Root Canals – A Great Procedure with a Bad Reputation

Root Canals – A Great Procedure with a Bad Reputation

In all aspects of life, sometimes a person, thing, or in this case, a dental procedure can earn a bad reputation. The root canal has earned such a reputation, perhaps because it used to be a more painful procedure. However, with our modern advancements, enhanced knowledge, and the reality that it’s a vital treatment, the root canal is actually an extraordinary treatment. Plus, it may be the only way to save your tooth. Take a minute and explore one of the most widely hated procedures, and see why it’s absolutely vital for some patients.

The Inner-Layers of Our Teeth

We’re all familiar with the outer layer of our teeth – we brush it, chew with it, and everyone sees it when we smile. But what many people don’t know is that there are other parts inside of your teeth that keep it alive. They include the pulp, nerves, roots, and even a section called the root canal which gives this treatment its name. When an infection spreads to these inner areas of the tooth, it can cause immense pain and may have to be extracted.

The Anatomy of a Tooth
Credit: WebMD, 2009

What Exactly is a Root Canal?

Essentially, a root canal involves removing all of the inner parts of a tooth that keep it alive, thereby eliminating the need for extraction. When faced with a severely infected tooth, the two most common choices are as follows:

  1. Extract the tooth and replace the gap with a bridge or dental implant
  2. Get a root canal and have a custom crown cover the damaged tooth

The option involving the root canal saves your tooth and spares you from the extra money and time required for a replacement. This is why root canals are beneficial to those who are in that situation -They may be the only way to prevent you from losing a tooth.

The Irony of Root Canals

The fact that root canals are such a dreaded procedure is an irony when you consider one of their most common uses. When patients enter a dental office complaining of severe pain to their teeth, often this pain is debilitating and is keeping them from focusing on anything else. Well, guess what procedure is most often used to alleviate this pain and provide relief? The root canal. The truth is that the root canal relieves far more pain than it ever causes.  

Root Canals are Nothing to Worry About!

Although root canals have developed a bad reputation, there is typically little pain involved in a modern root canal. When you arrive for your root canal treatment, your Nashville doctor will begin by administering anesthesia to numb the area. Anesthesia is extremely effective at Dentistry of Nashville and you can expect little to no pain during your procedure. Plus, it really doesn’t make sense that a root canal would be worse than more intensive surgeries, such as gum grafts or sinus augmentations – anesthesia removes the pain from these procedures.

Visit Our Nashville Team and Avoid the Need for Root Canals

A major part of preventing infection is showing up for your biannual appointments at Dentistry of Nashville. Only through consistent dental care can we remove the hardened tartar that develops on your teeth and stop dental problems before they get worse. While the root canal is an extremely useful procedure, our dental team in Nashville wants you to avoid the need for one as long as possible. Contact us to see how we can help your smile.  


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Make Your Appointment a Breeze with Sedation Dentistry

Make Your Appointment a Breeze with Sedation Dentistry

It’s no surprise that many people feel some degree of anxiety about visiting the dentist. Whether you’re stressed, afraid, or don’t want to feel any pain during your procedure, sedation dentistry may be for you. With precise doses of anesthesia, we can ensure that you get the dental care you need without even remembering your experience. Discover how sedation dentistry provides an outlet for dental care for those who experience fear and anxiety at the dentist.

Different Levels of Sedation

Patients react differently to sedation dentistry depending on gender, weight, height, and other factors. Therefore, different types and methods are used to ensure optimal sedation for each patient. These are the most commonly used types of sedation dentistry:

4 Types of Sedation Dentistry

These are the 4 kinds of sedation dentistry that are commonly used:

1. Oral Sedation

Oral sedation involves the use of pills to sedate the patient. Commonly used drugs in oral sedation dentistry include hydroxyzine, lorazepam, and diazepam. Since people react differently to medication, it can be more difficult to gauge the degree of sedation when using pills.

2. IV Sedation

IV sedation has the advantages of being easier to control than other types. With the patient attached to an IV, the sedative is fed through the tube and allowed to enter their bloodstream. IV sedation is a popular choice for sedation dentistry because the doctor can easily add or decrease the amount as needed.

