What is the difference: Root Canal vs. Extraction

Root Canal vs Extraction: wondering which is better? Both are procedures for infected teeth to prevent further tissue and damage later down the road. A root canal is a procedure that saves part of the natural tooth. Alternatively, an extraction is for times when the tooth or root is irreparable.

Dentists perform a root canal procedure when the pulp inside a tooth becomes infected or inflamed. This procedure aims to rid the tooth of bacteria, prevent further infection, and save the natural tooth. The treatment involves a dentist or endodontist making an opening in the tooth’s crown into the pulp chamber. They then use tiny instruments to remove the nerve or pulp from the chamber and canal of each root of the tooth. Finally, they restore the tooth with a crown or a permanent filling.

Types Of Tooth Extractions

The difference between a root canal vs. an extraction is that a tooth extraction occurs when a tooth or the root is beyond repair. Dentists can perform two main types of tooth extractions. The first is called a simple extraction, which involves a dentist starting by numbing the extraction area. The dentist will use an instrument called an elevator to loosen the tooth from the socket before removing it with forceps.

The second type of tooth extraction is called a surgical extraction. Dentists or oral surgeons can perform this type of extraction if a tooth is broken off at the gumline’s point or has not fully grown into the mouth yet. In this procedure, they will make a small cut into the gum to remove it. In some cases, they may need to remove bone blocking around the tooth. Likewise, they may need to cut into the tooth to extract it.

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Extraction vs. Root Canal Pain: What hurts more?

The extraction of a tooth itself is virtually painless. Dentists numb the area, and patients may only feel some pressure. After the procedure, patients can expect some amount of pain. However, the procedure removes the infected teeth. The infected teeth contain the nerve endings that sense most of the pain. A dentist essentially cuts these off at the beginning of an extraction.

The pain after an extraction depends on a few things. A dentist removes the infected teeth that contain nerve endings. Therefore, the tissues around the extracted teeth determine pain after an extraction. Depending on what the procedure requires, the degree of tissue damage can vary, which affects the amount of pain.

The severity of infection that accumulated before the procedure also influences how much pain is present after. The state in which the tissues are in can affect the healing process and pain involved. Additionally, some patients have more tissue sensitivity than others.

When considering a tooth extraction vs. root canal, keep in mind a root canal procedure causes little to no pain. Even though it can sound scary, it is similar in scale to have a deep filling performed. The mouth pain leading up to the root canal is what patients usually remember. The pain before a root canal involves the soft inside of the tooth with nerves and lymphatic tissue. Once the root canal occurs, pain is alleviated, and the feeling left is only mild to moderate pain and soreness.

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Root Canal vs. Extraction Pros and Cons

root canal vs. extraction comparison

Dentists recommend root canals and tooth extractions depending on each patient’s individual needs. Weighing each procedure’s pros and cons can be helpful when deciding with your dentist on the best option to meet your needs. Here is essential information on what to expect before, during, and after either one is performed:

Risks

  • Root Canal: There are not as many risks with a root canal. One of the main dangers is that if a dentist does not do it properly, the procedure can damage the enamel. Another risk is that an abscess can develop and spread if any infected material is left behind.
  • Extraction: An extraction leaves an empty hole in the mouth. This hole makes it possible for bacteria to grow and cause an infection. An infection can spread to other teeth quickly and start a domino of extractions that are needed. Additionally, tooth extractions can endanger surrounding teeth by causing teeth to shift within the mouth due to the new gap. If one of those teeth loosens up, other teeth tend to become loose and can even begin to fall out.

Prevention of Future Problems

  • Root Canal: Root canals are not entirely risk-free. However, going without the procedure will only cause the infected tooth to worsen. As a result, the infection can lead to an abscess or other severe conditions like oral bone degeneration. Likewise, infection can cause functional issues.
  • Extraction: Before dentists perform an extraction, they determine whether a tooth is likely to cause future problems. Having a tooth extracted can solve issues related to infection and a crowded mouth. Dentists often see a crowded mouth with patients who have wisdom teeth in the back of their mouths that are hard to care for.

