What Is a Non-Surgical Root Canal? Things to Know

Every year, dentists across the country perform more than 15 million root canals to save the ailing teeth of their patients. Root canal procedures can either be surgical or non-surgical, but non-surgical root canals are actually the most commonly performed. Here is a look at some of the things you should know as a patient if you are scheduled for a non-surgical root canal at the dentist.

1. Non-surgical root canals are essentially a very deep filling.

When a root canal is performed, the dentist is drilling deeper into the root of the tooth instead of just through the surface layers that they drill through when doing a regular filling. The hole is drilled through the small canals in the root and filling material is used to protect and restore the stability of the tooth.

2. Non-surgical root canals do not require any kind of incision.

Contrary to popular misconception, a non-surgical root canal is not going to require any kind of incisions to be made. With a surgical root canal, the dentist may make an incision in the soft tissue to access the root of the tooth instead of going through the tooth itself.

3. Non-surgical root canals do involve the use of anesthetics.

Even with a non-surgical root canal, the dentist will use a localized anesthetic to help numb the area before they get to work. As you can imagine, the root of the tooth is surrounded by nerves that are sensitive to any work being done, so every measure is taken to ensure you are not feeling anything while the work is being done. You may have some pain and tenderness after the procedure when the anesthetic wears off, but over-the-counter pain relievers do tend to be enough to help.

Contact Us About Non-Surgical Root Canals in Mountain View, CA

Getting a root canal can mean the difference between keeping a tooth that has a lot of issues and having to have it extracted. Therefore, root canals are a viable dental treatment option to preserve your smile. If you would like to know more about non-surgical root canal treatment, reach out to us at the office of Dr. Joseph M Cassara in Mountain View, CA to schedule an appointment.

Is It Safe to Use DIY Mouth Rinses?

A good oral care routine is the key to strong and healthy teeth. While most people are content with the basics of brushing teeth at least twice a day and flossing at least once, a few like to push it further and gurgle mouthwash now and then.

Commercial and homemade mouthwashes are a great way to protect your teeth against bacteria and acid. They are a great way to complement flossing and teeth brushing. The big question is, are homemade mouth rinses safe and worth it? Here are some analyses of some of the most common DIY mouthwashes.


Saline Water

This is the simplest homemade mouth rinse. Gurgling saltwater can minimize plaque formation since the salinity of the water messes up with bacterial osmosis. This will reduce plaque formation and take care of bad breath to some extent.


Aloe Vera Juice

Aloe Vera is a well-known succulent that is widely used in many home remedies thanks to its ability to inhibit bacterial growth on surfaces. Other than this, it has generous doses of Vitamin C that help block plaque and combats swollen or bleeding gums.


Cinnamon and Clove Oil

People with halitosis can pop a mint now and then to mask the smell. However, you can take things a step further by using a clove and cinnamon oil rinse. The two work in tandem to give you fresh breath while fighting dental cavities.


Baking Soda

Baking soda is an alkali. This gives it the power to alter the pH levels in saliva, making it less hospitable to bacteria. Any residuals after teeth brushing will have a hard time surviving a decent splash or baking soda in half a glass of water. Fewer bacteria in your mouth means you will have no bad breath and less dental caries or cavity issues.


Are the DIY Mouthwashes Safe?

All the above mouthwashes are safe if used in moderation. They contain the basic ingredients you would find in daily meals or even some of the commercial mouth rinses. They should cause you no harm unless you use them in high concentrations, in which case they will taste terrible and cause you discomfort. Either way, you should always let your dentist know if you choose to use a DIY mouth rinse. Their opinion has the final say on whether the products match your current dental care regime or not.


Are Mini Implants for You? Here’s What You Need to Know

If you’re like most people, you take good care of your teeth and realize the importance of doing so. After all, dentures can sometimes be uncomfortable and unnatural looking, so it makes sense to hang onto your natural teeth for as long as possible. Fortunately, dental implant technology has provided dental patients with alternatives to conventional dentures, and to fine-tune it even more, mini implants are available as an alternative to standard implants. Mini implants aren’t for everyone, however. Here’s what you need to know about them.

Are You a Good Candidate for Mini Implants?

