Monday, 19 February 2018

Cleft Palates and Cleft Lips

It would not be uncommon for you to know someone who was born with a cleft lip or a cleft palate. It is estimated almost 2 in 1000 babies, or less than 1% of all children born in the United States in a year have this birth defect. In many cases, mothers who receive prenatal care learn about the complication prior to the birth of the baby through ultrasounds, otherwise it is easily identifiable upon birth.

 Cleft Palates and Cleft Lips

Children born with a cleft lip and/or cleft palate struggle with eating, speech development and hearing; however, it is expected they will go on to live normal lives if the condition is treated. Below we have provided a brief overview of the condition, as well as what is to be expected with treatment options and long-term care. If you have a child that was diagnosed with a cleft lip or palate, we would be happy to work with you and address their unique needs.

 

Diagnosis

 

For anyone that has experienced pregnancy, you know ultrasounds can be both an exiting and nerve-wracking endeavor. While it is thrilling to see your little one wiggling on the screen, there is always the chance that you will find out there could be a complication or abnormality that needs to be addressed. Cleft lips can be detected by ultrasound as early as the 13th week by identifying irregularities in the facial structure. If your doctor sees this, they may recommend screening for other genetic conditions that commonly co-occur. However, in most cases the cause of the cleft lip or palate are unknown.

 

Since the cause is unknown, it’s difficult to prescribe how it can be prevented. While many times it is caused by genetics, doctors still advise taking certain precautions in pregnancy to lower your chances of your child developing this condition. It is recommended that pregnant women abstain from smoking and alcohol as well as increase their intake of folic acid and other nutrients.

 

Treatment

 

The most common treatment for a cleft lip or palate is surgery. In general, the first surgery occurs prior to one year, with follow-up surgeries that could occur throughout childhood and into teenage years. The cleft lip surgery will close the separation in the lip while a cleft palate surgery will close the separation on the roof of the mouth and rebuild both the hard and soft palate. Many providers also recommend ear tubes to reduce the risk of reoccurring ear infections that are common in these cases. Finally, reconstructive surgeries might also be necessary to improve the appearance of the lips and mouth.

 

Long-term effects

 

It is common for babies born with this condition to have difficulty with feeding. To ensure babies are getting the needed nutrients, parents may work with feeding coaches to find special bottles or feeders specifically created for children with cleft lips or palates. Speech therapy will help correct problems with speaking that are a consequence of the condition.

 

Finally, children will need intensive dental care due to issues affecting both baby teeth and the development of adult teeth. In addition to routine check-ups, the positioning, size, and number of teeth need to be closely monitored to ensure proactive measures are taken to prevent oral health issues. In addition to seeing a dentist, many children might also require significant orthodontic work. It is important your dentist works collaboratively with all the providers a child with this condition sees.

 

Cleft lip and cleft palate are both birth defects that need significant early intervention and long-term coordination between providers. If you have a child that has been diagnosed or who is in the recovery stage, we would be happy to work with you and all of their doctors to ensure their unique medical needs are met. Please give our office a call today!



Monday, 12 February 2018

Teeth Grinding…In Children?

Stress can manifest itself in many ways. You might have experienced it by way of sleepless nights, weight gain or moodiness.

 

However, have you ever woken up in the morning and felt like your teeth and jaw were sore? This uncomfortable feeling is often the result of grinding your teeth, or “bruxism.” More commonly done unconsciously while you sleep, teeth grinding can also occur when you are awake, and is commonly a result of stress. For those that grind their teeth during daytime hours, it’s often done unwittingly during intense concentration, like when you’re driving through traffic, working on a presentation at work, or lifting heavy objects. 

 

But, is teeth grinding only a thing of adults? No! Your kids can suffer from bruxism, too, which can have an even more serious impact on developing palates and mouths. 

 

In this article, we’ve outlined the common problems associated with teeth grinding, and what to be on the lookout for if you suspect your child is doing it. 

