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What Dental Procedures will Leave My Teeth Sensitive?
What Dental Procedures will Leave My Teeth Sensitive?

Some people have tooth sensitivity when they eat or drink cold, hot, sweet, or acidic foods or drinks. Sensitivity most often means that the root area is exposed somewhere in your mouth. However, tooth sensitivity can also happen after a dental procedure; usually, the symptoms go away on their own as the mouth heals after the procedure. Here are some dental procedures that may leave your teeth feeling sensitive.

Root canals

A root canal involves removal of infected pulp from inside the tooth to prevent further infection.  The area where the root is located contains nerve tissue, blood vessels, and other cells.  A root canal removes all of this, leaving the inside of the tooth hollow.  During the root canal, the dentist will clean out all contamination and then fill the void with a temporary, then permanent filling.  With root canals, the pain is temporary and over the counter, painkillers are generally good enough to deal with the pain. Your dentist can also prescribe medication to help deal with the pain.

Crowns

Dental crowns are needed if you have a cracked, decaying, or broken tooth. The crown is sort of a manmade tooth that covers an implant or is cemented to part of a broken tooth. When the crown is put in, it can irritate the nearby nerves and gums and cause some pain. It is common to feel pain after a crown is put in because of the inflammation. Fortunately, this pain is temporary and will go away on its own. You can control the pain symptoms through over the counter painkillers. If there is rubbing or sharp pains, see your dentist immediately; an improperly placed or jagged crown can irritate the gums and cause infection.

Tooth Extraction

You may need to get a tooth removed for any number of reasons – from tooth decay, crowded teeth, gum disease, and painful wisdom teeth to a baby tooth that refused to come out on its own.  Pain after an extraction is expected as it leaves nerves and the pulp under the tooth exposed. Dentists generally prescribe pain medication to control the pain and to prevent infection.

Gum tissue grafts

Gum tissue grafts are used to fix roots that have been exposed due to receding gums. You are more likely to feel pain and sensitivity while the wound heals. Your dentist or periodontist may prescribe pain medication as well as antibiotics to prevent infection.

If you recently have undergone one of these procedures will be getting one done soon, you should expect pain and sensitivity. However, if your symptoms last longer than a few days or get worse over time, it’s important to seek medical attention. Finally, there are many other dental procedures that can cause tooth sensitivity. If you are about to get any dental procedure done, make sure to talk to your doctor about what symptoms to expect and what you can do to reduce them.

Braces

Getting braces can result in sensitivity. After all, you are applying hardware to reform the placement of your teeth. Pain and sensitivity are to be expected as your teeth shift; if the pain comes from sharp wires or rough edges, see your dentist or orthodontist immediately to repair the wire or bracket.

At El Portal Dental Group in Merced, California, Dr. Khang Nguyen and his staff provide state-of-the-art dental care for you and your family. Dr. Nguyen offers general dentistry, cosmetic dentistry, implant dentistry, and emergency dentistry services to adults and children in Merced, California in a comfortable and caring environment. In addition, we speak English, Spanish, Hmong, and Vietnamese. Dr. Nguyen can create beautiful, confident smiles that are as healthy as they are functional. Come and discover dental excellence at El Portal Dental Group. Request an appointment with Dr. Nguyen, cosmetic and family dentist in Merced, California. Call (209) 385-1479 today. Same-day emergency and weekend dental appointments are available.


Braces Survival Guide (For Adults and Kids)
Braces Survival Guide (For Adults and Kids)

Are you one of the lucky ones who has braces, or will you or your child be getting braces soon? It can lead to a bit of anxiety knowing that you will need to adjust what you eat and how you brush and floss your teeth, not to mention the mild discomfort you may feel from time to time.

There are many ways to limit your discomfort and make your experience with braces a bit easier. Here is how to survive the coming months of treatment for misaligned teeth.

Use your dental wax, which protects your gums and the linings of your cheeks and lips. This provides a comfortable barrier from the sharp ends of wires and limits the instances of canker sores.

Just say no to hard, chewy, and/or sticky candy. These can get stuck and cause damage to your braces.  It is also important to cut up your food like steak, chicken and roasts into smaller bites.

Stock up on soft foods like mashed potatoes, applesauce, soups and macaroni and cheese. After your initial application and routine adjustments, your teeth and gums may be extra sensitive, so eating soft foods is the best way to go. There are many braces-friendly recipes available online that can make meals easier to plan.

Be prepared on the go with a dental kit. Keep extra supplies of dental wax, floss threaders, a toothbrush, toothpaste, and a spiral dental brush in a travel-sized container so you can take care of your braces and any discomfort while away from home.

Keep over-the-counter pain relievers on hand to help minimize discomfort. While the majority of the discomfort goes away about a month after you get your braces, you will still need to get adjustments about every 4 to 6 weeks. Your teeth and gums may be sore after adjustments, so Tylenol, Ibuprofen, or other pain relief is a big help.

Continue your regular semiannual dental checkups. Just because you have braces doesn’t mean that you get to skip your regular oral health routines. You still need to see your regular dentist twice a year to avoid or treat cavities, gingivitis, and gum disease.

Communicate with your orthodontist. If something doesn’t feel right or you are in a considerable amount of pain, alert your provider right away instead of waiting for your next appointment. 

Ask about ClearCorrect invisible aligners for straighter teeth without the look of metal braces. This is a beneficial option for professional adults desiring a more confident smile while maintaining a mature appearance.

