After Your Root Canal Treatment

rootcanal2If you have had root canal treatment to save a tooth whose pulp has been damaged, you can breathe a sigh of relief because you are on the road to recovery. Obtaining the necessary treatment is a step in the right direction to restoring your oral health. After having the procedure, it’s helpful to know what to expect during the days that follow and how to have a successful recovery.

Most patients report that discomfort is no different than getting a regular filling. However, here are some issues that might occur:

  • Gum tenderness may be caused by the tools used during the procedure, but it should dissipate within the first day
  • Tooth sensitivity may be present for the first day or so and can usually be controlled with over-the-counter pain relievers
  • Inflammation of the tissues near the tooth’s root may be caused by poking from the dental instruments during the procedure, but ibuprofen is helpful in treating it.
  • Rarely, the procedure can activate and spread bacteria present in the area. This can lead to an infection that requires antibiotic treatment.

After care
It is best to take it easy on your tooth for a period of time after treatment. You want to avoid complications such as the tooth or filling becoming damaged or broken. If this occurs, bacteria and food particles can get into the interior of your tooth and create problems. The best way to protect your tooth after root canal treatment is to pay attention to what you eat. Especially avoid biting or chewing crunchy or hard foods. In terms of dental hygiene, continue regular brushing with a soft toothbrush and flossing carefully. If you encounter difficulties, let your dentist know.

Your tooth will need a permanent restoration to complete the root canal process. The type of restoration and the time frame in placing it play a role in the overall success of treatment. Make sure you discuss this aspect of treatment with your dentist.



Meeting Everyone’s Needs Through Family Dentistry

shutterstock_17269039The emphasis of family dentistry is treating a wide variety of oral health issues for patients from every age group. Family dentists focus on educating patients about dental care, eliminating tooth decay, minimizing plaque buildup through professional cleanings, encouraging healthy gums, and treating problems. You can choose a family dental practice that meets the needs of everyone in your family by offering numerous services.

Professional cleanings
Removing tartar and plaque through professional cleanings helps prevent cavities, gingivitis, and gum disease. It also improves the look of your smile. It usually takes under an hour and is not painful.

Composite fillings
Cavities or small holes in your teeth can be filled with composite resin material, which matches your tooth color so that they are not noticeable in your smile. Plus, it serves the purpose of saving your damaged tooth.

Dental implants
Missing teeth can be replaced with dental implants, which are titanium rods surgically placed in your jaw and then covered with an artificial tooth. Implants are a permanent restoration that gives you back the appearance and function of your teeth.

A badly damaged tooth can be rebuilt using a dental crown, also called a cap. It completely covers the visible portion of the tooth to restore it.

When teeth are missing or extractions are needed, a partial or full set of dentures can be created to give you a full smile back. This is often a treatment for senior patients.

Pediatric dentistry
Children have unique oral health needs that a family dentist can treat. This includes preventing tooth decay, teaching good oral hygiene habits, ensuring good experiences at the dentist for kids, and more.

General dentistry
The most recent technology and advances in dentistry can be applied to all family members.

Additional services
Many family dentist offer many other services, such as dental X-rays, root canal treatment, bonding, bridges, emergency appointments, and more.


If you need a family dentist in the Sarasota Florida area, contact our office today.  We offer dentistry for the entire family.

Sports Drinks and Your Teeth

energy-drinksSports drinks are a popular way to rehydrate after exercising but may not be a healthy choice for your teeth. Around 62% of American teenagers consume at least one of these drinks each day, but excess consumption can take its toll on oral health. Listed below are some of the reasons why these drinks are harmful.

What Makes Sports Drinks so Bad for Teeth?
Many sports drinks are high in sugar and it’s best to avoid these brands. This advice is already well known, but what’s less obvious is the high acid content. Any general dentist in Sarasota, FL  will tell you it’s the acid that can present the most danger to your teeth. It’s been found that consuming these drinks for just five days could permanently damage your teeth.

But Aren’t They Healthier than Soda?
Many people choose sports drinks to enhance their athletic performance and think they are a better choice than ordinary soda. In fact there is not much difference between the two, as sports drinks can contain just as much, if not more sugar. It’s certainly a myth that sports drinks are better for your teeth than sodas.