3. Nitrous Oxide

Nitrous oxide is a gas that has commonly been used for anesthesia. Considered the lightest form of anesthesia, nitrous oxide is administered via a gas tank, breathing tube, and a respirator. When used for medical sedation, the effect of nitrous oxide is typically enough to dull most pain and leave the patient in a sedated state.

4. General Anesthesia

General anesthesia uses one or more sedative agents to ensure a loss of reflexes in patients. General anesthesia affects the entire body, and is the most powerful form of sedation. Since general anesthesia is powerful enough to be used after major surgeries, it’s not often the top choice for sedation dentistry.

Benefits of Sedation Dentistry

Considering sedation dentistry during your next appointment? More and more people are experiencing this method of taking the stress out of their dental appointments. Check out some of the most pertinent reasons why you might benefit from sedation dentistry:

  • Take the pain and stress out of dental visits
  • Get more than one procedure accomplished in a single visit
  • Remain relaxed for sensitive or complex procedures
  • Shut down your reflexes to make a procedure easier to undergo
  • Ideal for patients with a sensitive gag reflex
  • Helps those who suffer from dental phobia and dental anxiety

Try Sedation at Dentistry of Nashville on Your Next Visit!

At Dentistry of Nashville, we understand that some patients get stressed over their dental visits. We offer sedation dentistry to ensure that you feel comfortable and relaxed during your appointment. Feel free to take all of the stress out of your next appointment by letting us know that you want sedation dentistry – we always put your needs first at Dentistry of Nashville. Contact us to make an appointment and see what we can do for your smile.

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By: Richard

By: Richard

5 Extractions 9 Implants in all. I wanted to see a new country having lived in states all my life….so I considered Europe, Thailand and India, I never saw this guide but did some research on the Internet, got quotes and even spoke on phone. Finally settled for India, because I knew English is widely spoken and for a procedure like implants I wanted to be able to communicate with the dentist well. I chose center for dental implants & esthetics in Delhi suburb called Gurgam.
Young team of 4-5 folks’s a boutique dental office- they mostly focus on implants and that’s what I wanted. All the dentist and their patient care team speak good English, so no problem there. They managed my accommodation, mid-range hotel but absolutely no problem was around $50-60 I believe.
First visit for 7 days. Day 1 Set of X-rays were done again, done thorough examination dental chart was prepared. Left for sight seeing OLD DELHI, what culture, came back again in the evening – discussed the treatment plan. They work on Sundays too…so over the weekend all extractions were done and sutures placed, medication was given.
Day 3 after review found ok to go for sight seeing. Day 4 went to Taj Mahal what a sight….marvelous structure did some shopping. Day 5 -Day7 more tour in Delhi and flight back to Alabama.
Second visit after 4 months another 7 days I kept 3 days exclusively for Rajasthan – Jaipur & Jodhpur….loved it.
The whole process was smooth. They will help you with visa and air tickets too, prompt with request and I learnt they throw in surprise package for companion, although I was alone. I saved almost 25K in the whole deal but it’s worth your time and effort. I will recommend them for their treatment planning.

from Comments on: Dental Tourism – Interviews & Experiences of Treatment Abroad
Have You Brought Your Toddler in to the Dentist Yet?

Have You Brought Your Toddler in to the Dentist Yet?

Do you know the recommended age to bring your child to the dentist?

Your first year with a baby is a busy one. The parents are just getting used to their routine and to fulfilling the many needs of their new child. From preliminary visits to the pediatrician to ensuring you have enough diapers, there are a wide range of new concerns when you have your first baby.  It’s also recommended to bring them in for their first dental appointment by the end of their first year their first teeth are beginning to erupt.

What to Expect During Your Baby’s Visit

The main purpose of your child’s initial visit to the dentist is to get them accustomed to the dental care process. At age one, your child will only have a fraction of their baby teeth. During the appointment, your child will meet the dentist, sit in the dental chair, and undergo an exam.

3 Reasons the First Dental Appointment is Important

1. Get them used to seeing the dentist

Throughout their life, your child will be responsible for visiting the dentist at least twice each year. Taking them to the dentist as toddlers gets this process started early and sets the tone for excellent oral health well into the future. Experiences like sitting in the dental chair and keeping their mouth open for an exam will prepare your child for a lifetime of effective oral care.

2. Catch any ailments before they get worse

By the time they’re one, your child has most likely tried a wide variety of foods. Even if you’re committed to only giving them the best, their daycare workers or other relatives may have spoiled them with sugary foods. The trip to the dentist is vital because it’s an opportunity to catch any dental problems that may be beginning to develop.

