McDonough Endodontic Center

How to Choose the Right Endodontist for You

With National Dentist’s Day coming up on March 6, you might be considering what qualities to look for in a dental specialist known as an endodontist. While all dentists earn an undergraduate degree, graduate from dental school, and complete hundreds of supervised hours of patient care and planning, endodontists complete an additional two years of training after dental school.

These specialists diagnose and treat diseases related to the inside of a tooth, especially the pulp and tissues surrounding it. Each tooth has pulp that contains blood vessels, soft tissues, and nerves. When bacteria invades the pulp, several types of endodontic diseases can occur. The root canal is the most common endodontic procedure. This involves an endodontist removing the diseased pulp and cleaning the tooth from the inside.

Key Considerations When Searching for an Endodontist

In most cases, patients visit an endodontist because their primary dentist referred them to one. When you have a choice of where to go, it’s important to consider the qualifications, experience level, and attributes of both the endodontist and the dental practice.

For example, Dr. Desir and Dr. St. Paul of McDonough Endodontic Center have a reputation for offering gentle and personalized care. They understand that every patient comes to them with different treatment needs and concerns. Just because they perform several root canals each week doesn’t mean they approach any two procedures the same way. Whichever endodontist treats you will take the time to explain the procedure and address your concerns before proceeding with it. Other things to consider during your search for an endodontist include:

Does the practice offer advanced technology? Successful endodontic procedures require accurate imaging for planning purposes. Our practice uses cone beam computed tomography to provide the most accurate three-dimensional images to aid Dr. Desir and Dr. St. Paul with diagnosing, planning, and treating your endodontic disease. Radiograph machines allow our endodontists to see between teeth while exposing you to 90 percent less radiation than traditional dental X-ray equipment. Finally, our surgical microscopes magnify up to 25 times for precise accuracy compared to only about four times for typical dental microscopes.

Is the procedure affordable, and is the endodontic staff honest about costs? McDonough Endodontic Center currently accepts insurance from 19 providers and some dental discount plans. We also offer several convenient payment options for any balance not paid by your insurance company. In addition to cash, check, and major credit card, we accept CareCredit and Wells Fargo Health Advantage. If approved, you may qualify for low interest or no interest financing with convenient payment terms.

Does the staff help educate you about endodontic procedures and oral healthcare? We believe that an educated patient is a happy and empowered one. This is the reason we have multiple pages dedicated to answering your questions regarding everything from tooth pain to sedation options to registering as a patient. You can find this and more under the Patient Resources tab.

Get to Know Dr. Desir and Dr. St. Paul

Dr. Rolin Desir earned his undergraduate degree from Florida International University, his Doctor of Dental Science (DDS) from Meharry Medical College School of Dentistry in Tennessee, and completed a one-year general dental practice residency in New York. This inspired his passion for endodontics, which later led to completion of a two-year post-doctoral degree in the field. Dr. Desir is currently working toward becoming a diplomat in endodontics, which is the highest honor available in this dental specialty.

Dr. Alison St. Paul received her undergraduate degree in biology from Miami’s Barry University, her DDS from the University of Pennsylvania, and completed a general practice residency at a Bronx, New York hospital. She also earned a Master of Science degree and an endodontic certification from the University of North Carolina. Both Dr. St. Paul and Dr. Desir hold board certification in endodontics.

Ready to learn more about our practice or schedule an appointment? Contact us today at 770-954-0072.

When Does Your Child Need to See an Endodontist?

February is Children’s Dental Health Month, and that usually means an increased emphasis on routine care and cavity prevention by parents, teachers, and dentists.

As important as prevention is to overall dental health, one thing often overlooked is that children sometimes need to see an endodontist too. An endodontist is a dentist with advanced training in treating the pulp located in each tooth. Below we discuss five reasons your child may need to visit McDonough Endodontic Center in McDonough, Georgia.

Sudden or Unexplained Pain in One or More Teeth

If your child complains of a toothache and you can’t determine an obvious cause, don’t hesitate to ask his or her regular dentist for a referral to our endodontists. This is also true if you try home remedies such as applying an ice pack to the painful area or taking non-prescription medication to no avail.

