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Why should I get my teeth cleaned?

The following are five great reasons to get your teeth cleaned: 1. To learn about the best way to keep your teeth clean every day. 2. To keep your mouth healthy, which will help keep your whole body healthy. 3. To help prevent gum disease, which could cause tooth loss. 4. To remove tartar (a hard build-up that makes it tough to clean your teeth). 5. To get rid of stains on teeth that cannot be removed just by brushing and flossing.

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  • What is a root canal?

    During root canal treatment, your dentist or endodontist (a dentist who specializes in treating the insides of teeth) removes the diseased pulp. Root canal treatment is necessary when the pulp (soft tissue inside your teeth containing blood vessels, nerves and connective tissue) becomes inflamed or diseased. The pulp chamber and root canal(s) of the tooth are then cleaned and sealed. If the infected pulp is not removed, pain and swelling can result, and your tooth may have to be removed.
  • What causes periodontal disease?

    Periodontal disease, or gum disease, is cause by plaque. Your teeth are covered with plaque, a sticky film that can contribute to tooth decay and gum disease. Plaque contains bacteria that produce harmful toxins. If teeth are not cleaned well, the toxins can irritate and inflame the gums. Inflamed gums can pull away from the teeth and form spaces called pockets. The pockets provide a home for more bacteria. If the infected pockets are not treated, the disease can get worse and the bone and other tissues that support teeth can be damaged. Plaque can be removed if you brush your teeth twice a day and floss daily. If plaque stays on teeth, it can harden into a rough surface called tartar. Tartar can only be removed when teeth are professionally cleaned at the dental office.
  • Are dentures painful?

    New dentures may feel awkward for a few weeks until you become accustomed to them. The dentures may feel loose while the muscles of your cheek and tongue learn to keep them in place. It is not unusual to experience minor irritation or soreness. If it's necessary to have remaining teeth extracted in order to get the denture, then there may be more discomfort. Healing time will be needed before the dentures can be fitted.
  • Why are dental crowns used?

    If you want a smile that's your crowning glory, you may need a crown to cover a tooth and restore it to its normal shape and size. A crown can make your tooth stronger and improve its appearance. It can cover and support a tooth with a large filling when there isn't enough tooth left. It can be used to attach a bridge, protect a weak tooth from breaking or restore one that's already broken. A crown is a good way to cover teeth that are discolored or badly shaped. It's also used to cover a dental implant. If your dentist recommends a crown, it's probably to correct one of these conditions. Your dentist's primary concern, like yours, is helping you keep your teeth healthy and your smile bright -- literally, your crowning glory.
  • What are fixed bridges?

    Sometimes called a fixed partial denture, a fixed bridge replaces missing teeth with artificial teeth and literally “bridges” the gap where one or more teeth used to be. Bridges can be made from gold, alloys, porcelain or a combination of these materials and are attached to surrounding teeth for support. Unlike a removable bridge, which you can take out and clean, a fixed bridge can only be removed by a dentist. Bridges can help restore your smile or improve chewing or speaking.
  • Do dental implants work?

    Most patients find that a dental implant is secure, stable and a good replacement for their own tooth. If you are in good general health, with a jawbone that can support it, implants may be an option for you. With careful treatment planning and good oral care, dental implants can provide a healthy, stable smile for a lifetime.
  • What are veneers?

    Veneers are thin, custom-made shells crafted of tooth-colored materials designed to cover the front side of teeth. They're made by a dental technician, usually in a dental lab, working from a model provided by your dentist. Today a veneer placed on top of your teeth can correct gaps in your teeth or cover teeth that are stained, badly shaped or crooked.
  • When should I take my child to see an orthodontist?

    Orthodontic treatment often begins between ages 8 and 14. Treatment that begins while a child is growing helps produce optimal results. As a result, children should have an orthodontic evaluation no later than age 7. By then, they have a mix of primary (baby) teeth and their permanent (adult) teeth. Your child's dentist can spot problems with emerging teeth and jaw growth early on, while the primary teeth are present. That's why regular dental examinations are important.

COPYRIGHT 2016 Jennings, Larson & Larson DDS. All rights reserved.