What Happens During a Root Canal?

Hearing that you need a root canal, can be shocking and worrisome at first. However, there is no need to worry. At Cox Family Dentistry, Dr. Cox and their team will only recommend a root canal only if it is absolutely necessary. Contrary to what most people think, root canals are not extremely painful procedures. The infection that occurs before the root canal is the painful part because the bacteria from the infection is irritating the nerves and gumline. Below we will discuss the why Dr. Cox and their team at Cox Family Dentistry may recommend a root canal and the steps of the procedure.

Why Do I Need a Root Canal?

There are many reasons why Dr. Cox and their team at Cox Family Dental may recommend a root canal. There are three main causes of a root canal: decay, damage, and disease. First, if you have a large cavity that has progressed into the center of the tooth in the pulp, then you may need a root canal. This amount of decay is too large to fix with a simple filling. Similarly, the second reason you may have a root canal is damage, which can develop decay. If you fall and damage your tooth, the exposed root can collect bacteria causing infection and pain. Lastly, Dr. Cox at Cox Family Dentistry may recommend a root canal if you have a large infection in the inner layer of your tooth, called your pulp. Whatever the reason for the root canal, it is important that you do not postpone this procedure because it could lead to tooth loss or a more serious infection.

Symptoms of a Root Canal

If you are experiencing an extreme toothache, you may be worried that you may need a root canal. Common symptoms include hot and cold sensitivity, tender or swollen gums next to the infected tooth, toothache, small bump on the gumline next to the irritated tooth, and a darker appearance of the tooth. If you have any of these symptoms, call Cox Family Dentistry today to find out how Dr. Cox and their team can help improve your oral health.

Root Canal

How Can I Prevent A Root Canal?

At Cox Family Dental, we always encourage our patients to practice good oral health to avoid expensive and timely procedures like a root canal. The best way to prevent a root canal is to develop a good oral hygiene routine. First, brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes each time and floss your teeth once per day. Next, remember to visit Dr. Cox and their team at Cox Family Dental in Plano, Texas every six months for regular exams and cleanings. Actively taking care of your oral health and being aware of potential issues, is the first step into better oral and overall health.

How long do root canals last?

A root canal from Cox Family Dental in Plano, Texas will last a lifetime with the right care and good oral health routine. Actually, 95% of all root canals are successful. A root canal may be the best way to improve your oral health and increase the likelihood of keeping your natural tooth.

Getting a root canal does not have to be a scary experience. With the right knowledge, tools, and team, your procedure can be comfortable and beneficial for your oral and overall health. For more information about procedures at Cox Family Dentistry in Plano, Texas or to plan your next visit, call (972)-468-8692, today!

Dental Implant: How To Place It

If you have a missing or decayed tooth, you may my need a dental implant. There are a number of benefits from dental implants in comparison to traditional options like bridges or dentures. More importantly, dental implants can last for a lifetime with the right care. Before you invest in an implant, you should discuss the procedures, benefits, and risks with Dr. Cox at Cox Family Dentistry in Plano, Texas. First, we will talk about the alternatives to dental implants. Then, we will explain how dental implants are placed. 

1. What is a Dental Bridge?

To place a bridge, Dr. Cox at Cox Family Dentistry fills the gap where you tooth was with a dental crown. This crown is anchored on the two surrounding teeth with additional crowns. You can think of the anchoring crowns as caps that go over the existing teeth. Overall, receiving a dental bridge is less invasive procedure than a dental implant because Dr. Cox replaces the tooth, not the tooth and the root. However, in a dental bridge procedure, Dr. Cox at Cox Family Dentistry in Plano, Texas may file down existing, healthy teeth to support the dental bridge. To some patients, this is a disadvantage because healthy teeth are altered. Overall, dental bridges do not last as long as dental implants and the teeth supporting the bridge can develop decay.

2. What is a Partial Denture?

Partial dentures replace multiple missing teeth with a pink gum-like base. The denture is placed over the gums. You can choose between removable partial dentures or fixed partial dentures, which are attached existing teeth via a metal wire. Typically, partial dentures are used to fill one more than one missing tooth, with one or more natural teeth that act as supporting structures for the partial denture.