What Type of Damage Can They Do to Teeth?
Sports drinks can cause enamel erosion which is where the hard outer layer of your teeth is literally eroded away by the acid in these drinks. This can cause your teeth to become sensitive to hot and cold and increases the risk of tooth decay.

How Can I Avoid This Risk?
It’s best to avoid these drinks completely, but if you can’t give them up then try to at least minimize your consumption. Afterwards rinse your mouth with water, but wait at least half an hour before brushing. This allows the acidity levels in your mouth to normalize which has the effect of enabling your tooth enamel to slightly re-harden. Once this has occurred it’s safe to brush. Your dentist in Sarasota might also recommend chewing sugar-free gum after consuming one of these drinks. This is because chewing helps increase saliva production, reducing acidity in your mouth.

familyThe area of dentistry that provides preventative and restorative treatment for oral health needs for the whole family is called family dentistry. These types of dental practices deal with all age groups using a wide variety of treatment options.

Although similar to general dentistry, family dentistry does not restrict the practice to specific age groups. It addresses oral health issues at every stage of life, from baby teeth to permanent teeth. Children should begin regularly seeing a dentist around turning one year old, so what better way to start your child’s professional dental care by establishing care with the same dentist that the whole family sees? It is convenient to have everyone seeing the same dentist, and you can establish a long-lasting healthcare relationship for all of you.

One of the most important aspects of family dentistry is ongoing, consistent maintenance and preventative treatment. Experts recommend getting a dental checkup every six months for deep cleanings and routine examinations. This helps eliminate plaque buildup, a primary cause of tooth decay and cavities, and identifies any oral health issues that might be occurring even before symptoms develop.

Fluoride treatments are offered by most family dentists. This involves coating the teeth with fluoride to help prevent tooth decay. Dental sealants are another line of defense against dental issues that family dentists can provide. Other services that some family dentists offer include cavity filling, gum disease treatment, crowns, root canals, extractions, and orthodontics. Treatments offered completely depends on the family dentist and the associated practice. Make sure you ask questions and learn all about the practice before choosing a family dentist for your own family’s needs.

Contact our office if you are looking for a great family dentist in Sarasota Florida

What Is a Dental Emergency?

emergency-dentistDental emergencies can occur quite suddenly, for example toothache can develop overnight, or a tooth may be injured through some sort of trauma. Certain types of dental emergencies require prompt action to avoid permanent damage or infection. Listed below are a few situations that fall into this category.

  • Broken or cracked teeth. Contact an emergency dentist in Sarasota Florida as soon as possible. In the meantime rinse out your mouth with water, and use a cold compress to reduce any swelling.
  • Bleeding lips or tongue. Wash the affected area and try to stem the bleeding through holding a clean piece of gauze over the wound while applying gentle pressure. If the bleeding won’t stop, go to the emergency room straightaway.
  • Jaw injury. If you have injured your jaw, apply an ice pack to help reduce swelling and visit your dental office or emergency room straightaway.
  • Knocked out tooth. Pick up the tooth holding it by its crown and rinse any dirt off the root. Don’t remove any pieces of tissue remaining on the root. If you can, try to reinsert the tooth, holding it in place with a clean finger. Otherwise store the tooth in some clean water and take it to your local dental office or emergency room. Teeth can sometimes be reinserted, but usually only within the first half an hour to an hour.
  • Loose tooth. Contact your dentist immediately if one of your teeth becomes loose. In the meantime use over-the-counter painkillers if required, and a cold compress to reduce swelling.
  • Lost filling or crown. Contact your dentist in Sarasota for an emergency appointment, but in the meantime you may want to reattach the crown using temporary cement from your local drugstore. Otherwise store the crown safely and bring it with you to your appointment. You can also use temporary cement as a temporary filling, or alternatively try a small piece of sugar-free gum.
  • Severe toothache. Gently floss around the affected tooth in case the pain is caused by trapped food debris. Make an appointment to see your dentist as soon as possible.
  • Gum swelling. This can indicate an abscess and requires immediate treatment to clear the infection. See your dentist as soon as possible.

