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Posts for category: Dental Procedures

February 05, 2019
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: root canal  

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!

January 26, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures

What your dentist in Lake Oswego wants you to knowdental crowns

If you have a cavity or damaged tooth, you may be wondering if you should choose a large filling or a dental crown. What is a dental crown anyway? What makes it so much better than a filling? The short answer is a dental crown can protect your tooth much better than a filling. A dental crown looks more natural and beautiful too! Dr. Colin Smith at Lake Oswego Smiles in Lake Oswego, OR wants to share the facts about dental crowns and why they are the right choice for you.

A dental crown covers your entire tooth above the gumline. Dental crown materials are strong, providing a shield for your tooth against strong pressure and biting forces. When you bite down, the pressure and stress are spread out evenly across your tooth, protecting your tooth from damage.

In the past, dental crowns were made of gold, or porcelain-fused-to-metal. Those crown materials are still available, but they don’t provide the aesthetic natural beauty you deserve. Dr. Smith offers a better choice: a high-grade dental ceramic (porcelain). Porcelain reflects light, just like your natural teeth, so you know your dental crown will be cosmetically beautiful and look completely natural.

Don’t worry, your crown may look delicate, but it will provide strong protection for your tooth. If you have chipped, broken, badly decayed or damaged teeth, porcelain crowns can restore your teeth and your smile. To view amazing before-and-after photos of Dr. Smith’s dental crown patients please visit the Crowns Gallery page on Dr. Smith’s website at

If you have a damaged smile, dental crowns can give you back your smile, better than before! That’s because dental crowns both protect and enhance your smile at the same time. For more information about dental crowns and other restorative and cosmetic dental services call Dr. Smith at Lake Oswego Smiles in Lake Oswego, OR today!

November 30, 2017
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: tooth extraction  

According to the American Dental Association, a tooth extraction may be necessary if a tooth suffers from disease, trauma, or crowding. tooth extractionThat's why your Lake Oswego, OR dentist, Dr. Colin Smith, is here to offer you some advice.

Oral surgery can be a frightening thing but if you follow these tips, you may be able to avoid getting a tooth extraction due to disease:

  • Brushing your teeth twice a day and making sure your brush reaches the furthest molars in your mouth.
  • Flossing between every tooth, including the molars in the back of your mouth, once before bedtime, at least.
  • Avoiding smoking, chewing tobacco and drinking excessive amounts of coffee and tea.

If, however, the reason you need a tooth extraction is due to trauma, like your tooth was severely damaged while playing a sport, and/or your teeth are overcrowded, then oral surgery is necessary. Here is what your tooth extraction experience may include:

  • Examine the severity of the situation and schedule an appointment for the tooth extraction.
  • You will be given anesthetics that will need to be taken before your procedure. They will numb your mouth during the procedure.
  • The doctor will stitch the extraction area and place gauze to stop bleeding and help with blood clot formation.

Care After your Tooth Extraction:

  • Make sure to change the gauze periodically.
  • You will not be able to eat or drink for a few hours, but ice and painkillers will help you through the process.
  • Also, avoid smoking or drinking alcoholic beverage after the procedure and rinse your mouth with warm salt water.
  • If you find yourself suffering from severe pain, then you may have a dry socket. This means the blood clot hasn't formed properly and you need to see your Lake Oswego dentist.

If you think you need a tooth extraction and want to consult your doctor to see if the tooth is beyond saving, then you should call your Lake Oswego, OR, dentist today.

September 27, 2017
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: cosmetic dentistry   Veneers  

Who wouldn't be grateful for a healthy mouth with no cavities or gum disease? Of course, you're happy with your good check-up at Lake veneersOswego Smiles, but you confess to your dentist, Dr. Colin Smith in Lake Oswego, OR, that some chips and tobacco stains really detract from your appearance. Does he have a solution? Thankfully, Dr. Smith delivers many beautiful smile makeovers. Some include porcelain veneers, the modern way to cover dental defects for a truly outstanding smile. You could qualify for veneers. Learn all about them here.

What are porcelain veneers?

