Vestavia Hills Dentist | Root Canal Treatment: Common Myths Busted

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 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.

Sometimes a tooth cannot be saved. When that happens, extraction is far better than leaving a diseased tooth in place. However, 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.


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

By saving the natural tooth whenever possible, doctors and 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.


Our doctor makes every effort to preserve your natural teeth whenever possible. We will review your oral health needs carefully before recommending any treatment.


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


Vestavia Hills Dentist | Restoring Smiles with Veneers

About 1 in 4 adults in the United States feels embarrassed by the look of their smile. Our dental office is proud to offer porcelain dental veneers to new and existing patients. Dr. Cosgrove has the training and experience to provide porcelain veneers to patients who wish to restore a whiter, healthier, more even look to their smile.


Porcelain veneers are a cosmetic and restorative dental solution that are designed to mimic the look and feel of natural teeth. Veneers create an immediate improvement in the appearance of a smile. They are a minimally invasive treatment option and can be more cost-effective than many other cosmetic improvement options.


Patients  whose teeth are healthy, but are chipped, cracked, crooked, or mildly stained can benefit from veneers. Patients whose teeth are uneven or have gaps may also find veneers are a great solution for improving the look of their smile.


We offer custom-crafted porcelain veneers that are fitted precisely to cover the front surface of the tooth. Because porcelain is a semi-translucent material, the tooth continues to have a natural healthy appearance with the veneer in place. Veneers are chosen with care to match the natural teeth around them, to ensure optimal aesthetic results.


Once placed, porcelain veneers are a strong, stain-resistant, and long-lasting cosmetic dental solution. However, porcelain dental veneers need ongoing dental care, just like natural teeth. They should be brushed and flossed regularly and normal dental exam and cleaning schedules should be maintained. When cared for properly, veneers can last a lifetime.


There are some additional factors to consider before choosing veneers. First, it is common to experience some sensitivity to hot and cold foods and beverages for a few days following the placement of veneers. This is generally mild and unlikely to last more than about a week.


Second, while porcelain is a strong and durable material, it is recommended to avoid activity that will put great stress on the veneers, such as chewing excessively hard foods or using the teeth to attempt to open a nut or bottle. Finally, any patient who has issues with bruxism (grinding) should discuss this with our doctor before deciding whether to have dental veneers placed.


For more information or to schedule a consultation with our expert dentist, contact our office today. We’re here to give you a smile that you can show with pride.

Vestavia Hills Dentist | Can I Get a Whiter Smile at Home?

Teeth whitening is one of the most commonly requested treatments in our office each day. Nearly everyone we meet wants to have a brighter, whiter smile. There are many options available, both in our office and from the store that can help whiten your teeth. With any whitening option, not all teeth may show results, depending on the cause of their discoloration.


Before Starting, Talk to Us

Before choosing a whitening solution, it is important that we provide you with a comprehensive dental examination. Tooth discoloration can have several causes, so it is important that we assess your smile and determine that your teeth are healthy enough for whitening treatment. Only then will we be able to recommend the methods that lead to the most successful results for your needs. Staining and discoloration can be caused by smoking, coffee drinking, medications, decay, or oral diseases. The first step in whitening your smile is determining the cause of staining.


What Treatments are Available for Home Use?

One popular choice for whitening your smile at home is whitening strips. These are applied to your teeth for a period of time, then removed. Whitening strips generally contain peroxide that sticks to the surface of your teeth. Usually, they contain fewer bleaching chemicals than treatments our office can provide. Increased sensitivity can occur when whitening with strips, so it is important to monitor your discomfort. If your sensitivity becomes unmanageable, stop using the strips. It is often best to avoid brushing your teeth right before using whitening strips.


Another common option is to use a whitening toothpastes, which may include hydrogen-peroxide to bleach your teeth. Like whitening strips, you may find limited whitening results with these toothpastes. For more intense results, you may require more concentrated treatments available through our office.


Talk to Our Team for Whitening Solutions

Over-the-counter whitening products often contain fewer whitening substances than the solutions we have available in our office. They can, however, achieve noticeable results. Before starting any whitening treatment, make an appointment to see us. We can help you ensure your teeth are healthy enough for whitening.  Our experienced dental team will work with you to determine the best way to brighten your smile.


For more information on whitening your smile or to schedule your next examination, please contact our office.