8/8/2018 6:29:00 AM | William Harrison

Patients who undergo root canal therapy are sometimes surprised at how much their pain and sensitivity subside after treatment. To ensure the procedure remains effective and full health and function are restored to the tooth, it’s important to take some temporary precautions. Here are several helpful hints that can provide more comfort and speed up the healing process.

Immediately Following Treatment

When decay and infection reach the inner chambers of the tooth, it can only be saved through root canal therapy. This endodontic treatment involves creating a small opening in the surface of the tooth so the doctor can remove all traces of infected pulp and sterilize the area. After filling the opening, a protective crown is secured to restore function and uniformity to the smile.
Patients are fully numbed and have the option of sedation, so they remain comfortable during treatment. Once the numbing agent or sedation is completely out of their system, patients may experience sensitivity around the treatment area. These symptoms often dissipate after a few days and can be quelled by over-the-counter pain relievers.

What to Do if Discomfort Persists

While most patients enjoy a fully restored tooth a few days after treatment, certain factors can have an impact on a successful recovery. Pain and swelling that doesn’t diminish can be indicative of lingering issues that need attention. Other factors that could require another visit to the dentist are if the temporary crown dislodges, the bite is uneven, or the original symptoms were not alleviated. Anyone who experiences an allergic reaction from medication received for treatment should seek medical attention immediately.

How to Maintain Your Restored Smile

After the post-treatment symptoms have cleared up, maintaining the health and durability of your repaired tooth is no different than that of your other teeth. Brush twice daily and incorporate flossing and rinsing as well. It’s important to note that patients who receive restorative care should commit to regular check-ups, so similar issues don’t develop again.

Contact William D Harrison, DDS Today

Our team at William D Harrison, DDS works to ensure that our quality care for patients who receive root canal therapy extends beyond their initial treatment. If you live in Brentwood or the many surrounding communities and are experiencing endodontic concerns, call our office today to set up an appointment.

7/25/2018 6:28:00 AM | William Harrison

When your smile is healthy and attractive, it can provide quite the confident boost. Achieving and maintaining a healthy smile requires dedicating yourself to an effective at-home care routine. The good news for the patients who are unhappy with their appearance is that a multitude of minor improvements that can be made to their daily oral health for trans-formative results. Below are five highly effective practices to improve your daily dental care.

Consider Your Tooth Brush and How You Use It

The type of toothbrush you use can make a significant difference in effectiveness. Dentists recommend you choose a brush with soft bristles that is contoured to reach all areas of the teeth and surrounding structures. Spend a full two minutes gently brushing at a 45-degree angle to remove all traces of plaque, including along the gum-line. By practicing these methods, you prevent excessive wear on your enamel and gums.

Floss and Rinse Every Day

The health of your gums is paramount to optimal oral health. Flossing each day helps remove the plaque from beneath the gums, helping prevent bacteria from spreading and causing the development of periodontal disease. Add rinsing with an ADA approved mouthwash to your daily routine to you remove any additional bacteria from your mouth while also freshening your breath.

Incorporate Healthier Dietary and Choices

The food you eat plays an important role in the health and appearance of your teeth. Consuming an abundance of sugary and acidic foods and beverages leaves you susceptible to the onset of decay. For those who enjoy coffee, soft drinks, or red wine, the darkly pigmented beverages attach to tooth enamel, causing discoloration. Implementing healthier snacks such as raw fruits and vegetables, coupled with drinking plenty of water will improve your dental health in addition to your overall health.

Curb Your Bad Habits

The oral health dangers of tobacco use are severe. Quitting the harmful habit right away increases your chances of avoiding enamel discoloration, gum disease, and potential tooth loss. It’s also important to avoid para-functional habits. These include such tendencies as biting on pens, fingernails or other solid objects, as these habits could cause your teeth to crack and chip.

Maintain Regular Appointments with Your Dental Professional

There are a variety of ways patients can be proactive about their oral health, but the best option for achieving a healthy and beautiful smile is by maintaining regular cleanings and examinations with your dental professional. In addition to top quality care, Dr. Harrison and our team take the time to educate you on the most effective methods for taking care of your teeth and gums. Call our Brentwood practice today to schedule an appointment.