Dr. Rolin Desir or Dr. Alison St. Paul will isolate the source of the pain and provide your child with prompt, appropriate treatment. Remember that waiting it out isn’t the best approach when it comes to tooth pain, particularly if your child ends up needing a root canal or other type of endodontic treatment.

Trauma to the Mouth

Children have a higher risk than adults of experiencing mouth trauma simply because they’re more active. Whether it’s a baseball that strikes the cheek or falling off playground equipment, accidents can happen quickly and cause long-lasting damage without prompt evaluation and treatment.

Time is of the essence with these types of injuries because they could cause the pulp of the teeth to become exposed. This is very painful for adults, let alone children. Failing to treat the mouth trauma promptly could prolong your child’s pain and make it far more likely he or she will need the tooth extracted or face other invasive procedures.

Extreme Sensitivity to Temperature Changes

Drinking a cold beverage or eating a hot meal and then yelping in pain isn’t normal. It could be a sign that your child has exposed pulp needing a root canal or requires a dental crown on the sensitive tooth. Additionally, hot and cold sensitivity could indicate that your child has cracks in the tooth. When hot or cold touches the tooth, it causes it to expand and for the microscopic cracks to become larger. The painful sensations occur when the hot or cold food or beverage makes its way to the nerves of the tooth that lie just below its enamel.

Ignoring the problem of tooth sensitivity means that it’s certain to get worse. By visiting our endodontist promptly, you can determine the cause of the hot and cold sensitivity and the best method to treat it. It also ensures that your child is as comfortable as possible and doesn’t develop anxiety around eating due to tooth pain.

A Broken Tooth with Exposed Pulp

Pulp within each tooth consists of blood vessels, connective tissue, and nerves. If you see any of these things when inspecting your child’s broken tooth, contact McDonough Endodontics immediately. This is a dental emergency that requires prompt evaluation and treatment. Avoiding the endodontist could mean extreme pain for your child, a tooth abscess, or the eventual loss of the tooth. While the most likely course of treatment is a root canal, your child’s endodontist will consider all options and advise you accordingly.

When Your Child Requires Oral Surgery

If your dentist has informed you that your child needs oral surgery, he or she should refer out to an endodontist or other specialty to complete it. Common endodontic examples include incision and drainage, apicoectomy, hemisection, and root canals.

Visit the Endodontists Who Know How to Treat Children

At McDonough Endodontics, we welcome all children and treat them with the respect and compassion they deserve. Both you and your child will feel at ease in our comfortable, kid-friendly environment. If you feel your child has a dental health issue related to tooth pulp, ask your dentist for a referral to our endodontic practice today.







A Deep-Dive into Endodontic Retreatment


Root canal treatment, also known as endodontic treatment or simply “root canal,” can save your badly decayed or infected tooth. With proper care, a tooth that has undergone root canal treatment can last a lifetime. Sometimes, though, the treated tooth does not heal properly or it can become painful or diseased long after endodontic treatment. In these cases, endodontic retreatment can offer a second chance.

The root canal is not actually a treatment – it is a part of the tooth. Specifically, the root canal is a hollow section deep inside your tooth. The root canal holds dental pulp, which is made of nerve tissue, blood vessels, and other cells. The nerve serving the tooth lies within the root canal.

Injury, cracks, fractures, tooth decay, and dental caries (also known as cavities) can allow microbes to enter your dental pulp. Bacteria can multiply there to cause infection or a pus-filled pocket, known as an abscess, at the ends of the tooth roots. Left untreated, this can lead to major tooth decay and tooth loss. A root canal stops this destructive process and saves your tooth.

Endodontic Treatment

During root canal treatment, a specially trained dentist known as an endodontist removes the nerve and pulp of the affected tooth. Next, the endodontic professional cleans the interior of the root canal with tiny files and irrigation solutions before filling your tooth with a rubber-like material and sealing the canals with adhesive cement. Lastly, the dentist may place a crown over your tooth to protect it from further damage.

Following the root canal procedure, the tooth is dead, so you will no longer feel pain. Because the procedure eliminates the infection, endodontic treatment prevents further decay of your tooth.

Endodontic Retreatment

While endodontic treatment is effective, it does not have a 100 percent success rate – a small percentage of patients need endodontic retreatment. Some require another procedure because a tooth did not properly heal after a root canal procedure. Others need endodontic retreatment after developing new problems in the treated tooth. Only your endodontist can determine if endodontic retreatment is right for you.

