Kill the Pain, Save the Tooth

Cosmetic Dentist in Elmhurst

Elmhurst DentistRoot canal, or endodontic, therapy treats inflammation or infection within the pulp of a tooth. If you are awaiting your first root canal treatment, you may feel anxious or uncertain. It can be difficult to separate myth from fact when trying to learn what to expect. Here is some useful information about root canal therapy and some common misperceptions you may encounter.

Despite common belief, root canal therapy does not cause pain. Instead, it relieves the pain you are already experiencing by treating the underlying cause of the infection or inflammation. Some common reasons for tooth pulp inflammation or infection include:

  • Deep tooth decay
  • Chip or crack in tooth structure
  • Tooth root fracture
  • Periodontal (gum) disease
  • Repeated treatment on a single tooth

Once inflammation begins, the pulp experiences swelling and pressure that cause pain. If left untreated, permanent damage to the pulp can occur, including pulp tissue death. When this happens, you may experience temporary relief of pain, but it may lead to painful infection and tooth loss.

Root canal therapy is the removal of diseased or dead pulp tissue from the inside of a tooth. We use specially designed instruments that clean out the pulp chamber and root canals. Next, we disinfect the canals with special medications and clean them once more. Finally, we seal the canals to prevent re-infection. You may experience minor discomfort for a few days, but this can usually be managed with over-the-counter medications.

After your root canal treatment, your tooth will need a permanent restoration to replace the lost tooth structure and protect the remaining tooth. This may be a filling or crown, depending on your need. We will discuss your restoration plan with you prior to your root canal therapy.

Whenever possible, saving your natural tooth is our goal. Root canal therapy can help to preserve your tooth. To learn more about root canal therapy or to schedule an appointment, contact our office.

Dr. Ivan Valcarenghi Trains in Dental Sleep Medicine

Elmhurst, IL: Cosmetic and neuromuscular dentist, Dr. Ivan Valcarenghi attended the AASM/AADSM (Amer Acad Of Sleep Medicine/Amer Acad Of Dental Sleep Medicine) meeting Nov. 5,6 in Nashville, Tn. The purpose of the meeting was to bring together professionals in sleep medicine and sleep dentistry to work together to better educate, diagnose and treat what is now acknowledged as a serious public health problem. It is estimated perhaps 50% of the nearly 30 million people with sleep disordered breathing (SDB), such as Sleep Apnea, have been properly diagnosed and treated.  Dental sleep professionals are now acknowledged as the primary gateway for many patients to obtain the proper diagnosis and treatment.  Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) has been shown to cause elevated blood pressure, hypertension, heart attack and stroke.  Much evidence is now available to demonstrate more highway car/truck fatalities are related to OSA.  Dentists trained in sleep medicine are uniquely capable and qualified to evaluate patient’s severity of OSA, help patients obtain the proper home or sleep clinic testing, diagnosis and treatment. Special oral sleep appliances are indicated for most patients diagnosed with mild to moderate OSA.

Contact Dr. Ivan,, or the AASM/AADSM

Connected Health: Gum Disease and Heart Disease

Cosmetic Dentist Elmhurst

Dentist ElmhurstFor decades, scientists have been studying the links between periodontal (gum) disease and heart disease. Over the years, research has continued to find strong correlations between these two inflammatory conditions. While there is work yet to be done, we have already discovered connections that may influence how we approach health care in the future. Consider a few key components of the gum disease – heart disease relationship.

Gum disease and heart disease share many of the same risk factors. Some of these include smoking, obesity, stress, nutrition, and more. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 70% of Americans aged 65 and older currently have periodontitis – the most advanced form of gum disease. Recent studies have suggested that patients with heart disease may have increased likelihood of developing gum disease as well.

Likewise, gum disease increases your risk of heart disease. This may be due to the higher rates of inflammation in your body that occur with gum disease. If you already have a heart condition, gum disease may worsen your illness. One study published in 2015 noted an increase in the severity of heart attacks in patients with gum disease. Heart disease is currently the leading cause of death for both men and women in the U.S.

Treating gum disease may decrease your odds of contracting or worsening heart disease. A study published in 2014 found that patients who were treated for gum disease had fewer hospitalizations and lower health care costs related to heart disease. While more research is needed to determine the exact nature of this connection, it is clear that avoiding or treating gum disease can be considered an important part of prevention and treatment for heart disease, as well.

You can reduce your risk of serious health complications from heart disease or gum disease. Healthy diet, regular exercise, good dental hygiene, and avoiding tobacco can all help reduce to your risk of developing one or both of these conditions. See your doctor and our dentist regularly for preventive care and treatment.

To schedule your periodontal screening, contact our office today.