Need a Root Canal? Here’s What You Can Expect

Toothaches can be quite uncomfortable. Nobody can deny this. The best way to deal with dental pain is to prevent it from occurring in the first place. Regular checkups and cleanings with Dr. Mott can help keep your teeth and gums clean, healthy, and pain-free. We realize, however, that sometimes things happen and tooth pain is inevitable.

There are times when a root canal is the best possible course of treatment for particular dental ailments. Root canals have a history of being one of the most vilified dental procedures of all-time. There are so many joke and stories swirling around about root canals that people tend to avoid them altogether unless their dental issues prove so excruciating that they are forced to face their fears.

But, are root canals really so scary? Is there any truth to the stories people tell about them? We’re here today to solve that mystery and put your mind at ease once and for all concerning root canals. Let’s get started…

Before building up huge amounts of anxiety about whether or not you need a root canal, let’s discuss some of the times dentists opt to perform this procedure.

Reasons You May Need a Root Canal

Root canals become necessary when the natural cavity surrounded by pulp within one’s tooth where the nerve resides becomes infected. When a bacterial infection attacks this cavity, the bacteria in question produce a gas that exerts pressure upon the tooth’s nerve. It is because of this pressure that pain manifests.

Some people have been known to struggle with additional symptoms such swelling of the face and neck. The excruciating pain resulting from these infections isn’t always immediate. Most people first struggle with mild levels of discomfort which manifest whenever they are eating or drinking.

Rather than waiting for the pain to emerge, such problems can be identified using an X-ray, at which point you could come in to see Dr. Mott and seek treatment.

What Exactly is a Root Canal?

The term refers to a dental procedure during which the nerve of a tooth (and the pulp surrounding it) are removed. As scary as it may sound, this procedure will not affect the health of your tooth. The nerve and the pulp in your cavity only exist to fulfill sensory purposes. This nerve is the reason you can feel hot and cold temperatures around your teeth. Removing the nerve will do little to affect the health of your tooth.

The Procedure

Root canals are relatively straightforward procedures. Before one is performed, an X-ray must be carried out to identify the problem and determine the extent of the damage. Once the actual procedure begins, the area around the tooth in question is numbed.

A hole is then drilled into the tooth, providing access to the nerve and pulp which is then removed, along with any decayed tissue. The cavity of the tooth is thoroughly cleaned and then sealed. It is that simple.

Dr Mott

Dr Chris Mott

Sometimes, the root canal cannot be completed on the same day, in which case the hole in the tooth is covered using temporary filling until the next appointment.
Root canals are almost always a success and are generally painless. People who complain about the pain of a root canal are usually talking about the discomfort they were dealing with before they sought the dental care to relieve the pain. When performed by an experienced professional such as Dr. Mott, root canals will relieve pain and restore your mouth to its original pain-free condition.

Dr. Chris A. Mott is a highly-experienced and well-respected dentist serving the Shreveport and Bossier areas. If you feel you may be in need of a root canal or just need a cleaning or checkup, please feel free to call our office and set up an appointment. We would love to welcome you into the Mott dental family.

Scary and Not-So-Scary Halloween Treats: A Dental Perspective

It’s that time of year again, where goblins and ghosts haunt your streets in search of a tasty morsel or two. It’s the time of year that children love and dentists despise due to the vast amounts of sugary Halloween treats. Most kids hurry home and, after a thorough checking of their candy by an adult, dive into their sugary treats with complete disregard for their dental hygiene. After all, who’s going to stop and think about brushing and flossing at a time like this? This is Halloween, for Pete’s sake! It only comes once a year!

We parents can work together to make Halloween fun and not so devastating to your kid’s dental health. By choosing dental-friendly Halloween treats to pass out, both kids and parents can look forward to some Halloween shenanigans. Here we go over some of the healthier snacks and treats to give to your trick-or-treaters.