 Dental technician working on false teeth

Symptoms and causes 

 

The most common symptom of bruxism is headaches. Unfortunately, many patients admit that when they wake up with a headache, they don’t think about teeth grinding—they almost always assume it’s from allergies or poor sleep. But if you’re constantly waking up with a headache, don’t just pop an Advil and move on. In company with other symptoms such as a stiff neck, ear pain, jaw problems and sleep disorders, it can all be attributed to teeth grinding.  

 

Unfortunately, just like with constant morning headaches, these symptoms can easily be written off as the signs of an impending cold or the result of Texas’s long allergy season. If you notice a pattern that isn’t alleviated by a change of seasons or sleep habits, it’s time to give us a call so we can determine the root cause. 

 

Experts believe that 70% of people clench their teeth as a result of stress. However, other causes include anxiety, smoking, heavy alcohol use or depression. Teeth grinding is also commonly associated with people who suffer from sleep apnea. If you suffer from any of these conditions, it is important to be aware of the signs and seek help at the first symptom.  

 

Complications  

 

While bruxism doesn’t cause immediate complications, over time it will lead to tooth damage that could necessitate crowns, tooth restoration, or jaw surgery. It can also lead to TMJ syndrome, which occurs as a result of the temporomandibular joint (the joint that connects your jaw to your skull) becoming injured or damaged. In severe cases, TMJ sufferers may need jaw surgery to relieve the pain. 

 

Teeth grinding in kids 

 

Teeth grinding is quite common in children. Some experts believe 20-30% of children experience it at some point. Unlike its manifestation in adults, many children outgrow teeth grinding over time. Children are most likely to clench their jaws or grind their teeth as a result of poor tooth alignment, or as a result of pain experienced during teething, or even an ear infection. If you suspect your child is doing this, it’s important to visit the dentist to determine if their enamel is chipped or if they are experiencing any sensitivity. 

 

Most bruxism in children is mild and doesn’t have long lasting side-effects. However, it is important to be on the lookout for complications and seek help at the first signs of TMJ. 

 

Teeth grinding is a condition that can easily be fixed with the help of your dentist. Your dentist may recommend a custom-fitted night guard that fits over your bottom teeth to protect the jaw muscles and prevent TMJ. In addition to dental guards, practicing relaxation techniques before bed to ease stress can help relieve the grinding of teeth. If you or a family member—big or small—has been suffering with this and wasn’t sure what to do, give us a call today so we can lay out all the options and get that mouth on the road to recovery!



Monday, 5 February 2018

Everything You Needed to Know About Thumb Sucking

Are you a parent with an infant or toddler who sucks their thumb? We here at Dr. Marchbanks’ office are here to answer the questions you either have or SHOULD be asking! 

 

Most parents understand why children reach for their thumb, but some are new to the world of parenting or otherwise are looking for a refresher on the thumb-sucking phenomenon. 

 

We want to explain this topic through and through: the why and when, the causes and effects, the ways to address the habit, and—if needed—when to be concerned.  

 Everything you wanted to know about thumb sucking

Let’s begin! 

 

Why do children suck their thumb?  

 

Thumb sucking in infants actually starts in the womb. Everyone has seen that adorable ultrasound of the baby curled up with its thumb in his or her mouth, right? Thumb sucking is a tactic for these new-to-the-planet babes to “soothe” themselves. Who can blame them? 

 

As a child gets older, thumb sucking doesn’t just allude to soothing an anxiety, but can also be done out of boredom. And for some, it turns into a passive habit that can actually cause damage.  

 

When is thumb sucking the most common?  

 

Thumb sucking can start from the moment a fetus has a thumb to suck. In extreme cases, the habit can continue on until they are about six years old. Most thumb sucking happens from ages 0-3 months and might persist until the age of four.  

 

Which brings us to our next point. When do you need to “intervene?” Studies have shown pressuring your child to stop will only give them more anxiety, which will incite more thumb sucking. So, we advise being careful and empathetic when breaking this habit.  

 

When has it gone on so long that you should be concerned? 

