Posts for category: Dental Procedures
As the host of America's Funniest Home Videos on ABC TV, Alfonso Ribeiro has witnessed plenty of unintentional physical comedy…or, as he puts it in an interview with Dear Doctor–Dentistry & Oral Health magazine, "When people do stuff and you're like, 'Dude, you just hurt yourself for no reason!'" So when he had his own dental dilemma, Alfonso was determined not to let it turn onto an "epic fail."
The television personality was in his thirties when a painful tooth infection flared up. Instead of ignoring the problem, he took care of it by visiting his dentist, who recommended a root canal procedure. "It's not like you wake up and go, 'Yay, I'm going to have my root canal today!'" he joked. "But once it's done, you couldn't be happier because the pain is gone and you're just smiling because you're no longer in pain!"
Alfonso's experience echoes that of many other people. The root canal procedure is designed to save an infected tooth that otherwise would probably be lost. The infection may start when harmful bacteria from the mouth create a small hole (called a cavity) in the tooth's surface. If left untreated, the decay bacteria continue to eat away at the tooth's structure. Eventually, they can reach the soft pulp tissue, which extends through branching spaces deep inside the tooth called root canals.
Once infection gets a foothold there, it's time for root canal treatment! In this procedure, the area is first numbed; next, a small hole is made in the tooth to give access to the pulp, which contains nerves and blood vessels. The diseased tissue is then carefully removed with tiny instruments, and the canals are disinfected to prevent bacteria from spreading. Finally, the tooth is sealed up to prevent re-infection. Following treatment, a crown (cap) is usually required to restore the tooth's full function and appearance.
Root canal treatment sometimes gets a bad rap from people who are unfamiliar with it, or have come across misinformation on the internet. The truth is, a root canal doesn't cause pain: It relieves pain! The alternatives—having the tooth pulled or leaving the infection untreated—are often much worse.
Having a tooth extracted and replaced can be costly and time consuming…yet a missing tooth that isn't replaced can cause problems for your oral health, nutrition and self-esteem. And an untreated infection doesn't just go away on its own—it continues to smolder in your body, potentially causing serious problems. So if you need a root canal, don't delay!
If you would like additional information on root canal treatment, please contact us or schedule a consultation. You can learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine articles “A Step-By-Step Guide to Root Canal Treatment” and “Root Canal Treatment: What You Need to Know.”
Is orthodontic care in your future? While many patients begin treatment before the age of 14, others, including teens and adults, postpone braces until a later age. Whatever your situation, Drs. Chad and Natalie Corley of Corley Family Dental in Decatur, IL can help you navigate your choices.
Why get braces?
Orthodontics change the oral landscape and the balance between bone structure and musculature. Not only do braces improve personal appearance, they also promote the long-term health and longevity of teeth and gums. Straight teeth experience less decay and gum disease, and people with good smiles:
- Speak more clearly
- Experience less wear and tear on tooth surfaces
- Feel better about themselves as they smile more confidently
While children respond best and most quickly to smile reconstruction, even teens and adults with healthy teeth can wear braces. As a matter of fact, a full 20 percent of American orthodontic patients are over the age of 21, says the American Association of Orthodontists.
Kinds of braces
Dr. Chad Corley and Dr. Natalie Corley carefully evaluate their prospective orthodontic patients by examination and through a series of digital X-rays which visualize teeth, roots, and bone structure. This information, together with oral impressions, tells your dentist the exact nature of your problem and how best to correct it.
Your dentist will devise a complete treatment plan to include which type of braces will work best for you. Also, you'll learn how to care for your braces, how often to come into the office for adjustments and how long treatment should take. Commonly treated problems include crowding, gaps, poor bite (malocclusion), congenital absence of teeth, poorly erupted teeth, and more.
These are the kinds of braces offered at Corley Family Dental:
- Conventional metal braces consisting of metal bands and arch wires
- Metal braces consisting of arch wires and brackets bonded to the front side of teeth
- Ceramic braces which are tooth-colored and less obvious in appearance
- Lingual braces which are bonded to the back, or tongue-side, of teeth (completely unnoticeable but more difficult to keep clean)
Most braces utilize ligatures, or rubber bands. Ligatures help move teeth into their proper positions.
