Dental Tips Blog


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


3 Signs You Will Probably Need a Root Canal

Posted in Root Canals

A root canal is a procedure in which a dentist empties a tooth of bacteria and a dying nerve. Doing so heads off a potentially dangerous infection, relieves pain, and saves your tooth to avoid an extraction.

If you notice any of the following problems with your teeth, there’s a possibility you might need a root canal:

  1. Discoloration

A dark-colored tooth can indicate that there is nerve damage on the inside. Darkening could be a result of either trauma or decay. Some teeth change color after an injury but don’t always need root canal treatment. If your tooth starts to turn gray or brown, it’s a good idea to get it checked out.

  1. Swelling/Pus

When a tooth’s nerve starts to break down, the infection will try to escape the tooth. The only way out is through the channel that leads out the root tip. The infection then invades the surrounding bone tissue and eats away a small hole. As a result, you can end up with an oozing abscess on your gums near the tip of your root.

  1. Temperature And Pressure Sensitivity

If you have one tooth in particular that you can’t even chew on, then its nerve could be in jeopardy. An infection inside the tooth will put a lot of pressure on it from the inside, making it extremely sensitive.

See your dentist anytime you suspect something is off. But a dangerous nerve problem can crop up painlessly. That’s why it’s so important that you visit your dentist on a regular basis. This is how you stay on top of dental problems and anticipate the need for treatment such as root canals.

Posted on behalf of:
Greencastle Dental
195 Greencastle Road
Tyrone, GA 30290
(770) 486-5585


3 Signs You Need a Root Canal

Posted in Root Canals

“I love getting root canals!”…said no one, ever.

But despite their bad rap, root canals today are far more comfortable than in years past. In fact, most people who’ve gotten a root canal will assert that it was nowhere near as bad as they expected.

Today’s dentistry is making root canals faster, more effective, and more comfortable every year.

If you wind up needing endodontic therapy, be assured that it won’t feel much different from getting a regular filling.

So why might you need a root canal, anyway? Here are three things you yourself may notice which could indicate the necessity of such treatment:

  1. Lingering pain and sensitivity

An abscessed tooth will usually present itself with a lot of pain. You may notice discomfort particularly when you put pressure on the tooth, such as when biting.

Temperature can trigger sensitivity even in healthy teeth. But if your tooth throbs for a while after the temperature stimulus is gone, that could be a sign of an infected tooth nerve that needs root canal treatment.

  1. Your tooth is turning dark

When the nerve chamber inside your tooth gets damaged, it can turn dark as it dies. A root canal is the best option for removing the dead tissue and staving off infection.

  1. Swelling on your gums

A pimple-like bump on the outside of your gums next to a tooth could be the exit point of an abscess that needs a root canal.

Only an experienced dentist could tell you for sure whether or not you need a root canal. So call to schedule a checkup if you suspect any dental problems.

Posted on behalf of:
Alluvial Dental Center
1875 E Alluvial Ave
Fresno, CA 93720


Can I Sleep Through My Root Canal?

Posted in Root Canals

If you’ve never had a root canal before, then you might be a little anxious about getting one now.

In years past, root canals were supposedly known as long and painful procedures. How has today’s modern dentistry approach changed the procedure?

You Won’t Feel A Thing

Anesthesia has evolved to include several classes of medications for numbing teeth. Although many people know anesthesia as “Novocaine,” numbing injections also include prilocaine, lidocaine, carbocaine, articaine, mepivacaine, and more.

A couple of long-lasting shots may be all you need.

You really shouldn’t feel a thing. Today’s dentists know that anxiety in the dental chair is not good for the patient. That’s why they work hard to make sure everyone is comfortable while getting the treatment they need.

Dental Sedation During Root Canal Therapy

Despite assurances that you’ll be comfortable during your root canal, you may have a hard time convincing yourself of that fact. Not to worry – dental sedation could help you out here.

With a little medication taken just a couple hours before treatment, you could essentially sleep your way through the process.

Dental sedation lowers your awareness but doesn’t put you completely under. You’ll feel very relaxed and drowsy. It’s possible that you could doze off on your own. Even if you don’t sleep, you will be at ease during treatment and probably won’t remember much afterwards.

Is Dental Sedation Right For You?

Talk with your dentist well before your root canal appointment. Ask him or her about what options are available to you and which would be the most effective.

Call your dentist today for more information.

Posted on behalf of:
The Newport Beach Dentist
1901 Westcliff Drive #6
Newport Beach, CA 92660
(949) 646-2481


Do I Need A Root Canal?

Posted in Root Canals

Root canals carry a dreaded reputation for pain and expense. Everyone cringes at merely hearing the word! How do you know if you really need one?

What is a Root Canal?

A root canal is a dental procedure in which the nerve and pulp within a tooth are removed. This results in the tooth no longer having any sensation. The rest of the tooth stays, but the inner portion—from the pulp chamber, down through the root(s) of the tooth—is filled and sealed off to prevent the tooth from breaking down.

Not Always Painful

In actuality, despite its reputation, a root canal is intended to relieve or prevent pain, not cause it. Any dental work done decades ago was quite painful. Thanks to modern technology and advances in scientific understanding, root canals are done today with anesthetics which prevent the patient from feeling anything.