 

As a parent, we recognize that whatever it takes to stop your kids from crying is will sometimes reign over your longer-term concerns about habit development. So, if the child needs to suck his or her thumb, or pacifier, you’ll usually let ‘em at it without a second thought. 

 

But, at a certain point, we have to begin to make gentle efforts to sway our little ones out of using their thumbs for a few reasons: 

 

  • It does start to get socially awkward at school  
  • Physical changes to oral structures, and 
  • A sore thumb and mouth along with other illnesses 

 

So, how long is too long? Doctors and specialists report that “normal thumb sucking” usually stops around age two. For the little ones who persist, it can last up to age six.  

 

With this habit it’s crucial as a parent to be observant of the triggers that cause “too-long” thumb sucking to assess when intervention is needed. Thumb sucking in toddlers becomes harmful because: 

 

  1. Children start to sprout their baby teeth at 4-7 months old. Prolonged thumb sucking at ages three to six can eventually cause physical and aesthetical changes to the placement of teeth and to their bite.

 

  1. Habitual sucking can cause a thumb to become sore, and can potentially crack and bleed thanks to the constant exposure to saliva. Even thumb nails can crack, and the finger can get infected.

 

  1. As children start to attend daycares and schooling, as children get older they begin to recognize what thumb sucking is: an agent to combat social anxiety. And, sadly, there are children who will target others for this and perhaps point it out in the not-so-nicest way.

 

What physical damage can thumb sucking really cause? 

 

Some of the damage that can be caused by a thumb gone sucked for too long are:  

 

  1. A protruding upper gum
  2. An overbite
  3. Buckteeth
  4. Gapped teeth
  5. Other malocclusions (deep bites) 

  

How does it cause that damage?  

 

The human mouth continues developing until around age 20. Just as the brain is developing, that little mouth is being shaped, literally, by what is put into it. The thumb presses up against the roof of the mouth in children who thumb-suck, and also press against the inside of the upper front teeth as they grow in these formative years.  

 

Expensive cosmetic corrections later on aren’t anyone’s idea of a good time. So, below are some tips to help you curb your little ones’ thumb-sucking. 

 

How to break the habit? 

 

  1. Satisfy the urge to suck.

 

We recommend starting here, which means starting young. Thumb sucking is evidence of a need—a need for attachment. If not satisfied, thumb sucking becomes a crutch. Fill the need to suck while the baby is young with other toys and options. 

 

  1. Teach other pacifying behaviors

 

We’re here to remind you that your baby feels what you feel. So, most importantly, try to keep all of your environments as stress-free and peaceful as possible. There will be plenty of other opportunities in life to learn about stress. If your little one has a strong need for stress-sucking, try using other methods to soothe your child like: rocking, massages, playing animated games, or singing. The earlier your child learns other ways to pacify him or herself, the less s/he will seek the comfort of the breast, bottle, thumb or pacifier.  

 

  1. Occupy the thumbs

 

If your child is past infancy, try to keep those thumbs busy. Bored thumbs wind up in the mouth. If you see it about to happen, redirect, distract, and give the child an activity that keeps both of their hands busy. Or, you can suggest a competing habit if they’re old enough like hiding the thumb game, folding their arms, taking the thumb out of the mouth and squeezing it immediately upon it entering the mouth as a corrective behavior. You could even suggest the gold-star reward system, for when they go a whole day without sucking. 

 

  1. Time your intervention

 

Ultimately, you want to time your intervention. Assess if the habit is harmful: ferocious sucking, sore thumbs, impending gum and teeth movements—and be gentle. Wait until your son or daughter is in a receptive mood. You wouldn’t want to threaten their independence or make them feel bad! 

 

 

We want to offer up one last option: come bring your kids to talk to us! Bringing your little ones into our office from a young age can help them understand the importance of their teeth and how oral habits can affect them, good and bad.  

 

While some people see thumb sucking as unsightly, or annoying, we see it as a natural evolution into being a healthy adult. At Dr. Marchbanks’ office we’re happy to take some of the parenting questions off your shoulders by providing our professional know-how! 



