Dental Tips Blog

Feb
11

How Do You Know You Need A Root Canal?

Posted in Root Canals

When you returned to work after the New Year, you started noticing pain in your teeth. It’s not all the time, and you want to ignore it, but you know that a small sensation in your mouth can be the beginnings of something big and awful: an abscess.

Before you jump the gun and immediately assume the worst, there are a few other things that could be wrong.

Pain When You Chew: 

Think about it. When you bite down, is the pain on contact with your other teeth, or does it come when you press down to chew or grind your food?  If the pain happens with contact to other teeth, the issue might be related to uneven wear on your biting surfaces. This is a simple fix, and typically takes less than 20 minutes to adjust.

Sensitive Teeth:

Over time, teeth can become sensitive to hot, cold, and sweet. This is particularly true of teeth with older metal fillings. But the sensitivity may not be an indicator of any decay in the tooth itself.  A set of dental x-rays will be able to rule out an abscess.  Toothpaste like Sensodyne or Colgate for Sensitive Teeth can help stop the sensitivity.

What if it IS and Abscess?

Even if your tooth does have the beginnings of an abscess, don’t wait it out.  It will not get better, but will only lead to more challenges later on.  The best thing to do is contact your dentist for an emergency appointment to plan the best course of treatment. With modern methods, root canals are nearly painless and more efficient than ever. You’ll be glad that you called!

Posted on behalf of:
Green Dental of Alexandria
1725 Duke St
Alexandria, VA 22314
(703) 549-1725

Sep
9

Do I Really Need that Root Canal?

Posted in Root Canals

So – your dentist told you that you needed a root canal. If your tooth doesn’t even hurt (or even if it does,) you might be wondering if that root canal is really necessary or not. Why can’t you just fill the tooth, put a crown on it, or wait until it actually seems to have something else going on with it? Or better yet – what if you just treat the infection with an antibiotic and let it go away on its own?

Unfortunately, infected tooth nerves don’t heal themselves. While some tooth infections do need pre-treatment with an antibiotic, it only eliminates the initial infection. The open area that allows bacteria to enter into the tooth will simply result in a new infection a few weeks later. However, initially clearing up the area of infection makes it easier for your dentist to perform the root canal procedure.

Unlike fillings or crowns that strengthen or restore the upper portion of your tooth, root canals address the inner nerve chamber. The treatment extends through the nerve canal to the tip of the root, sealing it off and preventing any additional re-infection. If your dentist were to simply cover the upper portion of the tooth, then any recurrent infections would drain through the root tip and create more abscesses. That infection could even spread to adjacent teeth, or in rare circumstances, to your brain.

Having a root canal performed doesn’t have to be uncomfortable. Your dentist will ensure that the process goes as easily as possible. Newer types of technology make root canals faster and gentler than ever before. Call your dentist to find out how!

Posted on behalf of:
Dr. David Kurtzman D.D.S.
611 Campbell Hill St. NW #101
Marietta, GA 30060
(770) 980-6336

May
2

What to Expect from a Root Canal

Posted in Root Canals

So…you finally decided to have that root canal done. You’ve never had one before and aren’t quite sure what to expect. After all, root canals seem to have a bad reputation – but is it really true? Here are some simple, straightforward facts about what to expect from your root canal treatment:

Root Canals Don’t Hurt

If you’ve heard that root canals are extremely painful, remember that they are just like any other dental procedure. Most discomfort comes from the injection of the local anesthesia, which keeps you comfortable throughout the root canal treatment. Some people may also experience some soreness from having their mouth opened for longer lengths of time. Your dentist can use a small prop to prevent muscle strain. Because a root canal actually removes the nerve from the tooth, it is physically impossible for the tooth to hurt after the procedure. 

You are Saving Your Tooth

A root canal is one of the last lines of defense that you have when saving your smile. Leaving the infection inside of your tooth will cause it to become more severe, spread, and ultimately result in complete loss of the tooth altogether. By removing this infection and sealing off the nerve chamber, you can preserve your tooth for several more years of use.