3. Learn the status of your child’s dental progress

During your child’s first dental appointment, you’ll learn the status of their teeth, how many they have, and whether there is anything unique about their mouth. Parents will appreciate this information because teeth in the rear parts of the mouth can be difficult to see, especially if they’re not fully formed yet.

Why You Shouldn’t Skip Your Kid’s Appointment

According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), 20% of children between 2 and 5 years old have one untreated cavity. Skipping your child’s dental appointments sets them up to be one of those statistics. By taking care of their oral health needs at home and visiting our Nashville dentists, you can avoid cavities for your child. Why risk cavities developing in your toddler if it’s entirely preventable?

Bring Your Kid to Dentistry of Nashville Today!

Even if your kid doesn’t have all of their teeth yet, it’s still important to bring them to the dentist before their first birthday. Setting them up for success in this way will greatly benefit their oral health in the future. If you’re near the Nashville area, bring your child in to Dentistry of Nashville for an exam. Contact us with any questions – We hope to see you!

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By: taivin98

By: taivin98

Hi Karen; did you go? I’m in your situation and need some advice from someone who has been there. I’m not worried about traveling alone, I just want to make sure I don’t get ripped off by the dentist incurring extra charges not mentioned. I’m told to get a written contract and study it very carefully and to see if the dentist guarantees their work in case something goes wrong with the work.

Thank you,


from Comments on: Dental Tourism – Interviews & Experiences of Treatment Abroad
Understanding Acid – The True Culprit Behind Cavities

Understanding Acid – The True Culprit Behind Cavities

Sugar often takes the blame for being the worst food product for your teeth, but acid develops from this sugar and bacteria and eats away at the enamel. There are foods rich in this corrosive dental acid as well, and many of them are healthy. Learn more about this acid that grows from the sugars in your mouth and see how it takes its toll on your oral health.

How Acid Develops in Your Mouth

Everyone has a certain amount of acid in their mouths on a daily basis – the problem is when that acid is excessive or is left on the teeth to eat away at their enamel.

When you eat foods that contain simple sugars, acid grows from these and begins to erode the hard surfaces of the teeth. Bacteria and acid from the food you eat sticks to your teeth and the acids they produce do corrosive damage to their dentin, enamel, and cementum.

Eating Your Enamel – Acid and Your Oral Health

The biggest problem that arises from acid is that it eats holes through each layer of your teeth. Cavities are holes in the teeth and are caused by acid from sugars and bacteria. Tooth decay from acid eating away your enamel can cause a variety of problems:

  • Weaken your tooth
  • Cause pain as your tooth loses its structure
  • Loosening or loss of your tooth
  • Difficulty eating or chewing with your teeth
  • Varying degrees of dental caries

3 Forms of Dental Caries (Cavities)

Arguably the most common problem caused by acid is that it eats craters out of your teeth and causes cavities. What most people do not know is that the type of cavity differs based on how many layers the acid has eaten through. These are the three stages of dental caries:

  1. Dental Caries – Only the enamel is damaged
  2. Dentinal Caries – The corrosion has progressed into the tooth’s dentin
  3. Cementum Caries – The deepest and most rare form of cavities

Which Foods Cause the Most Acid?

All liquids have a rating on the pH meter that shows how acidic they are and food products do as well. The foods with a low pH level are highly acidic and can pose more of a threat to your oral health. Here are some of the foods that are known to be most acidic:

  • Citrus fruits (oranges, lemons, limes, grapefruit)
  • Tomato products (pasta sauce, hot sauce, ketchup, salsa)
  • Alcohol (beer, wine, liquor)
  • Coffee
  • Cranberries
  • Fruit juices

Tips for Minimizing the Acid in Your Mouth

If left on your teeth, acidic foods can cause damage to them over time. But this doesn’t mean that avoiding every acidic food is the answer. Many acidic foods are healthy, so they still can have a consistent place in your pantry. Instead of avoiding acidic foods altogether, just follow these tips for keeping acid from causing dental damage to your teeth:

  • Have water with highly acidic foods
  • Visit your dentist – they can spot early dental erosion
  • Drink lots of water – water and saliva help keep your mouth clean
  • Use an enamel-building toothpaste
  • Brush & floss twice daily – especially after acidic foods

Learn More about Preventing Acid at Dentistry of Nashville

Now that you understand why acid is one of the biggest threats to your oral health, you can take better actions to prevent it. Along with consistent home care, keeping up with your bi-annual dental visits will do a lot to keep your oral health intact. Drs. Fleming, Elan, and Vaughn have the experience to provide advanced dental treatments and improve your smile. Contact the Dentistry of Nashville today to see what we can do for you.