Dental Implant, Dental Bridge

3. How are Dental Implants Placed?

Now, let’s talk about how a dental implant is done. To place a dental implant, first, Dr. Cox at Cox Family Dentistry in Plano will decide if you are a good candidate for a dental implant. Dr. Cox and his team will examine the amount of jawbone that is left under your tooth. Then, during surgery, Dr. Cox will clear out the missing tooth’s root and place a metal dental implant post. This will act as your tooth’s new root. The next step is to wait for bone growth around the dental implant post. At this stage, there is not a visible tooth above the gumline. Dr. Cox at Cox Family Dentistry in Plano, Texas can give you a temporary denture to place in this area until the procedure is completed. Lastly, Dr. Cox will add a permeant crown over the dental implant post.

Just like bridges and partial dentures, dental implants vary in structure and size. If you only have one missing tooth, you can receive a singular dental implant. However, if you have multiple missing teeth, Dr. Cox may attach a row teeth to four or five posts within in the gums. Overall, dental implants offer more stability and they increase the lifespan of the oral prosthetic compared to dental bridges and partial dentures.

 

Choosing a dental implant can be a life changing decision. It is important to talk to Dr. Cox at Cox Family dentistry in Plano, Texas to explore all of your options first. For more information about dental implants, bridges, or partial dentures, or to plan your next visit, call Cox Family Dentistry in Plano, Texas at (972)-468-8692, today!

Dental X-Rays – Do I need one?

Mouth x-rays are a common activity during your dental appointment; however, you may not know why Dr. Cox requires an x-ray. Below is some information about how Cox Family Dentistry uses your x-rays to develop the best treatment plan for you.

 

Detecting Problems in Adults

Dental x-rays are used to find problematic areas on, between, and underneath your teeth that a Cox Family Dentistry team cannot see with just an oral exam. X-rays can reveal issues such as, bone loss with gum disease, infection between or underneath the tooth, cysts, tumors, and cavities that form underneath a filling.

 

Detecting Problems in Children

X-rays for children can provide similar advantages for adult patients; however, the use of x-rays is geared toward observing the development of a child’s permanent teeth rather than preventing oral diseases. Dr. Cox can locate decay, estimate the amount of space need for permanent teeth, and evaluate the development of wisdom teeth.

X-Rays

 

Are X-Rays Safe for Me and My Teeth?

The advantage of viewing your teeth in-depth to prevent the development of oral diseases outweighs the small dose of radiation from the x-ray. Actually, the amount of radiation from exposure to the x-ray is similar to the amount that you may experience from a day in the sun or opening your refrigerator. Additionally, may dentists today use digital x-rays that reduce the patient’s exposure to radiation. If you are concerned about exposure to radiation from dental x-rays please call our office at (972)-468-8692 to discuss your options.

 

X-rays can be a vital beginning to your treatment plan. The x-ray helps Dr. Cox and his team of experts identify potential problem areas in your mouth. With this information, they can determine the best way to proceed. For more information about x-rays or to schedule an exam, call Cox Family Dentistry at (972)-468-8692.

 

Difference between a Dental Filling and a Dental Sealant

Often our patients ask us how they can better care for their teeth. Of course, our number one recommendation is to floss once and brush twice a day for two minutes each. However, there are other preventative and restorative ways to maintain a healthy smile. At Cox Family Dentistry, we use dental fillings and dental sealants to protect and preserve your healthy teeth. These cavity-fighting cousins can be difficult to distinguish. Read below to find out the differences.

Dental Sealants are Preventative

Cavities form when the enamel on your tooth is broken down by acids in starches and sugars. To thwart this, Dr. Cox recommends that you use fluoride toothpaste, floss once a day, and drink plenty of water. This combination will keep the enamel clean and strong. However, natural cracks and ridges form in your teeth. It is difficult to reach these spaces with a toothbrush or floss. In this case, Dr. Cox usually recommends a protective measure, typically given to children, called sealants. A sealant fills in these naturally occurring crevices to reduce the possibility of cavity development.

Dental Fillings are Restorative

Although, if a cavity does develop, dental fillings are typically used to occupy the whole in your tooth. Once Dr. Cox removes the decayed part of the tooth, the area can be filled with a composite resin or metal which prevents future damage and strengthens your tooth. Unlike sealants, dental fillings can last decades with proper care while sealants can be removed by chewing gum, eating sticky food, or teeth grinding.