Treatment Length

The length of your appointment will depend on several things: the number of roots being treated, the tooth being worked on and anatomical abnormalities in the tooth. Since some teeth have more roots than others, or roots that are curved, some treatments last longer than others. Likewise, some root canal procedures are quicker to complete!

Having a root canal is a smart choice that can make a huge impact on the health of your smile. If you have any more questions, please do not hesitate to contact your dentist.

Posted on behalf of:
Group Health Dental
230 W 41st St
New York, NY 10036
(212) 398-9690

Sep
9

What Happens When I Put Off My Dental Care?

Posted in Root Canals

There are a lot of reasons why people have to put off their dental care. It may be a busy schedule, budget concerns, or just the feeling that there really isn’t anything actually wrong with their teeth. If you’re seeing a dentist that you trust, then you know that there’s a reason why they’ve recommended treatment. What can happen if you decide to put it off longer than they’ve recommended?

It can become more advanced

Unfortunately, damaged tooth structure cannot repair itself. Instead, it only gets bigger and more involved. If you need a crown today but put it off, you may need a root canal on it later. Small, easy to correct cavities may get pushed to the side, only allowing decay to continue eating its way deeper into the tooth. 

It will cost more to repair

Smaller, more affordable restorations only become more expensive to repair the larger the problem becomes. As mentioned previously, a cheaper filling could become a costlier root canal. By putting treatment off due to costs, you’re actually making it more expensive to restore your smile in the long run. 

It can damage your other teeth

A cavity or gum disease around one tooth can very easily spread to the next tooth, and so on. By correcting the problem as soon as possible, you’re saving the rest of your smile! 

It’s never a problem to get a second opinion if you don’t trust your dentist, but it is a problem when you don’t get treatment when you really need it. A quality dentist will do everything they can to help keep your treatment as minimally invasive, affordable, and preventive as possible.

Posted on behalf of Patrick O’Brien DMD, Carolina Comfort Dental

Google

Jun
19

When is a Root Canal Needed?

Posted in Root Canals

Root canals play a vital role in preserving the health of your teeth, especially when it comes to teeth that have been seriously injured, infected, or decayed. Rather than losing the tooth, root canals stop whatever future damage can occur, and save the tooth from further problems so that it can stay in place for years.

Root canals are used to treat abscesses and prevent them from returning.

An abscess means that a bacterial infection has spread through the root of the tooth and tried to drain through the side of the gums. Abscesses may be painful or asymptomatic. Most of the time they are diagnosed clinically, but they are also visible on x-rays. 

Root canals preserve brittle teeth that are no longer vital.

Trauma from an accident or injury can cause a tooth to die…even years after the accident occurred. This makes the tooth weak, darken, and begin to become brittle or break apart.  

Root canals are needed on teeth when decay is extensive.

 If a cavity is allowed to progress into the nerve chamber of the tooth, infection can spread into other areas of the mouth. Placing a filling over the nerve will only predispose the tooth to abscessing.

During a root canal, the infected or damaged nerve tissue is removed from inside of the tooth. The nerve chamber is then cleaned and sealed off with a filling material before a crown is placed over the tooth. Although root canals can be longer procedures than other treatments, they are no more uncomfortable than your average dental procedure. Your dentist will anesthetize the area that is being treated, and provide you with a prop to bite on  to minimize jaw discomfort.

Posted on behalf of David Kurtzman

Google

Dec
31

Understanding Root Canal Procedures

Posted in Root Canals

We’ve all heard the phrase “about as much fun as a root canal,” and gained a vague understanding of the procedure as a vastly unpleasant one. As a result, receiving news from your dentist or gum specialist about your impending need for a root canal can be downright terrifying. With a bit of understanding, the entire process of a root canal procedure can be demystified, which may reduce much of your anxiety and fear.

