Helping our patients maintain a healthy mouth and smile is the main goal of general dentistry. We prefer to provide more minor, preventive care than to see patients suffer with more intensive treatments from a problem that was not managed in time. We want to ensure that your oral health is in its optimal state and positively contributing to the health of your entire body. We are here to brighten your smile and pave the way for a brighter life.
It is important to brush your teeth at least twice daily to help remove plaque and food particles that get stuck to your teeth. It is recommended that you brush your teeth for two minutes (or longer), though most people rush through this time. You need to make sure that you reach every side of each tooth, including the inside and outside. To help keep your breath fresh, you should also brush your tongue. Then, you can begin flossing.request an appointment
Cleanings And Exams
Having a dental practice perform a checkup and regular cleaning gives a preventive approach to dental care. These general dentistry treatments help prevent problems with your teeth, gums and jaw bones, or they catch and manage problems before they worsen. During your visit, our doctors will take a picture of the current standing of your dental health and what would be needed to keep your oral hygiene in its best state.request an appointment
Many people feel better about themselves because their smile has been restored with teeth whitening procedures. Their stains and discolorations are alleviated to a brighter shade of natural-looking white teeth.
Dentin is what the darker tissue of your teeth are called, but can be worn away at the outer layer of enamel, mostly because of aging or well known staining products like caffeine and tobacco. Not only are we attracted to eating food, the food is attracted to our teeth’s enamel because of a protein. More well known staining foods are coffee, tea, berries, and soy sauce. If you’ve ever paid attention, you’ll notice that teeth become more absorbent and more likely to get stained over time by things like foods.
Why are people opting for professional teeth whitening more and more?
People are increasingly opting for tooth-whitening procedures to keep others from seeing the effects of aging and staining. There are many teeth-whitening toothpastes that may work to an extent, but they will never top a professional treatment at a dentist’s office. They can actually wear way your enamel in the process, due to abrasive substances in their formulation. Amongst teeth-whitening products available at most oral health sections in many stores are bleaching agents. They work, but have a hard time on certain stains. For example, they may not be able to remove brown or gray stains, they don’t work as well on pitted are very discolored teeth, or on things like bridges, crowns, bonding, or fillings.
Because of the inferiority of store-bough whitening treatments, whitening performed within a qualified dentist office is known to be the most effective and the safest method. If it’s done properly, your bright white teeth can last as long as five years. In comparison, over the counter whitening products are only as effective with monitoring and closely following instructions.
Fillings are usually used to treat cavities. There are some things you should keep in mind:
- What has been going on in your oral health history?
- Where is the cavity located and how severe is it?
- What kinds of materials are best for your filling? Do you want composite resins, amalgam, etc.?
There are also other considerations, such as:
- How will this filling look when viewed by others?
- How long will it last?
- What does your insurance plan say about covering the filling?
Tooth-colored Composite fillings
Composite fillings, are long lasting and sturdy against the possibility of fractures in small- to mid-size fillings. Chewing is a perfectly acceptable amount of pressure they can withstand. They can be used on either front (anterior) or back (posterior) teeth.
Silver-colored amalgam fillings
Amalgam fillings, are made from a combination of metals that include mercury, silver, tin and copper. This type of filling has been used for at least a hundred years and is known for its durability too.
Gold fillings (inlays/onlays)
Inlays/onlays, are an alloy of gold, copper, and other metals. Gold is safe to use, but it is costly.
Not all cavities are fixed with fillings. The durability of dental amalgam makes it a solid choice for large cavities or those in the back teeth where more intense chewing is needed. Some patients only want natural-looking fillings, making composites the logical choice. You may have to choose to get a crown or implant if the case is severe.
You should be able to communicate to your dentist how you want to deal with the cavity. Of course at Central Valley Dentistry our priority is your health and safety. You may be wondering about the mercury content in amalgam, but there is no worry. No study has shown a single negative health effect except because of an allergy. The ADA, FDA, WHO, and the US Disease Control and Prevention committees all say dental amalgam is safe for use.
