Root Canal

Are you familiar with the term “root canal”? You’ve probably heard it mentioned in hushed tones at the dentist’s office or in conversations about dental procedures. While it may sound daunting, understanding what a root canal is and why it’s essential can help alleviate any anxiety you might have. In this educational and conversational article, we will delve into the world of root canals and shed light on the crucial role they play in maintaining your oral health.

What is a Root Canal?

First things first, let’s demystify the concept of a root canal. A root canal is a dental procedure designed to save a tooth that is severely infected or damaged. It’s like a rescue mission for your tooth, led by dental experts like Dr. Andrew Rivers at Rivers Family & Cosmetic Dentistry in Mocksville, NC.

The Anatomy of a Tooth

Before we dive into the nitty-gritty of the procedure, it’s essential to understand the anatomy of a tooth. Your teeth consist of different layers:

  • Enamel: The hard, outermost layer that protects the tooth.
  • Dentin: A layer beneath the enamel, which contains nerve endings.
  • Pulp: The innermost part of the tooth, which houses the tooth’s nerve and blood vessels.

When a tooth becomes infected or damaged, it’s often the pulp that suffers the most. This is where a root canal comes into play.

Why Do You Need a Root Canal?

So, why would you ever need a root canal? Several factors can lead to the need for this procedure:

  • Tooth Decay: If tooth decay progresses untreated, it can reach the pulp, causing infection and severe pain.
  • Trauma: A traumatic injury, such as a cracked or chipped tooth, can expose the pulp and lead to infection.
  • Deep Fillings: Repeated dental procedures or deep fillings can sometimes irritate the pulp and cause inflammation or infection.

Ignoring the need for a root canal can have severe consequences, including the loss of the tooth. Dr. Andrew Rivers and his team at Rivers Family & Cosmetic Dentistry emphasize the importance of addressing dental issues promptly to maintain your oral health.

The Root Canal Procedure

Now that we’ve covered the why, let’s talk about the how. The root canal procedure involves the following steps:

  • Diagnosis: Dr. Rivers will perform a thorough examination, including X-rays, to determine the extent of the infection or damage.
  • Anesthesia: To ensure your comfort during the procedure, a local anesthetic will be administered to numb the area.
  • Access Opening: Dr. Rivers will create a small access opening in the tooth, allowing him to reach the infected pulp.
  • Cleaning and Shaping: The infected pulp is carefully removed, and the inside of the tooth is cleaned and shaped to prepare it for filling.
  • Filling: The empty space inside the tooth is filled with a biocompatible material to seal it and prevent further infection.
  • Restoration: In most cases, a crown is placed on the treated tooth to restore its strength and functionality.

Benefits of a Root Canal

Root canals have gained a reputation for being painful, but in reality, they alleviate pain and offer numerous benefits, including:

  • Pain Relief: The procedure relieves the intense pain caused by tooth infections.
  • Tooth Preservation: It allows you to keep your natural tooth, maintaining your smile’s aesthetics and functionality.
  • Preventing Spread: By removing the infected pulp, the spread of infection to surrounding tissues is prevented.

Aftercare and Recovery

After your root canal at Rivers Family & Cosmetic Dentistry in Mocksville, NC, it’s essential to follow some post-procedure guidelines:

  • Pain Management: Over-the-counter pain relievers can help manage any discomfort.
  • Oral Hygiene: Maintain good oral hygiene practices to prevent further dental issues.
  • Regular Check-ups: Schedule follow-up appointments with Dr. Rivers to monitor your tooth’s progress.

Dispelling Root Canal Myths

Root canals have been surrounded by myths and misconceptions for years. Let’s take a moment to debunk a few of these:

  • Myth 1: Root Canals Are Excruciatingly Painful: Thanks to modern techniques and anesthesia, root canals are no more painful than getting a filling.
  • Myth 2: Extraction Is Better Than a Root Canal: Saving your natural tooth is almost always the better option for your oral health.
  • Myth 3: Root Canals Cause Illness: This myth has been thoroughly debunked, and root canals are a safe and effective procedure.


In the capable hands of Dr. Andrew Rivers at Rivers Family & Cosmetic Dentistry in Mocksville, NC, a root canal becomes a crucial step in preserving your dental health. Don’t let fear or misconceptions hold you back from seeking the care you need. Remember, a root canal is a tooth’s best friend, rescuing it from infection and allowing you to continue enjoying a healthy, beautiful smile.