Additionally, children often need space maintainers which allow teeth which have not yet erupted to move into position correctly and at the right time. These simple appliances may avoid or facilitate orthodontic correction
Find out more
At Corley Family Dental, Dr. Chad Corley and Dr. Natalie Corley want their patients to have smiles which look good, function well and stay healthy for the long haul. Braces help achieve that goal. So, find out more through an informative, in-office consultation. Call us for an appointment: (217) 330-6217.
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.”
For chipped, stained, or slightly crooked teeth, dental veneers might be the ideal solution. These thin layers of porcelain bonded directly over the teeth with the perfect blend of color, sizes and shapes, can transform a person’s smile for a relatively modest cost.
But if the teeth belong to a teenager, veneers might not be appropriate. This is because in most cases, we’ll need to remove some of the tooth enamel so that the applied veneers won’t look unnaturally bulky. This alteration is permanent, so the teeth will require some form of restoration from then on.
While not usually a major issue with fully matured adult teeth, it could be with the developing teeth of pre-teens and teens. During childhood and adolescence the tooth’s inner pulp plays an important role in dentin production, and so the pulp chamber is relatively large compared to an adult tooth. This larger size places the pulp closer to the enamel surface than with an adult tooth.
Because of its proximity to the enamel, there’s a greater chance veneer alterations could damage a teenager’s tooth pulp and its nerve bundles. If that happens, we may need to perform a root canal treatment to save the tooth—also not an optimal situation for a developing tooth.
That’s why we need to take into consideration a patient’s age and stage of dental development first, including x-raying the affected teeth to measure the depth of the tooth pulp. If we deem it too risky at the moment, there are other ways to improve dental appearance at least temporarily. This includes whitening externally stained teeth with a bleaching agent, or applying tooth-colored composite resin material to chipped areas. We can also apply a composite material veneer that, although not as durable as traditional porcelain, doesn’t require much if any tooth alteration.
To know your options, have your teenager undergo a thorough dental examination. Your dentist will then be able to discuss with you whether veneers can be safely attempted. And be sure the dentist who may perform the work has experience performing cosmetic procedures on teenagers.
If you would like more information on restoration choices for teenagers, 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 “Veneers for Teenagers.”
Dealing with tooth pain? You might just need root canal treatment.
Sure, most dental procedures don’t really have the reputation of being fun; however, root canals really get a lot of negative press and it’s unfortunate since this procedure saves countless teeth each year. That’s right; without root canal treatment, many patients would have to have their permanent tooth extracted and replaced, which is far more extensive, expensive and time-consuming than a simple root canal treatment. From the office of our Decatur, IL, family dentists Drs. Chad and Natalie Corley, learn more about this procedure and let’s squash your fears surrounding root canals.
What are the warning signs that I need root canal treatment?
Along with keeping up with your six-month checkups, it’s also important that you visit your Decatur, IL, dentist right away if you are dealing with any of these symptoms:
- A toothache (often severe and made worse when chewing or biting down)
- Lingering and severe tooth sensitivity to hot or cold
- Darkening of the tooth
- Swollen, tender gums around the tooth
- The development of an abscess (a pimple-like bump on the gums)
You may only experience dental pain or you may experience several of these symptoms (or none at all); however, it’s important that you seek dental care as soon as possible to prevent the issue from getting worse.
What is the purpose of a root canal?
The sole purpose of root canal treatment is to remove the infected or inflamed dental pulp, a soft structure that lies within the tooth. Once a tooth has fully matured the dental pulp is no longer necessary for the health of the tooth; however, if bacteria gets through the outer layers of the tooth it can infect the pulp and lead to a nasty toothache. The only way for our dentist to get rid of your toothache is to remove the infected dental pulp.
Isn’t a root canal painful?
A root canal should never cause pain. In fact, despite what you may hear, the purpose of this endodontic procedure is to remove the source of your toothache and to provide you with relief. An infected dental pulp can cause a pretty nasty toothache and we know that the only thing you want to do is get rid of the discomfort. A root canal is really no more invasive than getting a dental filling and we even numb the area before treating the tooth so you won’t feel a thing. After all, our goal is to provide you with the utmost comfort when it comes to getting dental care.
Do you have questions about your upcoming root canal treatment in Decatur, IL? Dealing with a toothache that requires immediate care? Then turn to Corley Family Dental right away for dependable, efficient dentistry each and every time. Your smile is our priority.