Dr. Stephanie F. Walker is a dentist in Murrieta, California. She provides advice on proper brushing, flossing, cleaning, healthy gums, and other dental care.
American Dental Association, California Dental Association, Delta Sigma Delta
American Prosthodontic Society Scholar
An endodontic treatment saves a severely injured, cracked, or decayed tooth when its pulp (the soft inner tissue inside a tooth’s root canal) becomes inflamed or infected. If it is not treated promptly, pain or a tooth abscess (infection) results. Endodontic treatment is also known as a “root canal.”
Root canal treatment is completed in one or two office visits, depending on the presence of infection and the required treatment plan. After restoration, the tooth continues to function like any other tooth. With good oral hygiene, the restored tooth has the potential to last a lifetime.
Endodontists are root canal specialists. They are qualified dentists who have two additional years of education and specialized training in the care and treatment of tooth pulp and the inner parts of the tooth. If a root canal is required, a dentist often refers the patient to an endodontist for treatment. Your endodontist will work closely with your dentist to improve your oral health and restore your natural teeth.
See your dentist if you experience any of these symptoms:
Sometimes an endodontic problem can exist without warning signs. In these cases, a Digital X-ray taken during a routine dental checkup will reveal the tooth damage.
Root canal treatment involves the removal of the diseased pulp along with the tooth’s nerve (located within a tooth’s root canal). The pulp chamber and root canal(s) of your tooth are then cleaned, medicated and sealed. A dental crown or other restorative treatment is used to protect and strengthen the tooth.
Orthodontists are qualified Dentists who have an additional two to three years of education and specialized training in tooth movement and the guidance of facial development. Orthodontists work as a team with your Dentist to maximize your smile and improve your dental health.
You or your child may be referred by your Dentist to an Orthodontist if:
An orthodontic appliance is prescribed based on a patient’s age and his or her teeth and jaw alignment needs. There is a wide range of available orthodontic appliances. Each appliance has several techniques for treatment use. While dental braces are the most universally known, only your Orthodontist can prescribe the appliance and restorative technique that is right for you.
The most commonly known orthodontic treatment is braces: an orthodontic appliance used to straighten teeth and correct bad bites. Braces can be prescribed for teens, adults, and children who have permanent teeth. They may be used in conjunction with other orthodontic appliances prescribed to widen the palate or jaws or to shape the teeth and jaws. The average treatment time for braces is just over two years, but treatment time varies by the individual patient.
There are two major types of braces: fixed and removable. If you are a candidate for braces, your Orthodontist will recommend the type best suited for you.
A dental crown restores a tooth’s shape, size, and strength. It fully encases the visible portion of your tooth or dental implant. Once it is permanently bonded in place, only a Dentist or Specialist can remove it.
With proper care and good oral hygiene, the life of a crown can range from 5 to 15 years.
If a natural tooth-colored porcelain crown is chosen, our CEREC® CAD/CAM treatment gives patients a completed permanent crown in just one office visit. Other types of crowns require two office visits.
Tooth whitening enhances the brightness of natural teeth, but it’s not for everyone. Discuss it with your Dentist before you take action, especially if you have:
The lifespan of whitened teeth can range from 4-12 months, depending on the type of treatment used and your consumption of food and drink that can easily stain teeth (such as blueberries, coffee, and tea).
To keep your teeth their whitest without undergoing tooth whitening treatment, practice good oral hygiene.
A veneer improves the appearance of a tooth by covering the visible front surface with a custom-made, tooth-colored porcelain overlay.
Our Dentists can complete a porcelain veneer treatment in just one office visit. With proper care and good oral hygiene, a veneer has a lifespan of 5-10 years.
While the removal of wisdom teeth is the most well-known type of oral surgery, there are many reasons why oral surgery may be required, including:
Oral surgeons, also known as oral and maxillofacial surgeons, are qualified dentists who have completed an additional four years of specialized training. Their advanced education includes anesthesiology and the diagnosis and surgical treatment of defects, injuries and diseases of the mouth, jaw, teeth, neck, gums and other soft tissues of the head.
Your dentist or specialist will refer you to an oral surgeon in many cases, including:
Third molars, also called wisdom teeth, are the last set of permanent teeth to erupt in a person’s mouth and are the ones least needed. Wisdom teeth can endanger a patient’s dental health when:
When your jaw is too small to accommodate normal wisdom teeth, it is common for gum or jaw discomfort and swelling to occur. In addition, there is a greater risk of developing gum (periodontal) disease.
Surgery to remove wisdom teeth is typically the best course of action. If a wisdom tooth has fully erupted through the gum, a standard tooth extraction is performed. If the tooth has not erupted through the gum, an impacted tooth extraction method is used.