If you needed a root canal, would you know it? Would you know what this restorative procedure involves? At Lynch Dental Center in River Forest and Chicago, IL, Dr. John Lynch, Dr. Sheila Lynch, and Dr. Frances Lynch use root canal therapy to save teeth compromised by decay, injury, abscess and failing structure. Read about the signs which show you may need a root canal.
What is root canal therapy?
The American Association of Endodontists, dentists with specialized experience in root canal treatments, say that this time-honored procedure restores teeth which are in danger of extraction. Oral trauma, infection and deep decay can inflame the soft pulp deep inside a tooth. When this happens, the individual may experience no symptoms whatsoever. However, many people exhibit signs such as:
- A throbbing toothache
- Pain when biting and chewing
- Dental sensitivity to heat and cold
- Jaw swelling
- Bad breath (halitosis)
- Deep cracks or large chips
- Red, swollen gums
- A pimple at the gum line
- Tooth discoloration
To relieve these symptoms, your River Forest and Chicago, IL, dentist will access the tooth's inner chamber, including its root canals, and removes the diseased material. And, it's all done painlessly in just two visits to Lynch Dental Center.
What's the treatment like?
Root canal therapy begins with locally injected anesthesia to make the tooth and the area surrounding it completely numb. Then, the dentist drills a small hole to access the first root canal. There can be one or two canals as in a front tooth or up to four in a large molar.
Then, he or she cleans and debrides the canal with fine metal files of increasing size. The addition of antimicrobial medication and a sealant called gutta-percha finishes the canal. When all canals have been treated, the dentist places a temporary filling or crown over the tooth.
After one to two weeks of healing, the patient returns to the office for placement of a customized porcelain crown. This restored tooth is now completely functional, durable and attractive. Best of all, the uncomfortable symptoms are relieved and the lifespan of the tooth, lengthened by many years.
The American Association of Endodontists states that dentists save as many as 15 million teeth annually using root canal therapy. If you have a sickly tooth, you may be a candidate for this effective and reliable procedure. Call your River Forest, IL, dentist without delay to schedule a consultation. Phone (708) 366-6411 for the River Forest office. In Chicago, IL reach Lynch Dental Center at (312) 263-3235.
The human body’s immune system has amazing defensive capabilities. Without it a common cold or small wound could turn deadly.
One of the more important processes of the immune system is inflammation, the body’s ability to isolate diseased or injured tissue from unaffected tissue. Ironically, though, this vital component of the healing process could actually cause harm if it becomes chronic.
This often happens with periodontal (gum) disease, an infection of the gums caused by bacterial plaque built up on teeth due to inadequate hygiene, which in turn triggers inflammation. The infection is often fueled by plaque, however, and can become difficult for the body to overcome on its own. A kind of trench warfare sets in between the body and the infection, resulting in continuing inflammation that can damage gum tissues. Untreated, the damage may eventually lead to tooth and bone loss.
In treating gum disease, our main goal is to stop the infection (and hence the inflammation) by aggressively removing plaque and calculus (tartar). Without plaque the infection diminishes, the inflammation subsides and the gums can begin to heal. This reduces the danger to teeth and bone and hopefully averts their loss.
But there’s another benefit of this treatment that could impact other inflammatory conditions in the body. Because all the body’s organic systems are interrelated, what occurs in one part affects another especially if it involves inflammation.
It’s now theorized that reducing gum inflammation could lessen inflammation in other parts of the body. Likewise, treating other conditions like high blood pressure and other risk factors for inflammatory diseases could lower your risk of gum disease and boost the effectiveness of treatment.
The real key is to improve and maintain your overall health, including your teeth and gums. Practice daily brushing and flossing to remove plaque, and visit your dentist regularly for more thorough cleanings. And see your dentist at the first sign of possible gum problems like bleeding, redness or swelling. You’ll not only be helping your mouth you could also be helping the rest of your body enjoy better health.
If you would like more information on the relationship between gum disease and other systemic conditions, 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 “The Link between Heart & Gum Diseases.”
What does restoring your smile mean? According to your dentists at Lynch Dental Center, crowns and bridges improve teeth and gums damaged by tooth decay, gum disease, dental abscess, and trauma to the mouth. Crowns cover teeth which have lost a substantial amount of enamel, and bridges replace one or more missing teeth. Drs. John, Sheila, and Frances Lynch use crowns and bridges for great smiles which help you eat, speak, and look your very best.
What is a dental crown?
A dental crown is a porcelain, porcelain fused to metal or composite resin cap which improves weakened tooth structure. For instance, if you have a large filling (or several of them) in a molar, Dr. Lynch can remove the damaged portion and shape it receive a custom-made dental crown. That crown will blend with surrounding teeth in color and size, and also it will strengthen the tooth, extending its usefulness and avoiding extraction.
Dr. Lynch will examine the tooth in question and X-ray it to make sure a crown is appropriate. Then oral impressions are taken and sent to a trusted dental lab. In the meantime, the patient wears a temporary restoration.