Teeth may not heal properly after a root canal procedure for a number of reasons. Some teeth have exceptionally narrow or curved canals that can be difficult to clean out, for example, while other teeth may have complicated canal anatomy that went undetected during the first procedure. Delayed placement of the crown after the initial root canal can lead to further cracking or breakage of the tooth enamel. Incomplete sealing of the root canal can allow saliva to enter the tooth and contaminate the treated area.

New problems can jeopardize your endodontic treatments. Further tooth decay exposes the root canal filling material to bacteria, for example, and can potentially cause a new infection inside your tooth. A broken or cracked crown could also expose your tooth to new infection. Tooth fractures can also cause a problem for your treated tooth.

Endodontic retreatment can support healing and help save your tooth. During endodontic retreatment, the endodontist will reopen your tooth to gain access to the material filling the root canal. This may involve disassembling and removing the crown and core materials.

The endodontist may then use magnification and illumination to search for additional canals or unusual tooth anatomy that requires root canal treatment. After cleaning the canals, the endodontic professional will fill and seal the canals and place a temporary crown over your treated tooth to protect it.

In cases where the canals are blocked or unusually narrow, the endodontic professional may recommend endodontic surgery. This procedure involves making an incision that allows the endodontist to seal the other end of the root.

After completion of endodontist retreatment, you will return to the dentist for the placement of a new crown or other restoration to protect and restore the tooth.

Endodontic retreatment can prevent tooth loss and save your smile. McDonough Endodontic Center is dedicated exclusively to endodontic care. Our team of highly trained, compassionate endodontists offers a number of endodontic procedures, including root canals and endodontic retreatment, using state-of-the-art equipment designed with safety and efficacy in mind. At McDonough Endodontic Center, your safety and comfort are our top priority.

Root Canal Myths Debunked

Common misconceptions and myths about root canals could have you avoiding a dental procedure that dramatically improves your oral health. Before you completely rule out getting a root canal, we want to debunk some of the most common root canal myths. By providing you with the truth about root canals we give you the information you need to make an informed decision about your dental care.

Why There are So Many Myths About Root Canals

A number of things played a role in creating myths and spreading misinformation about root canals. Some of those things include:

  • Old dental technology – advances in dental technology have improved the entire root canal experience
  • Publication of biased medical studies and research that were conducted by individuals who support uncommon or unsubstantiated medical/dental beliefs
  • Stories from patients who underwent root canals in the past – dental patients could have a bad and extremely painful experience if they visited a dentist who doesn’t specialize in root canals. Those patients will then share their stories with others who will then pass that information on to others. Over time, people start believing that all root canals are painful and bad.
  • False information spread or shared on online forums and websites

The Truth About Root Canals – Debunking 5 Common Myths

The following are five common root canal myths that many of our patients have heard.

Myth #1: Root Canals can Cause Cancer or Other Health Problems

No medical studies or research links root canals to cancer or other illnesses/health problems such as strokes, heart attacks, or diabetes.

This myth started when an article was published around 2012 on a well-known website. In the article there was a reference to a medical study that was conducted over 100 years ago that suggested that root canals may cause cancer. This was proven to be incorrect in 1950. The use of century-old research in a recent article caused many people to develop the belief that root canals and cancer/other health problems were linked.

Myth #2: Root Canals are Extremely Painful

A combination of improvements in technology, use of modern dental equipment, and the development of stronger, more efficient, anesthetic has improved the patient experience when it comes to root canal treatment. With the use of the right dental equipment, advanced technology, and anesthetic, you shouldn’t experience any pain when getting a root canal.

Myth #3:  It Takes Multiple Office Visits for a Root Canal

Several decades ago, it would take four, five, or even six office visits to complete a root canal. Thanks to advances in technology, most root canals can be completed in a single office visit. A second office visit may be needed to restore the tooth with a filling or a crown but the actual root canal treatment is usually completed in just one office visit.

