Posts Tagged ‘restorative dentistry’

Root Canal Therapy: Pain in Your Mouth Shouldn’t Be Avoided | Dumas Dentist

Saturday, January 28th, 2017

jaw pain-tmjAccidents can happen every day, and sometimes those accidents happen in our mouths. Your poor dental hygiene can lead to cavity development, and if left untreated, can progress into a much deeper issue. A physical accident can lead to cracked or chipped teeth. Again, if you don’t have it looked at, it can progress into something worse, and likely accompanied by a lot of discomfort or pain. In order to avoid this ailment, keeping routine dental visits is important to keeping up with your dental health.

Pain and pressure associated with a root canal only occurs when the root canal becomes infected and dies. A root canal in your tooth can become infected due to a cavity or fracture that allows in bacteria. Pain and pressure are the first signs that you will need one of the most common restorations, root canal therapy. Without treatment, the infection spreads and could lead to tooth loss. When it gets to that point, you are likely to visit your dental professional to fix it. And chances are, this will result in the need of a root canal.

What is root canal therapy? Root canal therapy is the process by which the infected tooth is cleaned and diseased tissue is removed, and the canal is reshaped and filled. A root canal is a relatively simple procedure with little or no discomfort involving one to three visits. Best of all, it can save your tooth and your smile!

For further information on your oral health, contact Dumas Family Dentistry at 806-935-2725 to schedule an appointment today. Or visit for additional information.

Dumas Family Dentistry proudly serves Dumas, TX and all surrounding areas.

I Need a Filling. What Are My Options? | Dumas Dentist

Wednesday, November 30th, 2016

494183909It’s unfortunate, but it happens to the best of us. Even the strictest of dental routines cannot always prevent cavities from developing. And now you have found yourself back in the dentist’s chair, waiting to get the cavity filled. Are you curious about what types of dental filling options you have, and what types there are? Lots of people can get confused by what sort of dental filling options they have. Worry not. Thankfully, Daniel West, DDS of Dumas Family Dentistry is extremely experienced and can help you along this process by offering a great deal of options for your procedure.

Your dental options vary depending on your health, where and how the filling is placed, the amount of pressure the tooth will have to endure while chewing and the type of materials that should be used for your individual needs. These days, there are three main versions of fillings available: amalgam, composite, and ionomers. But what are the differences between each? Is one better than the other?

Amalgam filling are extremely durable, relativity inexpensive compared to the alternatives and can be done in one dentist visit. This type of filling can sustain a heavy chewing load and are usually used in the restoration of your molars. One of the disadvantages of amalgam filling are that they won’t match your natural tooth due to the materials having a silver tone and more of your natural tooth is removed to accommodate the filling.

Composite fillings consist of fine glass particles or quartz and resin, the mix of these materials produce a more natural tooth colored filling and usually people can’t even tell it’s been filled! With composite fillings, less of your tooth is removed and more of the natural structure of the tooth is preserved, providing great resistance against fractures and extreme durability. Unfortunately, composite fillings can chip off the tooth, discolor and stain over time, are a bit more expensive depending on the size of the filling and technique used and the procedure is generally longer compared to using amalgam.

Ionomers are the least durable filling and are made out of a mixture of fine glass powders and acrylic acids. This type of filling is commonly used to fill cavities on the root of teeth or in small areas that don’t require any chewing resistance.

Cavities are natural and shouldn’t be anything to be ashamed of. But taking care of the cavity as soon as possible will help prevent any further damage to your oral health.

If you feel you need to have a cavityfilled, contact Dumas Family Dentistry at 806-935-2725 to schedule an appointment today. Or visit for additional information.

Dumas Family Dentistry proudly serves Dumas, TX and all surrounding areas.

What Is a Dental Crown? | Dumas Dentist

Wednesday, August 31st, 2016

crownsHaving a dental issue is nothing unusual. There are plenty of reasons your tooth can get chipped, cracked or damaged. life is full of all kinds of accidents that can damage our teeth. So it’s comforting to know that there is a fix when something happens. First thing’s first – get to a dentist stat. The sooner you get into a chair, the better off your tooth will be. Chances are, your dentist is going to suggest applying a crown to the damaged tooth.

