Dental Tips Blog


How to Have a Pain-Free Root Canal

Posted in Root Canals

A root canal may be the only way to save your tooth, but you’re worried that it will hurt. How can you make your next necessary root canal as comfortable as possible? The following tips may help.

Remember That Root Canals Fix Pain, Not Cause It

The root canal itself isn’t what hurts. Damage or the threat of damage to your tooth nerve is what causes the problem. A deep tooth fracture or abscess can put your tooth through excruciating pain. A root canal procedure relieves the source of discomfort by removing the nerve of the tooth.

Ask for Dental Sedation

The dentist will do his or her best to ensure that your tooth and surrounding gum tissue is nice and numb before beginning the root canal.

You can also request mild sedation to help you relax. If you’re sufficiently relaxed for the procedure, then you’ll be able to stay comfortable and calm. You might even feel like you napped your way through a painless root canal!

Follow Your Dentist’s Instructions

Your root canal dentist will likely have specific instructions for you to follow both before and after the procedure. These instructions will ensure that the anesthesia and sedation work and that you have as little postoperative discomfort as possible.

Don’t Reschedule the Appointment!

Once your doctor recommends a root canal, you’d better not postpone it. The problem will only get worse until your tooth starts to hurt, and that discomfort can make the treatment harder to tolerate.

Get your tooth treated as soon as possible to improve your chances of having a quick and comfortable root canal.

Ask your dentist for more information on endodontic therapy.

Posted on behalf of:
Kennesaw Mountain Dental Associates
1815 Old 41 Hwy NW #310
Kennesaw, GA 30152
(770) 927-7751


Do You Need a Crown After a Root Canal?

Posted in Root Canals

Why would you need a crown on a tooth that’s had a root canal? Your dentist isn’t trying to earn extra money by charging you for an unnecessary procedure. There are actually six important reasons to cap the tooth.

  1. A Tooth Is Weak After a Root Canal

Root canal therapy is very tough on a tooth and dries it out from the inside. The result is a brittle shell that may need the extra protection that only a crown can provide.

  1. You Had the Root Canal on a Back Tooth

Front teeth don’t support much weight when you chew but your molars take a beating. That’s why back teeth that get root canals almost always need to be capped.

  1. You Grind Your Teeth

A teeth-grinding habit is damaging on all teeth but it’s especially dangerous for fragile ones that just had a root canal. A crown will make your endodontically treated tooth last longer.

  1. Your Tooth Is Stained

Has your tooth turned gray from decay or trauma? That kind of stain won’t bleach out no matter what you try. Placing a crown might be the best way to make your tooth look more natural and healthier.

  1. A Crown Insulates Remaining Nerves

Sometimes, a root canal can’t access all the extra nerves attached to your tooth. Crowning your tooth will protect them and spare you any painful sensitivity.

  1. Crowns Seal Out Decay

A new cavity would further weaken your treated tooth. Your dentist may recommend a crown to protect your tooth if it’s at high-risk for developing more decay.

Ask your dentist about the best options for protecting your tooth after a root canal.

Posted on behalf of:
Muccioli Dental
6300 Hospital Pkwy # 275
Johns Creek, GA 30097
(678) 389-9955


Can Kids Get Root Canals?

Posted in Root Canals

Yes! Kids can have root canal therapy. The procedure can be different from that done on adult teeth, but the ultimate goal is the same: save the tooth!

Endodontic therapy focuses on treating problems inside teeth such as abscess, decay, and damage to the pulp. In a child, it’s usually in the form of a pulpotomy or pulp cap, rather than a traditional root canal.

Why Kids Need “Root Canals”

Just like adults, children can suffer from painful toothaches. If a child’s tooth isn’t treated, it can cause them to lose sleep, have difficulty concentrating in school, and avoid eating healthy foods.

Getting a root canal will alleviate the child’s pain and let them keep their tooth. Even baby teeth play an important role in nutrition and maintaining tooth alignment.

Are Root Canals Safe for Kids?

Endodontic therapy is safe for children. The dentist will make sure that a child has plenty of numbing to stay comfortable. If necessary, kids can also have laughing gas or some other kind of sedation to help them feel calm.

Root Canals for Kids

What kind of endodontic therapy a child needs depends on things like:

  • Which tooth is affected
  • How bad the damage is
  • Whether a baby tooth is close to falling out or not

The dentist will decide on which procedure to recommend after evaluating these factors.

Some endodontic procedures focus on just treating the pulp of the tooth and encouraging healing. Others involve removing only half of the pulp and leaving the roots alone if they’re still developing. Lastly, there is a traditional root canal in which the dentist removes all of the pulp from the tooth and caps it with a crown.

Talk with your child’s dentist about other endodontic treatment options.

Posted on behalf of:
Springfield Lorton Dental Group
5419-C Backlick Rd
Springfield, VA 22151
(703) 256-8554


How Bad Do Root Canals Hurt?

Posted in Root Canals

Root canals themselves don’t hurt at all. That’s right, dentistry’s most dreaded procedure is actually pain-free.

Where did root canals get their reputation for being painful, then? And what can you expect to feel during a root canal procedure?

