Westfield's Dental Department

Posts for: November, 2017

By Kenneth Krause, DMD
November 28, 2017
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: root canal  

Could your toothache be trying to tell you that you require root canal therapy?root canal

What is a root canal? Why is my tooth hurting so much? Do I need to visit a dentist if I’m dealing with a toothache? These are just some of the most frequent questions our Westfield, IN, dentists Drs. Kenneth and Katie Krause hear. Find out more about root canal treatment, why it’s performed and when dental problems may be trying to tell you that you need to seek care.

What is a root canal?

This endodontic procedure is performed when a tooth’s dental pulp is damaged or infected. The dental pulp lies inside the tooth underneath the hard enamel and dentin layers. The pulp consists of connective tissue, nerves and blood vessels. While this structure is important for the development of the tooth, once the tooth has fully matured the dental pulp is no longer necessary for the tooth to remain healthy and strong.

Of course, if decay, direct trauma or an infection sets in and isn’t caught right away it can continue to spread until it reaches the dental pulp. As a result, the dental pulp becomes infected or inflamed. Once this happens the only option is to have the pulp removed in order to preserve the rest of the tooth.

Besides removing the pulp, our Westfield, IN, general dentists will also disinfect the inside of the tooth to remove any bacteria or pus that is present. Furthermore, we will also fill the root canals with a special material to prevent an infection from occurring in the future.

What are the symptoms of a damaged dental pulp?

If you are experiencing any of these issues it’s time to schedule a visit with us right away, as you could require root canal treatment:

  • A toothache
  • Pain that gets worse when chewing or biting down on the tooth
  • Sudden tooth sensitivity (to hot or cold temperature)
  • Swelling or tenderness in the gums around the tooth
  • A pimple-like growth on the gums (known as an abscess)

What happens if I don’t get a root canal?

Once the dental pulp is inflamed or infected it needs to be removed to prevent bacteria from growing within the tooth. The sooner we treat the tooth the better. If you don’t seek care, this infection can lead to bone and tooth loss.

Don’t let dental problems get the better of your smile. Here at Krause Dental in Westfield, IN, we pride ourselves on providing expert and immediate dental care when you need it most. Call us right away if you are experiencing any dental symptoms.

By Kenneth Krause, DMD
November 20, 2017
Category: Oral Health
Tags: oral cancer   smoking  

Each November, the American Cancer Society urges smokers to kick the habit for just one day, because if you can quit for one whole day, you can quit for another whole day. Put enough whole days back to back and you’re no longer a smoker!

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, cigarette smoking is the leading preventable cause of death in the United States. It harms nearly every organ of the body, causing lung disease, heart disease and diabetes, as well as cancer of the lung, kidney and bladder.

Smoking also causes problems in your mouth. Aside from the more obvious problems of bad breath and yellowed teeth, smoking raises the risk of cancer of the mouth and throat. It can increase the buildup of plaque and tartar, which can lead to cavities and gum disease. Smoking interferes with healing, so treatments may not work as well. The majority of smokers have gum disease and they are more likely to lose teeth from advanced gum disease.

Quitting isn’t easy, but it’s the best thing you can do for your health. Who wouldn’t want fresher breath, younger-looking skin and a better sense of taste and smell?

Even for people who have smoked for a long time, the effects of smoking start to reverse themselves when you quit. Your heart rate, blood pressure and carbon monoxide levels in the blood return to normal shortly after quitting. Studies are showing that in just one year, the risk for heart disease is cut in half. 10 years later the risk of oral cancer is about equal to that of a nonsmoker. In 15 years, the risk of heart disease is the same as for a nonsmoker.

Need help quitting? Talk with your dentist or doctor. You can also visit the American Cancer Society website. If you have any questions about smoking and oral health, please contact our office or schedule a consultation. To learn more, read the Dear Doctor magazine article “Strategies to Stop Smoking.”

By Kenneth Krause, DMD
November 12, 2017
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: celebrity smiles   veneers  

What's an actor's most important feature? According to Vivica A. Fox, whose most recent big-screen role was in Independence Day: Resurgence, it's what you see right up front.

"On screen, your smile and your eyes are the most inviting things that bring the audience in" she said. "Especially if you play the hot chick."

But like lots of people, Vivica reached a point where she felt her smile needed a little help in order to look its best. That's when she turned to a popular cosmetic dental treatment.

"I got veneers years ago," Ms. Fox told Dear Doctor magazine in a recent interview, "just because I had some gapping that probably only I noticed."

What exactly are dental veneers? Essentially, they are thin shells of lustrous porcelain that are permanently attached to the front surfaces of the teeth. Tough, lifelike and stain-resistant, they can cover up a number of defects in your smile — including stains, chips, cracks, and even minor spacing irregularities like the ones Vivica had.

Veneers have become the treatment of choice for Hollywood celebs — and lots of regular folks too — for many reasons. Unlike some treatments that can take many months, it takes just a few appointments to have veneers placed on your teeth. Because they are custom made just for you, they allow you to decide how bright you want your smile to be: anywhere from a natural pearly hue to a brilliant "Hollywood white." Best of all, they are easy to maintain, and can last for many years with only routine care.

To place traditional veneers, it's necessary to prepare the tooth by removing a small amount (a millimeter or two) of its enamel surface. This keeps it from feeling too big — but it also means the treatment can't be reversed, so once you get veneers, you'll always have them. In certain situations, "no-prep" or minimal-prep veneers, which require little or no removal of tooth enamel, may be an option for some people.

Veneers aren't the only way to create a better smile: Teeth whitening, crowns or orthodontic work may also be an alternative. But for many, veneers are the preferred option. What does Vivica think of hers?

"I love my veneers!" she declared, noting that they have held up well for over a decade.

For more information about veneers, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation.