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Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is a root canal?
A: A root canal is when the inflamed or infected nerve is removed and the nerve canals of the tooth are cleaned, shaped and sealed. Once treatment is completed it is usually necessary to return to your dentist for a permanent restoration. This restoration is an important part of treatment because it seals the cleaned canals from the oral environment, protects the tooth and restores its function.
Q: Why would someone need a root canal?
A: A root canal is necessary when the nerve becomes inflamed or infected. The most common reasons for inflammation or infection are deep cavities, cracks or chips. Trauma can also cause inflammation and nerve death, which can show up as a discoloration of the tooth. If the nerve inflammation or infection is left untreated, it can lead to pain or an abscess.
Q: Why do root canals have such a bad reputation?
A: Most root canal procedures proceed painlessly, both during and after each visit. With modern techniques and anesthetics people report that having a root canal procedure is as unremarkable as having a cavity filled. However, some people present to the dentist with a tooth that has a badly damaged nerve, but the nerve is still alive. These teeth are already very sensitive to hot and cold stimuli and usually have spontaneous severe pain.
Q: What happens if I don’t treat a dental abscess?
A: A dental abscess is an infection that should be taken very seriously and treated immediately. If the abscess is ignored, not only can it result in a large swelling, fever and intense pain, but it can have serious consequences, including: 1. Tooth loss (due to loss of bone around the tooth from the infection), 2. Sinus infection (when the infection from the upper back teeth spread into the nearby sinuses), 3. Bacterial endocarditis (when the bacteria from the abscess spread to the heart via the blood vessels), 4. Brain abscess (when the infection from the abscess reaches the brain through blood vessels), 5. Osteomyelitis (which is a local or generalized infection of bone and bone marrow, usually caused by the bacteria from the abscess), 6. Cellulitis (when treatment is delayed, the infection can spread through the facial tissues and cause facial swelling, fever and can eventually spread to the bone and the soft tissues of the florr of the mouth), 7. Ludwig’s angina (a very serious infection, which affects the lower jaw and parts of the face. This infection can grow to block the airways, resulting in suffocation and possibly death).
Q: Do I need to get a sports mouth guard?
A: Whether you are a professional athlete or just a participant in recreational sports, a mouth guard is a must have. Mouth guards are intended to protect not only the teeth and gums, but also your lips, cheeks, tongue, neck, brain, lower jaw, and jaw joint. Both the American Dental Association and Academy of Sports Dentistry recommend mouth guards for anyone who engages in sports, such as football, softball, racquetball, skating, skateboarding, martial arts, boxing, acrobatics, cycling, equestrian sports, field hockey, ice hockey, gymnastics, lacrosse, rugby, skiing, skydiving, squash, surfing, trampoline, tennis, wrestling, weightlifting, and water polo. There are various types of mouth guards, such as preformed, boil and bite, the shell liner, and custom fit mouth guards. Naturally, the better quality the mouth guard, the more supportive it will be and the lower the risk of injury. However, the greatest risk of all is not wearing a mouth guard.
Q: What are night guards and why are they important?
A: A night guard is a device most often recommended as first line treatment for bruxism (teeth grinding) and dysfunction of the jaw joint (TMD). It is usually worn during sleep to avoid damaging your teeth by clenching or grinding associated with either the psychological aspects of stress, one’s abnormal bite, a sleep disorder, or a combination of the above. A night guard can help reduce your grinding and TMD by: 1.Helping to relax your jaw muscles, which in turn reduces muscle spasms; 2. Alleviating headaches; 3. Enabling your jaw to find its best position, since teeth are prevented from locking together; 4. Substituting for your teeth during wear, since it is better to grind the night guard than our own teeth. During the day, the only time teeth should be in contact is when you chew and when you swallow, otherwise, think lips together teeth apart. Night guards must also be constantly checked and adjusted.
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List of Questions

  1. What is a root canal?
    A root canal is when the inflamed or infected nerve is removed and the nerve canals of the tooth are cleaned, shaped and sealed...  
  2. Why would someone need a root canal?
    A root canal is necessary when the nerve becomes inflamed or infected...  
  3. Why do root canals have such a bad reputation?
    The teeth that are already very sensitive to hot and cold stimuli and usually have spontaneous severe pain...  
  4. What happens if I don’t treat a dental abscess?
    A dental abscess is an infection that should be taken very seriously and treated immediately...  
  5. Do I need to get a sports mouth guard?
    Whether you are a professional athlete or just a participant in recreational sports, a mouth guard is a must have...  
  6. What are night guards and why are they important?
    A night guard is a device most often recommended as first line treatment for bruxism (teeth grinding).