The True Cause of Root Canal Pain

A root canal is a procedure where the dentist opens your tooth to remove the nerve. This sounds painful, but what actually hurts is the condition that leads to your even needing a root canal.

Teeth with infected or compromised nerves don’t have much time left to live. As the nerve breaks down, it can be very sensitive and swells until it painfully presses against the inside of the tooth.

As you might imagine, this makes for a very uncomfortable situation. Getting a root canal relieves swelling in the tooth and removes the painful nerve. So root canal therapy isn’t painful – it’s a pain-reliever!

What It Feels Like to Get a Root Canal

You’ll be just as numb for a root canal as you would be for any dental filling. An injection or two of local anesthesia will ensure that you don’t feel a thing. If you didn’t have numbing medication – as with a typical filling – then it would hurt.

After the procedure, your tooth will no longer feel hot and cold. The gums around your tooth may be a bit sore for a day or two, however. That kind of discomfort is easy to manage with over-the-counter medication.

If the whole idea of getting a root canal makes you nervous, then your dentist might recommend mild sedation. A sedative like laughing gas can help you relax and stay comfortable during the procedure.

Contact your dentist to learn more about what you can expect from root canal therapy.

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


What Is Endodontic Treatment? Do You Need It?

Posted in Root Canals

“Endo-” means inside and “-dont” refers to tooth. This means that “endodontic” involves the nerve inside a tooth. As such, an endodontist is someone who specializes in treating the inside of teeth.

Endodontic treatment, or therapy, involves treatment inside the tooth, rather than the outside. Most commonly, it involves a root canal.

What Happens During a Root Canal?

A root canal is when your dentist or endodontist opens up a tooth to remove the nerve. This relieves pressure from inflammation and infection. After cleaning out the debris, bacteria, and dead tissue, your dentist sterilizes the inside of the tooth and seals it off.

After a root canal, your tooth will need a dental crown. From that point onwards, you shouldn’t feel any more pain.

Do You Need a Root Canal?

You may need endodontic treatment if your tooth has nerve damage or is in danger of infection.

An infected dental nerve or one exposed by a cracked tooth can be very painful. You may need a root canal if your tooth is causing severe pain or sensitivity. Discoloration can also be a sign that the nerve is dying.

However, it is possible to need endodontic treatment even when you don’t feel any discomfort. Your dentist can detect problems before they start to bother you and might recommend a root canal. For example, teeth with very old fillings are often prone to developing leaks or new decay around them.

In rare occasions, a tooth doesn’t respond to the first root canal and needs retreatment.

Ask your dentist about the possibility of endodontic treatment if you have a tooth that’s cracked, painful, or starting to darken.

Posted on behalf of:
West Hill Family Dental
132 New Britain Avenue
Rocky Hill, CT 06067
(860) 563-3303


Why Do You Need a Crown After Getting a Root Canal?

Posted in Root Canals

Why is getting a dental crown after a root canal so important? Can the tooth just go without?

Root Canals Restore…but Also Weaken Teeth

A root canal involves removing an infected or damaged tooth, to eliminate all traces of the compromised nerves.

Unfortunately, the process can knock out a lot of material from inside the tooth. You’ll be left with a hollow structure that’s more fragile.

Live teeth strengthen themselves with the nutrients brought in by the blood vessels flowing from the roots to the pulp. When a tooth has a root canal, it dies and can no longer be reinforced from the inside.

If you need a root canal, it’s because your tooth is already dead or in the process of dying. The treatment is just a way to save what’s left, so that you don’t have to extract the tooth entirely.

Capping your tooth with a dental crown keeps it strong and protected even after being weakened by a necessary treatment.

Is It Possible to Get a Root Canal without a Crown?

Some teeth do fine without a crown after having a root canal. These can include:

  • Front teeth like incisors and canines which don’t experience much chewing force
  • Strong teeth that have no history of previous damage
  • Teeth with very little damage from the root canal

In such cases, a dental filling may be sufficient to seal off the tooth and keep it in good shape for years to come.

Only your  dentist can tell after a root canal whether your tooth is strong enough to go without a crown so, check in with him or her to learn more.

Posted on behalf of:
11550 Webb Bridge Way, Suite 1
Alpharetta, GA 30005
(770) 772-0994


Could You Get Dental Sedation for a Root Canal?

Posted in Root Canals

The short answer is yes, you could get dental sedation for a root canal. But there’s more to consider before you have sedation or “sleep dentistry.”

What Is Dental Sedation?

Sedation dentistry is often touted as a way to sleep through your dental procedure. But it doesn’t always work that way. Rather, it helps you relax during the treatment and then forget it happened once it’s over with.

Sedation may come in the form of oral pills or syrup, laughing gas, or an intravenous drip.

Pros and Cons of Dental Sedation

Why have sedation dentistry? It can help you…

  • Relax if you struggle with extreme anxiety
  • Endure lengthy procedures (some root canals take a long time!)
  • Forget an experience you’re apt to view as traumatic

You may want to pass on sedation (if you don’t truly need it) because:

  • It’s not always covered by insurance
  • There is a small risk of unpleasant side-effects with some forms of sedation
  • You’ll be pretty much incapacitated for the rest of the day after having oral or IV sedation

How About That Root Canal?