Recovery

  • Root Canal: Saves part of the natural tooth. The natural tooth helps with a quicker recovery time. As a result, pain or discomfort from a root canal usually dissipates a couple of days after the procedure.
  • Extractions: Require individuals to avoid certain foods and chewing in that area to reduce the risk of infection. Tooth extractions require individuals to rest for two to three days to up to one week before returning to normal physical activity. This is to allow time for the affected area to clot.

Costs

  • Root Canal: Patients should know that root canals have high upfront costs when deciding on either an extraction or a root canal. These upfront costs may be hundreds or a few thousand dollars.
  • Tooth extractions: May only cost a few hundred initially. However, tooth extractions lead to continuing appointments and more money later down the line. For example, if a dental bridge or implant is needed.

Root canals and tooth extractions are essential options to become familiar with for anyone wondering how to fix their infected tooth. The team here at the office for David Wilhite DDS strives to provide a comfortable and relaxing dental experience for the Plano, Texas community. Whether you are interested in getting an extraction or a root canal, give us a call today at (972) 964-3774 for a happier, healthier mouth.

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Decay Under Crown: How To Fix It & Find It

It is essential to fix decay under the crown of a tooth as it can lead to serious health concerns. Brown and grey spots show up on the tooth material around a crown where pearly whites should be. These spots indicate tooth decay, which can be the culprit of nerve damage. Decay under crowns starts with a buildup of a sticky yellow plaque film. Plaque contains bacteria that attacks the teeth and combines with saliva to mineralize into a hard, crusty yellow or brown tartar. Tartar deposits adhere to the teeth, trap stains, and accumulate. If the problem persists, it can damage nerves, lead to root canals and other complicated procedures. The cavity under crown repair process is to remove the old crown, remove the decay, and replace the crown.

What causes Decay Under Crown?

After someone eats, the food left on the teeth and surrounding areas becomes a feast for harmful bacteria. So what causes tooth decay under crowns? This bacteria lives within the plaque that lives inside of mouths. The bacteria microbes sustain themselves through sugar. Consequently, they flourish from leftover food. Acid develops from the bacteria, attacking and damaging the enamel. This acid creates holes in the teeth, also known as tooth decay.

Regularly brushing and flossing teeth removes plaque. Having a dentist monitor and clean one’s teeth also helps remove plaque. Most importantly, dentists can notice signs of decay before the decay worsens. Neglecting these oral hygiene steps will result in plaque becoming trapped under crowns and in the cracks of teeth. As a result, the plaque causes decay under crowns.   

What happens if you get a rotting tooth under a crown? 

decay under crown

Crowns are covers that are connected on top of teeth to improve them when they have problems. These problems include cracked teeth and cavities that are too large for a filling. When decay occurs, it happens around the crown’s edges on the natural tooth and quickly spreads underneath the crown. Consequently, the old crown needs to be removed, along with the decay. 

After that, dentists must add a new crown. Sometimes the decaying eats through the natural tooth entirely and destroys the nerves. In these cases, if dentists can still save the tooth, a root canal will need to be performed before adding a new crown. 

When a tooth has already had a crown, the new crown’s edges will need to be deeper. The process requires this additional depth because of the space left from where the dentist removed the decay. Fixing a rotting tooth under a crown is a difficult process and may require a crown specialist.

How to identify cavity under crown symptoms 

Sometimes the size of the area affected by decay under crowns is relatively small. However, decay under a crown is always unpleasant, with the ability to cause severe damage. There may be brown and grey spots that one can see. But some of the signs of decay are less specific. Dentists can X-ray to look for decay under crowns. Even so, a more in-depth examination may be necessary through a second opinion. 

Other signs of a cavity under a crown to look for include crown tooth pain or sensitivity, inflamed gums, and bleeding while practicing routine oral hygiene. Keeping up with regular dental appointments and going in as soon as one suspects any signs of decay under crowns will make a difference in their oral health.