Smoking and Its Effect on Oral Health

smoking-and-teeth-300x200The dangers of smoking have been well documented over the past few decades. We all know smoking can negatively impact general health, affecting your heart and lungs, but not so many realize smoking can damage oral health. Although you may dislike having nicotine stained teeth, smoking can cause even worse problems for your oral tissues and gums.

The big concern is the increased risk of oral cancer. Smoking is often linked with lung cancer, but smokers are at greater risk of developing oral cancer. Switching to alternative forms of tobacco, for example chewing tobacco doesn’t decrease the risk and could actually raise it.

Another issue is the link between oral health and gum disease. People who smoke are six times more likely to develop gum disease. It’s more difficult for your general dentist in Sarasota to treat this condition as smoking makes it harder for gums to heal. In addition, people who smoke have fewer good bacteria in their mouth and larger quantities of bad bacteria which makes fighting this disease even trickier.

It’s best to completely quit smoking and to refrain from using any types of tobacco products. Many people find it difficult to give up due to the physical and psychological addiction caused by nicotine. Your family dentist in Sarasota or your family doctor can recommend methods and programs aimed at helping you stop smoking. It’s possible your dentist might suggest more frequent checkups to help protect your oral health, at least until you feel able to give up smoking completely.

manandwomanA cosmetic dentist is someone who has chosen to concentrate on providing cosmetic dentistry techniques and who has a real interesting in creating beautiful smiles. Any dentist can call themselves a cosmetic dentist, so it does pay to shop around and to select someone who has the necessary training and experience required to help perfect your smile.

It can be tricky to find the right cosmetic dentist, so listed below are a few tips to help in your search.

  • Ask friends, family and colleagues for recommendations as personal referrals are an excellent way to get started. In addition, search online as you should be able to read patient reviews and information about qualifications.
  • Make sure your dentist has relevant experience and training in specific areas that interest you, and ask if they belong to any professional associations such as the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry.
  • Book an initial consultation and write down all the questions you want to ask beforehand.
  • Ask to see before and after photographs, or check out their website as many dentists have a smile gallery.
  • Trust your instincts, as it is important to select someone you feel comfortable working with. Your cosmetic dentist in Sarasota should take the time to answer all your questions, and you need to feel confident in their abilities to create your dream smile.

Taking your time picking the right cosmetic dentist in Sarasota, FL will help you find someone with the following attributes:

  • Your chosen dentist should be current in the latest technologies and will actively pursue continued professional development courses in their chosen specialties.
  • A good cosmetic dentist will be able to make over your smile in a way that complements your facial structure, your skin tone and even your personality.
  • Choosing a dentist who has the sufficient experience and expertise will help achieve your goals. You should be able to discuss your aims, see examples of treatments relevant to your needs, and will receive a detailed treatment plan showing a complete breakdown of costs.

What’s a Smile Makeover And Could It Help Me?

Very few people are lucky enough to have a perfect smile, but nowadays a smile makeover can help improve on nature. Your cosmetic dentist in Sarasota Florida can replace missing teeth, or will repair any that are broken, chipped or stained. Misaligned teeth can be brought back into alignment with the latest orthodontic technologies. The final result should have you grinning from ear to ear.

Description of a Smile Makeover
Smile makeovers can include a combination of different treatments, and both surgical and nonsurgical procedures can be used to correct various problems with your teeth and gums. A smile makeover is customized to deal with your particular issues. Common problems that can be treated include missing teeth, and unevenly spaced teeth and bite problems. Cracks and chips in teeth can be mended, and teeth that are badly discolored can be brightened up, or disguised with dental restorations.

Finding out more about a Smile Makeover in Sarasota Florida
Your first step is to book an appointment with a good cosmetic dentist in Sarasota Florida. During your initial consultation you can expect to learn all the options available for treatment, and you’ll discuss your aims with your dentist. A good cosmetic dentist takes a number of different factors into account when planning a smile makeover. These include your overall facial shape, skin tone and your facial structure, and all are important for ensuring the final result looks naturally beautiful.