If you’ve never had a root canal before, you may be terrified to get one. But you should know that root canals aren’t as scary as they’re made out to be.

With the help of local anesthesia, you shouldn’t feel a thing. Getting a root canal practically feels no different from getting a filling.

So unless dental sedation is the only thing that will help you deal with your severe dental phobia, there’s no reason that you’ll absolutely need a sedative.

To find out which option is in your best interests, consult with your local dentist.

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


Is it Necessary to Get a Crown After a Root Canal?

Posted in Root Canals

You might be tempted to leave your root canal-treated tooth uncapped after the procedure. It doesn’t hurt anymore, so why bother doing anything else?

Capping your tooth after a root canal really isn’t an option – it’s a necessity.

What a Root Canal Does to the Tooth 

A root canal is a procedure where the dentist removes a damaged or infected nerve from the inside of your tooth. The hollowed-out space is cleaned, disinfected, and sealed off with a special material.

The goal of this process is to prevent future infection and tooth pain. But it doesn’t make your tooth invincible.

The root canal actually weakens your tooth from the inside. Despite being filled up afterwards, your tooth can no longer support the chewing force it used to. Without protection, your tooth can crack and fall apart.

Crowns Save Teeth After Root Canals 

Crowns are necessary for teeth with root canals for two reasons: they reinforce weak tooth structure and they seal out bacteria.

Without a crown, your tooth will be even more prone to getting cavities. Just because you might not feel the pain from decay doesn’t mean it can’t still cause serious damage. A dental crown protects your tooth from all sides, giving you a stronger bite and more protection against bacteria.

When to Crown a Tooth After a Root Canal 

Your dentist will want to leave your tooth without a cap for some time to make sure the root canal procedure successful. In the meantime, avoid chewing on that tooth. Schedule your follow-up visits as soon as possible so that you don’t put off the crown appointment any longer than necessary.

Posted on behalf of:
Mitzi Morris, DMD, PC
1295 Hembree Rd B202
Roswell, GA 30076
(770) 475-676


Root Canal or Filling – Which Is Best for a Toothache?

Posted in Root Canals

Most people don’t like to hear that they need a filling, much less a root canal. But dental treatment is essential to warding off pain and keeping our teeth functional.

If you have a toothache, which treatment will you need?

Toothaches can be linked to:

  • Gum recession
  • Fracture or trauma
  • Decay
  • Acid erosion
  • Old dental restorations
  • Nerve damage
  • Gum disease

…And the list goes on! You’ll need to have a dentist take a look to determine what’s going on with your tooth.

But let’s just say there’s a spot on a tooth that you know is decay.

Which is better to treat it: a root canal or filling?

A filling is the first resort for treating a cavity. Usually made from composite resin, a filling replaces the damaged tooth structure and shores up the entire tooth. Getting a restoration helps you keep your tooth alive.

Once your tooth is beyond hope of saving, it’s time to consider root canal therapy.

In a last-resort root canal, your dentist hollows out the core of your tooth and removes the nerve. The tooth is fully cleaned and filled with a special material. You’ll then get everything capped off with a dental crown.

A root canal, unpleasant though it may sound, is the best thing you can do for a tooth that may otherwise need extraction. But if you catch the decay or fracture early enough, a filling alone could be enough to keep your tooth from needing a root canal.

Is your tooth bothering you? Contact a dentist to get it looked at. If you’re lucky, you won’t need a root canal or filling, after all!

Posted on behalf of:
Grateful Dental
2000 Powers Ferry Rd SE #1
Marietta, GA 30067
(678) 593-2979


Can You Cap a Tooth Without Getting a Root Canal?

Posted in Root Canals

For many people, getting a dental cap goes, well, tooth-in-crown with getting root canal therapy/treatment (RCT).

It’s true that crowns and root canals often come together. But the connection isn’t what you may think. It’s not only possible but very common to get the cap without RCT.

What’s the Connection?

A root canal is a procedure where your dentist removes the damaged nerve from your tooth. This staves off infection and spares you a lot of pain. In place of the nerve, you get a special filling inside your tooth.

Drilling into a tooth for RCT can weaken it. A dental crown helps hold your tooth together and protect it from the forces of biting and chewing.

When to Get Just a Cap for Your Tooth

Crowns replace an outer layer of enamel and dentin of teeth. This makes them a good choice if you want to change the shape or color of a tooth. Crowns provide more complete coverage than fillings, so if you have a large cavity, capping your tooth may be an ideal solution.

Which Do You Need – Crown or RCT?

If your tooth’s nerve is compromised, then a root canal may be your only option.

Some signs you may need RCT include:

  • Pain
  • Extreme sensitivity to temperature
  • Sensitivity to bite pressure
  • Tooth color darkening

You could have something wrong with your tooth and never realize it. So don’t wait until it hurts to get it checked out! Regular dental visits will help you catch problems before they get out of hand.

Talk with your dentist to find out whether getting a crown now could help you avoid getting a root canal later.

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

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…

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….

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,…