My Blog
By Mark A. Peterson DMD, PA
March 25, 2022
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: root canal  

If your dentist says that you need root canal treatment, you've got nothing to be afraid of. Root canals from Dr. Mark Peterson of Sebastian River Dentistry in Sebastian, FL, can help save your natural teeth.

A root canal treatment removes damaged tooth pulp. It's a dental procedure that helps save your natural tooth from extensive damage. The root canal procedure preserves the outer shell of your tooth, hence, a dental restoration is essential to strengthen your tooth. 

Reasons why your dentist may suggest that you get a root canal include:

Extensive Tooth Decay

A tooth infection can spread, damaging the internal structure of your tooth including the tooth root. As the infections spread, you may experience unpleasant symptoms such as toothaches, gum inflammation, and darkening of teeth and gums. The root canal treatment removes the infected tooth pulp, saving the enamel for restoration.

Cracked or Chipped Tooth

A cracked or chipped tooth is vulnerable to pulp infections. The trauma of the tooth damage can also cause pulp inflammation. Saving what remains of your damaged tooth might require a root canal. After removing the dead pulp tissue, your dentist can move on to restoring the tooth.

Repeated Dental Procedures

If you keep getting treatment for tooth decay, your dentist may suggest getting a root canal to eliminate the problem. Root canals remove all your tooth pulp tissue to reduce your chances of getting more dental procedures.

Tooth Sensitivity

If your tooth sensitivity won't respond to other therapies, your dentist may recommend a root canal treatment. The root canal treatment removes your tooth's pulp which contains the nerves. After removing all the tooth nerves, your tooth sensitivity should be over.

Root Canal Procedure

While the prospect of getting root canals from your dentist may send shivers down your spine, you don't need to worry. Your dentist will help you stay comfortable during your procedure by administering anesthesia. After examining your tooth and taking x-rays, your dentist will get you set for the procedure.

During your root canal procedure, your dentist will remove your tooth pulp tissue through a tiny hole in your enamel. They will also disinfect and clean the area before finally restoring your tooth with a dental crown.

Call (772) 388-3119 to learn more about root canals from Dr. Mark Peterson of Sebastian River Dentistry in Sebastian, FL.

By Mark A. Peterson DMD, PA
February 18, 2022
Category: Cosmetic Dentistry
Tags: veneers  

Are you looking to improve the appearance of your front teeth? Dr. Mark Peterson at Sebastian River Dentistry in Sebastian, FL, can help! Dental veneers are widely used to improve the appearance of front teeth and are a much more conservative option than a full dental crown. Veneers can be used to improve the appearance of staining, large gaps, large fillings, chipped teeth, or overall shape. Veneers are a thin covering over the front and biting end of the tooth used to restore the beauty of a smile. Over the years we have helped many patients who opted for veneers and now have the confidence to smile again.

Dental veneers are made in a lab from long-lasting porcelain materials. The shade can be chosen to any desired color to whiten the appearance of your smile. Dental veneers are usually placed on the anterior, or front teeth, where the chewing forces are not as hard as the back teeth. The process of placing veneers is relatively easy, requiring only two dental appointments. In some cases, only one appointment is needed. It depends on the fabrication process.

The first appointment is to “prep” the teeth and takes an impression to be sent to a lab to fabricate the veneers. Veneers are fairly conservative in the preparation as it requires a small amount of space to be created on the face (front), bottom, and sides of each tooth to allow space for the veneer to be placed and look natural. You will leave the office with temporary veneers for the next week or two while the permanent veneers are being made.

The second appointment is to place the veneers and make minor adjustments if needed. What a difference it makes in the appearance of the teeth! If you’re interested in learning more, give Dr. Peterson at Sebastian River Dentistry in Sebastian, FL, a call today at (772) 388-3119!

By Mark A. Peterson DMD, PA
November 28, 2021
Category: Oral Health
Tags: gum disease  
TroublingDataSaysSmokingMarijuanaCouldWorsenGumDisease

It seems with each new election cycle another U.S. state legalizes marijuana use. It remains a flashpoint issue that intersects politics, law and morality, but there's another aspect that should also be considered—the health ramifications of using marijuana.

From an oral health perspective, it doesn't look good. According to one study published in the Journal of Periodontology a few years ago, there may be a troubling connection between marijuana use and periodontal (gum) disease.

Gum disease is a common bacterial infection triggered by dental plaque, a thin biofilm on tooth surfaces. As the infection advances, the gum tissues become more inflamed and lose their attachment to teeth. This often results in widening gaps or "pockets" between the teeth and gums filled with infection. The deeper a periodontal pocket, the greater the concern for a tooth's health and survivability.