Dispelling Root Canal Myths

Because the phrase “root canal” has become so culturally intertwined with miserable experiences, it’s not uncommon for patients in need of the procedure to find themselves shying away from having it completed. The fact of the matter is, a root canal can actually relieve excruciating tooth pain and save an endangered tooth. Most patients report that the root canal procedure is no more painful than the experience of having a filling replaced, which means the reputation root canals have earned is an altogether unfair assessment. A root canal will repair badly decayed or infected teeth, which can be excruciating. When people refer to the pain of a root canal, they’re typically thinking of the pain caused by the underlying issue which created the need for a root canal in the first place.

What Does a Root Canal Entail?

During a root canal, infected or inflamed pulp inside your tooth is removed to facilitate the cleaning and disinfection of the tooth itself. After cleaning, the tooth will be filled and sealed, then protected with a crown or filling. At the end of the procedure, you will find your tooth performing and functioning just as effectively as any other tooth, without the pain to which you have been accustomed.

If you’re suffering from an inflamed or painful tooth, don’t let fears of the dreaded root canal prevent you from seeking treatment. Your dentist can help to save your tooth and put an end to your oral pain with a relatively simple procedure, one which doesn’t deserve it’s poor reputation.

Posted on behalf of Dr. Hamir Contractor, Kennesaw Mountain Dental Associates

Google

Dec
5

So You Want to Wait on That Root Canal?

Posted in Root Canals

So your dentist told you that you needed a root canal, but you’ve decided that since your tooth isn’t hurting, you’re just going to put your treatment off. It may not seem like a very big deal right now, but this common misconception by dental patients is something that can cause them severe pain, costly treatment, and extensive dental visits later on.

Even though your tooth isn’t hurting you, a tooth in need of a root canal is already compromised and more susceptible to fractures, bacterial infections, and can easily reach the point where it is no longer clinically treatable. This is because weakened enamel does not withstand normal biting or grinding functions, and fractures easily. Cavities or fractures that continue to spread infections deeper into the nerve may affect other areas in the face, including the brain, causing hospitalization. Just because the tooth doesn’t hurt, doesn’t mean it’s ok to wait to fix it. The tooth may have nerve damage that prevents typical toothache symptoms from appearing until they are very severe. Painful toothaches often appear at the most inconvenient times, making it difficult for you to get access to professional dental care.

If you’re not sure whether the prescribed treatment is what you really need, it’s ok to get a second opinion. The best thing to do is get your treatment completed as quickly as possible, ensuring that a large portion of healthy enamel is preserved. Most endodontic therapy appointments take approximately one and a half hours, and are just as comfortable as having a filling done. After your root canal is completed, you’ll want to be sure to have a permanent crown placed over the treated tooth.

Posted on behalf of Randy Muccioli

Google

Nov
6

Don’t Wait Until a Tooth Hurts to Fix It

Posted in Root Canals

What do you do when you go to the dentist and they tell you one of your teeth needs to be repaired, but it’s not bothering you whatsoever? A lot of people may think to themselves that nothing is wrong, because they aren’t suffering from any type of symptoms of tooth decay or broken teeth. Because of this, some people delay or completely avoid having any type of restorative therapy until their tooth is actually bothering them.

It may seem illogical to do anything to a tooth that isn’t hurting you, but there are many conditions that can be very severe yet never cause any symptoms in some people. For instance, in some people, abscessed teeth or teeth that are so decayed and broken in half may not feel like there is anything is wrong. This may be due to severely damaged nerve tissue or a high pain tolerance. Waiting until the tooth actually hurts may mean that it’s too late to actually restore the tooth in its present state, causing you to lose it completely.

Minimally invasive dental treatment allows your dentist to treat small cavities or other types of problems before they progress into more complicated issues. Just a small crack around an old filling could mean a new filling if it’s diagnosed in time, but putting of treatment can cause the crack to extend deeper into the tooth, enamel to fracture off, and result in the need for a crown or even root canal therapy.

If you’ve been told that you need some type of dental work, there’s nothing wrong with getting a second opinion, but putting it off too long can cause you more money (as well as your teeth.)