Monday, 29 January 2018

There’s Only One Month Left of Winter!

Technically spring begins on March 20th, but you could say we’ve got ants in our pants here at Dr. Marchbanks’s office to declare spring’s approach with March 1st! Can you blame us? We can just see it now, fluffy clouds in blue skies, bees buzzing, flowers in full bloom (sneeze!) One month, ladies and gentlemen!

So, as our team likes to do, we came together to compile a quick-tip guide of things that must be checked off before the new season begins. It’s definitely some power-cleaning stuff, but they need to be done because they keep your house sanitary and your family healthy!  

 Spring is coming!

Read on to see if you’re accomplishing all of these hyper-hygienic cleaning tasks.  

 

  1. Dusting!

From dusting fan blades, to light fixtures, to picture frames or the top of the doors molding/frame, grab that damn rag or pillowcase (tip: for fan blades) to remove all the dust that’s accumulated in the past months of hibernation and closed windows.  

 

  1. Wipe down all doorknobs, remotes and hand fixtures

Was somebody sick this past winter? Or do you have little kids or even grandkids who needs constant reminders to wash their hands? Then it’s time to do one succinct wipe-down of all surfaces that the hands in the house share! Don’t forget the actual door itself, both below and above the knob or handle, as we tend to push it open or shut in this manner sometimes. While you’re at it, wipe nightstands and any table surfaces.  

 

  1. Wash all textiles

This includes blankets you’ve been using to cozy up all winter, pillows you’ve been melting into, shower curtains, soft rugs, bedding, bath robes and so on. It may take a few days, but it must be done to keep lingering smells and bacteria away! 

 

  1. Clean the kitchen—deep

Next to scrubbing down the bathroom, the kitchen might be the most dreaded place to clean. Be sure to clean the outside of the appliances with the appropriate cleaner (example for any stainless steel or marble surfaces). Next, tackle appliances that sit on the counter like the microwave, toaster, coffee pot, blender, etc., then move to cleaning the inside of appliances (oven, dishwasher, refrigerator). We highly recommend avoiding the self-cleaning mode on appliances, as it can decrease appliances’ lifespan. Then move to countertops, and lastly the sink (and drain). Use a diluted mixture of baking soda, vinegar and water. 

 

  1. Baseboards

This is one of the chores we feel especially passionate about! The baseboard actually has an architectural purpose: to catch the dirt that falls from the top of the room, down the wall and onto the floor. It’s there to make it easier for you to clean! Take a warm soap-wet cloth and run it along the expanse of the baseboard, and then rinse the rag and wipe once more for any residual soap. Or, you can use a wet wipe, up to you—just make sure to clean it! 

 

  1. Windows and Windowsills

This means inside and out. We know, we know…yes, it is probably going to rain right after you clean the outside of the windows (Murphy’s Law), but it must be done. 

 

And yes, this also includes those little nooks and crannies that window frames come with. Use a cotton swab to clear out the gunk that a cloth or wipe doesn’t manage. 

 

  1. Floors

Whether you go it old school and use a broom and then get on your hands and knees and manually clean with a bucket and rag, or if you use a fancy-contraption standing mop, this is a regular MUST. The gunk, crumbs, hair and dust that build up on floors can be repulsive to even think about. We recommend saving this for one of the last chores, as everything does wind up falling on the floor as you clean. That said, this is something we think should be done monthly at the least. 

 

  1. Bathroom

We’re talking all that porcelain and ceramic! Grab your favorite cleaner, a two-sided sponge, some rubber gloves, and maybe even a toothbrush, and give every surface a good scrub down.  

 

  1. Drawers and cabinets

This might actually be a task that takes a few days, but try tackling the cabinets and storage places that are messing with your daily grind the most. In places like the dish cupboards, just pull items out, wipe them down and put them back in place. Don’t take on too much by feeling the need to reorganize. The sheer act of wiping out may inspire you to mull over how better to organize the space at a later date.  