A dental crown is a tooth-shaped cap basically that is placed over a tooth to restore its shape and size, strength, and improve its appearance. Dental crowns are actually very beneficial. Dental crowns, while typically used for cosmetic reasons may be beneficial in aiding a number of oral care areas for adults such as:

  • Protect a weak tooth (for instance, from decay) from breaking or to hold together parts of a cracked tooth
  • Restore an already broken tooth or a tooth that has been severely worn down
  • Cover and support a tooth with a large filling when there isn’t a lot of tooth left
  • Hold a dental bridge in place
  • Cover misshaped or severely discolored teeth
  • Cover a dental implant

For children, a dental crown may benefit them in these ways:

  • Save a tooth that has been so damaged by decay that it can’t support a filling.
  • Protect the teeth of a child at high risk for tooth decay, especially when a child has difficulty keeping up with daily oral hygiene.
  • Decrease the frequency of sedation and general anesthesia

Dental crowns can drastically improve your smile and oral health, and may be necessary for your child’s as well. Dental crowns are fit to you personally and are customized to ensure they are as authentic as possible, as well as require as few as two dental visits!

What if I need more than one crown?

A dental bridge is made up of two crowns for the teeth on either side of the gap; these two anchoring teeth are called abutment teeth, with false tooth/teeth in between. Like dental crowns, these provide more than just the cosmetic benefits to your overall oral care. Similarly, dental bridges are custom fit and colored to provide a cohesive look to provide natural look.

If you feel you may need dental crowns, contact Dumas Family Dentistry at 806-935-2725 to schedule an appointment today. Or visit for additional information.

Dumas Family Dentistry proudly serves Dumas, TX and all surrounding areas.

I Need Dental Implants! What to Expect

Friday, July 1st, 2016

dental implantYou never thought it could happen, but your dentist tells you that you need dental implants. What exactly does that entail? A dental implant is an artificial tooth root similar to a screw that is placed in your jaw to hold a replacement tooth or bridge. Like a prosthetic for your smile. It will take a few procedures but once it’s done, it’ll be like you never had a missing tooth.

But what now? You have a basic grasp of daily oral care, but implants can’t possibly be the same to maintain as normal teeth, right? Does this mean you will need to retrain yourself a new dental care routine in order to look after them? Not exactly, but you will definitely have some things to alter a bit. The following are just a few things to keep in mind as you are going forward with your brand new teeth.

Once you have your implants in place, you will have a tooth/teeth that will look just like the others. You will be able to eat normally, speak without issue and no one will be able to tell so you can smile just as you did before losing the tooth. While implants are designed to withstand quite a bit, but just because they aren’t your originals, it doesn’t mean you can go neglecting them. They may not be able to get cavities like your originals, but they can go bad on you like the real versions. You can get inflamed gums and infections, or periodontal disease, just like before. So consider them exactly like your real teeth when you are looking after them. Dental implants are generally meant to last for decades to come, but they are still breakable. Handle them with care. Make sure you are careful when you are cleaning or caring for them.

Your “new teeth” will require periodic checking by your dentist to ensure that everything is working properly and the surrounding gums and bone are being maintained and remain healthy. They will also require x-rays periodically to evaluate the level of bone around your implants. If gum disease is taking place, your gums will recede, showing your implants and making them weaker and prone to breaking. Dental restorations attached to your implants will also require periodic checking by your dentist to verify that they are secure and functioning properly.

If you feel you may need dental implants, contact Dumas Family Dentistry at 806-935-2725 to schedule an appointment today. Or visit for additional information.

What Is a Root Canal Treatment?

Wednesday, May 11th, 2016

dental treatment

Have you recently been told that you need a root canal? If so, you’re not alone. There are millions of people that have had to have root canal treatment. While you may feel apprehensive about getting the procedure done due to all the stories floating around, I assure you they aren’t as bad as you may think.