Posted on behalf of Dr. Mark Rowe, Rowe Family Dental Care

Google

Oct
23

Painless Root Canals

Posted in Root Canals

The thought of a root canal is enough to make anyone cringe, but root canals are not painful.  The actual pain is the result of a badly infected tooth and the root canal procedure is used to eliminate the pain caused by an infected tooth.  An infected tooth is a serious dental health issue that can result in abscesses, as well as the loss of the tooth.  A highly trained dentist and their dental team, who are experienced in performing root canals, can make the experience as comfortable as possible, during and after the procedure.

The goal of the procedure is to remove the infected root and pulp from the center of the tooth.  The first step in the process is to numb the area using a series of injections around the tooth where the root canal is being performed.  In some cases sedation may be an alternative if the patient is very anxious about the procedure.  In sedation, the patient is given a series of medications that puts the patient to sleep, however they continue to breath on their own.

Next, the dentist will open the top of the tooth, where a series of specialized instruments are used to remove the pulp and root.   Once they are completely removed, the tooth is cleaned, dried and sealed to prevent further infection.  Occasionally the dentist will prescribe antibiotics to make sure that any lingering infection is eliminated.  In many cases the preferred means to seal the tooth is to install a crown over the tooth.  As a result, often root canals are scheduled along with crown procedures to completely resolve the issues associated with the problematic tooth.

Posted on behalf of Dr. Mark Rowe, Rowe Family Dental Care

Google

Sep
12

A Root Canal, Step by Step

Posted in Root Canals

A root canal is performed when a tooth has such deep decay that the roots and pulp, the deepest part of the tooth, are inflamed, infected and likely causing you a great deal of pain. Despite its poor reputation among dental patiens, a root canal is usually as comfortable as having a cavity filled and it can be the best way of saving a natural tooth.

The term “root canal” is sort of a misnomer, since it refers to the place within the tooth that stores the soft area known as pulp and the nerve. In the procedure, your Mobile dentist will remove the both the pulp and nerve, and the root is sealed to prevent further decay and infection.

The procedure usually involves a number of steps:

  • The dentist takes an x-ray of the affected area to determine the extent of the damage and confirms that a root canal is needed.
  • Preparation is next. The dentist, or endodontist, will anesthetize the affected area to relax the patient, and cover the surrounding gum tissue with a dam to keep it dry.
  • Next, the dentist will drill an access hole through the tooth, and remove the pulp and nerve, using root canal files of varying sizes.
  • Once the root canal has been thoroughly cleaned, the dentist will seal the tooth. This could be done right away, or it may have to wait a week or so if there is an infection.
  • The dentist will fill the canal with a sealer and a rubber compound called gutta percha.
  • Finally, the dentist will fill the top part of the tooth, or add a crown or bridge, depending on what is needed. Typically, a tooth in need of a root canal has already sustained quite a bit of damage.

Depending on the extent of the decay, the entire process usually takes two appointments about two to three weeks apart.  At the initial appointment, your dentist will perform the root canal therapy and protect the tooth with a temporary crown.  A permanent crown will be made and placed during the follow up appointment.  Some dentists can make crowns in the office and complete the entire procedure in a single appointment.

Posted on behalf of Dr. Byron Scott, Springhill Dental Health Center

Google

Most Popular

Tori, Exostosis, and Extra Bone Formation in the Mouth

A fairly common occurrence in the mouth is the existence of extra bone development along the outside or inside of the jawline near the teeth, or in the roof of…

Difference Between Conscious and Unconscious Sedation

Sedation dentistry is a wonderful option for many people who would not or cannot tolerate dentistry in a traditional dental setting.   Many people have a fear of visiting the dentist,…

Lingual Frenectomy versus Lingual Frenuloplasty

Lingual frenectomy and lingual frenuloplasty are both dental procedures used to correct a condition called ankyloglossia. Ankylogloassia, more commonly known as ‘tied tongue’, is an abnormality of the lingual frenulum….