If you’re experiencing dental discomfort or suspect you may need a root canal, don’t hesitate to reach out to Rivers Family & Cosmetic Dentistry at (336) 751-6289. Your oral health is their priority, and they’re here to guide you on your journey to a pain-free and confident smile.

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If you have been recommended for dental implants, you may wonder if they will ever have to bereplaced. Implants are a permanent restorative solution for patients seeking that perfect smile.Dentalimplants look and feel natural in the mouth,and last upwards of 25 yearsif they are cared for properly.

At our practice, dental implants are one of the most common restorative options performed. Manypatients are leaning towards this permanent option to give them a durable smile that will last for years.Dental implants can last your entire life, and they are one of the most reliable tooth restoration optionsavailable to patients.

How Successful Are Dental Implants?

Implants have a 95% success rate, andwe encourage patients to use good oral hygiene habits to keepthe implants clean and free of plaque. This helps the implants to last, and prevents infection which canmake them unstable in the mouth. Implants moving or needing replacement is rare. If an implant shiftsout of place this could indicate the bone tissue is not providing enough support, and you should contactourdental office immediately.

Tips to Ensure your Dental Implants Last a Lifetime

Here are some helpful tips that you can start using to get the most out of your dental implants:

  • Floss daily using an implant specific floss or wax free floss to help keep the area clean and freeof plaque. A Waterpik Water Flosser can be used to assist in removing plaque around theimplants.
  • Use a low abrasive tooth brush such as a soft type brush on your implants.
  • Avoid any products, foods, or drinks containing any ingredients that may stain your teeth.
  • Anti-microbial rinses can be used to help reduce inflammation and prevent infection.
  • Avoid products thatcontain stannous fluoride, sodium fluoride, or baking soda. Theseingredients can make the implants prone to corrosion.

Interested in Dental Implants?

Caring for your implants at home is similar to caring for your natural teeth. Practicing good oral hygienehabits at home will ensure your implants last for years and never need to be replaced. Our friendly teamis here to help you achieve the smile you have always wanted. We are always available to answerquestions and help you every step of the way.

If you are interested in finding out more about dental implants and how they may benefit you, contactus to schedule your consultation as soon as possible.

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Professional whitening is effective at removing years of stains and discolorationfrom the teeth. Whether you’re looking to boost your confidence or are going tobe attending a wedding, reunion or another big event, a bright and white smileis sure to improve your appearance. Expert whitening is performed in our officeor provided to you using a professional-grade take-home kit. Whitening resultscan last for months to one or more years, and maintaining your results is key toensuring that you’ll always have a gorgeous smile.

Why Should I Whiten My Teeth?

There are many factors that come into play when it comes to the whiteness andbrightness of your smile. If you’re a smoker, drink a lot of coffee, tea or cola oryou’re taking certain medications, you’ll notice that your teeth aren’t as white asthey used to be. Likewise, just the act of aging can have a serious impact on theway that your smile looks. By professionally whitening your teeth, you canexpect dramatic results that help to increase your self-esteem and confidence.

How Often Should Teeth Whitening Be Done?

It is best to avoid whitening your teeth too often. Over-whitening your teeth canlead to issues with hypersensitivity or even cause the teeth to look translucent.It is often recommended thatyou only whiten your teeth, whether at home orprofessionally, once a year. This prevents issues involving sensitivity and helpsin creating a natural-looking smile. The benefit of utilizing professional whiteningis that results typically last for aboutone year. This simply means that you won’tfeel the need to touch-up or go with another whitening system because of howdrastic the change is when using a professional whitening option.

How Can I Maintain My Results?

The best way to prevent the need for touch-ups is to avoid future staining anddiscoloration of the teeth. If you’re a smoker, now is the best time to quit and agreat way to extend the length of your results. Try to avoid drinking too manydark liquids, like coffee and cola, and opt for waterinstead. You may want toconsider using a whitening toothpaste so help clear away stains anddiscoloration before they are able to get worse. Be sure to speak with theexperts about whitening and always discuss when the last time you whitenedyour teeth actually was before retreatment.