Not-So-Scary Treats

Most dentists will agree that it’s best to stay away from sugary treats all-together, however, they do understand that kids will be kids, so they have some healthier options to offer kids. Chocolate treats that don’t have sticky fillings are a good option. Sugar-free gum or cookies that won’t stick to kid’s teeth are good as well. Look for cookies that are soft and not filled. You could also choose to give away pretzels or goldfish crackers that are nutritious and not loaded with sugar. Pencils, stickers, notepads, bouncy balls, or yo-yos are also fun options that won’t damage their pearly whites.

Super-Scary Treats

As a general rule, anything sticky is horrible for your teeth. This includes anything gummy, taffy, caramels, or sugary nuts or coconut. Hard candies like Jolly Ranchers or suckers fall into the super-scary treat category as well, especially the suckers with the bubble gum or tootsie roll fillings. These are especially bad because your child’s teeth are exposed to the sugar for a longer time period as the candy dissolves. What’s more, if your child bites down on hard candies they could quite possibly chip or crack a tooth.

Candies such as Sour Patch Kids or any other highly acidic candy should be avoided at all cost. This acid can damage the tooth enamel and also feeds damaging bacteria in your child’s mouth.

If your child wears braces, you need to be especially careful about the types of treats your orthodontist approves of. Foods like gum, popcorn or other soft candies can become trapped in your child’s braces and either damage their braces or their teeth, and in some cases both.

Best Options for Dental Health

As we mentioned earlier, you can bypass the candy option all together and choose to hand out treats that are still fun but not edible. Rubber spiders, tattoos, raisins, crayons and mini-coloring or puzzle books are all great options, especially for kids with braces. And the best part of these types of treats is you don’t have to check them for tampering. They are safe as is.

If you have any questions or concerns about your family’s dental care, give Dr. Mott a call. We can schedule a cleaning or checkup for you and answer any questions you may have.

Image courtesy of tifotter, flickr.com creative commons.

 

 

Smiling boxer dog

Is Brushing Important for Your Dog?

Getting yourself to the dentist is always a hassle, but what about your pups? If you have perfect teeth and want to share your oral hygiene routine with someone, you can start in your own home! Your dog, once fully grown, will have 42 teeth which makes their mouths just as susceptible to plaque and dental wear as you are! So it’s time to get down and dirty with your dog.

Smiling dogDog’s Need a Toothbrush, Too!

Without proper brushing, a dog’s teeth can build up plaque which can cause bad breath. In addition, this can result in gum disease and even tooth decay for your pup. It’s important that you brush your dog’s teeth daily or at least routinely once or twice a week to prevent bacteria buildup.

You don’t necessarily have to use a fancy dog toothbrush, but it can be helpful if your dog isn’t fond of brushing time. If you have smaller dogs, you can use finger brushes, which fit perfectly in their tiny mouths. If you have a big dog, you can consider using brushes that have longer handles to make sure you get all of the teeth cleaned without shoving your entire hand in its mouth.

Always Use Dog Specific Toothpaste

Definitely do not use your own toothpaste to brush your dog’s teeth. The ingredients in the toothpaste we use can be deadly to your dog if ingested in large amounts. Even if you use a little bit of your regular toothpaste, your dog could experience serious discomfort or stomach issues.

You can find dog specific toothpastes at your local pet stores. They come in many flavors, from mint to chicken, that you can choose from! Picking your dog’s favorite flavor can really help in the brushing process as it makes it easier to keep them still while you brush.

Get to Brushing!

Husky smilingOnce you find the perfect toothpaste, lift your dog’s upper lip slowly and start with the upper teeth first. You should hold the brush so that the bristles are angled to reach the gums, as well as the teeth. Angling is important because it allows you to massage the gums, while also cleaning your pup’s teeth.

However, you may realize that working around the gum area can cause slight bleeding. Light breeding is normal, so don’t stress. However, heavy bleeding can be an indication that your dog has a gum disease. Schedule an appointment with your vet as soon as possible if you find that your dog is bleeding heavily after a brush.

Be sure that you are being gentle when you brush your dog’s teeth. If you are too rough, you may cause the gums to bleed more than expected. Use a soft, circular motion to brush your teeth, and you can avoid any serious injury.

French Bulldog SmilingAnd You’re Done!