If you’re feeling pain in your tooth, it may be a cavity that needs urgent attention. If left untreated, they can become much more serious. Fillings will help prevent the cavity from growing deeper and spreading to other teeth and tissue. If it’s not prevented, teeth can decay and fall out. However, it’s well known that prevention is the best medicine. You can decrease the chance of developing cavities by:
- Brushing your teeth twice a day with anti-cavity toothpaste
- Flossing daily
- Eating a balanced and healthy diet
- Visiting your dentist regularly for checkups
Endodontic therapy or root canal therapy is the actual name of the procedure, but it has come to be known just as a root canal after the passageways below the surface of the tooth. Beneath the surface of the tooth, root canals are small passageways that separate from there, going downward until the tip of the root is reached. Teeth definitely have between one and four root canals. There is an inner chamber of teeth that contains blood vessels, nerves, and other tissues. Also known as the pulp, this is normally where infections develop. If the infection gets worse, it affects the roots. The root can also be affected by traumatic injuries, which could lead to worse things like an abscess.
You will experience pain, sensitivity to hot and cold foods or air when breathing in, discomfort while eating, aches, you might be awoken by a toothache. There may even be spots with pockets of pus developing, which could end up as an abscess too. Those symptoms definitely indicate a problem that needs to be inspected, but it also possible to need a root canal even if the patient has not felt any pain or sensitivity.
In doubt of root canal therapy?
For those in doubt of root canal therapy, you should be pleased to discover that it has a very high success rate. It halts the spread of infection, restores the healthy part of your teeth. Before root canal therapy, the only other way to treat problem or diseased teeth was extraction. Nowadays, you can save a problem tooth instead of have to get rid of it completely.
The dreaded pain people always wonder about:
Modern methods and options of local or general anesthesia have made it uncommon for a patient to feel any sensation or pain during the procedure. Of course, it’s normal for the patient to feel pain after the appointment when they bite or chew. However, it can be managed with with over-the-counter or prescription medication. The after-appointment pain could be minimal or nonexistent with the help of the medication.
Should I choose root canal therapy or extraction?
The benefit root canal therapy has over extraction is that your natural tooth will remain with you. Extraction could cause other problems in the long run. Sometimes it can cause drifting, problems with your bite radius, discomfort due to TMK, and you might have to treat nearby teeth (that are otherwise healthy) just to restore the missing tooth. Remember that a natural, healthy tooth is better than a replacement or implant (no matter how good and durable they are).
The tooth extraction process can be the result of a number of things, including:
- Gum disease
- Tooth damage/trauma
- Tooth decay
- Tooth impaction
Tooth extractions are generally simple dental procedures that include the use of a local anesthetic prior to the extraction procedure. In more difficult extraction cases, a general anesthetic may be used to perform the dental procedure.request an appointment
Seriously damaged your tooth? You should follow these directions:
Do not take painkillers like ibuprofen or aspirin yet. Go for acetaminophen.
See a Phoenix emergency dentist as soon as possible to prevent further damage.
Call 911 or go to an emergency room if your injury is life-threatening.
You may be able to have your broken or chipped tooth reattached but please see a dentist to make sure. Follow the steps below, and have a dentist examine the situation as soon as possible.
Cleanse the area with warm water. Find gauze and apply it with firm pressure to stop bleeding. Look for the chipped or broken tooth pieces so as not to lose them. When the bleeding finally stops, put a cold compress to the injured area to decrease swelling. If the bleeding doesn’t stop within fifteen minutes of the constant, firm pressure, get examined by an emergency dentist Phoenix or go to the emergency room.
Save the pieces of the tooth and rinse them. Rinse your mouth as well. If the pieces aren’t clean, cover them with a washcloth and wash them as though the washcloth is a net. Place the pieces into a small container and cover them with milk, saline solution, or the saliva of the person with the tooth injury.
