Dental Tips Blog

Jun
21

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

May
16

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

Mar
13

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:
ConfiDenT
11550 Webb Bridge Way, Suite 1
Alpharetta, GA 30005
(770) 772-0994

Feb
11

How Do You Know You Need A Root Canal?

Posted in Root Canals

When you returned to work after the New Year, you started noticing pain in your teeth. It’s not all the time, and you want to ignore it, but you know that a small sensation in your mouth can be the beginnings of something big and awful: an abscess.

Before you jump the gun and immediately assume the worst, there are a few other things that could be wrong.

Pain When You Chew: 

Think about it. When you bite down, is the pain on contact with your other teeth, or does it come when you press down to chew or grind your food?  If the pain happens with contact to other teeth, the issue might be related to uneven wear on your biting surfaces. This is a simple fix, and typically takes less than 20 minutes to adjust.

Sensitive Teeth:

Over time, teeth can become sensitive to hot, cold, and sweet. This is particularly true of teeth with older metal fillings. But the sensitivity may not be an indicator of any decay in the tooth itself.  A set of dental x-rays will be able to rule out an abscess.  Toothpaste like Sensodyne or Colgate for Sensitive Teeth can help stop the sensitivity.

What if it IS and Abscess?

Even if your tooth does have the beginnings of an abscess, don’t wait it out.  It will not get better, but will only lead to more challenges later on.  The best thing to do is contact your dentist for an emergency appointment to plan the best course of treatment. With modern methods, root canals are nearly painless and more efficient than ever. You’ll be glad that you called!

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

Jun
9

Can You Get a Cavity After A Root Canal?

Posted in Root Canals

A root canal is when your dentist takes out the nerve of a tooth and replaces it with a filling material. Doing this can either relieve an infection or prevent one from happening.

After your root canal, your tooth shouldn’t have any more sensation. It’s protected by a strong crown, and will continue to work like any other tooth.

Your tooth with the root canal also has the same risk of getting a cavity, just like any other tooth. Why? Because bacteria can leak in at the margin where the crown meets the tooth. But does it really matter now that it no longer has a nerve?

Cavity After A Root Canal – Why Dangerous?

You know how cavities can get really sensitive? Because a tooth with a root canal is no longer alive, you probably won’t feel anything if that tooth gets a cavity.

If you don’t feel the decay and can’t see it because it’s under the crown, it can continue until your tooth is too damaged to even support a crown.

You got the root canal to preserve your natural tooth, but once decay takes over, you may have to get it pulled, anyway.

Protect Your Root Canal

Have you recently had a root canal? Congratulations on getting that out of the way!

But don’t forget that your work is far from over.

Make sure you brush and floss each tooth daily, even the ones with root canals. Visit your dentist regularly for x-rays and exams so that you can keep a close eye on how that root canal is holding up.

Posted on behalf of:
Dream Dentist
1646 W U.S. 50
O’Fallon, IL 62269
(618) 726-2699

Jan
30

Root Canal Therapy – What Is It?

Posted in Root Canals

A “root canal” affects the inside of your tooth’s root, which contains a channel of nerves and blood supply.

When a cavity or fracture gets too deep, this can trigger an infection in the pulp of your tooth. The bacteria travel down the canal to escape the tooth, resulting in an abscess along the tip of the root.

At this point, your tooth can never be completely clean and strong on its own. Your dentist will recommend root canal therapy (RCT) to remove the infection and seal off the nerve chamber.

What to Expect From a Root Canal Procedure

Your dentist will first take an x-ray to determine the extent of the cavity. After careful treatment planning, the dentist will administer anesthesia and open up a small hole through the top of your tooth. He or she will use a file to reach as deep into the root to remove infected tissues.

The next step is cleaning and shaping the root canal with special tools and irrigators. Once that’s done, it’s time to pack the empty spaces with a filling material that helps guard against the roots developing another infection.

Finally, your tooth will need a crown to protect it, as the loss of the nerve can weaken its structure.

Does RCT Hurt?

You might be surprised to learn that having a root canal doesn’t hurt any more than getting a filling.

Sure, root canals come with a reputation for pain, but the untreated infection is one of the biggest reasons why. You now have access to multiple options and medication for making your dental procedures as comfortable as you please.

Do you suspect you need root canal therapy? Contact your dentist for more information and to schedule an evaluation.

