What’s the best way to avoid post-operative muscle pain for your patients?

FullSizeRender

Mouth Prop

2TheApex:  Use a bite block

Whenever a patient can tolerate a bite block/mouth prop, aka “tooth pillow”, we use one.  Since using them routinely, I perceive a decrease in post-op myofascial pain complaints.  And it also makes the access easier and the treatment more smooth when the patient doesn’t need to be constantly reminded to open their mouth.  We explain to the patient that, “We plan to use a mouth pillow for your comfort.  This way you can relax your jaw and you don’t need to hold your mouth open for the entire procedure.  If you don’t like it just let us know and we can always take it out.”  We tie a piece of floss to it so it can be removed quickly if needed.

 

What is that purple stuff in my access?

GetResizedImage

2TheApex: It’s PermaFlo Purple, a colored flowable composite.

Coronal seal has been shown to be critical in the long-term success of endodontic treatment.  (click on “Coronal Seal” for flagship research on this subject) PermaFlo Purple is a flowable composite that will provide an excellent seal and is easily identifiable for when the Cavit is removed after treatment for the final restoration or if retreatment should needed in the future.  It is useful in teeth that have deep caries or small crack making a coronal seal with Cavit questionable, or in patients that may have difficulty returning for a final restoration within the 30 days recommended following root canal treatment. It is bonded and placed as a thin layer, so does not need to be removed and can be bonded to just like any other composite restoration.

 

Isolation during Restoration

2TheApex: Use of rubber dam isolation during post placement significantly increases success of root canal therapy.

RD post spaceRecent research published in the Journal of Endodontics (Dec. 2013) by Goldfein found 73.6% of teeth in non-RD group considered successful at follow-up.  The RD group increased success rate to 93.3%.  This demonstrates how critical it is to avoid coronal contamination.  Regardless of how well the root canal therapy was done the treatment will fail if it’s not sealed.  Careful RD clamp placement along with topical anesthetic is usually enough for patient comfort during a simple restoration appointment.