Dental Tips Blog


Root Canals

Posted in Root Canals

Often people with a badly decayed or infected tooth will need to have a root canal.  This is a routine dental procedure done in the dentist’s office, where the nerve and the pulp in the tooth are removed.  Often people in need of a root canal will experience a great deal of pain in the tooth affected when chewing their food.  Other symptoms of a problem include a darkening of a tooth and a sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures.  However in some cases there can be no symptoms at all and only a dentist can tell if a root canal is necessary.

The procedure is pretty straight forward, with a local anesthetic being injected to numb the area.  The dentist will then drill an access hole in the tooth, where they will insert a series of root canal files to remove the nerve and the pulp.  Water is used to flush out the debris within the root canals of the tooth.  Once completely cleaned out, the dentist will use a specialized compound to fill in the interior of the tooth, where the nerve and pulp were removed and then place a permanent filing.

In some cases, the Dentist may not fill the interior of the tooth immediately, especially if there are signs of an infection.  In this case, a temporary filling is used and a follow visit is scheduled to fill the tooth, once the dentist is sure that there is no longer an infection.  Often, due to the amount of decay and damage to the tooth, it is necessary to further protect the tooth by placing a crown over the tooth as well.

Remember to see your dentist on a regular basis and at the first signs of any discomfort in your teeth!

Posted on behalf of David Kurtzman



What Is a Root Canal Procedure?

Posted in Root Canals

If you have a badly infected or decayed, your dentist may have suggested that you have a root canal procedure done.  You may have wondered exactly what this procedure was, and whether or not you should have this done.

One of the most important things to realize that a root canal procedure is never recommended unless other forms of repairing the tooth infection or decay have been exhausted or would not work.  Root canal procedures require removing the nerve and pulp of the tooth.  To do this, your dentist will provide you a local anesthetic so you feel no pain, and then drill a small hole in your tooth.  After this hole is drilled, special equipment is used to remove the ‘inside’ portions of the tooth.

After the removal of the pulp of the tooth, the tooth is cleansed again and then sealed.  The tooth is then protected with a crown or cap.  Not having a root canal done will lead to further tooth damage, and may also cause infections to form in the tooth, the gum line and the bone.

Many people wonder if removing the pulp, or the inside portion of the tooth, will impact the tooth.  The only thing you will notice is that the tooth can no longer detect hot and cold sensations.  Your ability to chew and eat or even talk will not be impacted.

Root canal procedures should not be painful.  Your dentist will provide you with anesthetic agents and perhaps relaxing agents to keep you pain free during the procedure.  If you feel any pain at all, simply notify your dentist and they can provide some additional anesthetic agents.

If you are considering having a root canal procedure, ask your dentist how many procedures they have performed.  Remember to tell your dentist if you experience pain during the procedure, and know that you are doing the best possible thing:  saving your natural tooth!

Posted on behalf of Grateful Dental



Endontics Basics

Posted in Root Canals

If you recently had a severe accident to your mouth or jaw, your dentist may have referred you to an endodontist. You may also have heard that a friend or neighbor was seeing an endodontist for a root canal, and wondered what an endodontist and endodontics were.

Endodontics is a specialty field in dentistry that focuses on saving a tooth.  An endodontist is a dentist who completes additional education (usually about two years) and training that will allow him to complete specialized surgeries to help repair and treat the soft pulp tissue inside a tooth.  Most endodontists perform surgeries such as complex root canals, and restoration of teeth after severe accidents and trauma.

Root canals are surgical procedures that will remove the diseased portion of the inside of the tooth, and replace it with a filling of some sort.  Sometimes a cap or crown is placed on the tooth after.  Doing this is better than extracting the tooth as your natural smile and bone strength stays in place.

Traumatic issues, such as accidents or falls, may result in the loss of teeth. Endodontists also work with these cases to attempt to restore and replace the natural tooth in the original socket.  Replacing the natural tooth may require a bone graft or rod, but is a better option than complete removal in many cases.

If you have been referred to an endodontist, time is of the essence.  You should make the appointment as soon as possible, and not delay or avoid the procedures or appointments recommended.  The combination of advanced skills and a timely response is what will help save the teeth from further damage, and help retain your natural smile in the years to come.

Posted on the behalf of Windy Hill Dental Associates



What is an Abscess?

Posted in Root Canals

A dental abscess is an encased area of infection located at the apex of the root of a tooth. The abscess often, in an attempt to drain itself, causes a small pimple-like lesion to appear on the surface of the gums. These fistulas may come and go over time as the infection drains itself, and may appear to have a white fluid present in the lesion.

Abscesses occur when the nerve of the tooth has become infected due to extensive tooth decay. The infected nerve spreads the bacteria through the tip of the root, infecting the area of bone around it. Simply removing the decay at the top of the tooth and placing a filling over it will not correct the problem. Rather, this seals in the infected nerve tissue as well as the infection near the root, leaving the abscess in place and untreated. Instead, root canal therapy must be performed on the tooth in order to remove all of the diseased tissues and prevent recurrent infections. If abscesses are left alone, in severe cases they may cause subsequent infections even into the brain, requiring hospitalization.

Antibiotics may be used in the course of the treatment in order to remove the initial infection and swelling prior to the root canal therapy. They are not, however, a comprehensive treatment for abscesses. Continued antibiotic treatments may cause drug resistance and will not reverse the condition.

Diagnosing a dental abscess typically requires a periapical dental x-ray in order to see the surrounding tooth structures around the affected tooth. Other types of x-rays such as routine bitewings will not give your dentist the image necessary to diagnose an abscessed tooth.

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