McKinney
Manor
The Grove
The Domain
Saltillo
South Lamar
Parmer Park
Lantana Place

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Austin
Manor
14008 Shadow Glen Blvd STE 203
(512) 982-1272
manor@enameldentistry.com
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78653
The Grove
4301 Bull Creek Suite 190
(512) 884-5658
grove@enameldentistry.com
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78731
The Domain
11005 Burnet Road #100
(512) 646-0815
domain@enameldentistry.com
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78758
Saltillo
901 E 5th St Suite 170
(512) 649-7510
saltillo@enameldentistry.com
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78702
South Lamar
2717 South Lamar Blvd #1086
(512) 717-5315
southlamar@enameldentistry.com
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78704
Parmer Park
1606 E Parmer Ln. Suite #125
(512) 572-0215
parmerpark@enameldentistry.com
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78753
Lantana Place
7415 SW Pkwy. Bldg 6 #200
(512) 648-6115
lantana@enameldentistry.com
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78735
Tzeachten Administration Offices & Community Centre
45855 Promontory Road Chilliwack, B.C. V2R 0H3
604-858-3888
604-858-3382
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Dallas
McKinney
6700 Alma Rd STE 400
(469) 663-0515
mckinney@enameldentistry.com
Book Appointment
75070
Tzeachten Administration Offices & Community Centre
45855 Promontory Road Chilliwack, B.C. V2R 0H3
604-858-3888
604-858-3382
Book Appointment
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How Do Cavities Form?a dental room with a large flat screen tv
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Cavities (also called tooth decay or caries) are permanently damaged areas on the surface of your teeth that eventually turn into holes. They’re one of the most common dental health issues in the world, and anyone who has teeth can get them—even very young children and infants. If cavities get large enough that they’re affecting the deeper layers of your teeth, they can cause infections, severe toothaches, and even tooth loss.

Regular brushing, flossing, and trips to the dentist are the best ways to prevent cavities from forming—but how do they form in the first place?

The Three Stages of Cavities

Cavities don’t just develop overnight; there’s a process that happens, and it begins with plaque.

Have you ever noticed a stick film coating your teeth, especially after eating sugary or starchy foods? This is dental plaque. Every time you eat, the bacteria in your mouth feed on the leftover food particles. Then, they secrete acids that turn into plaque. As plaque accumulates in your mouth, it traps acid, sugars, and bacteria up against your teeth; in turn, these start to erode away at the enamel and demineralize it.

After a while, small holes will start to develop in the enamel. This is the first stage of a cavity. Once the enamel is worn away, it makes it easy for bacteria and acid to reach the dentin, which is the next layer in your teeth. Unfortunately, dentin is much softer than enamel, and it doesn’t resist acid as well. At this stage, you may notice some sensitivity. As the cavity gets worse, the bacteria and acid continue to travel down to the next layer: the pulp.

The pulp is the inner part of your tooth that houses the nerves and blood vessels. As the bacteria and acids start to attack the pulp, it becomes inflamed and irritated. Since the pulp is trapped inside the tooth, it has nowhere to expand as it swells; this causes it to compress the tooth’s nerves—which can be very painful. If left untreated, deep cavities can lead to severe infections or tooth loss.

Factors that Can Increase the Risk of Cavities

There are several factors that can make your teeth more prone to cavities:

  • Location. Cavities are more likely to affect the molars and premolars. This is because these teeth are harder to reach, and they have a lot of nooks and crannies to trap plaque.
  • Certain foods and beverages cling to your teeth for longer, like dairy products, honey, cookies, hard candy, chips, and soda.
  • Eating or drinking frequently gives the bacteria in your mouth a steady supply of food.
  • Waiting too long to brush and floss after eating allows plaque to form and start attacking your teeth.
  • Dry mouth caused by medications, medical treatments, or certain health conditions can increase the risk of cavities.
  • Chronic heartburn (GERD) can cause stomach acid to wear away at your enamel

The thing to keep in mind with cavities is that they aren’t static—they grow and get bigger over time. If you don’t have any cavities yet, that’s great news! Make sure to keep up with your oral hygiene and dentist visits. If you do have cavities, it’s best to take care of them as early as possible to prevent them from getting worse. Schedule an appointment with Enamel Dentistry, and we’ll help you nip those cavities in the bud!

