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Posts for tag: tooth pain

By J. Michael Plyler, DDS, PA
December 26, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures

When they’re introducing a new movie, actors often take a moment to pay tribute to the people who helped make it happen — like, you know, their dentists. At least that’s what Charlize Theron did at the premiere of her new spy thriller, Atomic Blonde.

"I just want to take a quick moment to thank my dentists," she told a Los Angeles audience as they waited for the film to roll. "I don’t even know if they’re here, but I just want to say thank you."

Why did the starring actress/producer give a shout-out to her dental team? It seems she trained and fought so hard in the action sequences that she actually cracked two teeth!

“I had severe tooth pain, which I never had in my entire life,” Theron told an interviewer from Variety. At first, she thought it was a cavity — but later, she found out it was more serious: One tooth needed a root canal, and the other had to be extracted and replaced with a dental implant — but first, a bone grafting procedure was needed. “I had to put a donor bone in [the jaw] to heal,” she noted, “and then I had another surgery to put a metal screw in there.”

Although it might sound like the kind of treatment only an action hero would need, bone grafting is now a routine part of many dental implant procedures. The reason is that without a sufficient volume of good-quality bone, implant placement is difficult or impossible. That’s because the screw-like implant must be firmly joined with the jawbone, so it can support the replacement tooth.

Fortunately, dentists have a way to help your body build new bone: A relatively small amount of bone material can be placed in the missing tooth’s socket in a procedure called bone grafting. This may come from your own body or, more likely, it may be processed bone material from a laboratory. The donor material can be from a human, animal or synthetic source, but because of stringent processing techniques, the material is safe for human use. Once it is put in place your body takes over, using the grafted material as a scaffold on which to build new bone cells. If jawbone volume is insufficient for implants, it can often be restored to a viable point in a few months.

Better yet, when grafting material is placed in the tooth socket immediately after extraction, it can keep most of the bone loss from occurring in the first place, enabling an implant to be placed as soon as possible — even before the end of a movie’s shooting schedule.

Will Atomic Blonde prove to be an action-movie classic? Only time will tell. But one thing’s for sure: When Charlize Theron walks down the red carpet, she won’t have to worry about a gap in her smile.

If you have questions about bone grafting or dental implants, please contact our office or schedule a consultation. You can read more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Dental Implant Surgery” and “Immediate Dental Implant.”

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
October 11, 2017
Category: Oral Health
Tags: tooth pain  

Your teeth and gums have a highly sensitive network of nerves. But while it can signal even the most subtle discomfort we may not be able to identify the cause with pinpoint accuracy. As a result, tooth pain could indicate more than one kind of problem including a decayed tooth, root sensitivity, infected gum tissues (like an abscess) or a dying pulp signaled by diseased nerve tissue inside the tooth.

On the other hand, not all tooth pain is the same: it can be dull or sharp, continuous or intermittent. It can feel like a constant, throbbing ache or a sharp wince when you eat or drink something cold or hot, or when you bite down. These differences could point our diagnostic examination in the right direction.

For example, sharp, throbbing pain could indicate deep tooth decay, especially if it suddenly stops. That would likely mean the nerves within the tooth pulp under attack by the infection have died and can no longer transmit pain. The infection, on the other hand is still very much active — this usually requires a root canal treatment (cleaning out the pulp and root canals of diseased and dead tissue and filling the empty spaces) if we’re to save the tooth.

If, however, you’re experiencing sensitivity from temperature or pressure, we could be facing at least a couple of scenarios. For one, your tooth could be fractured. More likely, though, periodontal (gum) disease triggered by bacterial plaque has caused the gum tissues to shrink back (recede) from the affected teeth so that the sensitive dentin layer is exposed and no longer protected by the gum tissue.

If we diagnose gum disease, we’ll need to aggressively remove bacterial plaque from all tooth and gum surfaces. This procedure might require more than one appointment and the possibility of surgery if we encounter deep pockets of infection, especially around the roots. If gum recession is severe you may also need grafting surgery to replace the missing gum tissue or to re-cover the exposed areas of your teeth.

So, knowing the source of tooth pain will direct the course of treatment to follow. With proper treatment, though, the chances are good we can not only restore your teeth and gums to optimum health but we can end the pain.

If you would like more information on treating tooth pain, 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 “Confusing Tooth Pain.”