Ballantyne Endodontics

When Is A Root Canal Without Crown Protection Wise?

A crown may supply the finishing touch after a root canal – sealing the tooth and strengthening it for the long term – but a crown isn’t necessary in every case. Teeth at the front of the mouth and those that are reasonably strong, in particular, may not need them at all. Weighing the following pros and cons can help you decide if a root canal without crown placement is the best and most cost-effective option for you.

Strong but Delicate

Root canals save teeth from decay, but they can also weaken them. When the pulp inside a tooth is infected or no longer living, dentists can treat the tooth through a root canal by removing the pulp and apply filling to replace it. When performing routine root canals, however, dentists drill through the tooth and then remove infected and decayed enamel, dentin and pulp. For this reason, teeth with large cavities are weak even when the cavities are filled.

Because root canals also remove the pulp, the teeth involved can no longer function as living things. Over time, this deficit causes them to lose strength and become likely to fracture.

Why Crowns Are Added

After performing root canal work, dentists apply permanent fillings to protect the treated teeth from bacteria and to strengthen them in the process. For many root canal procedures, however, fitting crowns over the filled teeth is necessary because of the high risk of fracture without the extra protection crowns provide. Another advantage of crowns is that they restore the natural appearance of your teeth.

When to Do Without

For incisor and canine teeth that are relatively intact, a root canal without crown placement may be perfectly fine. Teeth at the front of the mouth, for example, experience less physical stress than premolars and molars because they are not used for chewing. In fact, the effectiveness of crowning front teeth after root canals, as explained by the National Institutes of Health, includes only incisors or canines that have been extensively excavated during the procedure. In these cases, you may need the strength crowns provide.

Premolars and molars that are at low risk of fracture may also be suitable for filling-only restorations after root canals. Silver or composite fillings alone can provide a strong, permanent seal and chewing surface when a large amount of tooth remains.

Whether teeth are covered by crowns or filled without them, keep in mind they are still vulnerable to tooth decay. Brush your restored teeth twice daily.

Your dentist can ultimately help you determine the best option for restoring a tooth after a root canal. Front teeth may not need a crown for strength, but you might still refer the improved appearance a crown offers. Then again, if the tooth is a premolar or molar that is not at high risk of fracturing, a filling-only restoration may be the most cost-effective choice.


Ferrule Effect: What Is It?

During your dental appointments, your dentist may use some terms that you don’t understand. Even after they explain it, you may still be a little unclear. Here’s one term you may hear if you have a damaged tooth.

What Is the Ferrule Effect?

This term refers to the need to have several millimeters of sound tooth structure left above the bone (alveolar bone) to decrease the risk of a tooth fracturing after certain procedures that require a crown, such as a root canal. A tooth may require a root canal if it has deep decay, a fracture, or a large restoration close to the pulp. The root canal procedure is meant to help retain your tooth’s function, but it may leave very little natural tooth structure remaining.

An amount of sound tooth structure should be above the alveolar bone and soft tissue, explains research in the Balkan Journal of Dental Medicine. This leaves space for the soft tissue to attach to the tooth and space for the ferrule or crown. In cases where there isn’t much of the tooth remaining, you may need a surgical procedure called crown lengthening. During this procedure, the oral surgeon removes tissue and bone to expose enough tooth structure above the bone.

Placing Your Restoration

To allow for the ferrule effect, your dentist will insert a post into the root canal system. A core extends off the post. Your dentist will shape the tooth material appropriately with a bur on a high-speed hand piece, and then the crown can be cemented onto the tooth and post.

Why Ferrule Effect Is Important

Teeth or crowns may flex or move. This movement can lead to fracture. The ferrule effect helps reduce the risk of the tooth fracturing, though it doesn’t guarantee it.

A solid tooth foundation is necessary so that a crown has its finish margin on natural tooth structure. Sometimes, even with surgery, the tooth may not have enough available tooth structure to allow for crown placement. In these cases, the dentist can’t use a crown to restore the tooth’s function and the tooth may need to be extracted. To prevent the possible loss of your teeth, make sure to keep up with a daily oral hygiene routine.


