What is root canal therapy

Positive Man Gesturing Ok SignIf you have been to the dentist and they recommended root canal therapy, there is no reason to fear! While many think of a painful treatment when they hear the words “root canal,” this is not the case at all. Dr. Steven Holbrook is here to dispel the myth that causes fear in patients who may need root canal therapy.

What is root canal therapy?

Root canal therapy is an endodontic procedure that is performed by a dentist to save a tooth from extraction. The root canals are actually the canals within the teeth that go down to the root of the tooth, hence the name. Inside of the canals are a mass of tissues called the dental pulp. If a tooth has a large cavity, area of decay, or trauma that reaches the dental pulp and causes an infection, it needs to be removed. The dentist creates a small hold in the tooth to remove the dental pulp and then fill and seal it with special materials. Because the removal of the dental pulp can cause a tooth to become brittle and susceptible to damage, the dentist may also recommend the fabrication and placement of a dental crown over the top. The entire process is performed with the patient properly sedated and anesthetized to ensure comfort from start to finish!

Why might I need root canal therapy?

There a few situations that may arise in which a patient may be told that root canal therapy is necessary. These include:

  • An abscess on the tooth
  • An infection that has reached the dental pulp
  • A large cavity that has caused significant tooth damage
  • Injury or trauma to the tooth

What alternative treatments are available?

The only alternative solution for a tooth that could benefit from root canal therapy is extraction. This is avoided if at all possible, which is when root canal therapy may be attempted to save the tooth from removal and replacement.

Schedule a visit with Dr. Steven Holbrook today!

If you reside in the area of Albuquerque, NM and want to work with a professional who offers comprehensive dental care, including root canal therapy, connect with Dr. Steven Holbrook’s front office team to book an appointment. Call (505) 881-1159 to request a consultation visit at 8228 Louisiana Boulevard, NE Suite C.

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Why do dentists complete dental x-rays?

Dentist patient looking at a dental x-ray imageIf you’ve been to the dentist, you know that dental x-rays are a common tool used to evaluate the smile. Dental x-rays are specialized imaging tools that Dr. Steven E. Holbrook and his team in Albuquerque, NM may employ to evaluate a patient’s smile and plan for future procedures. Many patients have questions about dental x-rays and why they are necessary, which is why today we are talking about this indispensable diagnostic tool.

What is a dental x-ray?

A dental x-ray is best described as an image that allows a dentist to look beyond where the eye can see. Dental x-rays use radiation to create images of the teeth, bone, and gums. These images are great for ensuring a dentist has a clear picture of the patient’s oral health and wellness. In addition to using dental x-rays to diagnose certain conditions, they can also be taken to determine a patient’s candidacy for procedures such as dental implants or visualize and plan for an upcoming dental procedures.

Why are dental x-rays important?

Without dental x-rays, many conditions may go unnoticed, especially decay that might not be noticeable from a physical evaluation. Patients who change dentists may undergo new x-rays during their first appointment so the dentist can determine where previous procedures had been performed, including root canal therapy and dental fillings for cavities. These images allow for planning of later treatments and discussion of one’s current oral health situation.

Are dental x-rays safe?

While dental x-rays do utilize radiation to complete, the amount used in miniscule in comparison to what patients are exposed to during their day-to-day routines. However, we still have patients wear lead aprons for protection and only take x-rays when absolutely necessary.

How do I learn more about dental x-rays?

Whether you have perfect dental health or you are in need of dental work, dental x-rays may be necessary to monitor oral health and provide insight for the dental team on upcoming procedures. Albuquerque, NM patients can call Dr. Steven E. Holbrook and his team at (505) 881-1159 to request a consultation visit or discuss upcoming procedures. The office is located at 8228 Louisiana Boulevard, NE Suite C and accepts new patients and families.

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When might dental extractions be necessary?

Woman waiting for a dental examThe idea of removing a tooth might sound scary, but there are times when dental extraction is necessary. Dr. Steven E. Holbrook and his team in Albuquerque, NM are here to provide a wide range of solutions for patients, including simple and surgical dental extractions.

When might I consider dental extractions?

There are several reasons why a dentist might recommend the permanent extraction of a tooth:

  • Preparation for full dentures
  • Preparation for orthodontic treatment
  • Alleviating overcrowding in the smile
  • Removing a tooth with severe decay
  • Removing a tooth that has had failed endodontic therapy
  • Removing the third molars or wisdom teeth that might be impacted or problematic

What types of extraction can be performed?

The type of dental extraction performed on a patient will vary depending on whether or not the tooth has erupted through the gumline and is accessible to the dentist. Exposed teeth are easily removed during a single appointment with a simple extraction. This involves numbing the area and using specialized instruments to remove the tooth from the bone of the jaw. Patients who have impacted teeth, such as impacted wisdom teeth, may require surgical extraction which is more invasive. This often requires cutting into the gum tissues, stitches, and longer recovery. The type of extraction needed will be chosen by the dentist during the initial evaluation.