Also called dental laminates, porcelain veneers disguise a variety of flaws such as:

  • Deep stains that do not respond to professional teeth whitening
  • Hairline cracks
  • Chips
  • Small gaps
  • Mild overcrowding
  • Uneven tooth length
  • Congenital malformations such as peg-shaped incisors

Besides beautifying selected teeth with customized shells of fine ceramic, veneers strengthen tooth enamel. In fact, the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry says that teeth with veneers are similar in strength to natural tooth enamel.

Plus, Dr. Smith ensures that veneers truly compliment the patient's age, overall facial appearance and smile width. Often, porcelain veneers are just one component in a complete smile makeover which may include porcelain crowns, dental implants, composite resin bonding, dental implants, tooth contouring and more as needed.

The veneer consultation

When you come to see your Lake Oswego dentist for a veneer consultation, Dr. Smith will perform a comprehensive oral exam, including digital X-rays. He'll also ask how you would like your smile to improve, or conversely, what bothers you about your teeth. Together you will decide your smile goals and if veneers can meet them.

If veneers are the right treatment, he'll remove a thin slice of enamel from each tooth and take oral impressions to send to an outside dental lab. He also will fit you with temporary veneers to normalize your smile while you wait for your permanebt laminates.

At the lab, a highly skilled technician will construct a three-dimensional model of your teeth and then sculpt the veneers one by one, following Dr. Smith's instructions. The technician knows just how to shape and color the veneers for maximum realism and beauty.

Placing veneers

At the next dental appointment, Dr. Smith removes the temporary veneers and bonds the permanent ones in place using specially colored dental adhesive. He may adjust the shape of the veneers, and he will ensure your bite is correct.

That's it. When you go home, you'll adjust quickly to how your veneers feel, and you'll care for them just like your other teeth--with twice a day brushing with a soft brush and once a day flossing to remove plaque. If your grind your teeth, your dentist in Lake Oswego may recommend wearing a night guard to cushion your teeth as you sleep.

Find out more

Dr. Smith is a member of the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry. He loves helping people of all ages achieve their brightest, healthiest smiles. Learn all about porcelain veneers by contacting Lake Oswego Smiles in Lake Oswego, OR at (503) 635-3653.

July 24, 2017
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: root canals  

Sometimes problems with teeth develop very suddenly, but often, there are a few warning signs that let you know something is wrong. root canalYour Lake Oswego, OR, dentist Dr. Colin Smith discusses several things that may happen if you need a root canal and explains how a root canal can help.

Your tooth hurts

Pain doesn't have to be constant to be a problem. Sometimes pain can even go away for a few days or weeks, only to return again. If you experience tooth pain, call our Lake Oswego office and schedule an appointment. Pain in a tooth can occur for a variety of reasons, including decay, dying nerves in your tooth pulp or sensitivity due to receding gums. The only way to determine the cause of your pain is by examining your mouth.

If you need a root canal and don't seek treatment when you first notice symptoms, pain may eventually become constant and can even keep you up at night.

Your gums hurt too

Your gums can become irritated if you need a root canal. Swelling and redness around a tooth can be warning signs.

Your tooth stands out

An inflammation or infection in the pulp of a tooth can cause your tooth to darken. If your formerly white tooth is now brown or gray, you might need a root canal.

Eating is uncomfortable

When chewing, or even pressing on your tooth hurts, a root canal may be in your future. Pulp inflammation or infections can also cause sensitivity. If you eat or drink something sweet, hot or cold, you may experience pain.

Your tooth hurts and you feel sick

Root canals are often performed to treat dental abscesses. The bacterial infection can cause swollen lymph nodes, fever and facial swelling. You may also notice pus or a pimple on your gum.

A root canal can end your pain

Root canals remove the infected or inflamed tooth pulp that is the source of your problem. Before you root canal begins, you'll receive injections of local anesthetic to prevent pain. We'll remove the pulp, clean the inside of your tooth and the root canals, and add a temporary filling to your tooth. You'll return to our office about a week later to receive a permanent dental crown. Although you may notice a little sensitivity in your tooth after the procedure, you'll soon be pain-free.

Protect your smile with a root canal. Call Lake Oswego, OR, dentist Dr. Colin Smith at (503) 635-3653 if you're concerned about a tooth.