How Long Does a Temporary Crown Last? | Best Altoona IA Dentist

If you have recently seen Dr. Shirazi for root canal therapy, you likely have a temporary crown placed over the tooth until the permanent crown is molded and created for your unique mouth. While some patients are eager to get through the entire process, some patients may be less eager to return for additional, necessary dental work and wondering how long they can get away with wearing the temporary crown.  

So, how long can you wear the temporary crown? Well, the answer is, “It depends.” The permanent crown is typically placed within a few weeks to a month after dental procedures. The tooth and soft tissue are given time to heal, and the lab needs time to manufacture the one-of-a-kind crown. Placing the final crown may be delayed if Dr. Shirazi has recommended other dental procedures. Ideally, the permanent crown should be placed as soon as possible. 

What Happens if the Temporary Crown Has Been in Longer than a Few Weeks? 

The longer the temporary crown is in your mouth, the more likely the crown is to significantly wear. This can cause a shift in tooth position and the occlusion. Dr. Shirazi will advise you on how long your temporary crown can last based on placement and your oral habits. 

Remember, even if you can get away with leaving a temporary crown longer than the recommended time frame, it doesn’t mean you should. Contact Dr. Shirazi if you have a question about your crown, or to schedule an appointment for your root canal therapy. 

Altoona Dental
Phone: (515) 967-4211
107 8th St. SE
Altoona, IA 50009

What Kind of Technology Do Endodontists Use? | Dentist in Altoona IA

First, What Does an Endodontist Do? 

Unlike general dentists, endodontists do not clean teeth—they focus solely on diagnosing and treating infection with the dental pulp. Endodontists are the experts for pulp inflammation, infection, and root canal treatments. In addition to the four years of undergraduate and four years of dental school required, endodontists undergo an additional two to three years of training in specialized programs preparing them in their field. The advanced training Dr. Shirazi received prepared her to work in the microscopic environment inside the teeth.  

Endodontic Technology 

Endodontists utilize NASA technology and state-of-the-art tools to work inside the teeth.  

Operating microscopes. Endodontists utilize magnification and fiber optic illumination to view and work inside the tooth’s tiny interior. They also can use a small video camera attached to the operating microscope to record images of your tooth. 

Ultrasonics. Endodontists use high-frequency ultrasonic instruments to irrigate root canal spaces and remove debris to help clean and prepare during endodontic procedures. 

Nickel titanium. Endodontists use nickel titanium technology used by NASA in satellites to ensure flexibility and memory of instruments, ensuring more precise and efficient movements. More precise movements mean better results and less risk for the patient. 

Dental dam. At first glance, the dental dam may not seem impressive, but this thin square sheet—usually made of latex or nitrile—is imperative for cleaning the effected tooth and keeping it clean and dry during dental procedures. Dr. Shirazi uses the dental dam to prevent microorganisms found in saliva from contaminating the site, and it helps keep filling materials dry during placement and curing. A dental dam can also help some patients feel more relaxed and comfortable during endodontic procedures since it creates a layer of separation from the drill and other tools and may help them feel more disassociated from the procedure. While some patients may find comfort in using the dental dam, some may feel claustrophobic or vulnerable with reduced access to the care provider. Dr. Shirazi will regularly check in with you to ensure your comfort. 

If you are concerned about infection, contact Dr. Shirazi to schedule an in-office visit.

Altoona Dental
Phone: (515) 967-4211
107 8th St. SE
Altoona, IA 50009

Effective Prevention for Healthier Smiles | Cosmetic Dentist Altoona IA

Tooth decay is the most common chronic disease for children and adolescents. About ¼ of children and more than half of teens currently have this illness. Additionally, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that 90% of adults over age 20 have some amount of tooth-root decay. However, tooth decay is highly preventable. By providing effective dental care during childhood, better long-term oral health may be achieved. 

Here are some practices that can help prevent tooth decay, gum disease, and other oral health issues at every age: 

Hygiene 

Brush teeth twice each day with a soft-bristled brush. Clean your tongue gently with your toothbrush or a tongue scraper. Use fluoride toothpaste to help strengthen enamel. Children should use only toothpastes designed for kids’ use. Replace toothbrushes every 2-3 months. 

Clean between teeth daily. Use dental floss or another interdental cleaner. Talk to your hygienist for a recommendation and instructions for effective use. 

Diet 

Eat healthy foods and limit sugary and acidic foods. Drink plenty of water. 