How long is recovery time after an extraction?

Simple extractions have less recovery time than surgical extractions. Simple extractions may require a few days of a softer diet and over-the-0coutner pain medications, while surgical extractions often require a week or two of a soft food diet and a follow-up appointment with the oral surgeon. Prior to patients having these procedures performed, they are advised as to what to expect before, during, and after their procedure.

How do I learn more about dental extractions?

Dr. Steven Holbrook and his team in Albuquerque, NM are here to help patients with simple and surgical dental extractions. Call the office at (505) 881-1159 to request a consultation visit with our team at 8228 Louisiana Boulevard, NE Suite C. We are open to new and returning patients in the community and beyond.

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Restore the smile with dental implants

Tooth loss may be more common than you might realize. In fact, studies show that up to 69% of adults, by the age of 45, have lost at least one permanent tooth. Fortunately, there are many different ways to address tooth loss with today’s amazing advances in the field of restorative dentistry. Dr. Steven E. Holbrook is a dentist in the Albuquerque, NM area who is pleased to offer one of the most popular ways to replace missing teeth: dental implants. 

How can I restore my smile with dental implants? 

Restoring the smile with dental implants is easy. In fact, patients in many different situations will find that the versatility of dental implants make them the simple choice when it comes to replacing missing teeth. Dental implants are titanium posts that are put into the jaw during oral surgery where a tooth once was. This stimulates the bone growth process known as osseointegration, fusing the implant to the jaw to function as a natural tooth root once did. Dental implants are a permanent solution to tooth loss, not a temporary one in the same way partial dentures and dental bridges work. 

Who is a candidate for dental implants? 

Not everyone is well-suited for dental implants. Dental implants do require patients to have a healthy smile free from infection, disease, and cavities. They also require patients to have enough bone to place the implant successfully. This is determined with dental x-rays, during which Dr. Steven E. Holbrook can evaluate the health of the jaw to decide if the bone available will be responsive to the placement of the implant. Without osseointegration, the dental implant placement can fail and alternative options might need to be considered. 

How do I find out if I am a good fit for dental implants? 

If you would like to restore your smile with dental implants and live in or around the Albuquerque, NM area, we welcome you to call (505) 881-1159 to schedule an appointment with our team. We are open to new and existing patients, and provide a wide range of tooth replacement options for patients to consider at our state-of-the-art facility at 8228 Louisiana Boulevard NE, Suite C.

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You get what you pay for with teeth whitening treatments

If you are one of thousands of people in America who want a whiter smile, you might consider the teeth whitening products at the local drugstore. You may be tempted not only for the ease of obtaining these products, but because of their affordable prices. But don’t be fooled—when it comes to teeth whitening services, you truly do “get what you pay for.”   

When to choose professional-grade products 

While over-the-counter whitening products do work, the results are far less noticeable than professional-strength whitening products and services. This is because in order to sell these products, they need to be safe to use at home without the guidance of a medical professional. Essentially, this means that they cannot have a high concentration of bleaching agents that can cause patients who use them improperly to experience sensitivity or burning of the gum tissues. Professional-grade whitening products, however, are monitored for use by a medical professional and can be given at a higher concentration of active ingredients, especially for in-office power bleaching which is administered and monitored from start to finish by a dental professional. With our take-home whitening kits, patients are educated on how to use them properly to achieve results while reducing the risk of problems. 

Why choose professional-grade products? 

While many of the professional whitening options are initially more expensive than the over-the-counter choices, this doesn’t mean they are a waste of money. In fact, the cost of these treatments is extremely affordable when compared to how many over-the-counter products would be needed to achieve the same results. Our in-office power bleaching provides same-day whitening of up to eight shades whiter—which is untouchable compared to the products available at the local drugstores. 

Find out how brilliant and beautiful your smile can be! 

Patients of the Albuquerque, NM area who are interested in comprehensive dental care and cosmetic solutions for the appearance of their smile as well are strongly encouraged to book a consultation visit with Dr. Steven E. Holbrook to find out if they are a good candidate for professional-strength teeth whitening solutions. Call (505) 881-1159 today and get started learning more about the ways to enhance your smile while maintaining great oral health and wellness!

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How our team can enhance your smile

Portrait of a young office worker standing in an officehttp://195.154.178.81/DATA/i_collage/pu/shoots/805874.jpgCaring for your smile with brushing, flossing, and routine visits to the dentist is a great way to prevent certain problems such as tooth loss, disease, and cavities. Unfortunately, even brushing and flossing alone cannot change the appearance of your teeth in many situations. This is why patients in the Albuquerque, NM area will often approach Dr. Steven Holbrook about cosmetic treatments. Cosmetic treatments are treatments that are designed to help patients enhance their smile or change its appearance, and can work for patients with gaps, misalignment, chips, cracks, and permanent staining. 