Upon returning to Lynch Dental Center, the dentist removes the temporary cap and bonds the new crown in place. Because of modern lab techniques and accurate impressions, most crowns fit and bite well immediately with little to no adjustment. With routine brushing and flossing and six-month cleanings and exams at Lynch Dental Center, a crown may last 10 years or even more.
What are bridges?
The Columbia University College of Dental Medicine states that bridgework reliably replaces one or more teeth with natural-looking and well-functioning pontic, or artificial, teeth. Many bridges receive support from porcelain crowns on opposite sides of the pontics. However, some bridgework may be anchored by dental implants inserted right into the jaw bone for optimal support.
The process for placing conventional bridgework in River Forest is similar to placing crowns:
- Oral examination and X-rays
- Oral impressions and instructions sent to the dental lab
- Preparation of the teeth to be crowned
- Bonding the appliance in place
And, of course, a great oral hygiene routine keeps bridgework in place and functioning for years. The American Dental Association emphasizes the importance of maintaining the gum line to avoid build-up of harmful plaque.
Don't live with missing or failing teeth
Crowns and bridges create completely healthy and beautiful smiles. Why not call Lynch Dental Center for a restorative dentistry consultation? For the River Forest location, call (708) 366-6411. For the Chicago, IL, office, phone (312) 263-3235.
Teething is a normal part of your baby’s dental development. That doesn’t make it less stressful, though, for you or your baby.
This natural process occurs as your child’s primary teeth sequentially erupt through the gums over a period of two or three years. The first are usually the two lower front teeth followed by the two upper front ones, beginning (give or take a couple of months) between six and nine months. By the age of three, most children have all twenty of their primary teeth.
The disruption to the gum tissues can cause a number of unpleasant side effects including gum swelling, facial rash, drooling, disrupted sleep patterns and decreased appetite. As a result a child can become irritable, bite and gnaw to relieve gum discomfort or rub their ears. Every child’s experience is different as well as their degree of pain and discomfort.
As a tooth is about to erupt, you may notice symptoms increasing a few days before and after. The symptoms will then subside until the next tooth begins to erupt. In a way, teething is much like a storm—you mostly have to ride it out. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t lessen your child’s discomfort during the teething episode.
For one thing, cold, soft items like teething rings, pacifiers or even a clean, wet washcloth your child can gnaw on will help relieve gum pressure. Chilling the item can have a pain-numbing effect—but avoid freezing temperatures, which can burn the tissues. You can also massage the gums with a clean finger to relieve pain. But don’t rub alcohol on their gums and only use numbing agents (like Benzocaine) for children older than two, and only with the advice and supervision of your healthcare provider. The use of acetaminophen or ibuprofen might also be used under the advice of your doctor.
If you notice your child has diarrhea, extensive rashes or fever, contact your physician immediately—these aren’t normal teething symptoms and may indicate something more serious. And be sure to consult with us if you have any other questions or concerns.
Teething can be a difficult time for your baby and family. But with these tips and a little “TLC” you can keep their discomfort to a minimum.
If you would like more information on caring for your baby’s developing teeth, 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 “Teething Troubles: How to Help Your Baby be Comfortable.”
A lot of people don’t like dental work because they believe it will be painful or uncomfortable. There’s an anatomical reason to back up that concern — the mouth with its dense network of nerves in the teeth and gums is one of the most sensitive parts of the human body.
But modern dentistry has helped solve much of the problem of pain with advances in local anesthesia. Using substances that temporarily block electrical impulses within the nerves of a selected area of oral tissues, there’s a good chance you’ll feel little to no discomfort even during moderately invasive procedures.
Unfortunately, you might have heard some complaints from others about local anesthesia that might make you wary of it. Many of these complaints, however, aren’t fully based on all the facts. So, let’s set the record straight about local anesthesia and what you can expect.
No need to be afraid of needles. Nobody enjoys the painful prick from an injection needle, and some people are highly fearful of them. But although it’s necessary to use a needle to deliver anesthesia to deeper levels of tissue, it’s possible you won’t feel it. That’s because we’ll typically apply a topical numbing agent to the skin surface that deadens the top layers where we insert the needle.
That numb feeling afterward won’t last long. One of the chief complaints in the past about local anesthesia was the irritating numbness that could long linger after a procedure. Today, however, with more advanced anesthetics and formulae, we’re better able to gauge the duration of the medication’s effect. This has greatly reduced the length of time afterward your mouth might have that awkward numbing sensation.
Anesthesia isn’t necessary for every procedure. Unless you have hypersensitive teeth, a lot of dental procedures don’t require anesthesia. Your enamel, for example, has no nerves and actually serves as a kind of “muffler” for sensations to lessen their effect. Cleaning your teeth or removing portions of the enamel can normally be performed without the need for numbing medication.
For procedures, though, where pain could be a factor, local anesthesia can make all the difference in the world. In these cases, anesthesia is your friend — it can help you receive the dental care you need without the discomfort.
If you would like more information on pain-free dentistry, 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 “Local Anesthesia for Pain-Free Dentistry.”
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