7/25/2018 6:27:00 AM | William Harrison

Many patients suffer from crooked teeth. This condition, known medically as malocclusion, can lead to a host of other problems including more Infection, TMJ, and periodontal disease.

The best solution for malocclusion is carefully orchestrated orthodontic care. Patients are sometimes hesitant to go through with it for fear of wearing unsightly metal braces. They worry about changes to their appearance or speech pattern. Some people wearing braces will occasionally need to give up their favorite foods for a time.

Luckily, there are discreet, more convenient options in orthodontic care.

Clear Braces - There is a method that will straighten teeth discreetly and in less time than traditional metal braces. Invisalign is the clear, invisible alternative to a clunky metal mouth. This method is perfect for those with mild to moderate malocclusion. Invisalign are clear retainers that move the teeth into straight positions over time. Dentists provide these in succession, and the teeth grow straighter with each new pair.

Metal Braces - Traditional, metal-bracket braces take longer and are not discreet. However, they are stronger than retainers alone. Traditional braces can treat severe cases of malocclusion. They are also capable of moving the jaw into proper alignment. Underbites and severe overbites are not fixable through clear retainers alone.


Both methods require a mold to be made of the teeth. Thisinvolves biting into a quick-set putty material, and a dentist evaluating the shape to create the orthodontic plan. The next step is where Invisalign and metal braces differ significantly. The brackets of metal braces must be cemented to the teeth. This can leave light spots on the teeth if the original shade is not maintained through the course of the treatment.

It’s impossible to self- remove braces when they feel uncomfortable. Invisalign can be removedat the patient’s discretion. This allows them relief from normal tenderness and the ability to eat their favorite foods.

Treatment Times

Invisalign therapy takes six to eighteen months on average to complete. Braces can take anywhere from one to three years, depending on circumstances. Both methods require continued use of retainers after the primary treatment is complete. For example, once braces are removed, metal Hawley retainers must be worn 22 hours a day for a year, and then only at night indefinitely. Once an Invisalign treatment is complete, the final retainer received must be worn nightly. Either method runs the risk of letting teeth shift into slightly less straight positions if retainers are not worn regularly. 

Invisalign in Brentwood
If you have more questions about orthodontic treatment options, call the office of William D. Harrison, DDS. Our office is friendly, knowledgeable, and always accepting new patients. We look forward to hearing from you!

3/25/2015 2:52:00 PM | William Harrison

The first question that many patients seeking cosmetic dental treatment ask is, “How much is improving my smile going to cost?” While there are typically no flat-fees for cosmetic dental care, given that every patient and dentist is different, there are many things that affect how much your final cost of treatment may be, such as:

Materials – Prosthetics used to make your smile look more appealing vary in their composition. For example, dental crowns and bridges can be made with metal components, or can be solid porcelain or ceramic. While metal-based restorations are considered by some to last longer, and are generally more economical, they don’t age as well as solid porcelain prosthetics. Getting tooth-colored treatment with porcelain and ceramic can be more costly, but looks more natural over longer periods of time.

Treatment Methods – There’s more than one way to make your smile look flawless, and the treatment you select will affect final cost, depending on your dental concerns. If you’re trying to replace missing teeth, a dental bridge or partial denture is less expensive than a dental implant, though an implant is longer-lasting. If you’re trying to make your smile look whiter and better aligned with veneers, you can use traditional veneers, no-prep veneers, or bonded resin veneers. Resin veneers are cheaper, but may not be as strong as the others.

Pre-Treatment or Other Associated Costs – For some patients, getting one treatment may require preparing for it with certain pre-treatments. A patient seeking dental implants, who has thin jaw bone density, may need bone grafts before an implant can be placed. Additionally, any treatments that require the use of anesthetic injections will add to the cost of the care plan. It’s important to discuss your whole treatment plan with your dentist so you can anticipate all potential costs.

A Dentist’s Level of Education and Experience - It’s true that you get what you pay for. A dentist who’s well known for, and specializes in, cosmetic restorations may charge more for services, but may be more likely to provide you with superior results. In your research for a dentist who can provide you with the cosmetic treatment you need, make sure to consult their website and learn about their treatment options and materials to get a good idea of what you want and how that could affect your total.

If you have questions about cosmetic dentistry, our Brentwood dental office can help. We work with you to find affordable solutions for natural-looking cosmetic dental care. Call Drs. Harrison and Henderson for more information or to schedule your consultation.