It’s important that you talk to your dogs as you brush their teeth. This helps them remain calm while you get to work on their teeth. If they are overly upset or uncomfortable, you can pet them during the process to help ease their discomfort, too. Once you are done, you can reward your pup with a treat if they did well during their brushing.

We’re Here to Help

Keeping your dog’s teeth healthy is important, but it’s also important to keep up with your own teeth. If we spent half as much time taking care of our own teeth as we do taking care of our pets, we would have no problem making it to the dentist every six months.

Be sure you are visiting your dentist regularly, brushing your teeth twice a day, and flossing routinely. Even though we can’t help your dog with oral health, we can help you at Dr. Chris Mott’s office! Keep all your family, human and furry alike, happy by brushing regularly and flossing, too!

dentist

Tips for Managing Stress in Dental School

Ah, dental school. That time in one’s life when reality sets in and dreams are realized. It is important to learn how to cope with stressful feelings and situations that you will experience while studying in dental school. Effective stress management will enable you to discover the real sources of stress, handle them effectively, and enhance your emotional well being. As you read the following tips, you will discover how to identify and categorize emotional stressors so you can manage them successfully.

Create a Chart

Prepare a simple chart to categorize stressful situations. Take a pen and create a 2 by 2 inch chart that will give you two vertical columns and two horizontal rows – a total of four squares or quadrants. At the top of the first column, write “Important”, and then write “Unimportant” at the top of the second column. Beside the first row write “Can Control” and beside the second row write “Can’t Control”. This chart will make it easy for you to have a quick view of all the situations that can cause emotional stress at any particular time.

List the Emotional Stressors

Write down the issues, circumstances, tasks, or events that could cause you to become worried or overwhelmed. For example, the following list includes some situations that could occur during the semester in dental school:

  • You have 4 examinations and a practical session one after the other next week.
  • This weekend is your sister’s baby shower.
  • Your roommate has refused to clean up his dishes for over two weeks and you are fed up with taking care of this chore for him.
  • The patient you were to examine to fulfill your Perio requirement refused to turn up for the appointment.
  • The Taylor Swift concert you bought tickets for has been cancelled because she needed emergency medical treatment.

Categorize Each Situation

After listing the situations on paper, you should place each one in the appropriate quadrant. In this example, your examination and practical session are important and you can control how you prepare for them, so place them in the top-left quadrant. Similarly, your sister’s baby shower may be considered important so you may place it in the top-left quadrant. However, if you discover that you would not be able to attend because of your forth-coming examination, you could apologize and find a way to make it up later.

Dr Mott

Dr Chris Mott

Another important situation is your Perio requirement. But the fact that the patient did not show up is beyond your control. So you should place it in the bottom-left quadrant and find an alternative way to meet this requirement. Next, move to the relatively unimportant issues like the behavior of your roommate. Since you can control the effects of your roommate’s behavior by taking to him or simply finding a way to clean up at a more convenient time, you should place this in the top-right corner. The only situation that is unimportant and out of your control is the cancelled concert. Hopefully, you could get your tickets refunded.

This method of managing stress in dental school is quite effective and should be used as often as required. When you are surrounded by many stressful situations, you can easily use this technique to separate the important from the trivial issues and your will find it much easier to address each situation one after the other. You will be able to focus more on productive tasks without getting overwhelmed by mundane issues.

If you have any questions or concerns about your future career in the dental field, give Dr. Mott a call. We can schedule a cleaning or checkup for you as well.

Operation Smile

What is Operation Smile?

Operation Smile is a global medical charity that offers free surgeries to children and young adults who are born with cleft palate and other deformities of the face. Operation Smile stands among the longest-serving charity organizations that are devoted to enhancing children’s lives and overall health. The organization offers surgical care as their primary service provided to children around the world.

History

The charity-based organization was founded by a craniofacial and plastic surgeon, William Magee. Partnering with his wife, Dr. William Magee founded the organization in 1982 in Virginia. Operation Smile was established to deliver surgical care in an environment with insufficient resources for such procedures. Partnering with recognized hospitals, Operation Smile volunteers train local medical specialists, offer the surgical care and donate equipment and supplies to medical facilities around the globe.

What is cleft palate?