Posted on behalf of:
Nautical Dental
16414 San Pedro Ave #200
San Antonio, TX 78232
(210) 499-0009

Dec
29

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

Nov
20

Signs and Symptoms of a Dying Tooth

Posted in Root Canals

One of the primary goals of routine dental care is to restore your natural tooth to a state of health and function before a cavity has the chance to permanently compromise it. Sometimes, decay can spread rapidly and grow too big for it to be fixed with a filling alone. How do you know if your tooth is beyond saving with a filling?

Signs and Symptoms of a Serious Problem

When decay spreads too far through the tooth’s hard outer layers, it can reach the sensitive core, which contains nerves and blood vessels. The infection spreads through the roots of the teeth and can result in an abscess. Signs and symptoms you may notice include:

  • Pain
  • Bad Odor or Taste
  • Swelling of Your Cheek or Jaw
  • Darkness or Discoloration of the Tooth
  • A Pus-filled Pimple on the Gums

Take Action to Save Your Tooth

The surest way you’ll be able to enjoy the use of your tooth once more is to have a root canal. By carefully examining the tooth and taking an x-ray of the area, your dentist will be able to assess the extent of the damage. Because the decay has advanced so far, the nerves within the tooth must be removed. The roots of the tooth are then sealed up and the tooth is reinforced with a crown. This procedure allows you to retain your natural tooth, but it removes all sensation from the tooth because the living material has been taken away.

If you are struggling with a “problem tooth” at this time, then please contact your dentist as soon as possible so that he or she can help relieve your tooth discomfort!

Posted on behalf of:
Touchstone Dentistry
2441 FM 646 W Suite A
Dickinson, TX 77539
(832) 769-5202

Sep
9

Do I Really Need that Root Canal?

Posted in Root Canals

So – your dentist told you that you needed a root canal. If your tooth doesn’t even hurt (or even if it does,) you might be wondering if that root canal is really necessary or not. Why can’t you just fill the tooth, put a crown on it, or wait until it actually seems to have something else going on with it? Or better yet – what if you just treat the infection with an antibiotic and let it go away on its own?

Unfortunately, infected tooth nerves don’t heal themselves. While some tooth infections do need pre-treatment with an antibiotic, it only eliminates the initial infection. The open area that allows bacteria to enter into the tooth will simply result in a new infection a few weeks later. However, initially clearing up the area of infection makes it easier for your dentist to perform the root canal procedure.

Unlike fillings or crowns that strengthen or restore the upper portion of your tooth, root canals address the inner nerve chamber. The treatment extends through the nerve canal to the tip of the root, sealing it off and preventing any additional re-infection. If your dentist were to simply cover the upper portion of the tooth, then any recurrent infections would drain through the root tip and create more abscesses. That infection could even spread to adjacent teeth, or in rare circumstances, to your brain.

Having a root canal performed doesn’t have to be uncomfortable. Your dentist will ensure that the process goes as easily as possible. Newer types of technology make root canals faster and gentler than ever before. Call your dentist to find out how!

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

Sep
9

What Happens When I Put Off My Dental Care?

Posted in Root Canals

There are a lot of reasons why people have to put off their dental care. It may be a busy schedule, budget concerns, or just the feeling that there really isn’t anything actually wrong with their teeth. If you’re seeing a dentist that you trust, then you know that there’s a reason why they’ve recommended treatment. What can happen if you decide to put it off longer than they’ve recommended?

It can become more advanced

Unfortunately, damaged tooth structure cannot repair itself. Instead, it only gets bigger and more involved. If you need a crown today but put it off, you may need a root canal on it later. Small, easy to correct cavities may get pushed to the side, only allowing decay to continue eating its way deeper into the tooth. 

It will cost more to repair

Smaller, more affordable restorations only become more expensive to repair the larger the problem becomes. As mentioned previously, a cheaper filling could become a costlier root canal. By putting treatment off due to costs, you’re actually making it more expensive to restore your smile in the long run. 

It can damage your other teeth

A cavity or gum disease around one tooth can very easily spread to the next tooth, and so on. By correcting the problem as soon as possible, you’re saving the rest of your smile! 

It’s never a problem to get a second opinion if you don’t trust your dentist, but it is a problem when you don’t get treatment when you really need it. A quality dentist will do everything they can to help keep your treatment as minimally invasive, affordable, and preventive as possible.

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

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