As I mentioned there are many stories floating around about root canals, one being that they are painful. Though the truth is that root canals themselves are actually quite painless. However the same cannot be said about an infected tooth, which is probably what lead you to believe root canals were.

Root canal treatments are done to repair and save a damaged or infected tooth. The treatment involves your dentist or endodontist removing the damaged tooth pulp, cleaning out the infection, and then filling and sealing the tooth. Below includes a list of what you can expect during a root canal treatment:

  • X-rays- If your dentist seems to think that you may need a root canal, he will first take X-rays to confirm and to show where the decay is located.
  • Anesthesia- Before the actual root canal treatment begins your dentist or endodontist will administer local anesthesia to the affected tooth. Despite popular belief, root canals are no more painful than dental fillings.
  • Pulpectomy- After your tooth has been numbed an opening is created and the damaged tooth pulp is removed from both the crown and root.
  • Filling- Once the pulpectomy is done, the roots that have been opened are filled with a rubber-like material and sealed with dental cement.

Root canal treatments are known to have high success rates and can last a lifetime. However, if you aren’t practicing proper oral hygiene it can lead to further dental problems. So be sure to practice proper oral hygiene to ensure the success of your root canal treatment. The following list includes a few ways to take care of your teeth after a root canal:

  • Practice Good Oral Hygiene- Be sure to brush twice a day, for two minutes each time and to floss at least once a day. You can also use mouthwash to remove any loose bacteria and plaque. Practicing proper oral hygiene can help prevent against further dental problems.
  • Visit Your Dentist- It’s been recommend that you see your dentist every six months for checkups and professional cleanings. Make it a priority to visit your dentist regularly.
  • Avoid Chewing on Hard Items- As most people know, chewing on hard food or items such as ice or pencils can damage teeth, as well as harm root canals.

Now that you’ve been properly informed about root canal treatments, you should hopefully feel less hesitant and more relaxed about having the procedure done if you ever have to. Though, let’s hope you’re practicing proper oral hygiene, as to avoid dealing with such dental problems.

If you’re experiencing tooth pain, contact Dumas Family Dentistry at 806-935-2725 to schedule an appointment today. Or visit for additional information regarding root canals.

Tooth Decay

Thursday, October 29th, 2015

459953231One of the most common problems for patients of all ages is tooth decay – bacterial colonies that eat away at a patient’s teeth, forming cavities that can eventually cause pain, infection, and tooth loss. While many patients know that tooth decay should be avoided, it can be helpful to explain tooth decay in simple terms, so that patients both know how to avoid tooth decay, and how it will be treated.

Feeding bacteria causes the physical action of tooth decay. These bacterial colonies create which break down the tooth material. The primary way to minimize tooth decay is to minimize the bacteria that can come in contact with teeth – by removing the bacteria, a patient can minimize the acids that break down teeth, virtually eliminating the risk of tooth decay.

The primary method of removing bacteria is removing food particles from the teeth and gums through brushing and flossing. Brushing and flossing both removes food, which bacteria need to survive, and removes the bacteria on the surface of the teeth themselves. The bacteria will typically be present in a sticky, bacteria-rich substance known as plaque. Proper brushing and flossing can remove plaque from the surface of the teeth and the gum-line, but failure to do so regularly can allow plaque to harden into tartar, which is far more difficult to remove. As plaque hardens into tartar, the harder surface protects the bacteria, allowing it to damage teeth without being brushed or flossed away.

In addition to brushing and flossing, patients should have regular dental visits – every 6 months or so – and use fluoride mouthwash. The professional cleaning will help break down the hardened tartar deposits, and fluoride helps resist acid created by plaque.

As mentioned previously, failure to take proper care of your teeth will lead to decay – once diagnosed, a dentist will treat decay by removing the damaged tooth material with a high-speed drill. Once the decaying material is removed, the hole created will be re-filled with either a composite resin (tooth colored), or a metal amalgam filling (typically silver in color) – while they’re very different, they both serve the same purpose of filling the hole caused by decay, and protecting the tooth from further damage.