How to prevent dental crown pain

Crown tooth pain is caused by plaque, which can be removed by brushing and flossing. To avoid having the bacteria in the plaque cause damage and pain under the crown, one should keep up with routine oral hygiene. That includes brushing twice a day, flossing every day, and visiting a dentist regularly. One final way is to preserve a dental crown’s integrity is to avoid chewing on hard or crunchy foods, especially ice.

Stop decay before it starts with regular checkups from Dr. Wilhite’s dental team. Our practice is here to deliver high-quality dentistry to the Plano, Texas, community. We want to keep you happy and your smile healthy!

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Decay Under Crowns FAQs 

How do I know if my tooth crown is infected?

Crown tooth pain, swollen gums, tooth sensitivity, and fever can all be signs of an infected tooth crown.

Why does my crown smell bad?

Dentists use dental cement to put crowns in place. Over time the cement wears down, leaving space for material like bacteria and food to enter. This bacteria can lead to a bad smell. Space for bacteria to flourish can also occur if a crown becomes loose for any reason. 

How do you clean under a crown?

Good flossing technique keeps plaque from causing issues. Floss should be threaded and moved through the space between the crown and the gumline. Regular brushing also helps clean around the crown. 

How does a dentist remove a crown? 

Removal of temporary crowns is standard practice. Dentists gently pry temporary crowns. This action causes the dental cement that holds the crown and tooth together to break. Dentists may take alternative methods for other more permanent crowns. The first of these methods is cutting a hole in the crown and using it to lift the crown from the tooth. The second is cutting into the crown with a high-speed rotary instrument in which case the crown is not reusable.


Plano Dentist David Wilhite David Wilhite is a Plano, Texas Dentist specializing in cosmetic dentistry with over 30 years experience in general and pediatric dentistry.

Let us help you create a beautiful smile!

Contact us online or call (972) 964-3774


Ceramic Braces vs. Metal: What’s the difference?

When it comes to ceramic braces vs. metal, ceramic braces might seem like a clear choice, but metal braces are more popular for a reason. Here at David Wilhite DDS, we can explain the biggest difference, the cost, and how they look! To request an appointment or ask questions, please call us at 972-964-3774 or contact us.

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What is the difference between Ceramic and Metal braces? 

Both ceramic and metal braces typically use the same archwires and rubber bands. The main difference is in the look and durability of the brackets. Ceramic braces, also known as clear braces, use brackets made from polycrystalline alumina, an expensive and delicate material. This material is transparent or tooth-colored, meaning it blends into the tooth visually. Metal braces utilize medical-grade stainless steel and, therefore, are stronger, more durable, and more visible than ceramic braces. 

Ceramic Braces vs Metal Braces Pros and Cons

After weighing the pros and cons of clear braces vs metal braces, metal braces seem to be the better choice overall. Here is why: 

Appearance

Ceramic braces win in the appearance department in terms of subtlety. They are clear and, therefore, draw less attention than metal braces to the mouths of the people wearing them. However, ceramic braces are prone to staining and discoloration. This feature means that wearers must be vigilant about oral hygiene and altogether avoid dark food and beverages. 

clear braces vs metal

Durability

When deciding between ceramic or metal braces, it is critical to understand that ceramic braces are twice as likely to break or fracture. This fragility means that individuals with ceramic braces can expect to pay more for maintenance. Additionally, individuals with ceramic braces must adhere strictly to braces’ care rules to prevent additional visits to the orthodontist. That means absolutely no gum, hard candies, crunchy foods etc. 

Comfort

Ceramic braces cause less friction than metal braces against the sides of one’s mouth and gums. Consequently, ceramic braces are less painful and do not irritate the mouth as much as metal braces during daily use and adjustment appointments. 

Hygiene 

Clear braces typically use larger brackets than metal braces. The size difference makes clear braces harder to clean thoroughly. It is essential for wearers to completely clean around the brackets of ceramic braces to prevent gums from swelling or receding. 

