Dental Tips Blog


What You Need to Know Before Your First Root Canal

Posted in Root Canals

Are you getting a root canal for the first time? Although not everyone has had a root canal, it’s a fairly common procedure. What makes root canals important is that they allow your dentist to preserve your tooth for as long as possible – instead of having to pull it.

Don’t Wait to Have it Done

Putting your root canal off too long may mean it eventually is no longer an option. If too much damage occurs to the root, the tooth may have to be pulled instead.

Root Canals Don’t Hurt

Root canals don’t have to hurt. Although they may have a bad reputation, a root canal procedure is really similar to having a filling done. It just takes longer. Your dentist will thoroughly numb the area around your tooth, so that you don’t feel pain or discomfort throughout the process. If needed, additional numbing can also be added through the procedure.

Your dentist will also use a small prop to help you keep your mouth open. Common discomfort comes from straining the jaw muscles, so the small prop eliminates that concern.

Once your root canal is finished, your tooth will no longer experience sensations of pain. That’s because the nerve inside of the tooth isn’t there anymore. Instead, the nerve chamber has been sealed off with a filling material.

You’ll Need a Crown

A crown will protect your non-vital tooth so that it can function normally. This allows you to bite and chew without enamel chipping off. Otherwise the brittle tooth would start to break down.

Sit back, relax – your dentist has it covered! Your root canal is a common procedure that thousands of people have done each year.

Posted on behalf of:
Spanaway Family Dentistry
20709 Mountain Hwy E #101
Spanaway, WA 98387
(253) 948-0880


Do Root Canals Hurt?

Posted in Root Canals

Root canal treatments (endodontic therapy) have a bad reputation. One for being uncomfortable and making dental patients absolutely miserable any time that a root canal is needed. But is that really the case?

In truth, root canals are no more uncomfortable than any other type of dental treatment. Why? Because the area of the mouth around the tooth is anesthetized, preventing any type of nerve stimulation that could trigger discomfort or pain. Then, just like a filling, crown, or other procedure, the tooth is prepped and restored without any discomfort being felt.

However, there is one downside to root canals: they take time. Most root canal procedures take about double the time of other visits, and this is why some patients may complain about their appointment. Keeping the mouth open can make the jaws sore, and when you’re ready for the appointment to be over it may make it seem even longer than it is.

Thankfully there are ways to minimize jaw discomfort during your treatment. Most dentists use a small prop to help you rest your jaws so that there is no strain to the joint around it. Taking an over the counter medication like ibuprofen or applying a warm compress can alleviate muscle discomfort. Another option is to ask your dentist whether or not he or she offers sedation treatments in their office. Being able “nap” right through the procedure can make you more comfortable and help it to go by much quicker.

Putting your root canal off too long can make it impossible to restore your tooth at all. Talk to your dentist about the best way to keep your endodontic treatment as simple as possible.

Posted on behalf of:
Linda King, DDS MAGD
4146 Georgia 42
Locust Grove, GA 30248
(770) 898-8872


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



Three Signs That Mean You Need to See the Dentist

Posted in Root Canals

Have you ever asked yourself or a friend: “Do you think I should see a dentist?” Chances are most of us have experienced a toothache, accident, or felt something that didn’t seem quite right and made us wonder if it was time to call our dental office. Here are 3 signs that you need to make the call:

Youre in Pain:

It sounds simple, but you might be surprised how many people think the pain will go away if they can just “make it through.” Toughing out the pain won’t make it any better – the discomfort you feel in your mouth is trying to tell you to get professional help, fast. Most dental pain is caused by severe infection that requires treatment in order to make it go away for good.

It Didnt Feel Like That Before:

Does something feel a little off? If one of the teeth seems “funny” or not the way it normally does, you may have had a filling fall out or a piece of tooth break off. Catching it earlier can make treatment easier and more affordable to complete.

Theres Bleeding or Swelling That Doesnt Go Away:

An abscess or infected gum tissue means that there’s a bacterial infection deep down under your tissues. Have your dentist clean the area and check for a cause. It can be anything from gingivitis to gum disease to a tooth that needs to have a root canal.

All in all, if you notice changes in your mouth that don’t go away within a few days, it’s best to see your dentist!

Posted on behalf of Gold Hill Dentistry


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



What is a Root Canal?

