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Posts for: August, 2017


You’ve recently learned one of your teeth needs a root canal treatment. It’s absolutely necessary: for example, if you have decay present, it will continue to go deeper within the tooth and it will spread to the roots and bone and could ultimately cause you to lose your tooth. Although you’re a little nervous, we can assure you that if we’ve recommended a root canal treatment, it’s the right step to take for your dental health.

There’s nothing mysterious — or ominous — about a root canal. To help ease any fears you may have, here’s a step-by-step description of the procedure.

Step 1: Preparing your mouth and tooth. We first take care of one of the biggest misconceptions about root canals: that they’re painful. We completely numb the tooth and surrounding tissues with local anesthesia to ensure you will be comfortable during the procedure. We isolate the affected tooth with a thin sheet of rubber or vinyl called a rubber dam to create a sterile environment while we work on the tooth. We then access the inside of the tooth — the pulp and root canals — by drilling a small hole through the biting surface if it’s a back tooth or through the rear surface if it’s in the front.

Step 2: Cleaning, shaping and filling the tooth. Once we’ve gained access we’ll clear out all of the dead or dying tissue from the pulp and root canals, and then cleanse the empty chamber and canals thoroughly with antiseptic and antibacterial solutions. Once we’ve cleaned everything out, we’ll shape the walls of the tiny root canals to better accommodate a filling material called gutta-percha, which we then use to fill the canals and pulp chamber.

Step 3: Sealing the tooth from re-infection. Once we complete the filling, we’ll seal the access hole and temporarily close the tooth with another filling. Later, we’ll install a permanent crown that will give the tooth extra protection against another infection, as well as restore the tooth’s appearance.

You may experience some mild discomfort for a few days after a root canal, which is usually manageable with aspirin or ibuprofen. In a week or so, you’ll hardly notice anything — and the tooth-threatening decay and any toothache it may have caused will be a distant memory.

If you would like more information on root canal treatments, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “A Step-by-Step Guide to Root Canal Treatment.”

August 02, 2017
Category: Dental Procedures

How a teeth whitening treatment from your Mount Kisco dentist can enhance your smileteeth whitening

You love your coffee in the morning, but you don’t love what it does to your teeth. You’ve noticed dark brown stains on your teeth that weren’t there before. The truth is it isn’t just coffee that can stain teeth. Drinking red wine or eating highly-pigmented foods like berries can stain your teeth too, and let’s not forget about how tobacco use can darken your teeth.

Now, thanks to professional teeth whitening treatments, you can say goodbye to your dental stains. Dr. Carl Tegtmeier in Mount Kisco, NY wants to help you discover what a professional teeth whitening treatment can do for your smile.

If you have a stained smile, you could choose a generic whitening product and purchase it in the grocery store. The bad news is over-the-counter whitening products often don't provide dramatic results and the abrasive chemicals can actually harm your teeth. Not only do you not have a whiter smile, but you may have tooth sensitivity too!

Choosing a professional teeth whitening treatment is a much better option because you will experience:

  • Dramatic results, up to 4 shades whiter
  • Quick results, treatment takes about an hour
  • Long-lasting results, which can last up to 5 years

Professional teeth whitening treatments are also much less expensive than other cosmetic dental treatments. Dr. Tegtmeier offers these teeth whitening treatment options:

In-office whitening, which takes about an hour; professional strength whitening gel is applied to your teeth and accelerated using a high-tech ultraviolet light. This is a great option for people on-the-go, or if you need a whiter smile for a special event.

Take-home whitening kits, which allow you to whiten your teeth when you want, in the privacy of your home; the kit contains custom-made whitening trays and whitening gel.

Isn’t it time you said goodbye to your dental stains? Now you can, thanks to professional teeth whitening. Take a step toward a brighter, whiter smile and call Dr. Carl Tegtmeier in Mount Kisco, NY today!

By Carl H. Tegtmeier, DMD
August 02, 2017
Category: Oral Health

Are bleeding gums something you should be concerned about? Dear Doctor magazine recently posed that question to Dr. Travis Stork, an emergency room physician and host of the syndicated TV show The Doctors. He answered with two questions of his own: “If you started bleeding from your eyeball, would you seek medical attention?” Needless to say, most everyone would. “So,” he asked, “why is it that when we bleed all the time when we floss that we think it’s no big deal?” As it turns out, that’s an excellent question — and one that’s often misunderstood.

First of all, let’s clarify what we mean by “bleeding all the time.” As many as 90 percent of people occasionally experience bleeding gums when they clean their teeth — particularly if they don’t do it often, or are just starting a flossing routine. But if your gums bleed regularly when you brush or floss, it almost certainly means there’s a problem. Many think bleeding gums is a sign they are brushing too hard; this is possible, but unlikely. It’s much more probable that irritated and bleeding gums are a sign of periodontal (gum) disease.

How common is this malady? According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, nearly half of all  Americans over age 30 have mild, moderate or severe gum disease — and that number increases to 70.1 percent for those over 65! Periodontal disease can occur when a bacteria-rich biofilm in the mouth (also called plaque) is allowed to build up on tooth and gum surfaces. Plaque causes the gums to become inflamed, as the immune system responds to the bacteria. Eventually, this can cause gum tissue to pull away from the teeth, forming bacteria-filled “pockets” under the gum surface. If left untreated, it can lead to more serious infection, and even tooth loss.

What should you do if your gums bleed regularly when brushing or flossing? The first step is to come in for a thorough examination. In combination with a regular oral exam (and possibly x-rays or other diagnostic tests), a simple (and painless) instrument called a periodontal probe can be used to determine how far any periodontal disease may have progressed. Armed with this information, we can determine the most effective way to fight the battle against gum disease.

Above all, don’t wait too long to come in for an exam! As Dr. Stork notes, bleeding gums are “a sign that things aren’t quite right.”  If you would like more information about bleeding gums, please contact us or schedule an appointment. You can read more in the Dear Doctor magazine article “Bleeding Gums.” You can read the entire interview with Dr. Travis Stork in Dear Doctor magazine.