Call attention to your emergency dentist right away. If it can’t be re-implanted as a completely knocked out tooth, odds are that the adult tooth will grow into the space anyway.
An Adult (permanent) Tooth
There is only a short time in which an emergency dentist can re-implant your tooth – one or two hours. Only the dentist will know what the case is. Take the steps from the Chipped or Broken Tooth section above, and see an emergency dentist in Phoenix right away. You should take your contained and protected tooth with you to the dental office.
Lost Filling or Crown
Call us as soon as possible. Use clove oil (available over-the-counter in pharmacies and supermarkets) to relieve pain from contact with air on the exposed tooth. Dip a q-tip into it and apply. Also, you can use a cold compress to relieve pain and swelling around the area.
- If you find the filling, put it into a small container and take it with you to the dentist.
- To make your tooth more comfortable, fill the hole in your tooth with tooth wax or cement (available over-the-counter at your pharmacy). Do not use any household adhesives in your mouth.
- If you found the crown, you may temporarily replace it yourself until you see a dentist.
- Make sure that the crown is cleaned gently of any debris that may have accumulated on the inside.
- Apply denture adhesive to the inside of your crown. You can alternatively use dental cement or toothpaste. Then, slip the crown back in place to protect your tooth.
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Make sure you have cleansed and cleaned any debris. Floss around the tooth gently, so that you can clear up any food that may be lodged in somewhere. If your tooth continues to hurt, see a dentist as soon as possible.
Gums and Soft Tissues – Bitten Tongue or Lip
- Small cuts usually heal themselves, so do not worry much.
- Clean the area with a wipe or rinse with cold water. Apply a cold compress, ice pack, or you can even use frozen vegetables.
- If the cut is larger than a quarter inch, or if bleeding does not stop after 10 minutes of cold treatment, see a professional.
If your mouth sores are caused by having new braces, apply a topical anesthetic (available over-the-counter at your pharmacy). To alleviate pain, take acetaminophen as directed on the packaging label.
Pain, Swelling, or Abscess – Call an Emergency Dentist!
See an emergency dentist Phoenix right away because gum pain or swelling can be the symptoms of an abscess (infection) that forms in gum tissue or in a tooth’s root and the area that surrounds it. There are many reasons why gums can swell, become painful, or abscess. Only a thorough exam by your dentist can identify the underlying cause.
If the abscess ruptures, you may experience a sudden rush of foul-smelling and foul-tasting fluid from the swollen or painful area. Rinse your mouth with warm water immediately.
Areas We Service:
Maryvale | Paradise Valley | Deer Valley | North Mountain | Camelback East | Alahambra | South Mountain | Estrella | Ahwatukee Foothills | Central City | Desert View | North Gateway | Encanto | New Village | Laveen
Oral Cancer Screenings
Nobody wants to hear that they may have oral cancer. Although it can be fatal, it is easier to treat the earlier it is caught. For this reason, we are proud to assist our patients with an oral cancer screening. We want to help our patients survive this often fatal disease.
Oral cancer will typically show up as white or red patches or lesions inside of your mouth. You may even notice the lesions on your tongue or on the floor of your mouth. Many people experience a hard time swallowing, bleeding in the mouth, or even swelling in your face or neck.
When we apply a dental sealant, we paint a plastic coating on top of your teeth. This makes your teeth smooth getting rid of the rough edges, depressions, and grooves that are commonly found on teeth. It is essentially a protective coating against tooth decay and cavities.
The most common place to paint sealants is on back teeth since they are often irregular. They can also be very hard to reach, even if you brush your teeth regularly. We use it more on children though we do perform sealants on adults too!
It can be beneficial to use a guard, or covering, to protect your teeth from grinding while sleeping. Similar to how a mouthguard protects teeth during sports, this layer prevents damage to the teeth that can occur naturally.