Endodontics: A Tooth Saver

endodonticsYou may have experienced the extreme pain that accompanies an infected tooth, and maybe even have heard of the dreaded root canal. But a bad tooth infection doesn’t mean the tooth’s demise. Very often, undergoing endodontics will help relieve your pain and keep your dentition intact.

According to the American Association of Endodontists, less than 3 percent of dentists in the United States are these tooth-saving specialists. While dentists are trained in the basics of root canals, most will refer a patient to an endodontist for treatment of an infected tooth, especially when extreme pain and swelling is present.

Attributes of an Endodontist

Having advanced training in this specialty involves at least two extra years of study and clinical hours beyond the conventional four years of dental school. After completion, this specialist is uniquely qualified to best treat an infected tooth and alleviate pain. A practicing endodontist will, on average, do 25 or more root canals or other procedures related to a tooth infection per week. This schedule makes them efficient and flexible since they do not perform other routine dental procedures. Additionally, most will see patients on the same or next day, and many have Saturday and evening hours.

This expert care is why you may be referred to an endodontist. They regularly attend continuing education classes and seminars to stay abreast of the latest technology for diagnosis and treatment. This includes the use of microscopes, lasers, ultrasonic instruments and imaging tools that are digital, 3D and fiber optic. Using these advanced technologies helps ensure that the tooth or teeth can be saved and function successfully in the future.

Endodontic Treatments and Procedures

The most common referral to an endodontist is for a root canal: a procedure that cleans the infected pulp area, relieving pain and saving the tooth. Most infections in the pulp of the tooth are caused by advanced decay or a deep cavity that was prepped and treated in proximity to the pulp. Endodontics also involves re-treatment of a root canal that didn’t clear up the initial infection, or a surgical procedure at the tip of the root. Traumatic injury to teeth can also cause tooth pulp to become necrotic and require a root canal to retain the tooth or teeth.

Endodontists are great at saving teeth, however occasionally a tooth or teeth may have complications beyond their abilities. The good news is that these specialists possess the skills and advanced diagnostic tools to determine the best treatment for you. This could mean a referral for an extraction and tooth replacement to restore your smile, but only after all treatment options are explored. Doing everything to save your tooth is an endodontist’s first priority because the general belief is your natural tooth is best!

Keep your mouth healthy by practicing optimal home care, like brushing and flossing and regular dental visits. However, even with proper oral hygiene, problems and infections can still occur. During treatment, brushing with a toothpaste for sensitivity can be helpful. Relieving your pain and maintaining your smile is your dentist’s first priority, and he or she will not hesitate to refer you to the champion of tooth saving: the endodontist!


Saving Your Natural Tooth

endodontistNothing looks, feels or functions like your natural tooth. Regular brushing and flossing, along with six-month check-ups from your dentist, can help you keep your teeth for a lifetime.

Sometimes your teeth may have infection or disease and will need additional care. When possible, you should always consider treatments to save your teeth. You may think, why not have a tooth pulled, especially if no one can see it, but you will know your tooth is missing and it will negatively impact your quality of life.

Don’t get a tooth pulled because you think its easier or more cost-effective. Missing teeth can cause other teeth to shift, affect your ability to properly chew and ruin your smile. Tooth extraction often is more painful than the infection itself, and replacing an extracted tooth with an artificial one requires additional dental visits that can quickly add up.

Modern endodontics offers advancements in technologies, procedures and materials, giving you many treatment options to save your natural teeth. It’s important to understand your choices and how they’ll impact both your tooth and your future dental health. It’s always best to retain your natural teeth whenever possible and endodontic treatment should be your first choice for the best health and cosmetic results. Endodontists are specialists in saving teeth. They can evaluate your condition and provide the best treatment plan to help you save your teeth for a lifetime.