Posted in Root Canals

Millions of teeth are saved each year with root canal treatment. Root canals are known as an endodontic treatment because they involve treatment of the inside of the tooth. Inside the tooth, under the hard enamel and dentin layer, is the pulp of the tooth. The pulp contains blood vessels, nerves, and connective tissue. The pulp helps to grow the root of the tooth during development, and because of the nerves and tissue within the pulp, it is highly sensitive. A root canal is necessary when the pulp within the tooth becomes inflamed or infected. An infection in the pulp can be caused by deep tooth decay, repeated dental procedures on the tooth, a faulty crown, or damage to the tooth such as a crack or chip. If the inflammation or infection is left untreated, it will cause severe pain and can lead to an abscess.

During a root canal procedure, a patient will be kept comfortable by local anesthesia around the treatment area. The dentist will remove the inflamed or infected pulp from the inside of the tooth. Then the inside of the tooth will be carefully cleaned and disinfected before it is filled and sealed with a rubber like material called gutta-percha. Afterward, the tooth is restored with a crown or filling for protection. Once the procedure is complete, the tooth will function like any other tooth.

People who keep their regular dental appointments and who practice good daily oral hygiene are less likely to have complications with their root canal. A root canal treatment is not something that anyone should put off because of the significant damage that could progress through the mouth. If you are having pain in one or more of your teeth, call you dentist. If you are in need of a root canal, it is best to have it taken care of now rather than later.

Posted on behalf of Dr. Lawrence Rosenman, Springfield Lorton Dental Group



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



Treatment for a Dead Tooth

Posted in Root Canals

Even though our teeth are covered by a hard enamel exterior, they are not “injury proof.” In fact, the interior or center of our teeth is made up of a soft living tissue of blood cells and nerves, called the “pulp.” This soft tissue, then, is very vulnerable to injury that could result in damage to the tooth nerve. When this nerve dies, the surrounding tissue needs to be removed before an infection or abscess can develop.

There are really only two main options for the treatment of a dead tooth. If the exterior structure of the damaged tooth is severely decayed, broken, or disfigured beyond repair, then the entire tooth can be extracted. However, if the structure of the tooth is still intact and salvageable, a root canal can be performed to save the tooth. While the inside pulp of a tooth is vitally important to the development of our teeth, once the teeth reach maturity in an adult, there is no longer a need for the pulp and the healthy structure can remain functional without it.

A root canal, regardless of its bad reputation, is really a simple procedure for cleaning out the soft, dead, material of the inner tooth in order to restore and save the exterior structure of the tooth. Because the interior nerve of the tooth is already dead, there is not usually much discomfort with the root canal procedure.

Should you choose to have your damaged tooth extracted, you may want to consult with your local dental professional about cosmetic replacement options. In cases where a root canal is a viable option, such teeth are usually covered after that procedure by a crown to give it additional strength and support.

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



Do You Have a Dead Tooth?

Posted in Root Canals

While the outside, or what is visible, of our teeth is made up of hard enamel, the inside of our teeth is actually living tissue, comprised mostly of nerves and blood cells, called the “pulp”. Although a healthy pulp is vital to the formation and development of our teeth, once a tooth has reached maturity, such as in an adult, the root and exterior structure of the tooth can remain functional without the need of the pulp.

This soft tissue is very vulnerable to injury. Cavities, left untreated and allowed to decay, can go deep down into the pulp causing damage. Sports injuries or falls that injure the mouth can also causing bruising to the pulp. Even too many dental procedures on the same tooth can prove injurious. When the inside nerve of the tooth is damaged, the surrounding tissue must be removed using root canal therapy before a severe infection develops.

It is entirely possible to have a dead tooth without any presenting systems so it is important to get regular dental checkups. However, some teeth will grow darker from the bruising of dying blood cells when the pulp has become damaged. Some people experience pain from mild to extreme, either from a resulting abscess or the actual dying of the tooth nerve. If an infection has begun in the damaged pulp, it’s possible to notice some swelling and an unpleasant odor or taste.

If you have any of these symptoms, or if you are symptom free but have recently suffered an injury to your mouth, you should have your local dental professional examine your teeth as soon as possible. A dead tooth cannot go untreated without risk of infection or an abscess. Fast and effective treatment could possibly save the structure of your tooth.

Posted on behalf of Toothmasters



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


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,…