To prevent decay, cavities, drilling, and fillings, be sure to follow your dentist’s recommended oral hygiene routine – brush and floss daily, and have a professional cleaning every 6 months.

To learn more about oral health call Dumas Family Dentistry at , 806-935-2725 or visit our website at or come in to discuss in detail what treatment options are right for you.

Dealing with Stained Teeth

Sunday, September 20th, 2015

176997237While many dentists will focus on plaque, tartar, and cavities, the real reason many patients visit the dentist is cosmetic – they want a pretty smile, and that’s great. Many dentists have techniques and treatments to help perfect a patient’s smile, and many times those include professional whitening. However, it’s important to understand that whitening is effective, but may not be necessary if the patient properly cares for their teeth and avoids activities that cause stains.

One of the major causes of stains is a dark colored beverage, such as coffee, tea, and wine. The surface of your teeth is made up of enamel, a hard material, but not a perfectly flat or smooth material. While enamel is great at protecting your teeth from breaking, the small pits, cracks, and ridges allow dark colored particles to collect. Over time, those particles will become more and more visible, leading to a darkening of the patient’s smile.

While avoiding coffee, soda, tea, and wine may be an option for some patients, it’s a less popular choice for others. For patients that are unwilling to sacrifice dark beverages, consider drinking these beverages at a specific time each day rather than sipping throughout the day. Follow this with a glass of water to rinse remaining particles from the mouth. Consider brushing your teeth 30-60 minutes later – giving your enamel a chance to re-harden after the acidic beverage, but still removing the particles before they can permanently stain your teeth. By doing this, you can continue to drink coffee, tea, soda, or wine with a lower chance of developing significant staining.

One of the other common causes of stained teeth is smoking. Smoking is damaging to many parts of the body, and teeth and gums are no exception. Much like particles from coffee can sit in the pores of your enamel, tar will find its way into the pores of your teeth, causing a similar stain.

For both beverage-related and smoking-related staining, the best way to avoid the problem is by stopping the staining activity – avoid coffee, wine, soda, and smoking, if at all possible. If that’s not an option, try to limit your activity to fewer times each day, rinsing your mouth with water after each occurrence, and consider consulting your dentist for professional whitening as the stains develop.

To learn more about oral health call Dumas Family Dentistry at , 806-935-2725 or visit our website at or come in to discuss in detail what treatment options are right for you.

Dental Veneers for a Beautiful Smile!

Saturday, June 27th, 2015

close up smile red lipstickDental veneers are a commonly proposed solution to a wide range of problems. The basic concept is simple: the outer layer of the tooth is removed, and a new, hard, shiny shell is installed in its place.

The basic description sounds simple, but the flexibility provided by this basic procedure makes it a viable option for a number of potential problems. When teeth are discolored (due to root canal treatments, various drugs, or even large fillings), a veneer can provide a bright white surface. When teeth are worn down, cracked, or chipped, veneers can provide a strong, intact surface to repair the patient’s bite and smile. When teeth are misaligned or unusually shaped, veneers can provide a strong, well-shaped surface to match the other teeth in the patient’s mouth.  When gaps exist between two teeth, veneers can be used to narrow the gap and provide a more natural looking smile.

Veneers typically utilize porcelain, which is well tolerated by gum tissue, and provides a strong, natural looking surface that matches nearby teeth. However, patients considering veneers should consult their dentist to discuss the possible downsides, such as the fact that they are non-reversible, difficult to repair, and may not be a good choice for patients who have existing dental problems (such as decaying teeth, as the veneer will not solve the problem of decay, and may complicate fillings in the future).

There are often options to veneers – such as bonding and crowns – and insurance coverage varies by cause (often times veneers are considered cosmetic, but some cases may be covered). Talk to your dentist to discuss whether veneers are right for you.