Cost

Ceramic braces cost more than metal braces. Typically, clear braces can range in price between $3,000 and $7,000. On the other hand, metal braces cost between $1,700 and $6,000. The price difference stems from the nature of the materials ceramic braces use. 

Time

Ceramic braces can take longer to straighten someone’s teeth because they are more delicate. The fragility of ceramic braces means wearers typically have more visits to the orthodontist for repairs causing delays in completing the treatment. Metal braces move teeth faster because they are stronger, do not break as often, and require less incremental adjustments at appointments. 

Removal 

Ceramic braces are brittle and, consequently, more likely to fracture during the removal or debonding process. This quality increases the possibility of damage to the enamel during the process and makes removal for ceramic braces less gentle.

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The Takeaway From Ceramic Braces vs Metal

When choosing between ceramic or metal braces, individuals must decide what is most important to them. Ceramic braces are the most comfortable and aesthetically pleasing choice. However, they come with the sacrifice of cost, time, and convenience. Metal braces are the best option for individuals who don’t mind a little shine while they quickly and affordably straighten their teeth. If you are looking for another option, Invisalign might be a good fit. 

invisalign david wilhite dds


Plano Dentist David Wilhite David Wilhite is a Plano, Texas Dentist specializing in cosmetic dentistry with over 30 years experience in general and pediatric dentistry.

Let us help you create a beautiful smile!

Contact us online or call (972) 964-3774


 

Dentist tips for your kids during the holidays

Dentist tips for your kids during the holidays

Dentist appointments are important at every time of the year, all through your life. For kids, it’s important that we establish good dental habits.

During the holiday season though, your kid’s dental health will be put to the test. Snack trays, sweets, pastries and sugary temptations will be everywhere. Well-meaning grownups and grandparents will be more than happy to fill them up with treats.

We want to make sure your children stay healthy during the holidays and don’t head into their next appointment with new cavities.

In order to help, we’re going to share some holiday dental tips for kids provided by the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry. Read the tips below to keep your kids healthy.

 

Healthy Habits to keep your kids smiling through the holidays and into the new year.

The holiday season is always a busy time, especially for families. With kids out of school, a steady stream of festivities and a new year to plan for, the rhythm of everyday life gets put on hold. And sometimes that means good oral health routines and habits go out the window too.

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) wants to remind parents and caregivers that the holiday break is a great time to help your kids establish and maintain healthy dental habits. This includes good brushing, flossing and eating habits that are essential for healthy teeth.

  • The AAPDS recommends that a child’s first visit to a pediatric dentist should be by the AGE OF ONE or when the FIRST TOOTH APPEARS. Regular check-ups should occur every SIX MONTHS.
  • Parents should help their children brush their teeth TWICE DAILY – after breakfast and before bedtime are ideal. It’s recommended that parents/caregivers supervise the brushing for school-age children until they are 7 to 8 years of age.
  • The BEST TOOTHBRUSHES for children have soft, round-ended (polished) bristles that clean while being gentle on the gums. The handle should be proportionate to the size of the child’s hand.
  • Parents can begin FLOSSING for their children when two teeth are touching. Children can begin flossing on their own around age 7.
  • Look for FLOURIDE TOOTHPASTE with the American Dental Association Seal of Acceptance.
  • Sugary candy, food, and drinks are part of the holidays. With this, the risk of cavities and poor dental health also increases. Parents should try to moderate sugar intake, and WATCH OUT FOR CARBONATED DRINKS, which actually erode teeth more than sweetened drinks.
  • Keep an eye on on snacking – ideally, children should have NO MORE THAN THREE SNACK TIMES a day.
  • COOKED STARCHES CAN LEAD TO CAVITIES just as sugars can. In fact, cooked starches such as bread, crackers, pasta, pretzels and potato chips frequently take longer to clear the mouth than sugars.
  • LIMIT SUGAR INTAKE by checking labels and buying sugar-free varieties of food options, if available.
  • CHEESES such as aged cheddar, Swiss, mozzarella and Monterey Jack are great as a snack or to eat after a meal because they clear the mouth of food and neutralize the acids that attack teeth.