Sealants 

A recent study on the effectiveness of sealants was published jointly by the American Dental Association (ADA) and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD). They found that sealants can prevent up to 80% of tooth decay in permanent molars when used for children and teens. Adults may see similar benefits from use, as well. Additionally, no adverse effects have been reported with use of sealants on patients of any age. Talk to our dentist about whether dental sealants may help you prevent tooth decay. 

Fluoride 

Fluoridation of public water has been listed by the CDC as one of the great achievements in public health in the 20th century. Studies have shown tooth decay in children who have fluoridated water sources is reduced by up to 40%. If you have concerns about tooth enamel weakness or if you live in an area without fluoridated water, ask our dentist whether supplemental fluoride may be right for you. 

Dental Care 

Visit our office for a professional cleaning and thorough exam at least twice each year, or as instructed. Seek treatment right away if issues are identified. 

Effective preventive care saves time and money and can help ensure a lifetime of healthy, beautiful smiles. For more information about tooth decay prevention, contact our office.

Altoona Dental
Phone: (515) 967-4211
107 8th St. SE
Altoona, IA 50009

What is Endodontic Retreatment? | Dentist Altoona IA

Endodontic, or root canal, treatment is a safe, effective solution for treating an infection in the tooth root or surrounding tissues. In most cases, this preserves the natural tooth, allowing it to remain healthy for many more years. While it is rare, there are occasions when an infection can return months or even years after treatment. When this occurs, an endodontic retreatment may be recommended. 

When is endodontic retreatment recommended? 

Though it is rare for retreatment to be needed, it may be recommended to preserve a previously-treated tooth in certain cases. The most common reason for needing retreatment is infection, which can be caused by: 

  • New tooth decay 
  • Loose, cracked, or broken crown 
  • Delayed placement of the crown following initial treatment 
  • Fractured tooth 

How is endodontic retreatment performed? 

Retreatment is completed in the same manner as the initial root canal treatment. Our doctor will remove the crown and filling materials, remove the infection, and clean the canals before refilling them to prevent recurrence of infection.  Once healed, a new crown will be placed. 

If you are experiencing discomfort in a tooth that has previously had root canal treatment, contact our office for an evaluation. It could save your tooth.

Altoona Dental
Phone: (515) 967-4211
107 8th St. SE
Altoona, IA 50009

Root Canal Treatment Common Myths Busted | Dentist in Altoona

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According to the American Association of Endodontists (AAE), there are three major misconceptions many people have regarding root canal therapy. Unfortunately, these patients may make decisions about their health care based on this incomplete or inaccurate information. Take a look at these myths and truths behind this important treatment option.

Myth 1: Root canal treatment causes pain.

This commonly held perception predates modern dentistry. Patients who have actually experienced root canal therapy are 6 times more likely to describe the procedure as painless than those who have never had the treatment.

Truth 1: Root canal treatment relieves pain.

In reality, the only pain that is generally associated with root canal therapy is caused by the underlying reason for the treatment – tooth decay or infected or diseased tissue. The root canal treatment removes this damaged tissue from the tooth, relieving the pain in the process.

Myth 2: Root canal treatment causes further illness or infection in the body.

This unfortunate belief stems from a long-discredited report from nearly 100 years ago that still turns up during internet searches. This report by Dr. Weston Price was highly criticized in its own time for the sub-standard research methods he used, and his conclusions were being debunked as early as the 1930s.

Truth 2: There is no scientific evidence whatsoever that suggests root canal treatment may cause other illness or infection in the body.

In fact, root canal therapy has been proven to have a much lower incidence of bacteria entering the blood stream than tooth extraction and causes much less trauma to the patient. Recent research found by our Altoona, IA dental team has also found that patients who have had multiple root canal treatments have a 45% lower risk of cancer than patients who have not.

Myth 3: Tooth extraction is always a better option than root canal treatment.

There is no perfect replacement for a natural tooth. Even the best tooth replacement options may leave you needing to avoid certain foods. Additionally, missing teeth can lead to jaw bone resorption over time, adding further complication to oral health care.

Truth 3: Saving natural teeth, when possible, is the best option for overall health.

By saving the natural tooth, patients avoid the need for further, more costly restoration treatment. Root canal treatment has a very high success rate and can often allow the natural tooth to last a lifetime.

Whenever possible, your doctor should make every effort to preserve your natural teeth. If you are advised to have an extraction, ask if root canal treatment is an option. Don’t be afraid to ask for a referral to an endodontist if you want a second opinion. Endodontists have at least 2 years of specialized training in tooth preservation, in addition to their dental degree.

