Posts for category: Dental Procedures
Learn more about root canals and how they can preserve your oral health.
You came into our Plantation, FL, office for a regular dental checkup, just to find out from Dr. Annette Middelhof that you need a root canal. At this point, you're probably wondering both why you need this procedure and what it can do for your smile. Well, simply read on to learn everything you need to know about getting a root canal from us here at Enchanting Dentistry!
Why is a root canal performed?
In order to understand why this endodontic procedure is performed, it’s important to first understand a little bit about the anatomy of a tooth. Underneath the hard enamel and dentin layers of a tooth lies a soft mass known as the dental pulp. This pulp is made up of tissue, blood vessels, and nerves, which is why people generally experience a great deal of pain when it becomes inflamed or infected.
Once the pulp is infected the only option is for our Plantation, FL, general dentist to remove the soft-tissue mass. Luckily, you won’t need the pulp in order to maintain a healthy, viable tooth.
What can infect or inflame the dental pulp?
The pulp is hidden deep inside the tooth, so how can this little structure even be affected by the outside world? Common causes of an infected dental pulp include,
- Deep decay
- Traumatic injury or damage to the tooth (e.g. cracks, chips, fractures, etc.)
Teeth that have weakened over time due to undergoing repeated dental procedures or having a large filling that can no longer fully support the tooth are also at risk for developing an infection that could harm the pulp.
How do I know that I have an infected dental pulp?
While there are some people who may need root canal therapy but never experience any symptoms, it’s common for patients to come in complaining of a toothache. Even though the rest of the tooth does not contain nerves, the pulp does. So when the pulp becomes inflamed or infected, a toothache is usually a telltale sign that something is wrong.
Along with a toothache, you may also notice,
- Sudden and prolonged tooth sensitivity
- Pain that gets worse when chewing, biting, or putting pressure on the tooth
- Darkening of the tooth
- Swollen and red gums surrounding the tooth
- A small pimple-like growth that develops on the gums near the tooth (this is known as an abscess)
Need dental care? Give us a call!
Do you still have questions about root canal therapy? Are you dealing with a toothache or other dental problems that require urgent care? No matter what’s going on, you can always turn to the dental experts at Enchanting Dentistry in Plantation, FL, for treatment. Call us today at 954-DENTIST (954-336-8478).
Sometimes it seems that appearances count for everything—especially in Hollywood. But just recently, Lonnie Chaviz, the 10-year-old actor who plays young Randall on the hit TV show This Is Us, delivered a powerful message about accepting differences in body image. And the whole issue was triggered by negative social media comments about his smile.
Lonnie has a noticeable diastema—that is, a gap between his two front teeth; this condition is commonly seen in children, but is less common in adults. There are plenty of celebrities who aren’t bothered by the excess space between their front teeth, such as Michael Strahan, Lauren Hutton and Vanessa Paradis. However, there are also many people who choose to close the gap for cosmetic or functional reasons.
Unfortunately, Lonnie had been on the receiving end of unkind comments about the appearance of his smile. But instead of getting angry, the young actor posted a thoughtful reply via Instagram video, in which he said: “I could get my gap fixed. Braces can fix this, but like, can you fix your heart, though?”
Lonnie is raising an important point: Making fun of how someone looks shows a terrible lack of compassion. Besides, each person’s smile is uniquely their own, and getting it “fixed” is a matter of personal choice. It’s true that in most circumstances, if the gap between the front teeth doesn’t shrink as you age and you decide you want to close it, orthodontic appliances like braces can do the job. Sometimes, a too-big gap can make it more difficult to eat and to pronounce some words. In other situations, it’s simply a question of aesthetics—some like it; others would prefer to live without it.
There’s a flip side to this issue as well. When teeth need to be replaced, many people opt to have their smile restored just the way it was, rather than in some “ideal” manner. That could mean that their dentures are specially fabricated with a space between the front teeth, or the crowns of their dental implants are spaced farther apart than they normally would be. For these folks, the “imperfection” is so much a part of their unique identity that changing it just seems wrong.
So if you’re satisfied with the way your smile looks, all you need to do is keep up with daily brushing and flossing, and come in for regular checkups and cleanings to keep it healthy and bright. If you’re unsatisfied, ask us how we could help make it better. And if you need tooth replacement, be sure to talk to us about all of your options—teeth that are regular and “Hollywood white;” teeth that are natural-looking, with minor variations in color and spacing; and teeth that look just like the smile you’ve always had.
Because when it comes to your smile, we couldn’t agree more with what Lonnie Chaviz said at the end of his video: “Be who you want to be. Do what you want to do. Do you. Be you. Believe in yourself.”
If you have questions about cosmetic dentistry, please contact our office or schedule a consultation. You can read more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Beautiful Smiles by Design” and “The Magic of Orthodontics.”
Dental veneers, offered by your Plantation, FL, dentist, Dr. Annette Middlehof of Enchanting Dentistry, can improve a variety of smile-related issues.