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Cavities are always something we try to avoid with brushing and flossing each day. You may notice youget cavities frequently and others don’t. This doesn’t seem fair,but there are other factors that play intokeeping your teeth free of decay that you may not realize. There are ways to reduce your risk for cavitiesoutside of brushing and flossing regularly.

Why Are Some Prone to Cavities More Than Others?

  • Diet – Reducing the amount of sugar you eat or drink can help prevent cavities. Your chance ofgetting cavities increases if you eat or drink foods with a high amount of sugar.
  • Gum Recession – If you suffer from gum disease and your gums are receding,the root of thetooth is exposed. Bacteria can reach the root area of the tooth and cavitiescan develop moreeasily.
  • Dry Mouth – If you tendtohave a dry mouth your risk for decay increases. We need saliva towash away bacteria in our mouths.
  • Genetics – Unfortunatelysome people are born with a tendency to develop cavities morefrequently than others. This is because some people are more susceptible to a certain type ofcavity causing bacteria.

How Can I Reduce My Risk for Cavities?

There are things you can do to help reduce your risk for cavities. This doesn’t mean you will never have acavity again, but it does mean you are changing your habits,and putting forth a good effort to try andprevent decay from developing.


  • Regular Visits to Your Dentist – Make sure you attend your regular visits to your dentist. Theseexams help to identify potential cavities,and allow the dentist to get in front of issues beforethey become worse.
  • Reduce SugarsinYourDiet – Try and stay away from foods or drinks that are high in sugar.
  • Keep Up With Oral Hygiene – Stay on top of your oral hygiene with brushing and flossing atleast twice a day. This will help prevent plaque buildup that causes decay.
  • Use a Toothpaste With Fluoride – Using a toothpaste that containsfluoridecan help preventtooth decay.Use Mouthwash–Mouthwash can help rinse away bacteria,and if the wash contains fluoridethis can help prevent cavities.

Knowing what you can do to help prevent cavities can help you avoid many trips to the dentist. Takingcare of our teeth is very important,and can help avoid dental issues. Always practice good oral hygienehabits to keep your teeth and mouth feeling great.


At our office we discuss what patients are doing at home to help prevent decay. Our staff provides tipsand tricks tohelp our patients keep their teeth looking great. Taking care of your teeth and gums isimportant, and can avoid serious issues from developing. If you have not been to our office for yourregular dental exam, we encourage you to schedule your appointment.

Ready to Schedule Your Appointment ?

If you are looking for a dentist near you for your regular dental exam, we’re here to help. Our office hasstate of the art technology and equipment, and we always provide the highest level of service to all ofour patients.


To schedule your appointment with us, contact us today, and our friendly staff will be happy to assistyou.

dental cleaning

Taking care of our teeth is important and can help avoid problems or unnecessary visits to the dentist’s office later in life. We recommend patients visit our office for their cleaning and exam at least twice a year. These appointments are crucial and can help maintain your oral health and detect issues before they become serious. Bacteria and plaque build-up over time and your toothbrush at home can only remove so much. Dental cleanings are easy and the typical dental cleaning and exam only take approximately 30-45 minutes. This depends on the condition of your teeth and if any problems are identified.


At Rivers Family & Cosmetic Dentistry prevention is extremely important. We help our patients review their oral hygiene routine at home and recommend changes to help keep their teeth and gums healthy. Many patients avoid visiting the dentist due to anxiety or fear. At Rivers Family & Cosmetic Dentistry we create a calm and relaxing experience and can help you get the dental care you need. Our doctors have years of experience and love to help patients achieve the perfect smile.

What Can I Expect During My Appointment?

When you visit our office, we create a calm and welcoming environment. Our treatment rooms are updated with the latest technology and equipment. During the visit, we thoroughly clean each patient’s teeth using special dental tools to remove any plaque or tarter. Our team will examine the condition of both your teeth and gums to ensure everything looks healthy. We take x-rays and create a customized treatment plan for each patient. Our team will perform an oral cancer screening by checking your mouth, throat, neck, and tongue for any areas of concern. Our doctor will meet with each patient to discuss any areas of concern and follow-up visits.

Why Are Dental Cleanings and Exams Important?