For more information or to schedule a consultation, contact our Altoona, IA dental office.

Altoona Dental
Phone: (515) 967-4211
107 8th St. SE
Altoona, IA 50009

Are Your Medications Damaging Your Oral Health? | Altoona Family Dentist

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According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nearly half of all Americans are currently taking prescription medications and more than half take vitamins or other dietary supplements. Even when used as directed and under medical supervision, you may experience medication side effects that can impact your oral health. Always let our dentist in 50009 know if you are taking any medicines or supplements and if those have changed since your last visit.

Here are some common side effects of medications that can impact your oral health:

Abnormal Bleeding

Blood thinning and reduced clotting accompany the use of some medications. This can cause problems with excessive bleeding during treatments for periodontal disease or oral surgery. Your dentist needs to know if you are taking any medications or supplements before scheduling any treatment that may involve bleeding.

Dry Mouth

Many medications can cause reduced saliva production. When your mouth does not produce enough saliva, it is more susceptible to inflammation and infection, tooth decay, and other oral health problems.

Fungal Infection

Oral Candidiasis is an oral fungal infection that can affect those who use oral inhalers for asthma and other breathing conditions. We encourage patients with inhalers to rinse their mouth thoroughly with water after using their inhaler.

Gum Tissue Enlargement

Overgrowth or enlargement of gum tissue may occur as a side effect of certain medications. Patients with this condition need to give special attention to keeping teeth and gums clean to prevent inflammation or decay.

Soft Tissue Reactions

Inflammation, oral sores, or discoloration of soft tissues can occur as a side effect of some medications. If you experience this type of reaction, we may be able to prescribe a special oral hygiene regimen that can alleviate your discomfort.

Tooth Decay

While tooth decay is not directly a side effect of medication, several types of medicines use sugar to improve the flavor, especially those in liquid, chewable, and lozenge forms. When these are taken over a period of time, the sugars left on the teeth can make the patient more likely to develop tooth decay. When possible, select sugar-free versions of medications, take with meals, or rinse your mouth after taking a sugared medicine.

Severe tooth decay can lead to the need for Endodontic treatment, such as a root canal, and can even lead to tooth loss. If you have concerns about your medications, contact your dental office in Altoona, IA immediately.

Altoona Dental
Phone: (515) 967-4211
107 8th St. SE
Altoona, IA 50009

Advantages of Root Canal Therapy | Dentist in 50009

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According to a 2014 report by the American Association of Endodontists, 54 percent of people surveyed said, “root canals make them apprehensive.” Our team understands that many patients feel nervous prior to treatment. However, root canal treatment can greatly improve your oral health and comfort. Here are some of the advantages to undergoing root canal therapy.

The toothache will go away

Have you been suffering with a toothache due to infected roots? Root canal therapy can help eliminate discomfort and pain. Root canal therapy will allow you to live your life comfortably without the need for painkilling medication.

Therapy can save a tooth

Root canal therapy can save a tooth that is badly damaged from infection that would otherwise need to be extracted. It can also improve the appearance of your smile because a crown is placed on top of the tooth, offering a healthy and attractive appearance. Our team may be able to help you retain your natural teeth through root canal therapy.

Prevent the spread of infection 

During treatment, the entire area surrounding the infected tooth is cleaned. This can prevent the spread of the infection. Ignoring an infection can cause bacteria to spread to healthy teeth and your gums. By limiting the spread of infection, you will save yourself time and money from having to deal with additional and costly dental work.

Our team is experienced

Root canal therapy is a similar experience to having a filling placed. Our 50009 dentist is experienced in performing root canals and have undergone specialized training to do so. Your comfort and safety always come first in our office.

Root canal therapy can improve the quality of your life by limiting the spread of infection, saving your natural teeth, and reducing recurring toothaches. Prior to treatment, our team will answer any questions you might have about the procedure.

Contact us today to schedule a visit to our dental office in Altoona, IA.

Altoona Dental
Phone: (515) 967-4211
107 8th St. SE
Altoona, IA 50009

Do You Brush Your Teeth Too Much? | Altoona Cosmetic Dentist

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Brushing your teeth is a vital step in maintaining good oral health. However, is there such a thing as over-brushing?

The American Dental Association recommends you brush your teeth for 2 minutes, twice a day. People sometimes brush after every meal, or brush midday to freshen up. Although this is not always a bad thing, when you start brushing too much or for too long, you can ultimately damage your teeth.