Procedures That Can Be Used during a Smile Makeover
Common procedures that can be used during a smile makeover include:

  • Dental implants for replacing missing teeth
  • Teeth whitening to brighten discolored and stained teeth
  • Porcelain veneers to improve the appearance of front teeth
  • Enamel recontouring and bonding to reshape and hide imperfections in teeth
  • White fillings to replace old silver fillings or stained white fillings
  • Dentures that look and function like natural teeth
  • Adult orthodontics to help correct crooked or overcrowded teeth, or to correct bite problems

Finding the Right Endodontist

No one is overjoyed to hear they need a root canal treatment, but it can be the best way to save a badly infected tooth from extraction. Your dentist in Sarasota will examine your tooth and can tell you if this treatment is appropriate. Root canal treatments are often carried out by an endodontist. This is a dentist who specializes in treating the pulp and root canals in your teeth. It’s advantageous to visit an endodontist as they are highly experienced in carrying out root canal therapy, and will ensure treatment is comfortable and effective.

An infected tooth can be painful, and searching for an endodontist might be the last thing you want to do. The following tips will help narrow down your search:

  • Your dentist in Sarasota should be able to recommend a reputable endodontist. Their office should have all this information to hand.
  • There’s no reason why you have to follow your dentist’s recommendation as you are perfectly free to choose your own endodontist.
  • Root canal therapy is a common treatment, so ask friends, family and colleagues for recommendations. Hearing their first-hand experiences can be invaluable in making your selection.
  • Look online for an endodontist in your area. Take the time to read about their credentials and read reviews.
  • Choose an experienced endodontist who has already carried out many root canal procedures.
  • Book a consultation to make sure you feel comfortable and confident with your choice. If you have second thoughts then find another endodontist in your area.


Root canal dentist in Sarasota FL

Oral Cancer Screenings at Your Dentist in Sarasota Florida

Oral cancer includes cancers of the tongue, the hard and soft palate, the sinuses, the throat, and the cheeks and lips. It is a disease that can be life threatening if not diagnosed early enough, and oral cancer rates are increasing. One of the main problems with this condition is that it is frequently diagnosed when the cancer is already well advanced, and when the chances of a complete cure are greatly reduced.

What Are The Symptoms of Oral Cancer?

  • The most common symptoms include:
  • Sores in the mouth that fail to heal within two weeks, and which bleed easily
  • Lumps, bumps and swellings in the mouth
  • Rough patches of skin in the mouth
  • Color changes to the soft tissues in the mouth, for example the development of red or white spots
  • Difficultly in eating, chewing or swallowing
  • Having a sore throat or feeling hoarse
  • Noticing your teeth fit together slightly differently
  • Certain areas of the face may become numb, or might feel painful or tender

How is Oral Cancer Diagnosed?
Oral cancer screenings are a part of regular dental checkups. Your dentist will examine all the soft tissues in your mouth, and will check to see if the lymph nodes in your neck are swollen. If they find anything that looks suspicious then they will remove a few cells for closer examination. This is done with a brush biopsy, where a small brush is used to collect a few cells, or through removing a small sample of tissue for closer analysis. If anything suspicious is found then your dentist will refer you to an oral cancer specialist for further tests.

Early diagnosis of this disease is essential, and you can help yourself by keeping an eye out for any possible symptoms in between regular screenings. One of the most commons symptoms is noticing an ulcer or sore that fails to heal within a reasonable timeframe. It is always worth seeking professional dental advice to help eliminate the possibility of oral cancer.


We offer oral cancer screening at our Sarasota dental office.

Overcoming Dental Anxiety or Phobias

Nobody really looks forward to going to the dentist, and most of us are relieved when the appointment is over, but some people suffer from far more deep seated phobias that can prevent them from visiting a dentist altogether. It is estimated that anywhere between 9% and 15% of the population will actively avoid seeking help for dental problems until they are experiencing a lot of discomfort or pain.

Is There a Difference Between Dental Anxiety and Phobia?
Yes, as people with dental anxiety can often manage to keep it under control for long enough to receive essential dental care. Dental phobias are more intense, and people with this phobia can often feel terrified about visiting the dentist. Someone with a dental phobia is more likely to suffer from dental diseases and tooth loss, and this can negatively affect general health. Clinical studies have linked poor oral health to numerous general health conditions.

What Causes Dental Phobia and Anxiety?
Anxiety and phobias can arise due to a number of different factors. Feeling helpless in the dental chair can be more than some people are able to cope with, while others are afraid of pain or are simply embarrassed over the state of their teeth. Some people have had negative experiences in the past, or will have had dental phobias and anxiety passed on to them by their parents.