As their name implies, mini implants are smaller than their conventional counterparts. Most people are good candidates for this procedure as long as they are in overall good health and don’t have any serious oral health issues. Those with gum diseases such as gingivitis and periodontal disease will probably have to work with their dentist to get the condition under control before the implants can be installed. It may be necessary for you to have a bone graft if you do not have adequate bone material, but most patients who opt for mini implants don’t need to have bone grafts, and if they do, it’s only a minor procedure.


However, it’s important to keep in mind that if you aren’t a candidate for full-sized dental implants, mini implants probably won’t work for you either. This is because both procedures require implantation into the gum tissues. The major difference is that mini implants are smaller.

Advantages of Mini Implants

A major benefit of mini implants is that you won’t have as long of recovery time than if you’d had conventional implants installed. Patients with conventional implants often face recovery times of several months or more, while their counterparts getting mini implants usually recover completely from the procedure within a matter of days. Another advantage of opting for mini implants is that you won’t have to have flap surgery.

Only you and your dentist can decide whether you’re a good candidate for mini implants. Please feel free to reach out to us at your convenience if you would like to make an appointment or to get more information on mini implants.

Why Is One of Your Teeth Changing Colors?

For the most part, the shade of your natural teeth should remain fairly consistent from tooth to tooth. However, there are some instances when one tooth will start to change colors, and this is definitely not a welcome thing to see in the mirror. What is the root cause of this issue and what should you do? Here is a look at some of the things you should know.

Trauma can cause a tooth to turn gray.

If you have sustained some kind of trauma to your mouth, it is possible for a tooth in that area to change colors. Specifically, the tooth may turn a gray color. This hue comes about because blood flow to the tooth has been disrupted, so the interior is starting to deteriorate. In some cases, the dentist can rectify this kind of issue by reseating the tooth and using a temporary brace to hold the tooth in place while it heals. However, if the trauma has been severe or if the issue has been allowed to sit idle for too long, you may lose the tooth. This is why it is important to seek emergency dental care right after you have sustained trauma to your mouth and teeth.

Age can cause discoloration due to the breakdown of a tooth.

Most people understand that teeth can start to deteriorate as you get older, and this process often happens from inside out. The internal material breaks down and it causes the entire tooth to look discolored. What most people do not know is this process can happen at different rates, which means teeth can start changing colors on their own before others. Sometimes, this can lead to having one tooth that is discolored. For example, you may have one tooth that is gray, bluish, or even yellow or brown.

Schedule an Appointment with a Dentist in Mountain View, CA

Any time something drastic changes about the shade of your teeth, it is imperative that you get immediate dental attention. Reach out to us at Cassara Dental in Mountain View, CA to schedule an appointment with Dr. Joseph M. Cassara to have your issues professionally diagnosed and treated.

3 Changes to Expect with Your Teeth as You Age

Getting older means a new way of looking at taking care of your health, and oral health should be included. If you have spent your life taking good care of your smile, you may still have a few issues to watch for as you age. Take a look at some of the changes you can expect to your teeth as you age.

Lack of Sensitivity in Your Teeth

It is not uncommon to lose some of the sensitivity in your teeth as you age. This may sound like a good thing, but it is actually not. If you do not have sensitivity in your teeth, you may not feel it if a tooth has a problem. For example, if you have a cavity forming, you may not feel it, which will mean you may not notice a cavity until it has gotten large enough to see.

Changes to Tooth Coloration

The interior of the teeth is called the pulp, and this softer tissue can start to deteriorate as you get older. When it does, you may see a tooth change colors because the exterior enamel is somewhat translucent. Even though this deterioration is natural and you can’t stop it, cosmetic procedures can be done to make the problem less visible.

Bone Density Changes

Bone density changes can affect all of the bones in your body, including the jawbones that support your teeth. When this starts to occur, your teeth may start to move or shift from their normal place in your mouth. For instance, you may develop a gap between two teeth that were not present before. These issues are hard to stop, but there are measures that can be taken to slow the progression.

Dental Care for Seniors in Mountain View, CA

You do not have to face the loss of your teeth or your self-confidence just because you are getting older. Measures can be taken to protect your teeth from deterioration, and even some changes can be cosmetically mended. Contact us at Cassara Dental in Mountain View, CA to find out more about how we can help or schedule an appointment for a checkup.


Should Your Child Get Dental Sealants?