This story originally appeared on The Mouth Monsters

Healthy Habits at the Holidays Infographic

We hope that you will take these recommendations into consideration for your own children during the holiday season. We want to help parents establish good dental health habits for children so they get a good foundation for health as adults.

Dentist visits: 12 reasons to stop in

Dentist visits: 12 reasons to stop in

Dentist appointments should not be skipped. These 12 reasons are further examples of why it may be time to see a dentist soon.

Reasons to visit a dentist right away

  • Pain or swelling
  • Gums are puffy or bleeding
  • You’re hiding your smile
  • You’ve recently had work done
  • Ongoing medical issues
  • You are pregnant
  • Trouble eating
  • Dry mouth
  • Tobacco use
  • Jaw pain
  • Spots or sores
  • Annual check-up time

 

TMJ Headache Treatment PlanoPain or swelling

If you are suffering from pain or swelling, there is no reason to put off that visit that may be scheduled for a month or longer away. Make that visit right away. Toothaches, swelling, and pain are all symptoms of issues that you should have treated right away. The sooner the better. You can end that pain and also improve your long-term health.

Related: Causes of toothaches

 

Gums are puffy or bleeding

If your gums are puffy or bleeding when you brush, it’s time to visit the dentist. These are signs of gum disease and the sooner you can have it treated the sooner you can stop the damage. It can’t always be reversed but you can keep it from causing more serious damage.

Related: What are the types of gum disease

 

You’re hiding your smile

If you are hiding your smile, that’s a sure sign that it’s time to get some work done to address the issue. Don’t hide your smile, get it fixed and start feeling great again.

 

Tooth ExtractionYou’ve recently had work done

If you have recently had fillings, crowns, dental implants or dentures, you need to follow up with your dentist as recommended for a follow up so they can make sure everything has worked out the way it should.

 

Ongoing medical issues

Your dental health can tie in with your overall health and each may influence each other. If you have a medical condition such as diabetes, heart disease, or an eating disorder, or undergoing medical treatments, you should make sure your dentist is a partner in your treatment and health. Symptoms of other health issues can show in your mouth or your gums could point to other potential health issues.

 

You are pregnant

If you weren’t sure, it IS safe to go to the dentist while pregnant. It is recommended you do so because pregnancy can make some dental issues worse. Make sure you schedule an appointment so that you will have one less thing to worry about.

 

Trouble eating

If you are having trouble eating or drinking, do yourself a favor and schedule an appointment with your dentist. Stop living with discomfort and don’t take a chance that you’ll make your issues worse by waiting.

 

Dry mouth

Sometimes dry mouth can be a symptom of another medical issue. It can also be a side effect of medications you are taking. Check with your dentist and get to the cause of this so you can find a solution.

Related: What causes dry mouth?

 

Tobacco use

Cigarettes and chewing tobacco can affect your dental and physical health. If you are a regular tobacco user, you should have an oral cancer screening in Plano to check for any early signs or oral cancer so it can be addressed as soon as possible.

 

Jaw pain

It is time to visit the dentist if you are having jaw pain or popping when you are opening and closing your mouth, waking up in the morning or chewing. These could be symptoms of TMJ and your dentist can help you find a TMJ treatment in Plano that can work for you and ease your TMJ pain. Another reason to schedule an appointment could be an uneven bite.

Related: TMJ headache treatment

 

Spots or sores

If you notice a spot or a sore in your mouth that isn’t normally there and it lasts for a week or longer, you should see your dentist about it. Different types of mouth sores include canker sores, cold sores, leukoplakia, and candidiasis. These can all vary in their seriousness and have different causes. Mouth sores can be the symptom of a disease or disorder. They can also be an infection from bacteria, a virus or fungus or result from irritation caused by braces, dentures or the sharp edge of a broken tooth or filling.

 

Annual check-up time

Have you had your annual dental check-up in Plano, TX? We sure hope so! It’s simple to schedule and will help keep your mouth healthy and contributes to your overall physical health.