McDonough Endodontic Center

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!

5 foods to avoid so you don’t crack a tooth

5 foods to avoid so you don't crack a tooth

Nothing’s worse than a cracked tooth. Tooth enamel is the hardest substance in the body, but also the most brittle. If you have large restorations or fillings you may be extra susceptible to cracking a tooth if you bite into something unexpected. Below are 5 foods to watch out for that can cause some serious dental damage.

While most of the time soft, popcorn can have hidden hard kernels. One wrong crunch might cause a crack in your tooth that can send you straight to the dentist. While popcorn is a delicious snack, eat it carefully to avoid biting into an unexpected corn kernel!

A usual suspect when it comes to tooth damage. Candies such as jaw breakers, jolly ranchers, or even lollypops can cause havoc on your teeth. If eaten how they are intended, they may be harmless, but when bitten into the effects can be disastrous. Softer candies such as taffy, starburst, or even jellybeans can cause dental damage as well.

Most wouldn’t consider bread to be a threat to your teeth, but hard breads can be a real dental destroyer. Baguettes, Sour Dough, or even biscotti can cause damage if too hard and crunchy. Try opting for a softer bread and take smaller bites if you’re indulging in sourdough.

Olive Pits
Whether it was hidden in your food or processed incorrectly, olive pits are notorious for cracking teeth. Next time you have one of these decadent snacks, make sure it has been pitted and is safe to eat!

Although this is not technically food, chewing on ice cubes can be especially harmful to your teeth. If you are trying to hydrate using an ice cube, suck on it instead of crunching. This rule also goes for popsicles!

Being mindful of how you bite into foods can spare your smile. Small nibbles can save your pearly whites! But if you do find yourself with an unexpected cracked tooth, call our office @ McDonough Endodontic Center Phone Number 770-954-0072 to schedule an appointment.

5 Ways To Protect Your Natural Teeth

5 ways to protect your natural teeth

One of the most important things that you can do to keep your pearly whites all natural is to take preventative measures to ensure longevity. Maintaining a consistent morning and night oral hygiene routine will ensure healthy teeth for years to come.

1. Brushing Twice a Day: Brushing twice a day is one of the most important ways to protect your teeth from bacteria and plaque buildup. Brushing first thing in the morning is a great way to rid your mouth of the bacteria that builds overnight. Avoid cavities by brushing before bed. Nightly brushes remove food debris in your teeth that bacteria would feed on through the night.

2. Limit Sugary Foods: As tempting as it is to indulge in your favorite late-night treats, those unhealthy habits can result in cavities. Sugar buildup feeds the bacteria that cause cavities. There are many healthy substitutions to your sugary craving to limit your sugar intake. Try to opt for a healthier choice, and brush after eating!

3. Floss Daily: Flossing removes food particles stuck between your teeth and relieves your gums from irritating bacteria. Flossing will help prevent gum disease, as well as keep your gums and teeth healthy.

4. Use Fluoridated Toothpaste: Fluoridated toothpaste can play a huge role in preventing tooth decay. Fluoride helps prevent tooth decay by slowing the breakdown of enamel and increasing the rate of the remineralization process. Using fluoridated toothpaste can help prevent cavities, strengthen weak spots, and prevent early stages of tooth decay.

5. Protect Teeth from Injury: Taking extra precautions when you’re being physically active can help ensure that your natural teeth will stay intact. Whether you’re participating in an extreme sport, or a contact sport with a chance for an injury, make sure you’re prepared with a mouthguard to protect your teeth!

Now that know 5 ways to protect your natural teeth, make them common practice! If you have any questions on how to protect your smile, give our office a call McDonough Endodontic Center Phone Number 770-954-0072 and book your next appointment today!

On A Mission: A Recap of Dr. Desir’s Spring 2018 Mission Trips

Dr. Desir's mission trips

Spring of 2018 was a very busy time for Dr. Desir. He was not only spending time doing Root canals here at McDonough Endodontic Center but he was also traveling abroad to partake in dental mission trips in both Haiti and Nicaragua. While Dr. Desir was away performing volunteer work, patients were being taken care of by Dr. St. Paul and their amazing team.

Dr. Desir loves the Lord and loves to share God’s love through dentistry as he serves others. Every year he participates in mission trips as a way to give back to others. This year, Dr. Desir visited two countries on separate dental mission trips.

Dr. Desir

On March 30th he set out with a group of 12 members from his local Church- First Baptist of Atlanta, GA. This group included physicians, nurses and other logistic members to would treat patients in Haiti for a week. While in Haiti, Dr. Desir’s team treated hundreds of patients.

Dr. Desir and team

On April 14th 2018 he departed again, this time with his wife and a group of 28 Global Health Outreach (GHO) members to Nicaragua for another week. The smiles and hugs they received from the patients were priceless.

Dr. Desir and patient

Dr. Desir is now back in Georgia and is already looking forward to his next trip.