Dental Tips Blog


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


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


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


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 


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



Do You Need a Root Canal?

Posted in Root Canals

We all shudder at the thought of having a root canal but our fears result primarily from lots of word-of-mouth misinformation. Getting a root canal is a fairly simple procedure aimed at restoring and saving the structure of a tooth. Although the outer surface of your tooth consists of hard enamel, the interior of your tooth is made of soft tissue, nerves and blood vessels, known as the pulp.

A root canal is needed when this soft tissue becomes damaged, diseased or infected. If you are experiencing symptoms including pain in your tooth, combined with swelling and heat in the gum, then you should have your North Druid Hills dentist examine that tooth. With X-rays, your dentist will confirm whether or not a root canal is necessary.

Because the pulp is comprised of soft living tissue, it is very vulnerable to injury. It can be damaged by untreated cavities promoting deep decay, a chip or crack in a tooth, being hit in the mouth, or even too many dental procedures on the same tooth. Once the inside nerve of the tooth is damaged, the surrounding tissue cannot live and must be removed before a severe infection develops. Once a tooth as reached maturity, such as in an adult, the root can remain functional without the need of the pulp.

A root canal is simply the removal of that soft pulp, leaving a canal that must be cleaned out and sealed off to avoid infection. The procedure keeps the structure of the tooth intact, so it can remain and be strengthened further by the application of a crown. Best of all, because the nerve inside the tooth is damaged or dead, there is really little to no discomfort.

Posted on behalf of Executive Park Dentistry



What Happens During a Root Canal?

Posted in Root Canals

Root canal therapy has an unnecessarily bad reputation, when in reality root canals are performed regularly and are very similar to other therapeutic dental treatment. This more detailed procedure is an essential therapeutic method that preserves the life of your tooth. The procedure is needed once decay has expanded deep into the inner nerve chamber of your tooth.

The process of root canal therapy begins with removing the diseased tooth enamel (cavity) as well as the infected nerve. Some teeth have one root, while others have two or three. Depending on the number of roots and their shape, this may make the procedure longer or more tedious on certain teeth. Once the infected nerve has been removed, a filling material is placed within the nerve chamber, which extends down the length of the roots, sealing off the inside of the tooth to prevent recurrent infection. The top of the tooth is then prepared and an impression is taken for a permanent crown to be placed on the now non-vital tooth. This preserves structural integrity for everyday use.

So if root canals aren’t so bad, why do some people complain about them so much? The thing is, any type of dental therapy has the potential to be less than comfortable. After anesthesia wears off you may have some soreness near the injection site, or discomfort from having your mouth open for an extended amount of time. Applying alternating warm and cool compresses to the area as well as taking an over the counter anti-inflammatory (such as ibuprophen) is typically adequate to handle any temporary discomfort that is felt the day of or after your procedure.

Posted on behalf of Muccioli Dental



When is Root Canal Therapy Necessary?

Posted in Root Canals

At what point is root canal therapy necessary? Root canals often come as a surprise to many dental patients, and because they are a lengthier procedure to perform they also cost more than the typical filling. It’s important for dental patients to understand why root canal therapy is needed in order for them to reduce their risk of losing the tooth or preventing a root canal altogether.

One of the most common reasons that root canals are needed is due to tooth decay going untreated. Even a small cavity may not have symptoms that you notice, but the bacteria can invade deep into the tooth, eventually infecting the nerve. Root canals are needed when decay has reached this point, as dental abscesses and fractured teeth are inevitable. By treating the nerve and placing a crown on the tooth, the tooth can be saved and retained for a lifetime.

If tooth decay has developed under an existing crown or large filling, the restoration as well as the underlying decay will need to be removed. If the decay comes into close proximity of the nerve canal, it may be necessary to treat the nerve as well. Otherwise it may become infected or experience high levels of sensitivity.

Broken or fractured teeth often compromise the health of the nerve as well. Depending on how far down the fracture has occurred, it may require a crown along with a root canal.

Root canals are designed to help you retain your natural tooth for the rest of your life. Avoiding a root canal will typically result in the premature loss of the tooth, which will then greatly affect all of the teeth around when there is nothing left in its place.

Posted on behalf of Dr. David Kurtzman



Why Do I have a Bad Taste in My Mouth?

Posted in Root Canals

There are several factors that can cause people to complain of a bad taste in their mouth. Knowing what causes the bad breath can help you correct the problem or choose other options to limit the taste altogether. Here are some common contributors to bad taste:

Dental Abscesses
A draining dental abscess can create a localized bad taste that may come and go depending on the current state of the infection. Abscesses are due to severe dental decay and cannot be corrected without root canal therapy.

Gum Disease
Periodontal disease usually originates between teeth, most often the lower front teeth or teeth farther back in the mouth. Gum disease is a serious condition that can lead to tooth loss, and may cause a bad taste around areas with severe infections, as well as bad breath (halitosis).

Several types of medicine are known to cause a metallic taste in the mouth. Being able to control your condition is important; so don’t give up on your medication without consulting your medical doctor.

Health Conditions
Allergies, sinus infections, GERD and other conditions can cause drainage or alterations of the natural bacteria in the back of the mouth, leaving dental patients to have a lingering altered taste on their tongue. Managing nasal drainage in addition to multiple other health conditions can reduce the taste associated with them and also improve your breath.

Using essential oils or Xylitol gums throughout the day may not fix the problem that causes a bad taste in your mouth, but it can relieve some of the taste sensation as you seek to have these conditions improved in an adequate manner. Cleaning your tongue each day with a brush or tongue scraper can also remove foul tasting bacteria from your mouth.


What to Expect During a Root Canal

Posted in Root Canals

Ever heard someone say they’d rather have a root canal than do something? Popular culture depicts the root canal as one of the most dreadful dental procedures there is. However, it isn’t the procedure that’s painful, but the problems that necessitate having a root canal. 

A root canal is needed when a tooth becomes infected or badly decayed down to the nerve and pulp, which is the soft tissue at the core of the tooth.  Signs of infection may range from no symptoms at all to a sensitivity to heat and cold to severe pain. 

If your dentist or endodontist (a dentist specializing in diseases of the dental pulp) recommends a root canal, the procedure typically involves one to three steps: 

X-rays and Preparation – Your dentist will take an x-ray of your tooth to see the extent of the infection. He/she will then numb the affected area to decrease the chance of you feeling any significant pain or discomfort. The dentist will also place a rubber dam around the tooth to keep the area dry and free of saliva during the treatment. 

Cleaning and Sealing –  Next, the dentist will drill an access hole into the tooth and remove all decayed pulp and nerve tissue, using a file that cleans and scrubs the root canals of the tooth. This can take several hours depending on the extent of the decay.  Once the canal is thoroughly clean, the dentist will use a rubber compound to fill the inner canal of the tooth. If the area is badly infected, however, the dentist may choose to wait a week or so until the infection fully clears. 

Filling –  Since most teeth that need a root canal are usually damaged extensively by decay, further restoration is usually in order. This could involve installation of fillings, crowns or posts.

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