According to the study, researchers with Columbia University's College of Dental Medicine reviewed data collected from nearly 2,000 adults, a quarter of which used marijuana at least once a month. They found the marijuana users had about 30 individual pocket sites on average around their teeth with a depth of at least 4 millimeters. Non-users, by contrast, only averaged about 22 sites.

The users also had higher incidences of even deeper pockets in contrast to non-users. The former group averaged nearly 25 sites greater than 6 millimeters in depth; non-users, just over 19. Across the data, marijuana users appeared to fare worse with the effects of gum disease than those who didn't use.

As concerning as these findings appear, we can't say that marijuana use singlehandedly causes gum disease. The condition has several contributing risk factors: diet, genetics, and, most important of all, how well a person manages daily plaque removal, the main driver for gum disease, through brushing and flossing.

Still, the data so far seems to indicate using marijuana can make gum disease worse. Further studies will be needed to fully test this hypothesis. In the meantime, anyone using marijuana should consider the possible consequences to their oral health.

If you would like more information on marijuana and oral health, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation.

By Mark A. Peterson DMD, PA
November 18, 2021
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: Teeth Cleaning  

Regular dental upkeep is important. So, if you are looking for professional teeth cleanings in Sebastian, FL, look no further than Sebastian River Dentistry. Dr. Mark Peterson is a dental professional that can provide you with a professional cleaning to keep your mouth healthy.

Why Should I Get My Teeth Professionally Cleaned?

Even if you brush and floss your teeth every single day, a professional cleaning will clean your mouth at a level that regular brushing won't. Your teeth will also look brighter and feel cleaner after a professional cleaning. Over time, plaque and tartar build-up over your teeth and can only be removed by special cleaning tools. Sometimes, these deposits may be below your gum line as well. If left unattended, your teeth or gums may become inflamed or infected. If a tooth becomes infected and remains untreated, this can cause worse problems down the road. Let our professional staff at Sebastian River Dentistry help keep your mouth clean, fresh, and healthy with routine cleaning.

What Is A Typical Teeth Cleaning Procedure Like?

When you get teeth cleanings in our Sebastian, FL, office, your dentist will conduct an oral examination of your teeth and mouth. Then, plaque build-up is removed and your dentist will polish your teeth using a rotary brush with a toothpaste-like gel at the tip.

Coming to our office for regular teeth cleanings will help keep your teeth in a healthy state. Your gum health is also important as it can be affected by plaque and tartar on your teeth. Get rid of excess plaque and tartar buildup with proper teeth cleanings in Sebastian, FL. Come to Sebastian River Dentistry, where Dr. Peterson and the staff will give you regular dental cleanings to keep your mouth in prime condition. Call us at (772) 388-3119 to make an appointment.

By Mark A. Peterson DMD, PA
November 18, 2021
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: root canal  
YourDecayedToothMightNeedaDifferentKindofRootCanalTreatment

Advanced decay doesn't necessarily mean it's curtains for an infected tooth. Millions of teeth in that condition have been saved by a tried and true procedure called root canal therapy.

Although they may vary according to the complexity of a case, all root canal procedures share some similarities. After numbing the tooth and gum areas with local anesthesia, the procedure begins with a small hole drilled into the tooth to access the infected pulp and root canals, tiny passageways inside the root.

The dentist then uses special instruments to clear out infected tissue from the pulp and canals, followed by thoroughly sanitizing the resulting empty spaces. This is followed with filling the pulp chamber and root canals with a rubber-like substance (gutta percha) to seal the interior of the tooth from further infection. Later, the dentist typically crowns the tooth for further protection and support.

Root canals have become the standard treatment for teeth with advanced decay. There are, however, some circumstances where performing a root canal isn't a good idea. For example, a previously root-canaled tooth with a crown and supporting post. A dentist would need to fully disassemble the restoration to gain access into the tooth, which could significantly weaken it.

But there may be another option if a standard root canal is out of the picture: a surgical procedure performed by an endodontist (a specialist in interior tooth treatment) called an apicoectomy. Instead of drilling through the tooth crown, the endodontist accesses the tooth root through the adjacent gum tissue.

Like a traditional root canal, the procedure begins by anesthetizing the tooth and surrounding gums. The endodontist then makes a small incision through the gums to expose the diseased tissues at the tooth's root. After removing the infected tissue and a few millimeters of the root tip, they place a small filling to seal the end of the root canal against infection and suture the gum incision.

This is a specialized procedure that requires the state-of-the-art equipment and advanced techniques of an endodontist. But it does provide another possible option for saving a diseased tooth that might otherwise be lost.

If you would like more information on treatments for tooth decay, 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 “Apicoectomy: A surgical Option When Root Canal Treatment Fails.”





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