What cosmetic treatments are available for smile enhancement? 

We encourage patients to speak to our team if they are interested in learning about ways to address imperfections in the smile.

Below are just a few of the more common cosmetic services available at our practice for patients to consider: 

  • Porcelain veneers – veneers are facings that are bonded onto the front of a tooth to cover imperfections
  • Porcelain crowns – porcelain crowns are “caps” made to cover a tooth and offer an extra layer of strength and protection
  • Professional teeth whitening – staining on the teeth can often be lifted with the use of professional-grade teeth bleaching services
  • Composite fillings – made of composite resin, tooth-colored composite fillings are often used to address cavities in the smile in an aesthetic manner
  • Porcelain fixed bridge – missing teeth can be restored with the use of a porcelain bridge, which replaces one or more teeth in a row
  • Dentures – full and partial dentures are also used to replace missing teeth
  • Dental implants – implants are the gold standard in tooth replacement and allows for permanent improvement
  • Invisalign – with clear aligner trays, patients can realign their smile to address mild to moderate malocclusion and bite alignment problems

Ready for a change?

If you are considering how cosmetic dentistry can enhance your smile’s appearance, we encourage you to book a visit with our team in Albuquerque, NM. Dr. Steven Holbrook has over 30 years of experience in providing quality care to individuals in and around the community. Call (505) 881-1159 to request an appointment at 8228 Louisiana Boulevard NE, Suite C.

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Tips and tricks for patients using Invisalign

Beautiful smiling Turkish woman is holding an invisalign bracerStraightening your teeth with clear aligner therapies such as Invisalign can be a great way to obtain a perfect smile without having to wear and deal with metal brackets and wire braces. Our Albuquerque, NM area dentists offer Invisalign as a leading-edge orthodontic treatment alternative to conventional orthodontia. Along with this treatment, Dr. Steven Holbrook provides certain tips and recommendations to those who are undergoing treatment with this method. 

  • Be aware of lipstick. Dark colors of lipstick worn while you wear your aligners can stain your Invisalign trays, so it’s essential that you choose a matte lipstick less likely to smudge and smear, and stick with colors that are too bright or too dark in case staining occurs.
  • Switch trays at night. The first day of using the next tray in the series can sometimes result in discomfort. This is because the new aligners are applying pressure on the teeth to help move them. Patients are advised to switch trays at night which allows them to sleep off the discomfort.
  • Watch what you eat. Because Invisalign aligners can be removed for eating and drinking, there are not a whole lot of dietary limitations. However, when you do eat or drink, be sure to rinse your mouth with water or brush your teeth to avoid staining or damaging your Invisalign aligners.
  • Use the storage case. You need to wear your aligners for about 20 hours a day, even when sleeping, but storage containers should always be used when removing aligners to brush and floss.
  • Maintain oral hygiene. Always brush and floss before putting your aligners back over your teeth. Keep an oral hygiene kit in cosmetic bags to make sure you can do this on the go!

Call Dr. Steven Holbrook today 

Albuquerque, NM patients who are in need of oral health and wellness solutions are welcome to book a consultation visit with our team to determine if they are good candidates for Invisalign. Whether you’re contemplating this treatment or are already started, learning these tips and tricks can help pave the road for a positive experience. Call the office at (505) 881-1159 to request a visit with our team at 8228 Louisiana Boulevard NE, Suite C.

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Caring for your teeth the right way

Your teeth are meant to last a lifetime, but only if you put in the time and effort to protect them from damage and take care of them. Cavities, periodontal disease, and other conditions can cause harm to the smile, but with proper care, many patients can keep these problems from becoming a serious issue.

If you are interested in learning about ways to care for the smile, Dr. Steven E. Holbrook of Albuquerque, NM can help by educating patients on ways to care for the smile—the right way! 

  • Brushing – brushing is the best way to remove food particles that may develop into plaque, acid, and cavities. Patients need to use a soft-bristled toothbrush and hold it at an angle of 45 degrees. This allows the brush to cover the teeth and gumline. Using a gentle up-and-down, left-to-right motion, brush the teeth with a fluoride toothpaste after every meal. Don’t forget the roof of your mouth and your tongue!
  • Flossing – food particles can become trapped between the teeth, especially in patients who have misalignment of the dental arch. Flossing should be done at least once a day. Floss should be guided between the teeth and used in a C-motion around each tooth to ensure a thorough job.
  • Lifestyle habits – in addition to brushing and flossing, patients need to make note of their lifestyle habits and their effect on their smiles. This includes the consumption of alcohol and high sugar foods, or the use of tobacco products, either chewing tobacco or cigarette smoking. These can impact one’s smile and leave them at a much higher risk of developing periodontal disease or tooth decay. Tobacco use is also highly corelated with the risk of oral cancers.
  • Routine dental visits – visiting the dentist every six months for a cleaning and evaluation is also an integral part of good oral health habits and preventative care.