Brushing more than three times a day, and for longer than 2 minutes, can sometimes lead to your tooth enamel wearing down as well as cause damage to your gums. Tooth enamel is the hardest substance in the human body and helps fight against tooth decay. Over-brushing can damage this shield and cause teeth to become sensitive and prone to cavities.

Practicing proper oral hygiene care at home is an important part of your overall oral health. However, being aware of how much is too much is equally important in keeping your smile healthy. 

Using the right kind of toothbrush helps prevent unnecessary enamel erosion. It is recommended by our dentist in 50009 that you use a toothbrush with the ADA Seal of Acceptance. The Seal of Acceptance shows that:

  • All of the toothbrush components are safe for use in the mouth.
  • Bristles are free of sharp or jagged edges (a soft-bristled toothbrush helps prevent the wearing down of enamel).
  • The toothbrush can be used to provide a significant decrease in mild gum disease and plaque.

Scheduling regular professional dental cleanings and exams with our dentist will keep your mouth healthy. 

Contact our dental office in Altoona, IA today to schedule a cleaning and comprehensive exam with our dentist.

Altoona Dental
Phone: (515) 967-4211
107 8th St. SE
Altoona, IA 50009

 Decrease Your Odds of Hypertension | Best Dentist in 50009

You may be unaware of how your oral health can be an indicator of your overall health.  The warning signs of systemic health conditions, such as diabetes and heart disease, can often be found by during a routine examination at our dental office in Altoona, IA.  You may be surprised to find out that hypertension (high blood pressure) may also be linked to your oral health habits.

A recent study published in the Journal of Periodontology suggests that there is a link between oral hygiene and high blood pressure, based on the results of almost 20,000 adults surveyed in the Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (KNHANES).  It was found that individuals with poor oral hygiene habits, such as infrequent brushing of teeth, were more likely to suffer from hypertension.  Individuals that brushed their teeth more than once daily and also utilized other oral health products such as floss or mouthwash were less likely to suffer from hypertension.  The study concluded that maintaining good oral hygiene habits may help prevent or control high blood pressure.

Good oral hygiene is essential to a healthy life and regular dental visits are important in maintaining good oral health.  Contact our dental office in 50009 to schedule your appointment for an examination and cleaning.

Altoona Dental
Phone: (515) 967-4211
107 8th St. SE
Altoona, IA 50009

Chew on This: Foods for Healthy Teeth | Dentist in Altoona, IA

No time to brush or floss your teeth? When brushing or flossing isn’t convenient, you can still keep your mouth feeling fresh by eating certain foods. When you’re on the go or in a hurry, try grabbing one of these foods to munch on to help fight plaque and keep your teeth healthy. Don’t forget to make an appointment with our dental office in 50009.

Cheese provides several benefits for your teeth, such as preserves and rebuilds tooth enamel, prevents plaque and balances your mouth’s acidity level. It also helps to produce saliva, which kills the bacteria that cause tooth decay and gum disease.

Tea contains polyphenols, which slows the growth of bacteria associated with tooth decay and gum disease. It prevents the bacteria in your mouth from turning sugar into plaque. Tea also fights the bacteria that cause bad breath.

Crunchy fruits and vegetables, such as apples, carrots and celery, require extra chewing which produces saliva. Saliva helps to neutralize bacteria that cause tooth decay. Also, chewing on naturally abrasive foods removes stuck food particles, massages gums and cleans between teeth.

Vitamin-rich foods containing calcium and phosphorus can help keep tooth enamel strong and healthy. Acidic foods may cause tiny lesions on tooth enamel. Calcium and phosphate help redeposit minerals back into these lesions.

Sugarless gum contains xylitol that helps to prevent plaque and aids in producing saliva. Chewing sugarless gum also keeps your breath smelling fresh.

Raisins contain phytochemicals, which fights bacteria that causes tooth decay. Some compounds in raisins also affect the growth of bacteria that is associated with gum disease.

Water is the best way to stimulate saliva, which is your body’s greatest defense against bacteria that cause plaque and cavities. If you can’t brush after eating, rinse your mouth with water to assist in preventing tooth decay.

It is important to have a balanced diet for your oral and overall health. While these foods help to combat plaque buildup and tooth decay, no food can take the place of daily brushing and flossing. It is vital to continue your daily oral hygiene regimen and keep up with regular scheduled appointments with our dentist in Altoona, IA 50009. Contact our dental office to schedule your next appointment.

Altoona Dental
Phone: (515) 967-4211
107 8th St. SE
Altoona, IA 50009