Getting comfortable visiting the dentist and attending your regular cleaning and exam appointments can help set the stage for the future. Dental exams allow our doctors to get in front of any issues early on, and this can help prevent serious issues from developing in the future. During your exam, we can detect broken fillings, cavities, or other oral concerns. Our team can remove plaque and tartar that brushing at home cannot reach. We recommend patients brush and floss daily at home to help keep their teeth and gums looking and feeling great. If you ever notice any pain or discomfort, we encourage you to contact our office right away, and we will ensure you are seen as soon as possible.

Are You Due for Your Regular Dental Cleaning and Exam?

If you are ready to schedule your dental cleaning and exam, we encourage you to contact us. Let our team help you care for your teeth and keep your smile looking its best. We provide exceptional service and quality dental care you can trust.


To schedule your appointment and join our dental family, contact Rivers Family & Cosmetic Dentistry, and our staff will be happy to assist you.

dental bonding

Dental bonding can help to restore your smile and repair many cosmetic issues that bother you. Dental bonding is quick, durable, and can be less expensive compared to other cosmetic options. Dental bonding is a great solution for patients that want to change the length of a tooth, fix a chipped tooth, or close gaps between teeth. The procedure can be completed in one appointment and no anesthesia is required. Dental bonding does last, and the lifespan for dental bonding is between 5-10 years. The composite material can wear down over time depending on the wear and tear on the tooth.

How Does the Dental Bonding Process Work?

Dental bonding typically only requires one visit to our office and does not require any tooth enamel to be removed. During the bonding process, we gently etch your tooth using a mild acid solution. This helps to make the surface of the tooth rough and allows the composite material to properly bond to the tooth. The bonding is a tooth-colored material and this is applied to the area. Ultraviolet light is used to help cure the bonding. Once the bonding material is cured the tooth is polished and shaped to match the surrounding teeth. On average, bonding treatment can take between 30-60 minutes, and this depends on the severity of the correction, and the number of teeth needing treatment.

What Are the Benefits of Dental Bonding?

  • Dental bonding is affordable compared to other cosmetic treatments.
  • Treatment is less invasive with no local anesthesia.
  • Can be done in one appointment.
  • Can repair chipped, cracked, or uneven teeth.
  • Can close gaps between teeth.
  • Changes the shape of your teeth and provides a uniform smile.
  • Is an alternative to amalgam fillings.
  • Is tooth-colored material and blends in with your natural teeth.

Interested in Finding Out More About Dental Bonding?

If you are interested in learning more about dental bonding and how this treatment may benefit you, we encourage you to schedule a consultation with us. At Rivers Family & Cosmetic Dentistry, we strive to provide quality dental care our patients can trust. We provide a calm environment where patients can relax during their dental treatment. Patients are treated like family, and we always ensure you have a positive experience. Let our dental team help you achieve the smile of your dreams with our dental bonding treatment.


To schedule your appointment contact Rivers Family & Cosmetic Dentistry, and our friendly staff will be happy to assist you.

Pediatric Dentistry

Pediatric dentists take an additional two to three years of special training after finishing their dental requirements. These doctors treat infants and children through adolescence. It is important to seek out a pediatric dentist for your child by the age of one, or when their first teeth erupt. Visiting the dentist at a young age sets the stage for the future, and teaches your child how to practice good oral hygiene habits.


At Rivers Family & Cosmetic Dentistry, we welcome all of our pediatric patients to visit our office beforehand and take a tour. We want all of our patients to feel comfortable and relaxed when they visit the dentist for the first time. Our staff is trained to work with children, and we always strive to provide exceptional care.

Pediatric Services

Rivers Family & Cosmetic Dentistry offers many pediatric services to keep your child’s teeth looking great. Visiting our office can help get in front of any issues, and allow us to track their development each time they visit.

Diagnosis and Exams

When your child visits our office, we will complete a thorough exam of their teeth and mouth. We look for things like overbites, underbites, or teeth grinding. Correcting these issues early on is important.

Oral Education

Our team is trained to help teach our pediatric patients how to take care of their teeth, and practice good oral hygiene habits at home. We work with the parents and give them tips on what products to use, as well as diet recommendations to keep their teeth healthy.

Dental Treatments

Preventative treatments are offered such as fluoride or sealants. We watch primary teeth closely, and make sure they do not become misaligned. We offer pulp therapy if your child has had any injury or oral trauma.