How Do Cavities Form?
How Do Cavities Form?

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Post - OP Instructions: Crowns & Bridgesa dental room with a large flat screen tv
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Post - OP Instructions: Crowns & Bridges

February 20, 2024

Post – Op Instructions: Crowns & Bridges

Dental crowns and bridges usually take 2-3 appointments to complete. On the first appointment, the tooth/teeth are prepared, scans are taken, and a temporary crown/bridge is placed on the tooth/teeth. A custom fit temporary restoration will be fabricated to protect your teeth and gum tissue while your permanent crown or bridge is being created at the dental laboratory. The temporary prevents the tooth from shifting or moving, so it is essential that it stay in place for the duration of the time in between appointments.

A temporary, however, is not as durable as a permanent restoration, nor is it sealed completely, so it is important to be very careful chewing on that side, as well as keeping the area clean. Having sensitivity on the tooth/teeth while the temporary is in place is normal and will subside when the permanent restoration is placed, however, If the sensitivity gets increasingly worse or does not begin to subside after several weeks after the permanent restoration is placed, please contact our office.

Home Care

While your temporary is in place it is important to keep your gum tissue as clean and healthy as possible. You may need to alter your oral hygiene habits in the interim as temporary restorations are cemented with a special cement that is designed to come off easily. Continue to thoroughly brush and floss every day.

However, when flossing, take special care to pull the floss out from the side rather than out from the top. Pulling out from the top can cause the temporary to come loose. If your temporary does come off, call us immediately so we can arrange to cement it back into place.

Do not attempt to “glue” the temporary crown back in yourself or “go without it” as the teeth may become sensitive or shift slightly, preventing placement of the permanent crown. You can use a denture adhesive like Fixodent or toothpaste to hold the crown or bridge temporarily until you can get to our office.

Once your permanent crown or bridge is cemented, it is important to remember that these ceramic or zirconia restorations do not decay, but the teeth underneath them do. The most susceptible area for decay is at, or below, the area where the tooth and restoration meet. If this area is not routinely cleaned bacterial plaque will form around the restoration, which oftentimes lead to decay. This is the most common reason for needing to replace permanent crowns and/or bridges. Therefore, it is important that you maintain a diligent daily home care program to clean your teeth and gums.

Fixed dental bridges require additional cleaning under the pontic (missing tooth). Since this “false tooth” is connected to the adjacent teeth a bridge threader is used to thread floss under it to remove plaque. These are available at most pharmacies.

Chewing

Although your temporary restoration should be very comfortable, you will need to alter your chewing habits to ensure the temporary stays in place in the interim in between appointments. 

Avoid chewing hard and sticky foods on the temporary crown such as gum, caramels, taffy, or hard candy. Also, if possible, chew on the opposite side of your mouth. If your bite feels uneven or your teeth do not come together as they did before, please contact us immediately.

After the permanent restoration is placed it is normal to feel slight pressure and sensitivity to hot or cold for a few days up to a few weeks. If, however, after 2-3 days your bite still feels uneven, contact our office. Delaying the necessary adjustments may damage the tooth permanently. If the sensitivity gets increasingly worse or does not begin to subside after several weeks, please contact your local office.

Please contact your office if you have any questions or concerns

Post - OP Instructions: Fillingsa dental room with a large flat screen tv
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Post - OP Instructions: Fillings

February 20, 2024

Post – Operative Instructions: Fillings

Your anesthesia will wear off in approximately 1 to 3 hours after the procedure. It is very important not to chew on the numb side (to prevent biting tongue, lip, etc.) until the anesthesia wears off.

Children should be observed until the anesthesia has worn off. Due to the strange feeling of the anesthetic, many children chew on the inside of their cheeks, lips and tongue which can cause serious damage.

Your tooth (or teeth) may be sensitive to hot, cold or pressure following the placement of fillings. This is completely normal. The possible symptoms of hot, cold or pressure sensitivity will cease within a few days to a couple of weeks. In very few instances, this sensitivity could last longer than a couple of weeks. As long as your teeth or gums are continuing to feel better (not getting worse), everything is fine, and there is no need for concern. However if you have any concerns, do not hesitate to reach out to your local dentist.