 

  1. Grout

Sprinkle baking soda on every bit of grout you find in your bathroom or kitchen, using a spray bottle filled with vinegar to apply over baking soda. Let it sit and bubble for a few minutes and then scrub—but not for too long, or the will settle back into the grout. 

 

There’s probably a zillion other cracks, crevices, spaces and appliances we could recommend cleaning, but we wanted to keep it simple. We just wanted to point out what is sanitary to keep you healthy coming into the pending springtime.  

 

Don’t forget to pencil in some self-care in the next month before spring begins, too. Enjoy a long bath in your newly-cleaned bathroom, and cozy up on the sofa with the freshly cleaned linens afterward to thank yourself for all the hard work and power cleaning you did in such a short month! 

 

And lastly, don’t forget to pencil in your spring tooth-cleaning as well! We’ll be here in the Arlington office when you’re ready! 



Thursday, 25 January 2018

Winter Fun in the Metroplex—Indoor Play Areas!

The arctic blast that’s sat on top of north Texas for the past week has led to MANY stir-crazy days for young ones stuck at home. While our neighbors to the north may scoff at our inability to play outside in temperatures that dip below freezing, true Texans know that our blood is just too thin for that. 

 

In an attempt to keep the kids from crawling up the walls, we have compiled a list of the best indoor play places in the Metroplex that will let your little one expend all that pent-up energy, and allow you to take a short break from the mayhem! Let us know if you can think of any places we forgot—we still have many cold days ahead! 

 Superhero kids

For those who need to run 

 

If you are longing for the days when it was warm enough to hit the playground for tag and other running games, look no further than the indoor alternative “The Coop” in Frisco. Not only does this play space feature ball pits, tunnels, and slides for the little ones, but it also has free wifi, a cappuccino bar (especially handy during those cold-snaps), and an array of magazines for moms and dads.  

 

If you feel like you’re really going bonkers, then you should head to Lewisville’s indoor play space Going Bonkers. Standing five levels high and featuring zip lines, slides and climbing structures, this gym encourages kids and adults to play together through some truly adventurous feats. Skip the gym and get your heart rate up climbing through this one-of-a-kind indoor maze! 

 

Get smarter by playing 

 

With all the breaks from school compounded by “snow and ice days,” you might think your kids need a little extra education on top of burning off excess energy. Ditch the flashcards and head to the Perot Museum of Nature and Science for a hands-on learning experience. From exploring outer space, to engineering and innovation to dinosaurs, this museum has something for everyone. Make sure to reserve tickets in advance, and plan to spend the whole day there. Learning has never been so fun! 

 

If you feel like your little ones are always underfoot and copying everything you do, try out the Play Street Museum that lets kids recreate what they see at home in a child-friendly space. Whether that’s helping in the kitchen or building with play masonry tools, here the children are in charge. In addition to being fun, kids get to use their imagination and interact with other children through play.  

 

Low-cost activities  

 

As the number of cold days continue to add up, it is important to find inexpensive options as well. The Dallas Museum of Art offers free admission and features two separate areas dedicated to children. Featuring interactive activities, puzzles and toys, your children will foster a love of museums early in life.  

 

Many malls in our area also have free indoor play areas. Generally geared towards the younger babes, these soft play structures are a great pit stop when you need to run errands. Also, if you go before the stores open, it’s just about guaranteed to be empty!  

 

Finally, check out local YMCA’s or recreation centers that have indoor pools. Winter is a great time to practice swimming skills and get ready for the warm months that are right around the corner. Many local pools don’t require a membership fee—just a one-time ticket to get in. 

 

Don’t let the cold months keep you inside and bored. The DFW metroplex is full of activities that will allow your kids to expel energy, broaden their horizons and learn new things!



Monday, 22 January 2018

New Habits Aren’t JUST for the Start of the New Year

We’ve all done it. We’ve all made a New Year’s resolution, and within a matter of weeks (or days), we’ve already broken our promise to ourselves. You’re not alone, and you must remember you’re not perfect. You’re human.  