Myth #4: Root Canals Only Delay the Need to Remove a Tooth

If you properly restore your tooth after a root canal with a crown or filling, practice good oral hygiene, and schedule regular dental checkups/cleanings, the tooth may never need to be extracted. Proper restoration, good oral hygiene, and regular checkups/cleanings will keep your natural teeth – even if they needed a root canal – healthy and strong so they never need to be removed.

Myth #5: Root Canals Remove the Roots of Your Tooth

Root canals are designed to remove the soft center part of the tooth known as the pulp. They do not remove the roots of the tooth.

If you have any other questions about root canals or want more information about root canal therapy, our endodontist can help. Call our office to schedule an appointment to speak with our experienced endodontist.

Endodontic Retreatment Explained

Root canal surgery is one of the most common major procedures that we perform to save our patients’ teeth here at McDonough Endodontic Center. For some patients, however, the original root canal surgery does not heal properly the first time, and endodontic retreatment may be necessary. In other cases, an entirely new infection arises from a separate issue or injury to the tooth, even years after a successful procedure. If you experience pain and other symptoms in the same tooth where the original apicoectomy was performed, please schedule an appointment as soon as possible with our endodontist for an evaluation.

What is endodontic retreatment?

Most teeth treated by root canal can heal and perform normally for the rest of your life. In cases where the tooth does not heal properly, your endodontist will need to re-open the root, remove the filling and evaluate the situation and re-treat the infected tooth, resolving any issues that continue to cause pain.

The biggest sign that you may need to have a tooth re-treated is intense pain and pressure in the affected tooth, making it hard to chew. Other symptoms include swelling, pimples, and discolored gum tissue around the affected tooth. Your tooth may also be extremely sensitive to heat or cold. Any one of these symptoms should be checked by your endodontist.

When is endodontic retreatment needed?

Endodontic retreatment may be necessary for a number of reasons. For many people who require retreatment, their individual root anatomy may include extremely curved or narrow canals that harbored a tiny amount of infection that was not detected the first time around. Sometimes, tiny amounts of saliva, which harbors a lot of bacteria, can get into the canal before the root canal filling is placed, which can also cause problems. In other situations, a delay in placing the crown after treatment can lead to infection.

Even when the first root canal procedure went perfectly, new problems can develop that may indicate endodontic retreatment. For example, new tooth decay or gingivitis can leave the root vulnerable to new bacteria, and hence, new infection. If the original crown comes loose, gets cracked or broken, this can also allow bacteria to infiltrate and re-infect the tooth. If you fracture the tooth, this also leaves the root exposed to infection.

What is involved in the procedure and healing process?

If endodontic retreatment is indicated in your situation, the endodontist will re-open the affected tooth and take out the root filling that was originally placed during the first root canal. Using advanced imaging and microscopes, our endodontist will examine the root system to discover any lingering infection or any undetected smaller, winding canals. The doctor will thoroughly remove infection, sterilizing and shaping the canals prior to placing a new root filling. A temporary filling will be used to seal the opening, and we will provide you with very specific care instructions to follow to ensure the tooth heals properly. Many patients require a follow-up visit or two to monitor the healing process. As soon as the tooth is healed, a new crown must be placed as soon as possible to keep the tooth safe from further infection.

It is important to follow your endodontist’s post retreatment care instructions exactly to allow your tooth to heal and prepare for any follow-up work that may need to be done for a full restoration of the tooth. This will give your teeth the best chance of healing correctly so that you can keep it.

The Endodontists McDonough Trusts

Dr. Rolin Desir and Dr. Alison St. Paul use the latest technology and diagnostic tools, such as small-volume, cone-beam CT scanning that creates accurate 3D images down to the smallest canals. This enables them to detect even stubborn, tiny pockets of infection so that, for most patients, endodontic retreatment will not be necessary. If you do experience painful symptoms that indicate possible retreatment, however please contact McDonough Endodontic Center right away to schedule an appointment.

Everyday Dental Habits That Will Save Your Natural Teeth

Daily Habits That'll Save Your Natural Teeth

Oral health is not just about how your smile looks, but how you take care of it! You may often overlook the importance of your oral health, but it is essential for a healthy lifestyle, as well as preventing any future dental related problems. By taking small, but significant, steps to care for the health of your teeth now, you can also prevent the price of costly visits to the dentist later. Take a moment to read up on our suggestions for excellent habits that will save your natural teeth:

1. Don’t go to bed without brushing your teeth!

Brushing at night is essential to ridding your teeth of the germs and plaque that have accumulated during the day. If brushing is neglected, then the damaging bacteria will have a higher chance of causing tooth decay. Always remember to brush your teeth twice a day to keep that bacteria at bay.

