Root Canal Therapy

Root Canal Recovery Tips

A root canal is a common dental procedure to remove infection inside a tooth. It may be a treatment as well as a preventative measure against future dental infections. Contrary to what one may think, the root canal is not a treatment but is actually part of a tooth.

Teeth contain the crown and the roots. The crown is above the gumline, while the roots attach to the bone. The root canal is a hollow section of the tooth inside the crown and root. It sits primarily above the gum line and contains nerve tissue, blood vessels, and cells known as pulp.

What is a Root Canal?

A dentist or an endodontist performs a root canal. The procedure has three steps and may take one to three sessions.

  • Cleaning the root canal
  • Filling the root canal
  • Adding a crown or filling

Root Canal Therapy

And, while many people shudder at the mere thought of a root canal, it is not the painful procedure often believed. Rather, a root canal alleviates pain. However, your dentist at Shpritz Family Dental will administer local anesthesia to ensure a pain-free procedure.

As with any health procedure, complications can occur. Some of these complications include:

  • The dentist finds only three root canals in a tooth that should have 4. If a canal is not treated, the infection may not be eradicated and instead spread into the bone.
  • The filling material is not placed deep enough into the canal, leaving room for the infection to return.
  • The tooth’s root may crack, making it difficult to fill the tooth completely.

If an unanticipated complication occurs, it may be necessary to call your dentist for a follow up visit. To prevent future complications during the recovery process, it is essential that you do your part to follow your dentist’s instructions.

Root Canal Recovery Tips

  1. Get some rest. Your body heals best when it is resting. So, plan to take a day or two off from work so you can spend some time resting. Be sure to get a pillow that keeps your head elevated to minimize pain. In addition to resting, avoid exercise or strenuous activities for at least 48 hours.
  2. Don’t eat until the numbness goes away. The great thing is eating ice cream (nothing with nuts or chunks) is highly recommended because the cold helps reduce swelling. But you will need to avoid hot drinks, using a straw, smoking, alcohol, or hard/sticky foods. Great food choices are soft foods high in vitamins A and C, such as eggs, baked sweet potatoes, or fully cooked carrots.
  3. Gargle with warm salt water daily. This helps prevent infection and swelling while keeping the area clean.
  4. Take your medicine. Typically, OTC meds are enough, but your dentist may give you a prescription.
  5. Pay attention to your body. Some residual pain is common. If it lingers for several days, call our office sooner rather than later.
  6. Brush your teeth, but gently. You don’t want anything to get trapped between your teeth or cause plaque to develop.

If getting a root canal is on your calendar, don’t stress. Our dental team at Shpritz Family Dental can answer your questions and provide the information you need to recover quickly. By following these tips, you can return to your regular routines in no time.

TMJ Pain

Alleviating TMJ Popping, Clicking, and Pain

Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) disorders, characterized by symptoms like clicking, popping, and jaw pain, can significantly impact your quality of life. However, several effective methods exist for managing and correcting these issues. Here’s an overview:

Consult with a Dental or Medical Professional:

The first step in addressing TMJ disorders is to get a proper diagnosis from a dentist or doctor. They can assess the severity of your condition and recommend appropriate treatments.

TMJ PainUse of Oral Appliances:

A common treatment for TMJ disorders is the use of oral appliances like splints or mouth guards. These devices help align the jaw and can prevent teeth grinding (bruxism), which often exacerbates TMJ symptoms.

Medications:

Over-the-counter pain relievers and anti-inflammatories can alleviate pain and swelling. In some cases, muscle relaxants or stronger pain medications may be prescribed for short-term relief.

Physical Therapy:

Physical therapy can be very effective in treating TMJ disorders. Exercises to strengthen and stretch jaw muscles can help improve jaw function and reduce pain.

Stress Management and Relaxation Techniques:

Stress can contribute to TMJ disorders. Techniques such as deep breathing, yoga, or meditation can help manage stress levels and reduce jaw clenching.

TMJ PainAvoiding Excessive Jaw Movements:

Limit activities that overextend the jaw, such as wide yawning, loud singing, and chewing gum. Be mindful of resting your chin on your hand, which can also put pressure on the TMJ.

Dietary Changes:

Opt for soft foods that require less chewing to give your jaw a break. Avoid hard, chewy, or sticky foods that can strain the TMJ.

Hot and Cold Compresses:

Applying warm or cold compresses to the jaw area can help relieve pain and reduce muscle tension.

Massage and Self-Care Techniques:

Gently massaging the jaw and temples can alleviate tension in the muscles around the TMJ.

Orthodontic Treatment:

Misaligned teeth or an uneven bite can contribute to TMJ disorders. In some cases, correcting these issues with braces or other orthodontic treatments can provide relief.

Surgical Options:

In severe cases where other treatments have failed, surgical options like arthrocentesis or TMJ arthroscopy may be considered.

It’s important to approach TMJ disorders with a holistic treatment plan tailored to your specific needs and symptoms. Regular follow-ups with your healthcare provider are essential to monitor progress and adjust treatments as necessary. With proper care and management, it is possible to significantly reduce or even eliminate the discomfort associated with TMJ disorders.  If you or someone you know suffers from TMJ pain, contact us at Shpritz Family Dental for solutions to the problem!

sedation

Ways to Relax and Relieve Dental Anxiety

Visiting the dentist can be a nerve-wracking experience for many, but there are effective ways to relax and make your dental appointments more comfortable, including the option of sleep dentistry. Here’s how you can ease your anxiety and have a more pleasant dental visit:

Communicate Your Fears:

Start by openly discussing your anxiety with your dentist. Understanding your fears allows them to adapt their approach to make you more comfortable.

Practice Deep Breathing:

Use deep breathing exercises to calm your nerves. Inhale slowly, hold for a few seconds, and exhale gradually. This helps reduce stress and relax your muscles.

sedationListen to Music or Podcasts:

Bring headphones and listen to your favorite music, audiobook, or podcast. This distracts your mind and creates a soothing environment.

Use Guided Imagery:

Visualize a peaceful and relaxing scene in your mind. Accordingly, this form of meditation can significantly lower stress levels during your appointment.

Schedule Appointments Wisely:

Choose a time for your dental visit when you’re less likely to be rushed or under pressure, such as early in the morning.

Bring a Friend or Family Member:

Having someone you trust with you can provide emotional support and make you feel more secure.

Hold a Stress Ball or Fidget Toy:

Squeezing a stress ball or fidgeting with a small toy can help release tension and keep your hands occupied.

Consider Sleep Dentistry:

For those with severe dental anxiety, sleep dentistry can be a viable option.  This involves using sedatives to relax or even sleep through the procedure.

Ask About Comfort Measures:

Many dental offices offer comfort measures like pillows, blankets, etc.  Don’t hesitate to ask for these amenities.

Focus on the Benefits:

Remind yourself of the positive aspects of dental care, like the health benefits and the feeling of taking good care of yourself.

Arrive Early:

Arrive a bit early to your appointment to avoid rushing. Use this time to relax in the waiting area and acclimate to the environment.

Learn About the Procedure:

Understanding what to expect during your dental procedure can reduce fear of the unknown.

By employing these strategies, you can significantly reduce dental anxiety and make your visits to the dentist more relaxed and comfortable. Remember, taking care of your dental health is an important aspect of your overall well-being.  To learn more about sleep dentistry or to set your next dental appointment with us, contact Shpritz Family Dental today!