Other Services

Other services done in our office include fillings and teeth extraction. Pediatric dentists can fix a chipped or broken tooth, and can treat teeth for sensitivity. As your child grows, we will watch their teeth to see if any orthodontics are needed, and ensure their jaw is developing normally. If necessary, we can refer you to our preferred orthodontist.

What Can I Expect During My Child’s First Visit?

Visiting the dentist for the first time can be stressful, and we want your child’s first appointment to go well. When you contact our office for the first time, we always welcome our new patients, and offer you to tour the office prior to your first appointment. This helps the child feel comfortable when they return that day for their appointment.


During your child’s appointment we examine their teeth and take any x-rays needed. Our doctors will check for any developing cavities and recommend treatment if necessary. Our team provides a thorough exam of their teeth and jaws to check their development and to make sure we do not see any concerns.


Talking with the parents during the visit is important, and we always ask if there are any ongoing health issues with your child. This also gives the parents the ability to ask any questions or discuss any concerns they have about their child’s oral health. Our staff will also review oral hygiene habits at home to ensure your child is taking good care of their teeth. Positive reinforcement and encouragement are important at Rivers Family & Cosmetic Dentistry. When your child is finished with their appointment, our staff will provide a prize at the end of their visit as an incentive for good behavior.

Ready to Schedule Your Appointment?

If you are interested in a pediatric dentist, and are ready to schedule your child’s appointment, please contact Rivers Family & Cosmetic Dentistry, and our friendly staff will assist you. We look forward to your visit, and are excited to have you join our dental family.

general dentistry

Do you notice when you smile you see gum tissue more than your teeth? This is known as a gummy smile, and many patients are bothered by how their smile looks. There are treatment options to correct a gummy smile, and we are here to help you find a treatment that works best.

What Can Cause a Gummy Smile?

  • Your Bite

Your bite can be genetic and your top jaw may not align properly with your bottom jaw. If your bite causes the upper jaw to protrude this can cause a gummy look.

  • Hyperactive Upper Lip

If your lip raises up too high gum tissue may be exposed, and this results in a gummy smile.

  • Excess Gum Tissue

The most common cause of a gummy smile is having too much gum tissue. In many cases gum tissue can over grow when permanent teeth erupt in the mouth.

What Are My Treatment Options?

Crown Lengthening

Crown Lengthening helps to reshape the gum tissue around the tooth and correct a gummy smile. This procedure exposes more of the patient’s natural tooth and make the teeth look longer.

Gum Contouring

Gum contouring can help change the shape of your gum, and this can be done if you have excess gum tissue. This procedure also helps if the gum line is uneven. Gum contouring removes the excess gum tissue and exposes more of your teeth. This helps to give patients a beautiful even looking smile.

Scaling and Root Planing

If a gummy smile is caused by inflamed gums a deep cleaning treatment may be recommended. Scaling and root planing reach down deep into the gum pockets to remove bacteria. This can help the gummy appearance subside.

Lip Lowering

This procedure involves removing a section of gum tissue to reveal a shorter looking lip. This keeps the upper lip from rising too high and exposing your gum tissue.


If you have an issue with your bite orthodontics may help correct your gummy smile. Orthodontic treatment can help adjust your bite to avoid gum tissue showing when you smile.

Looking To Take the Next Step to a Beautiful Smile?

If you are looking to correct your smile we encourage you take the first step and schedule a consultation in our office. This will give our team the opportunity to evaluate your concerns, and discuss possible treatment options that work for you. We want you to be proud of your smile, and we are here to help you get the smile you have always wanted.


If you are interested in scheduling a cosmetic consultation, contact our office and we will be happy to assist you.

Family Dentistry

Creating an oral hygiene routine at home is important to help maintain your oral health and keep your teeth and gums feeling great. Brushing and flossing each day is extremely important, and the order in which you do these two items is a common question. Many wonder which way gives the most benefit.

Is Brushing First Better?

Brushing your teeth at least twice a day is a key part of keeping your teeth and gums healthy. Brushing cleans your teeth and removes plaque, as well as prevents cavities from developing. Brushing is not the only thing you need to do to keep your oral hygiene in check. Flossing is another integral part of oral hygiene. The order in which you do these two items is a popular discussion.


