My Blog

Posts for tag: root canal

By J. Michael Plyler, DDS, PA
September 27, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: root canal  
ARootCanalTreatmentmaybeYourBestChancetoSaveaTooth

“You need a root canal,” isn’t something you want to hear during a dental visit. But whatever your preconceptions about it may be, the fact is root canal treatments don’t cause pain — they alleviate it. What’s more, it may be your best chance to save a tooth that’s at high risk for loss.

First of all, root canal treatments address a serious problem that may be occurring inside a tooth — tooth decay that’s infiltrated the pulp chamber. If it’s not stopped, the decay will continue to advance through the root canals to the bone and weaken the tooth’s attachment. To access the pulp and root canals we first administer a local anesthesia and then create an opening in the tooth, typically in the biting surface.

After accessing the pulp chamber, we then remove all the pulp tissue and clean out any infection.  We then fill the empty pulp chamber and root canals with a special filling and seal the opening we first created. The procedure is often followed some weeks later with a laboratory made crown that permanently covers the tooth for extra protection against another occurrence of decay and protects the tooth from fracturing years later.

Besides stopping the infection from continuing beyond the roots and saving the tooth from loss, root canal treatments also alleviate the symptoms caused by decay, including tenderness and swelling of surrounding gum tissue and sensitivity to hot and cold foods or pressure when biting down. And, it reduces pain — the dull ache or sometimes acute pain from the tooth that may have brought you to our office in the first place.

General dentists commonly perform root canal treatments; in more complicated cases they’re performed by an endodontist, a specialist in root canal treatments. Afterward, any discomfort is usually managed with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID) such as ibuprofen or aspirin.

Root canal treatments are a common procedure with a high rate of success. Undergoing one will end the pain and discomfort your infected tooth has caused you; more importantly, your tooth will gain a new lease on life.

If you would like more information on root canal treatments, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Common Concerns about Root Canal Treatment.”

By J. Michael Plyler, DDS, PA
September 21, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: tooth pain   root canal  

Root Canal DiagramAre you wondering what you should expect from your upcoming root canal treatment?

No matter whether you or a loved one is getting a root canal, our Hot Springs, AR, dentist Dr. J. Michael Plyler understands that knowing what to expect from any upcoming dental procedure can certainly put your mind at ease. Since there is a lot of misinformation out there regarding root canals, we are here to dispel those myths while also providing you with the information you need for your own peace of mind.

Q. Why is a root canal performed?

A. This procedure is performed when a tooth has been damaged by decay, trauma or an infection and bacteria have affected the nerve and dental pulp of the tooth. Inside the tooth, underneath the enamel and dentin layers, lies the dental pulp.

The pulp is made up of nerves, connective tissue and blood vessels. When bacteria get through the dentin layers it can inflame or infect the pulp. In order to prevent the spread of the bacteria, your Hot Springs, AZ, general dentist will need to perform a root canal.

Q. Is root canal therapy painful?

A. Thanks to modern-day technology and new dental techniques, it’s safe to say that getting a root canal is really no more uncomfortable than getting a dental filling. In actuality, the purpose of a root canal is to stop the source of the pain, not cause additional pain. The treatment area will first be numbed with a local anesthesia prior to treatment so you shouldn’t feel a thing during your root canal. Plus, you’ll finally be able to say goodbye to that annoying and uncomfortable toothache.

Q. But I’m not experiencing any symptoms; do I really need a root canal?

A. Sometimes people won’t experience any symptoms that tip them off to the fact that they need a root canal. Unfortunately, in order to remove the bacteria and disinfect the inside of the tooth, we will need to perform a root canal. Of course, we will first run X-rays to make sure that the findings suggest that this procedure is necessary.

Q. Can’t I just get my tooth extracted (pulled) instead?

A. As any dentist will tell you, it’s far better to preserve your natural teeth whenever possible. Even the best dental restorations aren’t the same as a real tooth, and you may find that you are unable to eat certain foods or you may experience speech problems on account of a missing tooth. A root canal can actually preserve the natural tooth structure and prevent further complications to your oral health.

Are you experience a toothache? Do you need to schedule a routine checkup? No matter whether you are looking for preventive dentistry or emergency dentistry here in Hot Springs, AR, Dr. Plyler and his dental team are here to serve you. Call us today.

By J. Michael Plyler, DDS, PA
June 29, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: root canal  
DontFeartheRootCanal-itCouldSaveYourTooth

Many people consider a root canal treatment to be potentially an unpleasant experience. You might even feel a few butterflies fluttering in your stomach if we were to recommend one for you.

But there’s nothing actually to dread about this common and very effective treatment. The procedure doesn’t cause pain; in fact, it most likely relieves tooth pain. What’s more, it could save a tooth that would be otherwise lost.

The name comes from narrow passageways extending from the tip of the root to the innermost tooth pulp. The pulp contains nerves and other structures once vital to early tooth development. And although they’re not as important in a fully mature tooth, those nerves still function. In other words, they can still feel stimulation or pain.

That shouldn’t be a problem with a healthy tooth. But if tooth decay invades the inner pulp, those nerves now under attack will begin firing. You’ll know something’s wrong. As bad as it feels, though, the toothache isn’t your worst problem: if the decay isn’t stopped, it can spread through the root canals to the bone that could eventually lead to losing the tooth.

A root canal treatment removes the decayed pulp tissue and protects the tooth from re-infection. We first deaden the tooth and surrounding tissues with a local anesthesia and set up a rubber dam around the tooth to protect it from contamination from the surrounding environment. We then drill a small access hole through the enamel and dentin to reach the pulp chamber and root canals.

Using special instruments, we remove all the diseased tissue from the pulp and flush out the empty chamber and root canals with antibacterial solutions. After re-shaping the root canals, we fill them and the pulp chamber with gutta-percha, a rubber-like biocompatible material that conforms well to the root canal walls. We seal the gutta-percha with adhesive cement and then fill the access hole. Later, we’ll give the tooth further protection with a custom crown.

After the procedure, you may experience short-term minor discomfort usually manageable with over-the-counter pain relievers like ibuprofen. The good news, though, is that the excruciating nerve pain from within the tooth will be gone—and your tooth will have a new lease on life.

If you would like more information on saving a problem tooth with root canal treatment, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Root Canal Treatment: What You Need to Know.”