 

And, with being human, it’s fact that both memory and motivation will fail you. That is why the art of forming a new habit has a scientifically proven method that we at the office of Dr. Marchbanks are here to share with you! 

 New habits NOW

We want you to feel good about yourself in this new year…which means forgiving yourself for falling through on those New Year’s resolutions, and jumping back on that proverbial bicycle of habit and becoming the better you that you envision.  

 

You don’t have to wait another 365 days in order to create those resolutions of change, whether it be doing 100 sit ups daily, flossing once a day (our favorite), or saving more money each week.  

 

The “secret” to creating any habit (whether good or bad) is actually entirely scientific. It has to do with the framework around a habit. Allow us to explain.  

 

How forming habits works 

 

As Stanford Professor BJ Fogg, Charles Duhigg (best-selling author of The Power of Habit) and James Clear from JamesClear.com explain, there are three patterns that surround a habit:  

 

  1. The spark that initiates the behavior
  2. The actual behavior (the action)
  3. The benefit you gain from doing the behavior

 

James Clear refers to this pattern as “The 3 Rs.” Reminder, Routine and Reward. 

 

Think of it like this…A ding alert for the arrival of an important email goes off. That’s the spark – the (1) reminder. Then you have two (2) actions you can take: reply to the email or ignore/procrastinate responding. The (3) reward for your action? Well, depending on the behavior you chose, that dictates your “reward.” When it comes to emails, if you respond, you’ll keep a progressive thread going (i.e., handling business, perhaps); and if you don’t respond, well…you’ve just prolonged something that may need attention, stalling other areas of your life.  

 

So, it goes to show that if you create a positive reward for yourself you are likely to repeat the behavior. Repeat it enough times and you’ve just created yourself a habit! 

 

But…what if it’s not that simple? 

 

Now you ask how to implement this habit format into your life when it comes to a resolution or resolutions.  

 

Well, if memory and motivation fail you…set yourself up for success – create a reminder.  

 

For example: If you want to get in those 100 sit ups per day and want to be able to clean up after doing them, what about doing your 100 sit ups before you get in the shower? You have to take a shower every day (or so we hope you do), so what better reminder to initiate your action? And the reward? Tighter abs in due time.  

 

Studies show there is power in tiny gains. As one of our favorites says: “Success is a few simple disciplines, practiced every day; while failure is simply a few errors in judgment, repeated every day.” – Jim Rohn 

 

We suggest if you’re trying to complete 100 sit ups daily, maybe start with just 10 a day before your shower. Start small and gradually improve every day. Make it so easy you can’t say no. Add five per day. As you add more of a challenge each day your reward center in your brain will begin to feel great about this, empowering you to complete more every day and follow through on your habit.  

 

If your habit has to do with money – find what works for you and what reminder is going to trigger your action. It depends on your job and whether you get a direct deposit of income or walk with cash tips – whatever way you get paid, make the habit of auto-saving, even if you just take a portion of your earnings and divvy it up appropriately toward your goals.  

 

Willpower is like a muscle, so start small and break the habit into chunks if necessary. Do 50 sit-ups before your shower, and 50 sit ups before bed. Save $20 per week and then in a couple months bump it up to $50 per week. Be reasonable with your goals.  

 

The last thing to remember 

 

And lastly, if you slip up, get back on track quickly. Never let a missed habit happen two times in a row. That is what can derail all efforts you’ve made. One public sociologist named Christine Whelan says it takes 90 days before a habit becomes a lifestyle. So, how long are you willing to give your new habit a try?  

 

We hope you are having a bright and successful new year, and want you to remember success is the result of a thousand failures. If you’ve fallen off the New Year’s resolution bandwagon, it doesn’t have to be all or nothing—we just want you to know how to make better habits, we hope that we’ve enlightened you a little. 

 

Don’t forget about your healthy teeth habits, too! We’ll see you soon!



Monday, 15 January 2018

What’s In A Root Canal?

There’s dentistry and then there’s “endodontic treatment.” So, what’s the difference? Is one a smaller part of the other?