Once the anesthesia has worn off, if you feel as though any of the teeth we have worked on are hitting first when you bite down, please give our office a call immediately. This imbalance with your bite may cause further discomfort and should be adjusted.

The gum tissue can sometimes be irritated during the procedure and may be sore for a few days. The anesthetic injection site may also feel sore or bruised. If your gums are tender, rinse with warm salt water, dissolving 1/2 teaspoon of salt in an 8 oz. glass of warm water. An analgesic such as Tylenol or Advil will help to decrease discomfort.

Composite (tooth colored) fillings set up right away and can be chewed on as soon as the anesthetic wears off.

Home Care

Although the treatment that was performed is quite durable, the underlying tooth is still vulnerable to decay, especially at the interface between the tooth and filling. It is important to resume regular brushing and flossing immediately. Daily home care and regulating your intake of sugar-containing foods will increase the longevity of your new restoration. If you have any other questions or concerns, please call your local office.

Please contact your office if you have any questions or concerns

Post - OP Instructions: Deep Cleaninga dental room with a large flat screen tv
Post Appt. Care
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Post - OP Instructions: Deep Cleaning

February 20, 2024

Post – Operative Instructions: Deep Cleaning

Scaling and root planing is a non-surgical treatment for periodontal disease. The purpose of the treatment is to remove bacterial plaque and tartar from around teeth and under the gum line and smooth out rough target areas thereby eliminating the inflammation and infection that is the causative factor in gum disease. The progression of gum disease can be halted by removing inflammation and disrupting bacterial bio-film development with regular maintenance visits and meticulous home care.

After treatment you can expect to notice less redness, less bleeding, and less swelling of your gum tissues. Your teeth may feel smoother, and your mouth will taste and feel better. The following tips will make you more comfortable, help to prevent any possible compilations and ensure the success of the procedure.

Discomfort

You may take an over-the-counter pain reliever for any tenderness or discomfort. Take ibuprofen (Advil/Motrin) or acetaminophen (Tylenol) unless you have medical conditions or allergies.

It is not unusual for the teeth to be more sensitive to hot or cold temperatures, and/or sweets. This is normal. This occurs as the gum tissue heals and shrinks in size and should gradually resolve in a few weeks with proper home care. Consistently brushing two to three times daily with sensitivity toothpaste or using fluoride rinses may alleviate this over time. Avoid toothpastes with “whitening” or baking soda, as this will contribute to the problem. If sensitivity continues or is severe, professional application of a desensitizing agent may be required.

Home Care

To help soothe the area, rinse your mouth 2-3 times a day with warm salt water rinses. If CloSYS is prescribed, use as directed.

Resume your home care regimen of brushing twice a day with a soft bristled toothbrush and daily flossing immediately, but be gentle with the area recently treated. Your gum health must be maintained with proper home care, as instructed, and regular dental visits. You may use a WaterPik if recommended as well.

Refrain from smoking for 24 to 48 hours after scaling and root planing as tobacco will delay healing of the tissues. Smoking cessation is highly recommended.

Diet

After scaling and root planing, avoid chewing in the area until the anesthetic has worn off completely. It is easy to bite or burn your cheek, tongue or lip while numb.

For several days following treatment, a soft diet is recommended. Avoid any hard foods such as tortilla chips, potato chips, popcorn, or seeds.

Bleeding

Minor bleeding that results in a pinkish tinge to your saliva is normal and may occur during the first 48 hours following treatment. You may rinse your mouth with warm salt water. If excessive bleeding should occur, apply light pressure to the area with a moistened gauze or moistened tea bag and call the office immediately for more assistance.

Follow – Up Care

We ask patients to return in 3-4 months following scaling and root planing for an additional periodontal evaluation. At this appointment the healing response of your periodontal tissues will be evaluated as well as the effectiveness of your oral self-care in order to determine if further periodontal treatments are necessary as well as the frequency of your recall interval. This appointment will include re-probing the periodontal tissues as well as a maintenance cleaning.

Please contact your office if you have any questions or concerns