For more information about adult braces, our friendly staff at El Portal Dental Group in Merced is available to answer any questions you may have. We offer evening and weekend hours, emergency dental care, and the convenience of a one-stop shop with general dentistry housed in the same location as orthodontics. Initial orthodontic consultations are provided free of charge.

Call our family dentistry and orthodontic office today at (209) 385-1479 or make an appointment online.


Choosing an Orthodontist in Merced
Choosing an Orthodontist in Merced

Does your child have perfectly straight teeth? Then there’s no need for an orthodontist, right? Well actually, the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) recommends everyone schedule an orthodontic appointment by the age of 7 to check for issues with the jaw such as overbites. Most people, however, will visit an orthodontist to correct the misalignment of teeth.

Whether braces are needed for a cosmetic or functional purpose, investing in braces for yourself or for your child is an important decision. The success of your orthodontic treatment is dependent upon your commitment to your orthodontic treatment plan. Finding an orthodontist who you can trust and with whom you are comfortable is important to keeping you committed and on track.

Over the course of orthodontic treatment, usually around 2 years, you will need to visit your orthodontist about every 6 weeks. For this reason, it is important to find a Merced orthodontist with a convenient location, as well as one that can work within your schedule. Orthodontists with early and late hours, as well as Saturday appointments offer the most flexibility for their patients. This allows for less missed visits and less time away from school or work.

Whether you’re considering adult braces or braces for your child, your investment into your beautiful new smile should be a wise one. Look for a board-certified orthodontist to ensure they are highly qualified for the best possible treatment outcome. Board certification by the American Board of Orthodontics means that your doctor has graduated from dental school, as well as completed an advanced orthodontic and dentofacial orthopedic residency. After completing advanced educational training, the orthodontist must then demonstrate their skill and knowledge to obtain certification.

Orthodontic emergencies can and do happen, whether it’s loose brackets or protruding wires. Many such emergencies are due to sports-related traumas to the face or mouth. Be sure to find an orthodontist who offers an on-call service for emergencies, as it’s very important to see your orthodontist immediately after an emergency to prevent further injury and pain.

Just because you have braces does not mean that your normal dental check-ups stop. Regular 6-month exams should continue throughout your treatment. To save you time, find an orthodontist who is part of a dental group where general dentistry is offered at the same location. Being able to go directly from your dentist to your orthodontist in one visit can save you valuable time while ensuring you are taking care of all your oral health needs.

Our Merced dental office offers extended weeknight and Saturday hours, emergency dental care, and the convenience of a one-stop shop with general dentistry housed in the same location as orthodontics. Initial orthodontic consultations are provided free of charge. Call us for an orthodontic consultation today at (209) 385-1479 or make an appointment online. 


Open Enrollment for Dental Insurance is November 1
Open Enrollment for Dental Insurance is November 1

Considering dental insurance to help ease the strain on your wallet? Great news – open enrollment for most health insurance plans begins on November 1. While some dental insurance plans only cover basic cleanings, other dental plans can drastically reduce your out-of-pocket expenses, saving you a ton of money on necessary dental work for oral health.

Here’s what you need to know before you buy a dental insurance plan:

  • There may be a waiting period. Purchasing a plan for coverage on procedures you need immediately? There is likely to be a specified amount of time that must pass after your policy begins before you have coverage for certain treatments, so be sure to read the fine print.
  • Orthodontic coverage may require a special policy rider. Braces and other corrective services are not typically covered, so if you need treatment to straighten and align your teeth make sure you add it to your policy or choose a plan that covers it.
  • Some plans have a maximum allowance. This limits the amount of your coverage to a specific dollar amount per calendar year. For instance, if your maximum allowance is $1000, after you have received that amount in paid benefits, you will be responsible for further expenses.
  • Some “insurances” are simply discount programs. While they can offer great discounts for teeth cleaning and other basic preventive services, they don’t save much (if anything) on emergency or corrective dental work.
  • Annual checkups are typically covered 100%, meaning you won’t have to satisfy a deductible first. Preventive coverage is important, since it can help avoid costly procedures such as fillings, root canals, and extractions down the road.
  • Pick a plan that allows you to choose one of our amazing dentists, or guarantees coverage at our practice. Freedom to choose your dentist is important, especially if you are a patient of El Portal Dental Group.

Always remember to read any policy thoroughly before you sign a contract to ensure it will suit your needs for total oral wellness. If you come in for regular check-ups and have healthy teeth and gums, a simple, low-cost plan may be best for you, while others may need plans with extra coverage.

Need help choosing a dental plan? Talk to one of our friendly front desk associates at El Portal Dental Group in Merced, California to learn more about dental plans that offer great benefits. Call (209) 385-1479 today!


WHAT CAUSES CROOKED TEETH?

Did you know, 3 out of 4 children have crowded teeth and incorrectly developing jaws. These problems can be seen from as early as 5 years of age.

These habits such as mouth breathing, tongue thrusting, reverse swallowing and thumb sucking are the real causes of crooked teeth. Allergies, asthma and an open mouth posture also contribute to incorrect jaw development. Growing up, most of us have had one or more of these habits, which may have been the cause of incorrect dental and facial development.

Just getting braces, with or without extractions, does not address the underlying causes of crooked teeth. This is why once the braces are removed, the teeth usually crowd up again, unless poor oral habits are corrected. This is why treatment with braces alone commonly results in the need for life-long retainers.

At El Portal Dental Group, we do braces (orthodontic treatment) as well.  Give us a call for a complimentary consultation at 209-385-1479. We are located at 3393 G Street, Ste B, Merced, CA 95340.  Visit our website at www.elportaldentalgroup.com for more information.