Choosing a between a dental filling and a dental sealant is more dependent on the state of your oral health than on personal preferences. If you have young children, ask Dr. Cox about applying a sealant to their teeth if [he/she] has not already. Additionally, remember that neither treatment options are a substitute for proper oral health habits such as flossing, brushing, and drinking plenty of water.

If you have more questions about dental fillings or sealants, please contact Cox Family Dentistry today. To schedule an appointment for a filling or sealant, go to our website or call 972-468-8692. We look forward to seeing you!

Four Little Known Amazing Results of Dental Veneers

Dental Veneers

If you want to enhance your smile, dental veneers offer stunning, visible results. Compared to other cosmetic treatments, this offers the most dramatic change to achieve your ideal smile. Here are a few reasons why dental veneers at Cox Family Dentistry in Plano, Texas offers beautiful results:

1. Cover What’s Visible

A dental crown is typically used to treat decay in a tooth and covers the entire tooth, while a dental veneer is used in cosmetic treatment and only covers the front-side of a healthy tooth. This allows you to maintain a healthy smile while putting your best tooth forward.

The number of dental veneers that Dr. Cox recommends partially depends on the width of your smile. If you have a wide smile, he may recommend placing veneers across your entire top and bottom teeth. Although, most people have between 6 – 8 veneers across the front teeth.

Disguise Imperfections with Dental Veneers

2. Disguise Imperfections

Beverages and foods such as coffee, wine, and brightly colored berries can stain your teeth. Achieve your ideal smile through straightening misaligned teeth and whitening stained teeth through dental veneers. Moreover, dental veneers can cover unwanted teeth conditions such as teeth that are:

  •             Crooked
  •             Crowded
  •             Gapped
  •             Chipped
  •             Worn
  •             Uneven
  •             Stained
  •             Misshaped

3. Love Dramatic Results

Attain an entirely new smile in a couple of appointments. Steps to receive dental veneers are as simple as a consultation, preparation, and receiving the final product. Truly, you will not believe your smile when Dr. Cox and his team introduce you to your dental veneers at Cox Family Dentistry in Plano, Texas!

Enhance the look of your smile with Dental Veneers

4. Design YOUR Smile

If you have always wanted a whiter, straighter, or a specific shape or color for your smile – the solution may be dental veneers. You and Dr. Cox will design your ideal smile and attain the specific characteristics that you desire.

5. Reshape your Facial Structure

Adding dental veneers to your teeth can sizably change your facial structure by widening your smile, highlighting your cheekbones, or improve the symmetry of your face. Check with Dr. Cox to identify your specific dental needs.

Are you ready to improve your smile and see the amazing results for yourself? Call Cox Family Dentistry at (972)-468-8692 to see if dental veneers are right for you.

4 Reasons to Consider Getting Dental Implants

Are getting dental implants really any better than tooth replacement options like dentures or bridges? Depending on your situation, they can be. Implants are unlike any other type of tooth replacement that’s available.

The one of a kind treatment can be a huge asset to both your smile and your health. Here are four reasons why:

Does Getting Dental Implants Rely on Other Teeth?

Conventional tooth replacements like bridges require that you drill down neighboring teeth to anchor a restoration over them. If your teeth are healthy, this can seem a bit extreme. Implants stand independently of other teeth, allowing you to maximize your oral health.

Do Dental Implants Last for Life

Studies indicate that there is a 98% success rate for dental implants, making them the most predictable treatment in all of modern dentistry. If you’re committed to caring for them and keeping them clean, you can expect most implants to last for an entire lifetime. All you’ll need to do is change out their restoration (such as a crown or denture) if it ever starts to wear out.

Replace as Many Teeth as You Need to?

Due to their integrity, you can replace all of your upper or lower teeth on as few as four implants. Or, use individual implants to replace one tooth at a time. Titanium implants are considered to be stronger than even the healthiest teeth when there’s proper bone support around them.

Are Getting Dental Implants a Painful Process

Most people feel a bit anxious when they’re learning about implants. The biggest fear tends to be related to the pain involved. You’ll be surprised to learn that most people feel that getting dental implants is far easier than having a tooth pulled!

Find out if you’re a candidate for dental implants by scheduling a consultation with us today.

4 Ways TMJD Impacts You

“Oh, I have TMJD, I can’t open my mouth very wide.”

Does this sound familiar? Your “TMJ” (temporomandibular joing) is a joint just like any other in the body…everyone has one, and it can become sore from time to time. When there’s an actual disorder associated with the joint, we usually refer to it as TMJD or TMD (temporomandibular disorder.)

