Posts for: April, 2016

By Cesar Acosta, DMD, Family Dentistry
April 18, 2016
Category: Dental Procedures

Most first-time root canal treatments achieve their purpose in saving an internally decayed tooth and extending its life to match those of the patient’s non-decayed teeth. Occasionally, though, a root canal-treated tooth may become re-infected by decay.

There are a number of reasons for this: the permanent crown meant to add further protection against decay may have been delayed, giving bacteria an opening to re-infect the tooth; it’s also possible the original seal for the pulp chamber and root canals after filling wasn’t sufficient to prevent bacterial contamination.

There‘s also another reason that’s very difficult to foresee — the presence of narrow, curved root canals in the tooth that can pose complications during the procedure. Some of these known as accessory or lateral canals branch off the main canals to create a complex network that’s difficult to detect during the initial procedure. If they’re not cleaned out and filled during the procedure any tissue trapped in them can remain infected and ultimately die. If these canals also open into the periodontal membrane at the attachment between the teeth and bone, the infection can spread there and become a periodontal (gum) infection that can trigger future tooth loss.

Fortunately, a reoccurrence of infection isn’t necessarily a death sentence for a tooth. A second root canal treatment can correct any problems encountered after the first treatment, especially complications from accessory canals. It may, though, require the advanced skills of an endodontist, a dental specialist in root canal problems. Endodontists use microscopic equipment to detect these smaller accessory canals, and then employ specialized techniques to fill and seal them.

If you encounter pain or other signs of re-infection for a tooth previously treated with a root canal procedure, contact us as soon as possible. The sooner we can examine and diagnose the problem, the better your tooth’s chances of survival by undergoing a second root canal treatment.

If you would like more information on tooth preservation through root canal treatment, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Accessory Canals.”

By Cesar Acosta, DMD, Family Dentistry
April 10, 2016
Category: Oral Health

Can you have healthy teeth and still have gum disease? Absolutely! And if you don’t believe us, just ask actor David Ramsey. The cast member of TV hits such as Dexter and Arrow said in a recent interview that up to the present day, he has never had a single cavity. Yet at a routine dental visit during his college years, Ramsey’s dentist pointed out how easily his gums bled during the exam. This was an early sign of periodontal (gum) disease, the dentist told him.

“I learned that just because you don’t have cavities, doesn’t mean you don’t have periodontal disease,” Ramsey said.

Apparently, Ramsey had always been very conscientious about brushing his teeth but he never flossed them.

“This isn’t just some strange phenomenon that exists just in my house — a lot of people who brush don’t really floss,” he noted.

Unfortunately, that’s true — and we’d certainly like to change it. So why is flossing so important?

Oral diseases such as tooth decay and periodontal disease often start when dental plaque, a bacteria-laden film that collects on teeth, is allowed to build up. These sticky deposits can harden into a substance called tartar or calculus, which is irritating to the gums and must be removed during a professional teeth cleaning.

Brushing teeth is one way to remove soft plaque, but it is not effective at reaching bacteria or food debris between teeth. That’s where flossing comes in. Floss can fit into spaces that your toothbrush never reaches. In fact, if you don’t floss, you’re leaving about a third to half of your tooth surfaces unclean — and, as David Ramsey found out, that’s a path to periodontal disease.

Since then, however, Ramsey has become a meticulous flosser, and he proudly notes that the long-ago dental appointment “was the last we heard of any type of gum disease.”

Let that be the same for you! Just remember to brush and floss, eat a good diet low in sugar, and come in to the dental office for regular professional cleanings.

If you would like more information on flossing or periodontal disease, please contact us today to schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Understanding Gum (Periodontal) Disease.”

By Dr. Cesar Acosta
April 07, 2016
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: Invisalign  

There is no question that straight, well-aligned teeth are the hallmark of a beautiful, confident smile. Even with cosmetic improvements like professional teeth whitening or a few well placed dental veneers, proper dental alignment is necessary for both the cosmetic appearance of our smiles and our overall oral health. However for many people, especially adults, putting orthodontic needs on hold, or Invisalignignoring them altogether, can seem like a reasonable choice in order to avoid traditional metallic braces.

Get Straighter Teeth with Invisalign in Turlock

The good news is that choosing between vanity and straighter teeth is no longer necessary, thanks to the development of clear teeth aligners trays. Turlock, CA-based dentist Dr. Cesar Acosta offers Invisalign for patients looking to discreetly straighten their teeth, without having to commit to traditional braces. Invisalign clear aligner trays offer the same effectiveness of wire braces, without the wires. Made of clear, durable plastic, the trays are custom made for each patient to be worn every day for up to 22 hours each day. After a two week period, the trays are changed for the next one in the series as the teeth begin to gradually shift into the desired position.

Benefits of "Invisible" Aligner Trays

So you really want to fix your teeth and invest in your best smile ever, but the commitment and maintenance involved with getting braces, not to mention the potential social stigma, are making you hesitate, or settle for a subpar smile. Invisalign does all of the work that traditional metallic braces do, without the need for recognition! In fact, they can remain a well kept secret between you and your dentist. And because the trays can be removed for up to two hours each day, there is no need to adjust and restrict your normal diet. Invisalign users also have the added advantage of continuing their normal oral health and hygiene routines of daily brushing and flossing.

Contact a Dentist in Turlock

It has never been easier to get a straighter, more attractive smile. To learn more about how Invisalign can straighten your teeth without metallic braces, contact Dr. Cesar Acosta at (209) 250-2560 to schedule a consultation today.

Contact Us

Cesar Acosta DMD, Family Dentistry

(209) 250-2560
1065 Colorado Avenue Ste 3 Turlock, CA 95380