As a parent, your child’s dental health is of paramount importance. The very idea of your child having to get a filling because of a cavity is probably enough to make you think of ways to protect your child’s health. Of course, keeping your child’s diet as wholesome as possible is the best defense against cavities. But there is one more step that can be taken, and that is dental sealants. If you haven’t yet heard, dental sealants are a new treatment that your dentist offers that can protect your child’s teeth.

What Are Dental Sealants?

Dental sealants consist of a type of liquid resin that is applied to the surface of the teeth. Dental sealants are most often used on molars and certain other teeth that are susceptible to cavities.

How Are Dental Sealants Applied

Dental sealants are applied using a non-invasive, pain-free technique. Basically, your dentist will thoroughly clean and dry the teeth that are to receive dental sealants. Then the dentist will “paint” on the dental sealants, and allow it to dry on the teeth. That’s it! After that, the dental sealants are in place and ready to protect the teeth.

Are Dental Sealants Appropriate For Children?

Dental sealants are appropriate for children. In fact, they are most appropriate for children and teenagers. That’s because dental sealants help protect teeth from cavities long before they become victims of cavities. In the vast majority of cases, this means that dental sealants help children and teenagers more than adults.

Should Children Get Dental Sealants?

Of course, whether or not your child should get dental sealants is up to you. However, chances are that if your child or teenager is virtually cavity-free and doesn’t have any serious oral health problems, they would be a good candidate for dental sealants.

Talk to your dentist to learn more about whether or not your child is a suitable candidate for dental sealants. Remember that dental sealants are a long-lasting solution against oral health issues. If you want to do the most you can for your child’s dental health, you deserve to at least consider dental sealants for your child.


4 Common Causes of Toothache

Toothache is a painful condition that can be a minor inconvenience or a major setback. Almost everyone experiences a toothache at least once in their lives. The question is how to avoid future toothaches. In order to do that it’s necessary to understand the common causes of toothaches.

1. Teeth Sensitivity

You’ve probably seen commercials for products designed for sensitive teeth. Sensitive teeth are typically teeth that are sensitive to hot or cold. For most people, taking a sip of hot coffee or iced tea isn’t a problem. For a person with teeth sensitivity, this can cause a toothache. Teeth sensitivity is caused by thin enamel. The dentin of the teeth is protected by enamel. When that enamel layer is thin, the dentin is exposed, which makes teeth more sensitive and frequently leads to toothache.

2. Cavity

If you have a cavity or hole in a tooth, the nerve ending can be exposed. This is a very painful condition that is recognized as a toothache. Cavities are easily fixed at the dentist’s office. As soon as the cavity is filled, the toothache goes away instantly.

3. Abscessed Tooth

An abscessed tooth is one that is heavily infected below the gum line. An abscessed tooth can occur for a variety of reasons, but the underlying reason is tooth neglect. Abscessed teeth doesn’t happen overnight. They build up over time. Routine visits to the dentist would prevent abscessed teeth from ever occurring. If you have an abscessed tooth with toothache, a visit to the dentist is necessary. As soon as the dentist treats the tooth, the pain will dissipate.

4. Chipped Tooth

People chip their teeth every day. It can happen by eating a crusty piece of bread or fried chicken, chewing on ice or chomping down on a hard piece of candy. A chipped tooth might expose a nerve ending, in which case a toothache will almost always ensue. A swift visit to the dentist’s office will take care of the chipped tooth and the toothache.

There’s no reason to suffer from a toothache. As soon as you notice toothache pain developing, make an emergency appointment with your dentist. After that, make you visit the dentist on a regular basis to avoid future pain from toothaches.

3 Ways You Can Help Prevent Dental Emergencies

Dental emergencies always happen when you least expect them. They also happen at the most inconvenient times. Almost everyone is familiar with dental emergencies all of a sudden coming on during holiday weekends, at night after the dentist’s office is closed or when you are on vacation. No one wants to have their everyday life interrupted by a dental emergency. In fact, there are many things you can do to help prevent dental emergencies from happening in the first place.

1. See Your Dentist On A Regular Basis

One of the reasons that your dentist is always encouraging you to make regular dentist appointments is so that they can keep an eye on the health of your teeth and gums. When you see your dentist on a regular basis, there’s very little likelihood that some problem is going to occur out of the blue. Instead, your dentist may indicate to you that they see something happening in your mouth that needs to be treated. This is one of the most reliable ways to prevent dental emergencies.