Your Dentist Can Help
If you do experience anxiety or have phobias over visiting the dentist then talk to your dental clinic about your concerns. Modern dental care is designed to be non-threatening, and sedation techniques can enable even the most nervous patient to receive dental care; there is certainly no need for dentistry to be painful or upsetting. You will find your dentist is sympathetic towards patients who feel nervous or anxious, and there are lots of different techniques that can be used to help you feel more at ease and more in control. Gentle dental care can be provided at a pace you’re comfortable with, helping to restore your oral health.


Dr. Jenifer Back is a dentist in Sarasota FL that treats patients with dental phobias.

Missing Permanent Teeth

Missing one or more permanent teeth is a very common abnormality that people have since birth. Over 20 percent of people are missing one or more wisdom teeth, and over 5 percent lack second molars or incisors. It is an inherited trait that often appears to run in families. If you are missing any of your permanent teeth, no need to panic. Your dentist will be able to help you, but in the meantime here are some facts about this condition.

Each tooth in your mouth has a certain role, so the pattern and function of the teeth are disrupted when one is missing. It is sometimes obvious just by appearance that something is out of place when there are only four teeth where there should be six, for example. Often your teeth will move on their own to close the gaps themselves, causing a flaw in the appearance as well as function. Sometimes the teeth no longer fit together properly and you’re unable to grasp or chew food correctly.

If you’re able to tell on your own that there’s a problem, or if you are diagnosed by your dentist, you will likely want to consider treatment options. It is common to move the teeth into better position using orthodontic braces, and then replace missing teeth artificially. Many times this involves natural-looking dental implants. For the best results, implants should be done after your jaw has finished growing.

The important thing is to consult your dentist about options and timing so that the most successful results may be achieved. Once treatment is complete, it is likely that you or no one else will be able to tell you were ever missing any permanent teeth.


Dental implants dentist in Sarasota FL

Cosmetic Dentistry Not Just for Women

Often, advertising for cosmetic dentistry focuses on women. Photos in magazines and on Web sites show attractive females with gorgeous smiles. Although these campaigns often target women, men can benefit from cosmetic dentistry too.

Professionally and personally, men have just as many reasons as women do to look their best. Your smile is one of the first things people notice about you. Having a vibrant, white smile can create a perception of self-assurance, intelligence, and warmth. Men who have cosmetic dental enhancements can enjoy the benefits of looking younger and feeling more confident.

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Learn Why Teeth Whitening Is Best Carried Out By Your Dentist

Teeth whitening is a popular treatment that can boost appearance very quickly. There are lots of different ways of whitening teeth, and you can buy a huge range of home whitening kits. In spite of this it’s much safer and far more effective to have teeth whitening carried out by your family dentist. The huge increase in over-the-counter teeth whitening kits has made it very easy to overlook the fact that this is a dental treatment, and it’s possible to damage your teeth and gums if teeth whitening isn’t carried out correctly.

Getting a Checkup before Whitening
Your dentist will want to thoroughly examine your teeth and gums before any sort of whitening treatment. This is essential as it’s very important that your teeth and gums be completely free from any signs of cavities and gum disease. If you do have any dental problems then these must be sorted out prior to whitening as otherwise you could find treatment is uncomfortable, as the bleaching gel will be able to penetrate deep into your teeth and gums instead of merely bleaching away surface stains.
You can also discuss the type of results you can reasonably expect through whitening, as some teeth shades will respond better than others, and treatment will not whiten porcelain restorations such as crowns, bridges and veneers. Sometimes teeth can be stained internally, and in this case your dentist will need to use an alternative method of whitening these particular teeth, perhaps through covering them up with veneers.

Chair Side Teeth Whitening
This is the fastest way of whitening your teeth, and you should see a considerable improvement in just an hour. It’s perfect for whitening in time for that special event.

Custom-Made Whitening Trays
Some people prefer to whitening at home as treatment is more controllable and you can whiten more slowly. Custom-made whitening trays ensure treatment is safe and effective. The trays are very comfortable to wear and the whitening gel cannot leak out onto the gums, and can be re-used to top up results at a later date.


Teeth whitening dentist in Sarasota, FL