Fortunately, there are a few ways you can limit the ways TMJD impacts you in your everyday life. It all boils down to identifying the causes behind it. Here are a few of the most common:

Crooked Teeth

Misaligned teeth don’t function efficiently. As a result, your jaw has to make atypical movements to bite and chew your food effectively. The strain can add up!

Stress

It’s fairly common for people to clench their teeth when stressed out from work, school, or just life. You could be doing it on your commute home or even during the night. The first sign to watch for is soreness right when you wake up, or headaches when you drive

Sleep Apnea

When your brain is struggling for oxygen due to a sleeping disorder, it can cause muscle tension through your jaws and teeth. Have your dentist check for excessive signs of wear, or consider getting a take-home sleep study.

Excessive Use

Do you find yourself chewing gum all day long, or forcing your way through firmer foods like steak? Back it off a bit. Put the gum away and stick to softer foods for a while to see if things improve.

If you don’t find your symptoms subsiding, be sure to see your dentist. He or she may recommend a splint to wear when you sleep, refer you to an orthodontist, or advise a specific type of medication for short-term relief. An x-ray and exam are one of the best places to start when it comes to seeing what’s going on inside of your TMJ. Schedule one today!

Why should I See My Dentist for Teeth Whitening?

With so many teeth whitening products on TV and at the supermarket, it can feel overwhelming when you’re trying to pick the right one. After all, they’re all created equal…right?

Not necessarily so. In fact, your dentist can usually guarantee far better results than anything that’s available over the counter.

Here’s why:

A Prescription Strength Gel

Just like any prescription would be, store-bought whitening gel is not going to be as concentrated or strong as one that’s available through your dentist’s office. Your dentist knows the precise needs of your teeth, and he or she can recommend a gel made from the appropriate ingredients and efficacy that will give you the assistance that you need.

Store-bought gels can whiten teeth, but not nearly as fast or by as many shades. They’re best for people with very minor staining or who want to prevent stain accumulation before it starts.

Optimal Contact with Your Teeth

One-size-fits-some doesn’t always work out when it comes to whitening your teeth. Strips or stock trays are not made to conform to your individual mouth. This can cause them to skip over certain areas and leave some surfaces untouched.

A custom whitening tray will fit snuggly against your teeth for optimal gel contact. Or, your dentist will treat your teeth right in the office. Both of these options a guarantee even results without patchy bleach patterns.

Identifying Other Factors at Play

It could be that the cause of your tooth discoloration isn’t something that’s fixed with whitening. You may actually have a damaged nerve, cavity, or internal staining that occurred during tooth development.

Your dentist knows the most effective way to address these situations and help you get the whitest smile in less time. Ask which option is best for your teeth!

Dental Veneers Offer Amazing Results

If you’ve been considering a smile makeover, dental veneers may be one of the very first things that you talk to your dentist about. Unlike other types of cosmetic treatment, veneers offer the most drastic approach to changing how your teeth look.

Here’s why: 

They Cover What’s Visible

Unlike a full coverage crown, veneers only cover the front-side of your tooth (not the entire thing.) This allows you to leave your healthy tooth intact, while still changing the way it looks when you talk or smile.

Depending on how wide your smile is, your dentist may recommend placing veneers across both top and bottom teeth, and as wide as what others see. Most people wind up having at least six veneers across the top teeth, but sometimes eight or more (especially if you smile like Julia Roberts.)

You Can Hide a Multitude of Sins

There’s no stain too dark or tooth too uneven when it comes to recreating what you want your smile to look like. Veneers are perfect for masking aesthetic irregularities such as teeth that are:

  • Crooked
  • Crowded
  • Gapped
  • Chipped
  • Worn
  • Uneven
  • Stained
  • Misshaped

The Results are Drastic

In just two or three appointments, you can have an entirely new smile. From the consultation to the preparation, and then the final delivery – once you look in the mirror, you won’t believe what you see.

Design it Yourself

What do you want your new smile to look like? Are you looking for teeth that look whiter, longer, or straighter? Do you have a preference of specific shape or color? Your dentist will help you pinpoint the exact characteristics that you’re striving for.

Are you ready to invest in improved self-confidence and the freedom to smile without embarrassment? Ask your dentist if veneers are right for you!