Brushing does allow the toothpaste with fluoride to get in-between the teeth and help lift residual plaque when you floss after brushing. Studies show that flossing first is better, and is a more efficient way to keep up with your oral health. Flossing last also leaves particles in your mouth if you do not remember to rinse afterwards.

What About Flossing First?

Flossing first has many benefits, and recent studies now recommend that you should floss first before you brush. Flossing first helps to loosen that plaque buildup, as well as increase fluoride concentration between your teeth. When you brush after flossing the brushing then helps to remove those particles that are released from flossing. This helps to reduce plaque in your mouth, and lowers your risk of developing gum disease. Brushing after you floss helps the toothpaste to really do its job to protect your teeth from decay.

What About Flossing First?

Flossing first has many benefits, and recent studies now recommend that you should floss first before you brush. Flossing first helps to loosen that plaque buildup, as well as increase fluoride concentration between your teeth. When you brush after flossing the brushing then helps to remove those particles that are released from flossing. This helps to reduce plaque in your mouth, and lowers your risk of developing gum disease. Brushing after you floss helps the toothpaste to really do its job to protect your teeth from decay.

Benefits of Flossing and Brushing

  • Prevents gum disease that is caused by poor dental hygiene or not brushing and flossing properly. Routine dental cleanings in our office are important and we recommend dental cleanings at least twice a year.
  • Removes plaque that is the leading cause of gum disease. If you floss and brush your teeth regularly plaque does not have the chance to harden on your teeth.
  • Prevents decay and costly dental procedures. If you take care of your oral health you can avoid serious complications or dental procedures in the future.

Overall, you can keep your teeth and gums healthy by practicing good oral hygiene habits. Cavities and gum disease are preventable, and remembering to floss and brush each day will help keep your mouth feeling great. Visiting our office regularly for your cleaning and exam is another way to stay on top of your oral health.


During your dental exam our team will discuss any hygiene recommendations, and review how to keep up with your oral hygiene care at home. Taking care of your oral health is important, and your health is our priority.


If you are interested in finding out more about how to improve your oral hygiene routine at home, or to schedule your next dental exam, contact our office and our staff will be happy to assist you.

oral health

Mouthwash is used to help rinse away bacteria or food particles after you brush and floss each day. Using mouthwash is an additional way to help protect your teeth and gums. Knowing the differences between mouthwashes can help you choose the right one to incorporate into your oral hygiene routine.

What Are The Different Types of Mouthwashes Available?

Mouthwash With Fluoride

Fluoride mouthwash contain sodium fluoride, and this helps to protect your teeth from decay and cavities. Fluoride is also found in toothpaste and is added to our tap water. Only using the required amount each day is important because too much fluoride can be harmful to your health. Reading the labels can help to ensure you are only using the appropriate amount that is recommended daily.

Antiseptic Mouthwash

Antiseptic mouthwash is the most common mouthwash used by most patients. This type of mouthwash contains alcohol and can help to stop bacteria in its tracks. Using an antiseptic mouthwash can help fight bad breath, and prevent infections. Patients must be careful using this type of mouthwash. Overuse can lead to stains or discoloration on your teeth. Following the recommended daily guidelines is important to keep your teeth and mouth healthy.

Cosmetic Mouthwash

This type of mouthwash is used to only freshen your breath. Cosmetic mouthwash does not do anything to help with your oral health. Using this type of mouthwash can help rinse food particles away, and is a temporary solution for bad breath.

Natural Mouthwash

Natural mouthwash is a common type of mouthwash that helps keep bacteria away and freshens your breath, but contains only natural ingredients. Natural mouthwash brands do not contain alcohol, and the ingredients are safer compared to other types of mouthwashes available.

During your routine cleaning it is important to discuss what products you are using at home including your mouthwash. Our team is available to access your dental health, and recommend the best mouthwash for you to use at home.

Interested in Finding Out More?

During your routine cleaning it is important to discuss what products you are using at home including your mouthwash. Our team is available to access your dental health, and recommend the best mouthwash for you to use at home.


If you are interested in finding out more about what mouthwash may be best for you, or to schedule your next exam, contact our office and our friendly staff will be happy to assist you.