Educate yourself on taking care of the smile 

There’s a lot to learn from Dr. Steven E. Holbrook and his dental team. If you reside in Albuquerque, NM or any of the surrounding communities and want to speak to our providers about your oral healthcare needs, book a consultation visit by calling (505) 881-1159 and request an appointment at 8228 Louisiana Boulevard, NE Suite C.     

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Causes and treatment of periodontal disease

Tooth Pain. Woman Feeling Tooth Pain. Closeup Of Beautiful Sad Girl Suffering From Strong Tooth Pain. Attractive Female Feeling Painful Toothache. Dental Health And Care Concept.The human body is an intricate system. What happens in one part of the body can be detrimental to another. This is especially true when it comes to conditions such as periodontal disease. Periodontal disease, or “gum disease,” is an infection that can develop within the smile, but can cause a number of other medical problems. In fact, due to the oral systemic connection, the infection that is present in the smile during the progression of periodontal disease can be carried through the bloodstream and to other parts of the body. Because of this, patients with periodontal disease are often at a higher risk for a number of other problems such as diabetes, heart disease, heart attacks, and strokes. 

What causes periodontal disease? 

The condition is caused by the formation of bacteria in the mouth that causes an infection. The infection begins in the gums, which is why this condition is sometimes referred to simply as “gum disease.” Then, without diagnosis and treatment, the infection spreads and can cause bad breath, shrinking gum tissue, shifting teeth, and even the loss of permanent teeth as the jawbone shrinks. Without treatment, patients will experience severe damage to the smile. 

What increases the risk of periodontal disease? 

Just as periodontal disease may contribute to certain conditions, these conditions may also put patients at a higher risk of developing periodontal disease. Additionally, patients who smoke, drink, or have hormonal changes may also experience periodontal disease due to heightened risk.

 

How is periodontal disease treated? 

With a proper diagnosis, patients can discuss with their dentist the treatment of the condition. While it cannot be cured, it can be controlled with improved oral health and wellness habits. This may include the application or consumption of antibiotics to control the infection. Other procedures, such as scaling and root planing, can help bring the smile back to health as well. 

Concerned that you may be impacted by periodontal disease? 

Seeking a definitive diagnosis and learning about treatment options is vital in the earliest stages. We welcome patients in the area of Albuquerque, NM to book an appointment with Dr. Steven Holbrook and his team to discuss their needs. The office is located at 8228 Louisiana Boulevard, NE Suite C and accepts new patients who call (505) 881-1159 to schedule an evaluation.   

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What’s good for the smile is good for the body

Your smile is linked to more than just your appearance. It is also one area of the body that, if not taken care of, can cause a host of problems throughout the body. Many patients are not aware of the oral systemic connection and how what they do for their smile impacts the whole body. 

What is the oral systemic connection? 

Periodontal disease is an infection that develops in the smile. However, the bacteria in the mouth can enter into the bloodstream and be carried to other areas of the body. This can result in problems such as inflammation that can increase a patient’s risk for strokes, heart disease, and other medical conditions. With proper oral health and hygiene habits, many patients can improve the health of their smiles—and their bodies! 

What are some ways to keep the smile and body healthy? 

Below are recommendations from our team regarding the health and wellness of your teeth and body! 

  • Brush at least twice a day and floss at least once to keep the smile healthy
  • Use an electric toothbrush which can be more effective at removing plaque and tartar
  • Change your toothbrush regularly, especially if bristles are frayed or if you have recently been sick
  • Use a toothpaste that has fluoride and is approved by the ADA (American Dental Association)
  • Visit the dentist regularly to monitor oral health
  • Avoid or reduce consumption of foods that are high in sugar and acid content
  • Treat problems as soon as they occur to keep them from becoming even more problematic in the future
  • Listen to your dentist’s advice regarding oral healthcare habits and routines
  • Visit the dentist as soon as problems arise—don’t wait until your next scheduled visit

Schedule a visit with Dr. Steven E. Holbrook to learn more about oral health and full-body wellness 

If you reside in the Albuquerque, NM community and want to speak with our team about good oral health habits, call (505) 881-1159 to request an appointment today. We are located at 8228 Louisiana Boulevard NE, Suite C and accept new patients and families. With general, cosmetic, and restorative dentistry, Dr. Steven E. Holbrook can help keep your smile—and body—healthy for life!

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