What It Means for You

When the pulp of the tooth has been damaged by trauma, killed by decay, or is in imminent danger of being affected by advancing decay, then a root canal becomes necessary treatment. Leaving a damaged pulp untreated can lead to a bacterial infection that will spread to other areas. This is why treating the tooth is so important.

After being hollowed out by the root canal, a tooth will need added strength from a crown. You will be able to continue using and cleaning your tooth, as before. A root canal will clean up or prevent an infection, and will save your natural tooth. Make sure you have regular check-ups with your dentist and don’t delay scheduling vital treatment!

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


Saving a Tooth that is Dying

Posted in Root Canals

Teeth are living, vital parts of your smile. Because they each have their own nerve supply, it is possible to lose teeth due to a damaged or dying nerve. This often happens in teeth that have been hit accidentally, even if the injury occurred 20 or 30 years ago! Gradually the tooth becomes darker and darker, appearing grey or brown compared to the vital tooth next to it.

If the tooth isn’t treated when this sign of non-vitality begins to develop, the inner portion of the tooth may resorb, become infected, or even cause the tooth to fall out. Thankfully your dentist can prevent this from happening and allow you to retain the tooth for several more years. Cleaning out the damaged nerve tissues and filling the inner chamber of the tooth is the first step. You’ve heard of this procedure before – it’s a root canal! After the root canal is completed, a permanent restoration such as a porcelain crown is placed over the tooth. Crowns protect the brittle, non-vital tooth so that they do not begin fracturing from normal wear.

Your dentist can conduct simple tests on your tooth to determine whether or not it is still alive. Some of these tests include sensitivity to hot, cold, or diagnosis on an x-ray. The process of dying can take several years or it can happen quickly. It varies from person to person and you may not know until years down the road that the tooth will ever need to be treated.

If you’ve had a history of accidental tooth trauma, be sure your dentist knows. Even if it happened during childhood, careful monitoring can help you avoid other conditions later on.

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


How Root Canals Can Save Your Tooth

Posted in Root Canals

Root canal therapy can be one of the best things that you’ve done for your smile. When teeth are severely decayed or fractured, losing them is an everyday problem. Thankfully, root canals can save your teeth, your self-confidence, and the way your mouth functions.

A root canal is essentially a restoration that helps restore a tooth from the inside-out. If tooth decay reaches through the first two layers of the tooth, it can then affect the nerve inside of the tooth. Damaged nerves can allow infection to spread through the root of the tooth and into the bone around the teeth. Abscesses, pressure sensitivity, and hot and cold sensitivity are examples of symptoms found in nerve infections. As a result, the tooth will die completely and require an extraction in order to not spread infection to adjacent teeth.

During root canal therapy, the infected nerve tissue is removed. The process is similar to having a filling completed, but it takes a little more time since the treatment area is larger. Existing decay or damaged enamel is removed, as is the nerve. A medication is then placed inside of the nerve chamber, and the root is then sealed up with a filling material. This prevents further infection of bacteria from entering into the nerve chamber or out the root of the tooth. A crown is then placed over the remaining portion of the tooth, as the enamel is more brittle since the tooth is no longer vital. Crowns will function similar to a natural tooth, and keep the tooth working for several more years.

The time needed to complete a root canal will depend on what tooth is being treated (and how many roots it has.) Talk to your dentist today about saving your tooth before it’s too late.

Posted on behalf of Dr. Joyce Ma, Prime Dental Care



Infection Control in the Dental Office: Protecting Our Patients and Our Team

Posted in Root Canals

Whether you are having your teeth cleaned, a cavity filled, or a more invasive procedure such as a root canal, all dental patients want to rest assured that the dentist and staff are cleaning the treatment areas, instruments, and preventing cross contamination of other people’s germs in the treatment area. After all, they see dozens of people per day and dental professionals come into contact with blood and saliva on a regular basis.

Dental and medical professionals operate under an infection control theory called “universal precautions.” What this does is not only protecting patients from risk of cross-contamination, but also prevents our team members from being exposed to or spreading infectious diseases. Using Universal Precautions means treating every single patient as if they have a communicable disease. Not only does this mean all patients are created equally, it also means that patients who are unaware of any existing illnesses will always be treated in an appropriate manner.

The CDC and OSHA have established guidelines on personal protective equipment, sterilization and disinfection practices based on preventing the spread of diseases. All sterilized instruments are bagged and autoclaved under pressurized steam in order to destroy any living microorganisms. Regular biological monitoring of sterilization equipment ensures that all patients are treated with instruments that are completely clean.

Surface areas in the treatment room are disinfected using high-level solutions that kill highly infectious bacteria and viruses such as tuberculosis and hepatitis. Any items that are not sterilizable or disposable are cleaned with surface disinfectants. When possible, plastic barriers are used and disposed of to reduce cross contamination. If you ever want to know more, feel free to ask your dentist about the types of disinfection and sterilization protocols that they implement. Your dental team is here to protect you while they’re providing you with quality oral health care.

Posted on behalf of Rowe Family Dental Care


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