin Smith is your dentist for dental implants in Lake Oswego, OR.
Dental Implants Procedure
Dental implants are attached to the jaw bone through a minor surgical procedure. Over time, the dental implant permanently fuses with the jaw bone through a process called osseointegration. The process of osseointegration can take a few months. Once the area has healed and osseointegration is complete, either a dental crown or bridgework can be attached to the dental implant. A dental crown is ideal when only a single tooth needs replacement. Bridgework replaces multiple missing teeth. The dental implant holds both options securely in place.
Benefits of Dental Implants
Dental implants offer several benefits. In addition to serving as anchors for replacement teeth and closing the gaps in your smile, dental implants also restore normal tooth functioning while reducing strain on surrounding teeth that had been compensating for missing ones. Your dentist for dental implants in Lake Oswego can tell you if they are a good option for you. Some of the benefits of dental implants include:
- Closing the gaps in your smile
- Anchoring dental crowns or bridgework in place
- Restoring normal biting and chewing functions
- Reducing the additional strain on other teeth
- Hypoallergenic and durable
You can finally close the gaps in your smile where teeth are missing with dental implants. Dental implants hold artificial teeth permanently in place so there is no worry about slippage or coming loose. For dental implants in Lake Oswego, OR, schedule an appointment with Dr. Smith by calling Lake Oswego Smiles at (503) 635-3653.
How can you keep your teeth forever? Maintain your oral health daily with brushing, flossing, a good diet and regular in-office care. At Lake Oswego Smiles in Lake Oswego, OR, your dentist, Dr. Colin Smith, shows his patients proper hygiene techniques. Patient teaching is part of his preventive dental care plan for your best possible smile.
Do it twice daily for two minutes, says the American Dental Association (ADA). Use an ADA-accepted toothpaste and soft brush, and if necessary, set a timer to ensure you spend the proper amount of time. Brush all tooth surfaces thoroughly, and clean your tongue and all soft oral tissues gently. They hold onto harmful bacteria which cause bad breath, tooth decay and gum disease.
The International Dental Health Association recommends a small to medium-sized brush with soft bristles to get those hard to reach areas. Change your brush after the flu or a cold or whenever it looks or feels worn out.
It's not optional. Using a quality flossing product (strand, plain, flavored, interproximal brushes, Y-flossers, water flossers), carefully remove the accumulated food residues from interdental spaces and at the gum line. Flossing reduces plaque and tartar formation, both leading players in cavity formation and gum disease (and its systemic effects).
A healthy diet
Skip the processed sugar, and limit your carbs because oral bacteria thrive on them. Drink plenty of water daily, and up your intake of fiber--grains, fruits, and veggies. And, don't forget the calcium. Enjoy dairy products such as yogurt and milk to keep bones and tooth enamel strong.
Visit your Lake Oswego, OR, dentist
Every six months is best, although some patients who are prone to gum disease may require more frequent cleanings and check-ups. During your oral examination, Dr. Smith will look for signs of gingivitis and tooth decay, assess your soft tissues for oral cancer (it takes just a few minutes) and look at your dental bite and current fillings and crowns.
If necessary, he'll take digital X-rays to look for decay between the teeth and to assess your bones and root structure. A detailed treatment plan outlines restorative care, recommended cosmetic improvements and how to improve your at-home routine. Plastic sealants and fluoride treatments help some individuals reduce tooth decay. Your dentist in Lake Oswego, OR, will tell you these coatings are right for you.
Good habits and great smiles
They go together. Your friendly team at Lake Oswego Smiles joins you in that great goal. Call today for your routine appointment: (503) 635-3653.
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