There are a wide variety of different types of mouthguards, ranging from pre-formed pieces to ones that are custom fitted to your teeth and jaws. Some of these can even be formed at home through a boil-and-bite process.
Dry Socket (Alveolar Osteitis) is a complication of wound healing following extraction of a tooth. The term alveolar refers to the alveolus, which is the part of the jawbone that surrounds the teeth; osteitis means simply “bone inflammation”. It can occur after the clot is lost, when the socket has a dry appearance because of exposed bone. The blood clot helps in stopping the bleeding and lays framework for new tissues to develop there but in case of dry socket, the clot is dislodged and the bone is exposed. This bare bone is exposed to bacteria in the saliva and the food which the patient consumes and the bone becomes infected and painful.
The pain from dry socket usually lasts for 24-72 hours. There is no real treatment for dry socket; it is a condition that will improve and disappear with time, but certain interventions can significantly decrease pain during an episode of dry socket. These interventions usually consist of a gentle rinsing of the inflamed socket followed by the direct placement within the socket of some type of sedative dressing, which soothes the inflamed bone for a period of time and promotes tissue growth. This is usually done without anesthesia. The active ingredients in these sedative dressings usually include substances like, zinc oxide, eugenol, and oil of cloves. It is usually necessary to have this done for two or three consecutive days, although occasionally it can take longer. Because true dry socket pain is so intense, additional analgesics are sometimes prescribed.
Sports Mouth Guards
As dentists, we are determined to make sure your mouth and teeth are well protected during sports activities, no matter what your passion is. To do this, we offer many different types of mouth guards, depending on the types of activities in which you are involved. There are some mouth guards for low-impact sports and others for high-impact sports.
Mouth guards not only protect your mouth and teeth, but also have other purposes. Mouth guards will help decrease the impact if you get hit in the jaw. They have also been shown to increase an athlete’s performance.
Many people clench their teeth while playing, which can give them temporomandibular joint syndrome (TMJ). Clenching your jaw the whole time can be quite exhausting. Mouth guards help to relax your jaw, allowing you to completely focus on the game!
At Central Valley Dentistry, we are proud to offer temporomandibular joint dysfunction, otherwise known as TMJ, treatments to provide relief for our patients. TMJ is caused by an inflammation in the temporomandibular joint, which acts as a sliding hinge that connects your jawbone to your skull.
What are the symptoms of TMJ?
TMJ causes pain and discomfort along the jawbone and can make it painful to even move your jaw. While jaw pain and discomfort don’t always equate to TMJ, if you are also experiencing headaches, trouble chewing, or pain in the face, jaw, and ear, you’re more than likely experiencing TMJ.
Wisdom Teeth Extractions
Some patients’ wisdom teeth need to be extracted due to tooth impaction, which means the wisdom teeth are unable to grow normally because they are stuck or growing at an angle into other teeth.
Wisdom teeth are extracted in order to prevent infections or damage to other teeth. The dental extraction procedure for wisdom teeth consists of local or general anesthesia and the removal of the affected teeth with a minor surgery.
Excessive or Uneven Gums
You can tell if your gums are considered recessed when tissue surrounding your teeth wears down near the root and exposes more of your tooth. When this has happened, it can cause you to lose your teeth if it’s not taken to a dentist. Patients who notice this problem may need to receive a gum graft.
A local anesthetic will be applied to numb the areas involved. The doctor will remove tissue from either the roof of the mouth, also known as the palate, or the gum near the affected tooth. This all depends on the severity of the excessive gum or receded gum. The tissue is then sewn into place over the exposed tooth root. Patients wondering how long it takes — only one visit necessary, and unless you were given a sedative, you should still be able to drive.
At the end of the procedure, you will be given aftercare instructions, including what to eat and what not to eat, and etcetera. If you want to schedule an appointment to talk about your excessive/recessive or uneven gums, please call Central Valley Dentistry.