3/16/2015 2:06:00 PM | William Harrison

Both removable dentures and fixed, implant-supported dentures help you fill in gaps created by missing teeth. Full dentures can even restore entire arches of missing or extracted teeth. Both treatments come with advantages and disadvantages, but figuring out what will work best for you depends on your oral health, budget, and long-term goals.

Removable Dentures – These restorations are typically the most economic prosthetic teeth. If you’re missing whole arches of teeth, getting dentures helps you regain much of your natural bite function, as well as a full set of beautiful new teeth.  The process for getting your new dentures, which does require multiple adjustments and fittings, is non-invasive. Dentures can also be partial in order to replace just a few teeth.

Implant DenturesImplant-supported, or permanent, dentures can also replace a full set of missing teeth. However, these dentures cannot be removed and are held in place with several dental implant posts. These posts are placed via oral surgery into bone on your jaw. As they are more stable than removable dentures, fixed dentures allow you to regain even more natural biting and chewing function.  Getting implant-supported dentures does tend to be more costly and more invasive than the removable option. If you only have one or two missing teeth, dental implants can also be used to permanently secure ceramic crowns and bridges.

Many patients choose removable dentures, as they tend to be most budget-friendly. However, implant-supported dentures have risen in popularity as being a solid long-term investment for your oral health and function. For those patients who are not good candidates for oral surgery, or who do not have enough health jawbone to safely anchor a dental implant, removable dentures are the best choice. If you currently have dentures and are interested in a more permanent restoration, dental implants can help.

At the office of William D. Henderson, DDS we provide both removable and permanent dentures to patients with missing teeth. To learn more about which treatment will work best for you, call our office today to schedule your consultation.

3/2/2015 12:17:00 PM | William Harrison

Millions of people are living with sleep apnea, a disorder that makes it difficult for them to breathe regularly during sleep.  If you think you may be suffering from sleep apnea, it is important to talk to your primary care physician about getting a diagnosis. Depending on the type and severity of your condition, your doctor may recommend CPAP treatment, or send you to a dentist to be fitted with an oral device.

Both treat sleep apnea effectively, but what’s better --- CPAP machines or a sleep apnea mouth guard?

The go-to solution for treating sleep apnea used to be the continuous positive airway pressure, or CPAP machine. This device is used to provide a continuous stream of air into the lungs while you sleep.  Your CPAP machine mask can be adjusted to be comfortable, especially if you are wearing a full-face mask. The air pressure delivered through the CPAP machine is also adjustable, to make it easier for patients who are having a hard time with forced air.

The alternative to the CPAP machine is an oral appliance, which is a device similar in size and feel to a night guard. Oral appliance therapy aids in the treatment of sleep apnea by holding your jaw in a comfortable, slightly forward position, which keeps the airway open and facilitates easy breath.  Using an oral appliance also allows you to sleep more comfortably on your side or stomach. Oral appliances are designed to custom fit your mouth in order to make your treatment as comfortable as possible.

The Verdict: Although CPAP machines are effective, many people find the machine too bulky and noisy, and are uncomfortable wearing the mask, which streams air into the body.  Oral appliance therapy for sleep apnea doesn’t produce the same uncomfortable side-effects as CPAP, such as a feeling of claustrophobia, dry mouth, or even skin irritation from wearing the mask and straps.

If you are interested in how a sleep apnea oral appliance can help you breathe easier, we invite you to visit us our Brentwood dental office. We are happy to discuss how we can provide you with comfortable, affordable relief from your sleep apnea. Please contact Dr. Harrison and Dr. Henderson today for your sleep apnea therapy consultation.

12/15/2014 12:47:00 PM | William Harrison

We're excited to announce the official launch of our William D. Harrison, DDS, Inc. blog.

We'll be posting helpful dental tips, news from the dental industry, news from our practice, and more about the latest in dentistry.

We built our practice on the notion that we're there for our patients when they need us and we want our online presence to be a reflection of that principle. We hope this blog provides an extra level of service to our current and future patients.

If you would like to stay up to date on the latest from William D. Harrison, DDS, Inc., simply click the RSS “Subscribe to feed” link located on our website and subscribe. Our subscribers will be updated when we make a new blog post.

Here's to your best oral health ever!


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