2. Tongues out!

Believe it or not, plaque also builds up on your tongue. Therefore, you should always remember to brush that as well. This plaque could cause potential problems, in addition to creating a foul mouth odor, better known as bad breath. This odor can lead to insecurities that can easily be brushed away.

3. Floss, floss, floss

Brushing is essential, but flossing is crucial in ridding your mouth of that pesky bacteria. Flossing should be done once a day (typically at night) to remove the leftover particles of food and bacteria that are permeated between the teeth. Flossing not only gets rid of waste, but it also stimulates your gums and helps reduce inflammation.

4. Use a therapeutic mouthwash

According to the ADA, therapeutic mouthwashes can help reduce plaque, prevent gingivitis, and reduce the speed that tarter develops. An added bonus of incorporating a mouthwash into your daily routine is that it helps remove food particles from your mouth. However, this is NOT a substitute for flossing or brushing.

5. Healthy you, healthy smile

Ready-to-eat foods are convenient and tasty, but perhaps not so much when it comes to your teeth and oral hygiene. Eating fresh, crunchy produce that contains healthy fiber, such as apples and celery, is a better choice when it comes to snacking.

Be sure to incorporate these 5 healthy habits into your daily routine to ensure optimal oral health! Give us a call at McDonough Endodontic Center Phone Number 770-954-0072 to learn more about how you can improve your oral hygiene and the benefits that come with it.

3 Reasons to Have a Root Canal






3 Reasons to Have a Root CanalMany people consider root canals as a last resort when dealing with tooth sensitivity of any kind. Why so? It’s important to remember that root canals do not cause pain; they relieve it. Thus, we compiled a short list of reasons as to why a root canal is just what you need to alleviate your pain, while still preserving your natural teeth!

1. Deep Decay: When you develop deep decay in your tooth, it’s time for a root canal! Unfortunately, it is difficult to identify a minor decay in the tooth, therefore they usually lead to a deeper one, increasing the pain, sensitivity, and possible infection. When the enamel and the pulp of the tooth is damaged, the best way to prevent any further discomfort is a root canal!

2. Cracked/Chipped Tooth: Cracks and chipped teeth can result from a variety of stresses, ranging anywhere from grinding, chewing or clenching. Depending on the severity of the crack in the tooth, a root canal may be the only procedure that will repair the damage, while still preserving the natural tooth.

3. Multiple Procedures on The Tooth: If there are multiple procedures done on a tooth, it increases the chance of needing a root canal. In other words, it is best to preserve the enamel and deep root of your tooth by opting for a root canal first, rather than risking the health of your natural tooth by having a variety of other procedures performed on it.

As always, if you have any questions or are curious to know whether or not a root canal is the right fit for you, please give us a call at McDonough Endodontic Center Phone Number 770-954-0072 today!

6 Essential Oils for Healthy Gums and Teeth!

6 Essential Oils for Healthy Gums and Teeth


Let’s face it; Essential oils are all the rage these days. Known for their unique healing and therapeutic benefits, essential oils have been used for centuries dating all the way back to 2000 BC. In recent years, the rise of essential oils has taken health care to an entirely new perspective, for uses like aromatherapy, ingestion and personal care. The following oils are the top essential oils for healthy, beautiful, gums and teeth!

#1: Clove is especially essential for oral health. Clinical research indicates that clove oil can relieve tooth pain and bad breath, as well as help reduce gum disease! Clove oil also has the natural ability to restrict the development of bacteria and can help fight mouth and throat infections.

#2: Thyme belongs to the mint family and therefore is often used in mouthwashes and elixirs to give flavor and freshness for oral health treatments. It contains natural chemicals that help defend from tooth decay, gingivitis and general oral infections.

#3: Oregano is a powerful antioxidant known to contain anti-inflammatory properties to help reduce bacterial and fungal infections. Oregano oil is also known to help boost the immune system and may be used in combination with coconut oil for oil pulling treatments!

