Root canal therapy
Does root canal therapy hurt?
Modern anaesthesia & techniques mean that you should not feel anything uncomfortable during the procedure. It is usual for a tooth to feel bruised for a few days after treatment. This can usually be controlled by taking a short course of anti inflammatory medications immediately after treatment.
After a root filling how will my tooth feel?
It is normal for a tooth to feel tender for a period of time after treatment, but most teeth settle down within a couple of weeks. Your tooth will feel different to the other teeth if you tap it; this is common and should not be of concern to you.
Are there any age limits for the treatment you carry out at the practice?
For root canal therapy there are no age limits, but we usually deal with permanent teeth which begin to erupt from about age 6 onwards. Small children are usually seen by a dental specialist, known as a Paedodontist. In the case of dental implants it is best to wait until facial growth is complete. This usually occurs during the late teens early twenties but patients are best seen sooner to start initial planning.
What should I do if I accidently damage my teeth in an accident?
It depends on the extend of the dental injury; here are a few examples:
Large piece of tooth chipped
find & keep it + bring it in to be rebonded if possible if the piece cannot be found, don’t worry – be seen ASAP by your dentist & they will do what is appropriate.
Tooth pushed out of line
pull it back into line – see your dentist – be seen ASAP
Tooth knocked out
Don’t touch root – hold it by the part you see when you smile – put it back:
- If tooth dirty, rinse under cold running water & put it back into tooth socket
- If can’t put tooth back, store in cold milk & get to dentist ASAP within 1hr. Tooth will need root canal treatment – see your dentist or endodontist.
My gums bleed when I brush my teeth, am I brushing too hard?
Bleeding gums are usually associated with a gum problem, rarely with over brushing / vigorous brushing. Often a person may not be aware that their gums are bleeding, because they avoid the tooth gum junction due to discomfort. See your dentist for advice on prevention & the appropriate treatment.
What is a dental dam / rubber dam & what is it used for?
A Rubber dam or dental dam is a sheet of latex / non latex rubber which is placed over teeth during dental procedures. It acts as a bacteria & moisture proof barrier between your teeth and the rest of your mouth. Used during root canal therapy & restorative dentistry (especially during adhesive dentistry where materials are bonded to teeth).
Emigration & long durations out of Ireland
We regularly see patients who are based overseas for long periods of time. The implant systems we use are from the companies that started it all. Their products are available worldwide, so whether you’re seconded to Cebu or retiring to Rajasthan you can be reassured that you will be able to find a highly trained clinician & get the parts required to maintain your implants for a lifetime.
Visit your dentist well before an extended trip (minimum 6 to 8 weeks), in case you need some dental treatment. Tell your dentist where you are going & for how long. This will allow them to plan appropriately & give you relevant advice. Remember that many dental problems don’t cause pain until they get to an advanced stage. Being seen early will to allow you to plan treatment & will give you time to adapt to any new treatment and allow your teeth to settle down etc before you depart. Get the email address / telephone number of your dentist & take it with you just in case.
How many Implants?
I’m missing several teeth do I need a dental implant for each missing tooth?
While it may be possible to replace your teeth this way, usually it is not necessary. In areas where the load is higher e.g. people who clench/ grind their teeth, more implants are advised. In highly aesthetic areas and at the front of the mouth you may get a better appearance by having fewer implants. Everybody is different which is why each treatment plan is unique and Dr Dunne will tailor the treatment to your individual requirements.
I’m missing some teeth because they didn’t grow & I would also like to have my teeth straightened / realigned. At what stage should I be seen by Dr Dunne?
Treatment involving congenitally missing teeth tends to be complex, involving the patient, general dentist, orthodontist (tooth / face alignment specialist) and restorative / implant dentist (Dr Dunne). The person who will be responsible for the overall plan is the restorative dentist. It is best to see Dr Dunne at an early stage before orthodontics has started, so an overall plan can be designed for the optimum result.
Need for speed
I recently had an accident & I’ve been told by my dentist that my upper front tooth has split and needs to be removed. Can I wait until it pains me before it is removed or should it be dealt with sooner?
When a tooth is so badly damaged that your dentist recommends its removal then as a rule it should be removed ASAP. This is especially true with a split front tooth because bacteria can get into the tooth and surrounding bone and cause extensive damage in a short time. If the bone is extensively damaged it may take several advanced procedures to reconstruct it and in extreme cases it may be unfixable.
How can I prevent dental problems?
The two most common dental issues, tooth decay & gum problems are both preventable. Tooth decay is prevented by having a low sugar balanced diet, avoiding snacking between meals, combined with effective oral hygiene. Educate yourself about the many foods & drinks that contain “hidden sugar” and either minimise the intake of these products or avoid them. Use a fluoridated toothpaste & visit your dentist as advised. Effective oral hygiene can prevent gum problems and keep you healthy. Daily brushing & flossing in an effective way can be difficult initially, but gets easier as you practice. A healthy mouth is easy to keep healthy. Getting dentally healthy, just like getting fit takes time & patience but the benefits are great.
Diet, Decay & Erosion
Read the contents of any premade / processed food or drinks before you buy. Check out the sugar content by looking at the “carbohydrates of which sugar equals” section on the label you may be surprised! Particular products to look at are drinks e.g. orange juice 100-118gsugar/litre (25-32 heaped teaspoons of sugar), cranberry juice which may contain 29-32 tea spoons of sugar per litre, and modified / flavoured waters which may contain 20+tea spoons of sugar per litre. In the last number of years dental erosion caused either by excess consumption of acidic soft drinks or fruit juice has become a major problem. If you really can’t beat the craving then minimise the frequency of intake, drink it straight down (don’t swish it around like a mouthwash) and don’t brush your teeth for at least 30minutes after you have consumed it. Better still, drink non carbonated water.
Smoking costs & cessation.
Smoking 20 cigarettes /day costs approx €3120 a year. Smokers tend to look older than equivalent aged non smokers. Smokers are more likely to have gum problems & are more likely to lose their teeth due to gum problems. Smokers are more likely to have problems with dental implants. Stopping smoking may be the best thing you can do for your dental & general health.
I play a lot of contact sports, do you have any specific advice for me?
Prevention is best; a well made and accurate fitting sports mouth guard will reduce / prevent dental injuries in sports. Custom made mouth guards are best. They fit better, are more comfortable & therefore more likely to be worn.