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See How Your Workouts Can Have a Dire Effect on Your Teeth

See How Your Workouts Can Have a Dire Effect on Your Teeth

Did you know that certain aspects of being an athlete have a devastating effect on your teeth?

Whether you prefer to run for miles at a time or you’re a gym rat who loves tossing heavy weights around, your workout habits can be taking their toll on your oral health. Learn more about why this is and what can be done about it to ensure that your own smile stays healthy.  

The Shredded Body and Rotten Mouths of Olympians

For evidence of how athletes’ oral health is impacted by strenuous exercise, look to this study that focused on 278 visitors to the Olympic clinic and reported stunning facts about their declining oral health. At this clinic for Olympic athletes, at least 75% had diseased gums and 55% had cavities. About one-quarter of the athletes said their dental problems impacted their quality of life during the games. These stats beg the question – why are athlete’s teeth so bad?

3 Main Reasons that Athletes’ Teeth Often Suffer

From rowers to track stars, serious athletes run a greater risk of gum disease than the average person. It’s important to know that this dental damage isn’t caused by their workout at all – it’s caused by decisions that are made surrounding the workout. By keeping these pitfalls in mind, you can engage in your favorite physical activities without your teeth having to suffer for it.

  1. Breathing Hard Causes Dry Mouth

Ever notice how it becomes difficult to breathe normally while running? This increased level of exertion means that more oxygen must be circulated throughout the body, and this manifests as harder and more frequent breathing. Ultimately, this leads to dry mouth, a condition that is terrible for your oral health. Dry mouth deprives the mouth of its main defense system: saliva.

  1. Sports Drinks are Loaded with Sugar

Are you a fan of Gatorade, Powerade, and other popular sports drinks? It’s important to know that these beverages played a key role in the poor oral health of Olympic athletes in the aforementioned study. From runners to bodybuilders, numerous athletes tend to grab sports drinks that are marketed towards them, not knowing the damage they’re causing to their teeth. Considering that a basic 20oz Gatorade has over 30g of sugar, water is clearly a better option.

  1. Snack Choices are Often Bad for the Teeth

Hours of intense exercise means that athletes need to refuel, and their choices are often pre-packaged, quick, and full of sugar. Whether your favorite sports snack includes protein bars, dried fruit, or trail mix, each of these sports snacks will take a toll on your oral health. Ensure that your mid-workout snacks are low in sugar to prevent damage to your smile.

Quick Tips for Keeping your Teeth Healthy While Working Out

While working out can take a toll on your smile, these consequences can be easily avoided with a few steps. Check out these quick tips for keeping your teeth healthy as an athlete:  


  • Choose Water Instead of Sports Drinks


You need to stay hydrated during your workout and water can make that happen without filling your body with extra sugar.


  • Make Your Own Electrolyte Water Sports Drink


If replenishing electrolytes is a concern, there’s still no need to rely on store-bought sports drinks. With a few simple ingredients, you can make your own instead! Finding your own favorite recipe for an electrolyte rich sports drink will save you money on brand name sports drinks. Try these five variations you can make yourself.


  • Plan Healthy Snacks Instead of Packaged Sports Bars


While there are some healthy, natural, and low sugar options for protein bars and sports snacks, most of them advertise as if they’re healthy while being loaded with ingredients that aren’t. Take the guess work out of it by putting together some snacks you can be proud of: Look to natural snacks like baby carrots, cucumbers, apples, and bananas to keep you fueled for your workout.

Count on Dentistry of Nashville to Restore Your Smile!

Our Nashville dentists have a strong appreciation for athletic hobbies. In fact, water skiing, tennis, and other sports are among our favorite activities. We understand that serious athletes face additional risks to their oral health that the average person does not. You can depend on us to examine your unique condition and put together a treatment plan that takes your needs into account – Contact us today!

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