Teaching a (slightly) old dog new tricks

My daughter, Megan, who will be our new dentist this summer, has already encouraged me to learn some new techniques.

A couple of years ago, for example, she said, “Dad, you’ve got to switch over to the new tools for doing root canals.” (Root canals, yikes!  But keep reading, it won’t hurt.)

I was good at the old technique, but got trained in the new one.  And she was right – switching over has made a huge difference. After 18 months, I’m still surprised at how easy root canals are to do now, and our patients are also pleased at how easy it is on them.

We now use flexible instruments instead of rigid hand files to clean out the tooth canal. These new tools are made of bendable metals. They easily go right through the canal, bending where it does. And the filling materials are now warm, and gently expand to fill the space.

We’re getting faster, better and more comfortable results, and we very seldom have to refer a patient to a specialist. In fact, 9 out of 10 patients have very little discomfort with the new technique. And typically, that 10th person has waited way too long to come in for help.

The very mention of “root canal” makes many people recoil in horror. But with the new technique, there’s nothing to fear.