#4: Tea Tree is a natural remedy for bad breath and contains ingredients that diminish plaque. This oil is a perfect ingredient for a DIY toothpaste or mouthwash because of its ability to kill off bacteria, diminish tooth decay and relieve bleeding gums! *Please note that tea tree should NOT be used for internal use other than for a mouthwash or tooth paste – you must spit it out after use and rinse with water.

#5: Peppermint is known for its cooling and numbing elements which can effectively soothe tooth and muscle aches. Research has found that peppermint oil is exceptionally powerful for fighting oral pathogens and killing common bacteria that can lead to cavities and gum disease.

#6: Cinnamon is antibacterial, antifungal and antiseptic – which makes it an effective cleanser for every oral health care need, such as relief for a sore throat! Cinnamon oil also contains one of the greatest antimicrobial properties that protect against bacteria accountable for tooth decay.

If you have any questions or concerns about your oral health, give us a call at McDonough Endodontic Center Phone Number 770-954-0072 today!

3 Common Questions About Root Canals







3 common questions about root canals

You’ve just been told you need a root canal and you’re now left in uncertainty. You’ve heard of them, but what do you really know? If you haven’t had one before, the idea of a root canal can seem a bit intimidating (cue in sweaty palms). All you remember are the rumors and horror stories, but is any of it true? What he said she said might be leading you into an irrational fear of the unknown. Thus, let us ease your anxiety by answering three common questions that will help lay your root canal fears to rest!

1. Why do I need one?

Normally, a root canal becomes necessary when the inside of your tooth (the pulp) becomes inflamed or infected. This can result from: deep decay, repeated dental procedures, faulty crowns, or a simple crack or chip in your tooth. Some popular signs that indicate you may need a root canal are severe tooth pain, sensitivity to hot or cold drinks, discoloration of the problem tooth, and tenderness of the gums.

2. What exactly is the procedure?

Simply put, a root canal is a procedure where we remove the nerve or pulp from the pulp chamber and root canal (the space inside the tooth). The chamber is then shaped and cleaned so it can be filled. Afterwards, it is then sealed with a rubber-like material, and a temporary filling is placed on the tooth to prevent contamination. Since this procedure usually involves more than one visit, the final step of a root canal is when we remove the temporary filling we previously placed and then finish it off by restoring the tooth with a crown or filling.

3. Is the treatment painful?

Thanks to modern technology and anesthesia, a root canal is as simple and painless as having a cavity filled. It’s important to remember that root canals don’t cause pain, they relieve it!

Being well informed is a great way to shed light on a fearful situation. What often seems intimidating, may just be a lack of information. With this new-found knowledge, you can move forward with your procedure with confidence. If you have any other questions about your root canal procedure, or want to learn more, don’t hesitate to call our office at McDonough Endodontic Center Phone Number 770-954-0072.

What Does Good Oral Hygiene Really Mean?

what is good oral hygiene

Instilling a healthy and consistent oral hygiene routine does more than wonders on your smile, it keeps your mouth healthy and disease free. One of the best ways to avoid any damage to your teeth and mouth is to take small, preventative actions daily. As mundane and small as these gestures seem in the moment, they all lead to an overall healthier smile. Consistent oral hygiene will increase your chances of keeping all of your natural teeth with the least amount of decay, bacteria and plaque.

Good oral hygiene can have many different meanings, but we can all agree that the outcome is one in the same. Making sure you have the healthiest and cleanest mouth possible is just as important as looks. To ensure that your teeth remain healthy (and beautiful), it’s important to brush, floss and use mouthwash to remove any plaque and bacteria to prevent decay.

As easy as it can be to skip a few brushings, appointments, or fall out of the habit of flossing, it is doing more damage than you think. Make your daily oral hygiene habits being as important as that morning cup of coffee or washing your face. Take the time to clean and care for your teeth, they aren’t as easy to replace as you think.

Remember to keep the health of your mouth in mind throughout the day. There are many diseases and infections that can be avoided if you focus on keeping a consistent oral hygiene routine. This season, remember to maintain good oral hygiene habits that will result in a beautiful and healthy smile.

Contact us today McDonough Endodontic Center Phone Number 770-954-0072 if you have any questions about how you can start creating your oral hygiene habits today!