2. Wear A Mouth Guard

Sometimes dental emergencies occur through no fault of your own. They may happen due to trauma to your mouth or impact on your teeth. This often happens during sports. If you engage for fun or on a professional level in any sports, you should make it a habit to wear a mouth guard at all times. A mouthguard is very inexpensive and can be very comfortable when you fit it properly to your teeth and gums. It can prevent all kinds of dental emergencies from happening in the event of a sports impact.

3. Take Care of Problems Right Away

Another common reason for dental emergencies is that the person puts off going to the dentist to have some kind of problem treated. If you are experiencing any kind of symptoms that may indicate a problem happening with your teeth or gums, go ahead and make an appointment to see a dentist about it right away. The longer you wait to see the dentist about a problem, the higher the chances that the problem will escalate and become a serious problem when you least expect it.

These are three of the easiest ways that you can help prevent dental emergencies from ever happening again. For more information please contact us.

What Are Your Cavity Filling Options?

When it comes time to get your cavities filled, you should know that you have a choice as to what cavity filling material you want. In the past, your dentist—and you—had only one option. Today, your dentist may offer you several different options. So that you don’t have to make a spur-of-the-moment choice, it makes sense to learn a little bit about the options available ahead of time. Following are some of the choices your dentist may give you for your cavity filling.


Amalgam is one of the most well-known types of cavity filling materials. Amalgam is most commonly a mix—or an amalgam—of mercury, silver tin, and copper. It is considered by many to be a potentially dangerous and outdated option because of the mercury. People who have this filling may be susceptible to health problems if the mercury vapors get released from the filling after many years. However, many people feel that amalgam fillings are perfectly safe. In fact, amalgam fillings are strong and long-lasting.

Pro: Lasts long and is strong

Con: Has mercury and other metals that may pose health risks

Composite Resin

Composite resin is a mix of plastic and glass powder. This mixture is a shade of white in color, which makes it blend in with the rest of your teeth. For this reason and others, the composite resin is sometimes used to make aesthetic artificial teeth. In addition, the composite resin is considered to be perfectly safe. Lastly, composite resin fillings are easier and faster to use compared to amalgam fillings.

Pro: Blends in well with your real tooth

Con: Isn’t as strong as amalgam

Glass Ionomer

Finally, there are is an option called glass ionomer cement. This is basically a mixture of glass and acrylic called glass ionomer cement. The biggest advantage to this cavity filling material is that it doesn’t need any binding agents and it typically reacts more naturally with the teeth and gums. It’s most often used for cavities below the gum line.

Pro: Easier to install; less painful, considered to be very safe

Con: Not as strong as some other options

Depending on your personal preferences and budget, one of these cavity filling material options will be right for you. Talk to your dentist about your dental health goals.

3 Teeth Issues That Are a Good Fit for Dental Bonding Procedures

Usually done in one office visit and to thank for changing the lives of many patients, dental bonding is one of the most trusted cosmetic dental treatments there is. Bonding can be used to cover damage to the teeth, but it can also be used to fix issues that make you apprehensive about showing off your pearly whites.

Slight Gaps Between the Teeth

Having a small gap between your teeth is not just a cosmetic issue, it can also change how you sound when you speak, make you feel self-conscious when you smile, and change how your teeth come together when you bite down. Dental bonding can help bring a slight gap closer together so it is not as noticeable. By building out the width of both of the teeth just slightly, it can drastically reduce the overall width of the gap without making the teeth look too large.

Discolored Spots on the Teeth

Bonding material can be used to cover spots of discoloration that are not lightening when you clean or whiten your teeth. For example, if you have a spot on one of your front teeth that is much darker than the rest of the enamel, the bonding material may be a viable solution to cover the unsightly discoloration.

Teeth That Are Too Small

Some people are simply dissatisfied with the size of their teeth. Teeth that are too small can make your gums look larger if you have several teeth that don’t seem to fit in with your smile. If you only have one tooth that is smaller than the rest, it can really throw off the alignment of your smile. Bonding material can be used to cover the too-small teeth and make them either longer or wider so they fit in better as part of your smile.

Dental bonding material has been proven as an excellent procedure to rectify a full list of cosmetic dental issues. It is amazing how much one small change can make in your smile confidence, and it is even more amazing how simple dental bonding procedures can be. Reach out to the office of Dr. Joseph M. Cassara for more information about our dental bonding procedures.