Here are some tips for saving your teeth:

  • When given a choice between tooth extraction and root canal treatment, always opt for a root canal. No denture, bridge or implant will look, feel and function as well as a natural tooth.
  • Act immediately when you experience symptoms of swelling or pain. Most endodontists can accommodate emergency cases, even on weekends, ensuring you’ll be seen quickly.
  • If your dentist recommends tooth extraction, ask whether the root canal is an option.
  • If you’re told root canal is not an option, ask why and request a referral to an endodontist.

Root canals treatment from an endodontist is virtually painless and often leaves you with less discomfort during recovery than if you have your natural tooth extracted. Thanks to modern techniques and effective anesthesia, patients who experience root canals are six times more likely to describe it as painless than patients who have a tooth extracted! Take the time to learn more about root canal treatment and some of the common misconceptions about it and then take the first step to a pain-free, healthy mouth by visiting an endodontist near you.

How does endodontic treatment save the tooth?

It’s necessary to have endodontic or root canal treatment when the inside of your tooth (the pulp) becomes inflamed or infected as a result of deep decay, repeated dental procedures, faulty crowns or a crack or chip in the tooth. Trauma to your tooth may also cause pulp damage even if the tooth has no visible chips or cracks. If pulp inflammation or infection is left untreated, it can cause pain or lead to an abscess.

When you undergo a root canal or other endodontic treatment, the inflamed or infected pulp is removed and the inside of the tooth is carefully cleaned and disinfected, then filled and sealed with a rubber-like material called gutta-percha. Afterward, the tooth is restored with a crown or filling for protection and will continue to function like any other tooth.

Endodontic treatment helps you maintain your natural smile, continue eating the foods you love and limits the need for ongoing dental work. With proper care, most teeth that have had root canal treatment can last a lifetime.


Do You Need Emergency Dental Care?

tooth emergency

It is important to know what kinds of injuries require emergency dental care, so you can make sure that your family’s teeth are taken care of, while avoiding unnecessary trips to the emergency room. Accidents can happen at all times of the day or night. Some oral injuries may need immediate treatment, while others can wait until your dentist’s normal business hours.

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All About Apicoectomy


What Is An Apicoectomy?
Your teeth are held in place by roots that extend into your jawbone. Front teeth usually have one root. Other teeth, such as your premolars and molars, have two or more roots. The tip or end of each root is called the apex. Nerves and blood vessels enter the tooth through the apex. They travel through a canal inside the root, and into the pulp chamber. This chamber is inside the crown (the part of the tooth you can see in your mouth).

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Preparing for a Root Canal: Know Before You Go (Part 2)

Now that you know what a root canal is, it’s important to know what to expect during your appointment. endodontist charlotte

During the appointment

During the appointment, your dentist will give you deep full local anesthesia, which is a little more than required for a filling because your dentist is removing the nerve.

Many x-rays will be taken to make sure that the instruments are in the correct location to remove the infected tissue.

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Cracked Teeth: Preventing and Treating The Ow

Cracked Tooth Blog - Ballentyne Endo

There are many different types of cracked teeth, that can show a variety of symptoms, including erratic pain when chewing, possibly with release of biting pressure, or pain when your tooth is exposed to temperature extremes. In many cases, the pain may come and go, and your dentist may have difficulty locating which tooth is causing the discomfort. If you are experiencing these dental symptoms or suspect a cracked tooth, see an endodontist, who specializes in saving cracked teeth.

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Mesial of The Tooth: Understanding Dental Lingo

mesial“The mesial of the tooth has a cavity.” Have you ever listened to your dentist and thought they were speaking a foreign language? Sitting in the chair for a dental exam can be confusing, if you don’t know the technical terminology. Learning a little bit about dental vocabulary can help you to be more informed about your oral health, and more able to comply with your dentist’s instructions. The forward-facing part of the tooth, called the mesial, is a good place to start expanding your knowledge of tooth anatomy.

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