Also known as cleft lip, this is a gap in the mouth that remains open throughout the pregnancy. The child is then born with an opening or a gap in the roof of the mouth or on the upper lip. As with any birth defect, the condition ranges from one child to another. Some have a unilateral condition that affects one side of the mouth, while others will suffer a bilateral cleft palate condition.

Various factors can cause cleft palate. The most common ones include poor nutrition, genetics, exposure to unsafe environmental hazards, and pre-existing medical condition of the parent. If not addressed early and with the proper approach, the cleft could pose a serious health condition to the child.

Who does Operation Smile help?

The organization was solely founded to offer surgical care and other medical services to children and young adults from resource-limited environments. Operation Smile only helps children that suffer from lip cleft or cleft palate, especially if they come from a family that cannot afford the surgery.

The charitable organization has registered offices in more than sixty countries. Operation Smile operates in all the major continents including America, Africa, Asia, Europe, and Australia. The headquarters is based in Virginia Beach, Virginia.

How can you help?

Many people are taking part in helping to enhance the services offered by Operation Smile. The organization accepts help in the form of volunteering and donation. It accepts volunteers to help in delivering medical care and other social work-related services directed to

Dr Mott

Dr Chris Mott

the community. For those that wish to become medical volunteers, you may need to present valid proof of licensure. This is done with professionalism to avoid jeopardizing the lives of the children and young adults. Other ways of helping the organization include the following;

• Volunteering as a medical record expert or a translator in non-English speaking communities.
• Hosting an awareness or fundraising event in your local community, under the mandate of the organization.
• Offer local administrative support in your community.
• Establishing a student club in your community.

These are ways or opportunities that are meant to boost the services of the organization and help it advance in its mission. Before you start any event, like a fundraising, ensure that you have been given permission by Operation Smile.

Downtown Shreveport dentistry: Stop Tooth Decay in it’s Tracks

Downtown Shreveport dentistry, Dr. Chris Mott, Explains How To Stop Tooth Decay in it’s Tracks

There are hundreds of different bacteria that live in our mouths without causing any harm. Unfortunately there are also many bad types of bacteria which can cause problems for us such as tooth decay. When plaque- a sticky film on teeth which harbors bacteria- doesn’t get removed from your teeth through regular brush and flossing it can lead to tooth decay and other complications to your dental health. But other than regular brushing, flossing, are there are things you can do to ensure that you don’t have to deal with tooth decay? Of course!

Use fluoride to strengthen your teeth and prevent tooth decay from building to a dangerous level. Fluoride water, toothpaste, gel, tablets or mouth rinses might be recommended by your doctor to avert to reverse cavities.

Children are more prone to cavities due to their diet and less disciplined brushing habits. Parents must be very careful of what they feed their tots to avoid creating an environment for bacteria to thrive. To help prevent cavities and tooth decay in your children, you should limit the number of snacks between meals, fruit juice and avoid sugary foods before bedtime especially if they have already brushed. As a parent it is your duty to teach your kids to brush their teeth until they can do it by themselves. Encourage them to brush at least twice a day and spit out all the paste to avoid dental fluorosis that comes from excess fluoride.

It is important to do your best to avoid cavities at home but it is also key to enlist a downtown Shreveport dentist such as Dr. Chris Mott. He is a licensed professional who has spent years dedicated to helping people prevent cavities and keep themselves healthy. He can offer practical solutions to patients.

Downtown Shreveport Dentistry, Dr Mott

Dr Chris Mott

Dr. Mott, an experienced downtown Shreveport dentist, offers advanced solutions such as sealants to protect the chewing surfaces of teeth upon which food particles get stuck. It is important to take children to see a dentist regularly so that they can get rid of dental plaque and check for early signs of tooth decay. Teach your child how to properly brush their teeth and schedule their next dentist appointment.

Cavities are a serious dental health issue that affects people of all ages and should not be ignored. Left untreated, they pose a serious health problem that could forever damage a child’s health and self-image. Cavities are associated with serious conditions like high blood pressure and heart disease. It is important to deal with cavities through the guidance of experts such as Dr. Mott, a local downtown Shreveport dentist.