Root canal therapy is one of the most common dental procedures performed each year, and yet many people have no idea how a root canal works. This can be intimidating, especially if you need the procedure yourself! Here are the 3 stages of root canal therapy and what you can expect from each.
1. The Root Canal
First, your dentist will provide the actual root canal procedure. This involves drilling into your tooth to clear away the infected tissue inside. You’ll be given an anesthetic so you won’t feel a thing while this is going on. Once your dentist is finished, the newly-formed hole is filled with a putty-like substance to keep bacteria out and restore some of the integrity of the tooth.
2. Rebuilding Your Tooth
The newly-cured tooth is not strong enough to function on its own. After your root canal procedure, you will be fitted with a crown that will cover the injured tooth and protect it from further damage. You might be fitted with a temporary crown while your permanent crown is made, and your dentist will then seal the permanent crown over your tooth to restore its appearance and function.
3. Restoring Your Oral Health
The last step in the process is evaluating your oral health routine so you won’t need another root canal in the future. Your dentist will let you know any areas for improvement that he or she notices, and you’re free to ask any questions you might have. Going forward, it’s important that you keep your crown clean and thoroughly brush and floss the area so that you can avoid serious oral health problems down the line.
Root canals have a bad reputation, but they’re an extremely common procedure that can completely restore an injured tooth. If you have any questions or would like to book an appointment for a root canal, give one of Harmony Dental’s local offices a call today!
How much attention do you pay to your tongue? Most people don’t think much about their tongue (quite a few even skip brushing it!) but believe it or not, your tongue can provide quite a bit of insight into both your oral and general health. Want to know 6 secrets your tongue can reveal about you?
- Burning Sensation
“Burning tongue syndrome” is a condition most commonly found in women. However, anyone can experience it. Most commonly caused due to a hormonal change/imbalance, the burning sensation can lead to extreme discomfort. Allergies to dental care products such as toothpaste may also cause a burning sensation, look for products which do not contain sodium lauryl sulfate.
- Red Lumps
Long-term red lumps located on the tongue (not to be confused with canker sores) could actually be a sign of tongue cancer. Tobacco use along with the HPV virus are the most common causes. If you notice long-term red bumps on your tongue, visit your doctor immediately.
- Bright Red Tongue
A bright red, smooth tongue could indicate you have a vitamin deficiency. The most common deficiencies that cause a bright red tongue are iron and B12. It is caused by a lack of papillae on the tongue and is most often experienced by vegetarians. Taking vitamins can help, so talk to your doctor.
- Brown/Black Fuzz
Everyone’s tongue is covered by papillae (small bumps which grow throughout life). When you don’t practice proper dental care, these papillae can become overgrown and attract bacteria. Discoloration may also occur due to food, tobacco and certain beverages.
- Cottage Cheese
Thrush (an oral yeast infection) can give the tongue a lumpy, cottage cheese appearance. Often due to a weakened immune system or the overuse of antibiotics, the elderly, children and immunocompromised patients are often most affected. Seek medical attention if you think you may have thrush.
Much like the rest of our body, over time our tongue ages. This can result in wrinkles or tears in the tongue, which are not a serious threat. However, proper dental care should be practiced in order to reduce the risk of these wrinkles and/or tears from becoming infected.