To learn more about dental veneers call Dumas Family Dentistry at , 806-935-2725 or visit our website at or come in to discuss in detail what treatment options are right for you.

Are Dental Implants for You?

Friday, May 8th, 2015

176997237Have you ever considered replacing missing or broken teeth with a dental implant? We often find that patients have a broad understanding of a prosthetic solution but are unaware of the major benefits surrounding the details.

If you have been thinking about how to best address your tooth loss for long-term satisfaction and a strong, healthy smile, we encourage you to consider some very compelling reasons to choose implants.

Jawbone Health:

A lost tooth should be considered a top priority. The longer the gap remains, the more damage it can wreak on your jawbone and your remaining teeth. Even if you replace your lost teeth with a dental bridge or dentures, the sockets in your jawbone that held your teeth’s roots will remain empty. However, implants are inserted into your jawbone, and will restore the support that conventional replacement teeth lack.

Implant Posts can Last for Life: The post of an implant, which rests inside of your jawbone, can last for life with proper care and maintenance. While your dental crown or denture may need replacement after several years of use, the replacement process is significantly simpler. Your jawbone will not have changed shape as dramatically as it does without implants, so measuring for the new appliance will not be as challenging. Since the posts remain, we can simply attach the new prosthesis to your implants once it is crafted.

Adios cavities!

Yes! The days of cavities are long gone with dental implants! While you still need to take care of your dental implants, gums and mouth – you will be physically unable to get a cavity.

Dental Implants are Safe:

Dental implants are a very safe procedure that has been being practiced for more than 30 years. Dental implants are made of titanium and biocompatible material that is accepted by the body. ‘The success rates of dental implants vary, depending on where in the jaw the implants are placed but, in general, dental implants have a success rate of up to 98%.’

Money Saver:

Since dental implants are designed to be a longterm solution, you won’t have to worry about constantly replacing crowns, bridges and dentures. These temporary options add up in price over the years in numerous visits to the dentist and so on, and not to mention, lots of frustration(Source: WebMD).


Restoring your mouth to its natural state is a major confidence boost! Also being able to eat what you want, when you want, where you want. Being able to smile shamelessly. Being pain-free and worry free. Dental implants look and feel like real teeth, you no longer have anything to be ashamed of. You can laugh and smile and feel good about how you look!

Invest in your future by maintaining a beautiful  smile. You only have one change to make a first impression.

To learn more about dental implants call Dumas Family Dentistry at , 806-935-2725 or visit our website at or come in to discuss in detail what treatment options are right for you.

Get Bright Teeth with Teeth Whitening

Friday, March 6th, 2015

selfieWe all want a bright perfect smile. A common way to get a bright, knock out smile is through teeth whitening. Your smile is typically one of the first things people notice about you, why not give them a dazzling first impression?  Dumas Family Dentistry can help you obtain the bright smile you’re looking for.

Studies show we place a high value on the appearance of our smiles.

According to an American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry survey:

• Virtually all adults (99.7%) believe a smile is an important social asset. 96% of adults believe an attractive smile makes a person more appealing to members of the opposite sex.

• Three-quarters (74%) of adults feel an unattractive smile can hurt a person’s chance for career success.

• And when respondents were asked, “What would you like to improve most about your smile?” The most common response was: Whiter & brighter teeth. If you are not happy with your smile, teeth whitening may be a good first step(Source: AACD).

There are many different ways to whiten your teeth. Professional tooth whitening in a dental office is of course the preferred whitening method. The best whitening systems are used in your dentists office and your teeth can literally brighten up to 10 shades in typically about an hour. In-office whitening is typically focused on the front eight teeth and is a great jump start for take-home whitening, which is a part of an effective whitening program. Tooth whitening can last for one or more years, depending on how well you take care of your teeth, and if you’re following up regularly with a home whitening product for regular maintenance.

To learn more about your teeth whitening options, call Dumas Family Dentistry at , 806-935-2725 or visit our website at or come in to discuss in detail what treatment options are right for you.