Veneers conceal imperfections
Dental veneers enhance your smile by hiding flaws and imperfections that affect the fronts of teeth. Veneers are constructed of thin plastic or translucent porcelain and are no thicker than your fingernail. Before you receive your veneers, your Plantation dentist will remove a tiny amount of tooth enamel and make an impression of your teeth to ensure that your veneers fit comfortably. Once the restorations are ready, they'll be attached to your teeth with dental cement.
How dental veneers can help you
Is your smile duller than you would like despite teeth whitening treatment? Veneers offer a long-term whitening option and give you the flexibility to choose your ideal shade of white. The restorations are stain resistant and don't become discolored if you enjoy a few cups of coffee or tea every day.
If you're like most people, you probably have a few minor issues that keep your smile from being perfect. Whether the surface of a tooth is a little uneven, you have a chip on the bottom of a tooth, or you have another minor imperfection, veneers offer a simple way to hide small flaws.
They're also ideal if one of your teeth is darker than the others. The problem can be caused by the use of certain antibiotics, old fillings, or dental work and can make you feel a little self-conscious about your smile. Dr. Middelhof will choose a veneer shade that matches your other teeth exactly to ensure that your smile is finally uniform.
Veneers also change the shape or length of teeth. Dr. Middelhof may suggest veneers if you have a crooked, twisted, or oddly shaped tooth or want to lengthen a short tooth. If your tooth became too short because you grind your teeth, she may recommend that you wear a custom-made nightguard while you sleep to avoid damaging your veneers.
Some people think gaps between teeth add character while others are unhappy with slight spaces between teeth. Luckily, veneers make gaps between teeth disappear.
Could your smile be improved with veneers? Call Dr. Middlehof of Enchanting Dentistry in Plantation, FL at (954) 336-8478 to schedule an appointment today!
Even with modern prevention and treatment advances, losing teeth in later life is still a sad but common part of human experience. Just as generations have before, many today rely on dentures to regain their lost dental function and smile.
But although effective, dentures have their weaknesses. The most serious: they can't prevent jawbone deterioration, a common problem associated with tooth loss.
Bone health depends on chewing forces applied to the teeth to stimulate replacement growth for older bone cells. When teeth are gone, so is this stimulation. Dentures can't replicate the stimulus and may even accelerate bone loss because they can irritate the bone under the gums as they rest upon them for support.
But there's a recent advance in denture technology that may help slow or even stop potential bone loss. The advance incorporates implants with dentures to create two hybrid alternatives that may be more secure and healthier for the supporting bone.
The first is known as an overdenture, a removable appliance similar to a traditional denture. But instead of deriving its support from the gums alone, the overdenture attaches to three to four implants (or only two, if on the lower jaw) that have been permanently set into the jawbone. This not only increases stability, but the implants made of bone-friendly titanium attract and foster increased bone growth around them. This can help slow or even stop the cycle of bone loss with missing teeth.
The second type is a fixed denture. In this version, four to six implants are implanted around the jaw arch. The denture is then secured in place to these implants with screws. It's a little more secure than the overdenture, but it's also more expensive and requires good quality bone at the implant sites.
If you've already experienced significant bone loss you may first need bone grafting to build up the implant sites for these options, or choose traditional dentures instead. But if you're a good candidate for an implant-supported denture, you may find it provides better support and less risk of continuing bone loss than traditional dentures.
If you would like more information on implant-supported dental restorations, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Overdentures & Fixed Dentures.”
Bite problems are quite common—as many as 75% of adults may have some form of orthodontic issue. Unfortunately, there's also something else just as common: that many people believe they're too old to correct it.
This belief is a myth—while there are factors that could prevent orthodontic treatment, age isn't necessarily one of them. If your teeth, gums and bone are sound and you're in reasonably good general health, you most likely can have a bite problem corrected even beyond middle age.
Why worry about it, though, if you've lived this long with misaligned teeth? For one thing, straightening teeth with braces or clear aligners can boost your dental health. Teeth that are in normal alignment are easier to keep clean of disease-causing bacterial plaque. You'll also find it easier to chew than if your bite is out of line.
A more attractive, straighter smile can also impact your social and professional life. Having a smile you're not embarrassed to show can boost your self-confidence and image. Research on people who've undergone orthodontic treatment in adulthood have found improvements in social connection and even expanded career opportunities.
Orthodontic treatment can make a difference with your health and life, no matter your age. But while the number of years you've lived won't necessarily make a difference, what those years have brought could rule it out.
If, for example, you've lost significant bone structure due to diseases like periodontal (gum) disease, your teeth may not be able to sustain the new position created by braces or aligners without a form of permanent fixation. If you have systemic conditions like severe cardiovascular disease, bleeding problems, leukemia or uncontrolled diabetes, orthodontic treatment could worsen those conditions. And certain prescription drugs may pose similar problems as well.
That's why you'll need to undergo a thorough dental exam, as well as provide a complete medical history to your orthodontist. If nothing prevents you from treatment, though, you may be able to regain a new smile, better health and a new confidence in life.
If you would like more information on adult orthodontics, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Orthodontics for the Older Adult.”