July 16, 2014

Root Canal Treatment…Not So Bad After All?

lake-orion-root-canalAs you can imagine, it’s hard for dental professionals such as ourselves to hear of procedures used as euphemisms for terrible, terrifying things. The phrase “like pulling teeth” comes to mind. Dr. Brad Greenfield, who treats root canals in Lake Orion, MI, explains that much has changed in the past decade. Dental procedures are now performed more safely, quickly, and comfortably than ever thanks to intensive training and advancements in dental technology.

Do I Really Need a Root Canal?

First, let’s clear up some confusion about the name of the treatment itself. The procedure isn’t actually called a root canal; it’s a root canal treatment or root canal therapy. Actually, everyone has several root canals in each of their teeth. These miniscule tubules begin deep within your tooth in a bundle of nerves and tissue. When an infection strikes your tooth, these nerves are exposed and you experience pain. Without treatment, an abscess or infection originating near the root of your tooth may cause the tooth to become non-vital, that is, dead.

But Won’t a Root Canal Treatment Hurt?

Some discomfort is to be expected following your procedure, but take a moment to put this into perspective. Suppose you’ve just  broken your leg while playing football. When you arrive at the emergency room, you don’t question that the bone must be stabilized and set to ensure proper healing. To do so, the surgeon must actually touch and manipulate your leg before encasing it within a cast. The cast isn’t the painful part; the fracture is. You certainly wouldn’t shy away from having the broken bone set, knowing that to do so would cause even greater pain and damage. Root canal treatment is the same way. No, it’s not fun or painless, but it is absolutely necessary. Dr. Greenfield also offers multiple sedation options for patients who have anxiety or fear about having dental work completed.

Will I Require Restorative Dentistry?

Most patients will require further dental work to reinforce the affected tooth or teeth. Otherwise, you will be unable to eat and speak as before. Dr. Greenfield generally restores the infection-free tooth using a CEREC dental crown, which can be placed in a single office visit. That brings us to another misconception–that treating infected root canals requires several lengthy office visits. And as for metal fillings, visible to all when you open your mouth to eat or speak? No thank you! Our patients appreciate that our crowns are tooth-colored so others will be unable to tell that you’ve undergone a dental procedure.

Delaying a root canal treatment is dangerous. To learn more about our services, or to schedule a consultation with Dr. Brad Greenfield, contact Lake Orion Family Dentistry at 248-693-6213. We welcome patients living in and around Lake Orion, Royal Oak,


July 11, 2014

Sedation Options for a Stress-Free Smile

Sedation dentistry in Lake Orion, MIAt the office of Dr. Brad Greenfield, we look forward to coming into the office each day for work, but we understand that not everyone views a trip to the dentist office with the same enthusiasm. If you feel anxious or even frightened about dental procedures, you certainly aren’t alone. It’s estimated that up to 80% of the population shares your feelings. The good news? You can now opt for sedation dentistry in Lake Orion, MI. How do you know which option is best for you? Of the following, which sounds most like you?

Arthur: Nitrous Oxide

Arthur, a 51-year-old project manager, has a packed schedule that leaves very little room for error. He’s known for a while that he has one or more cavities, but hasn’t been able to take off work to have a dental filling placed. After much finagling, he has finally carved out an hour or two for an exam and professional teeth cleaning with Dr. Greenfield. There’s no way he can take off for the rest of the day, though, and he will need to return to work immediately after. Arthur doesn’t want to inconvenience anyone by having them give him a ride after his appointment, but he is admittedly a bit nervous about the procedure.

Dr. Greenfield says: Arthur would benefit from nitrous oxide for inhalation (“laughing gas”), which takes the edge off of minor dental procedures. Because the effects of nitrous subside almost immediately after removing the mask, Arthur will have no problem driving himself back to the office.

Marilyn: IV Sedation

After years of neglecting her teeth and gums, 36-year-old Marilyn isn’t really surprised when she learns that she will need extensive dental work. She has several cavities that will require a filling, another tooth that must be extracted, and a root canal treatment. She works from home and doesn’t drive, so it would be very inconvenient to return to her dentist’s office several times to treat all of these problems. She’s somewhat high-strung and would have a hard time remaining in the dental chair for so long. Marilyn’s daughter has volunteered to take her to and from her appointment.

Dr. Greenfield says: The longer Marilyn goes without treatment, the less likely it is that she will keep her teeth. IV sedation is a good match for several reasons. This method offers optimal relaxation, allowing her to rest comfortably while Dr. Greenfield and his team perform multiple procedures. Intravenous sedatives can cause residual drowsiness, so it’s a good thing that Marilyn’s daughter can help. Even if Marilyn did drive, she would not be able to safely do so after her appointment.

Joe: Oral Sedation

Joe, a retired salesman, takes excellent care of his teeth, but he has a mysterious toothache that makes eating difficult. It’s been years since he last visited his Lake Orion dentist for an exam and x-rays. Not that Joe is afraid of the dentist; the problem is his sensitive gag reflex. After an embarrassing incident at his last dental appointment, he’s understandably anxious that this could happen again. Even so, the pain in his mouth has become almost too severe, and he’ll need to take action soon.

Dr. Greenfield says: Joe is an excellent candidate for oral sedation. It’s understandable that Joe would be nervous about his gag reflex. Oral sedation would help Joe relax, allowing him to receive much-needed treatment for the pain in his tooth. He could also schedule a professional teeth cleaning and full exam at the same time. Patients who choose oral sedation will need to make transportation arrangements after their appointment.

Questions about sedation dentistry in Lake Orion, MI? To learn more about our sedation options, or to schedule an appointment with Dr. Brad Greenfield, contact us at 248-693-6213. We welcome patients living in Lake Orion, Royal Oak, Auburn Hills, Rochester Hills, and the surrounding areas.


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