 

The word “endodontic” stems from the Greek words for “inside” (endo) and “tooth” (odont). Together, the meaning of a root canal treatment is brought to a term. Endodonic therapy is actually a tooth-saving branch of the dental industry.

 

In order to better understand what a root canal is and how “endodontic therapy” can help save a tooth, it is essential to understand the anatomy of a tooth.

 What’s in a root canal?

A tooth’s anatomy 

 

Starting from the outside-in, let’s first talk about what you see when someone smiles: the enamel of the tooth—you know, that (preferably) white, shiny stuff.

 

Below the enamel is a layer called dentin. Dentin is softer than enamel, but is the second hardest tissue in the body—akin to bone—with a yellowish tint (hence when your dentin is exposed or enamel wears, your teeth look more yellow).

 

Below the layer of dentin you have the “pulp” of the tooth. The pulp contains blood vessels, nerves and connective tissue that create surrounding hard tissues of the tooth during its initial development. Reaching from the top of the tooth to the bottom of the roots, the pulp connects everything to the tissues of the jaw. Once the tooth is fully mature, however, it can survive without the pulp…hence why a root canal works!

 

So, what exactly happens during a root canal? First, let’s dive into why a root canal is usually needed.

 

The cause for a root canal

 

If the pulp layer of a tooth becomes infected or inflamed (due to enamel erosion, cavities, decay, impact, repeated dental procedures, a chip or a crack, or something else), you will experience sure signs like pain, prolonged sensitivity to heat or cold, tenderness to touch and chewing, discoloration and swelling in that area. These symptoms signify infection or inflammation that can cause more pain over time and eventually lead to an abscess. Read: go to your dentist immediately to sort out the cause and get appropriate treatment.

 

If the needed treatment is a root canal, what happens during the procedure by the endodontist? Allow us to paint that picture.

 

How root canals work

 

  1. An exam and x-ray is done to identify the infected area. After taking a look, your dentist will administer a local anesthetic to numb the area, and then isolate the tooth by placing a “dental dam” (a small protective sheet) over the area to keep it sanitary and dry throughout the procedure.

 

  1. Once isolated, the procedure begins. First, the endodontist will drill an opening into the crown (or top) of the tooth. Once an opening is created the endodontist can clean out the infected pulp from the entire pulp chamber and the roots below to prepare the space for the filling.

 

  1. After the canals of the tooth have been shaped, a biocompatible material called “gutta-percha” (a rubber compound) is used to fill the canals where the existing pulp and roots were. This is done with a cement adhesive that ensures total sealant of the canals. On top of the gutta-percha will be a layer of composite filling. For some patients, this is all that a root canal will entail.

 

  1. Depending on the strength of your tooth and if it is possible for it to hold the restoration in place, your endodontist may opt to use a post inside of the tooth, add a crown—or even a crown and post to prevent the tooth from breaking.

 

  1. If a crown is the avenue you have to take, then a temporary crown will be placed on top of the filling at this time. You’ll have a second appointment when the permanent crown is ready to be placed.

 

Where is a root canal on the pain Richter?

 

Many people report that a root canal procedure itself is equivalent to having a filling done. If the anesthetic is done correctly you should only feel the vibrations from the tools.

 

Starting a few hours after the procedure is when you might feel sensitivity due to the area being inflamed from impact. Usually over-the-counter medications like ibuprofen, or naproxen can subdue the pain, and in a few days you should return to normal.

 

For a period of time, there may be a noticeable difference in your bite or how your tooth feels to your tongue. In time, this will change, and you’ll become used to the new shape or feel.

 

Caring for your tooth and/or crown after the procedure

 

Until the root canal procedure is officially complete, and the permanent filling or crown is in place, it’s best to chew on the opposite side of your mouth.

 

We’re happy to report that no extra care is needed for this update to your teeth! Continue upping your game with good oral care (i.e., brushing twice a day, flossing once a day, using mouthwash, eating a healthy diet and seeing your dentist regularly), and you can put this quick procedure fast behind you!