Don’t Be Afraid of Root Canals – Understand Bridges, Root Canals and Dental Work

Root canals, bridges, crowns, caps. These are probably all words that you have heard in your dentist’s office. We are hear to shed a little light on the situation and clear up any confusion. It is important to know about each problem/solution so you know how to prevent it from happening again. Usually when people understand how they ended up at root canal they will be more aware of their teeth and have a less of a return rate.

Crown / Cap

A crown or cap is basically a restoration that covers a tooth to restore it to its normal shape and size. A crown provides strength and improves the appearance of the tooth it covers. It is a stationary, custom made cover for any tooth that has sustained significant loss of structure.

Why is a crown needed?

  • To protect a weak tooth from fracturing
  • For a cracked tooth to hold it together and seal the tooth from decay
  • To cover discolored teeth
  • To restore a weaken tooth
  • To improve cosmetic appearance
  • To avoid large damage by decay
  • To support the replacement tooth/teeth in a bridge
  • For a weaken tooth structure due to large fillings
  • To Restores and maintain the natural bite
  • To protect a tooth that just had a root canal because these teeth tend to become brittle and are more apt to fracture.

Teeth that have been treated with root canals but did not have crowns placed on them were lost at a rate six times greater than teeth with crowns

Dental Bridges

A dental bridge is a dental appliance that replaces one or more natural missing teeth. The appliance “bridges” the gap between the real teeth hence the name. Bridges can be either fixed or removable like dentures. Fixed bridges are cemented into place and therefore cannot be removed by the patient. Bridges will conceal the space left from missing teeth and act as replacements.

If left unfilled, this space can cause the surrounding teeth to drift out of position and can cause teeth and gums to become more susceptible to tooth decay and gum disease that can cause further tooth loss. Bridges all serve a function purpose besides concealing space from missing teeth, they can correct an altered bite and improve chewing ability and speech. Dental bridges have also been know to help safeguard your appearance and prevent the collapse of facial features which can lead to premature wrinkles and age lines.

Root Canals

To understand a root canal, you first must understand the anatomy of a tooth. The white exterior portion of the tooth is called enamel. Inside the enamel is the dentin. There is a small center to every tooth that is called the pulp chamber which contains tooth pulp, a soft tissue made of nerves, arteries and veins. The pulp extends from the pulp chamber all the way to the tip of the root, through a narrow channel called the root canal.

When the nerve of a tooth becomes infected, a root canal treatment can save the tooth by removing the infected part before it kills the whole tooth. Germs causes infection in root canal and that builds up pus at the root tip. This can create a hole in the bone.

An infected tooth will NEVER heal on its own, and as it gets worse, it will continue to be a source of infection that weakens your immune system. This can affect your entire body. This damage to the bone and the swelling inside the bone can also be excruciatingly painful, and even life-threatening. The treatment has been practiced for over 70 years. Latest technology has made is easier to practice and less painful. More than 95 percent of root canal treatments are successful. However, sometimes a case needs to be redone due to diseased canal offshoots that went unnoticed or the fracturing of a canal filling instrument used, both of which occur rarely.

What is an alternative to root canal treatment?

Root canal is done to save the tooth. Alternatively the tooth must be extracted and the infected bone around the tooth thoroughly curetted. The missing tooth then can be replaced by removable dentures, fixed bridgework or implants. We have more information about these procedures on our blog, read more here.

dsc02489_ppAbout the doctor:

Dr. Sapana Majmudar is one of the top dentist in Fremont, CA. Her clinic, Serene Dental, serves Fremont and the surrounding cities of Newark, Union City, Hayward, Milpitas, Pleasanton, Dublin and San Jose. We have been known for quality dental care and customer satisfaction for more than 20 years. The services include complete family dentistry, orthodontics, cosmetics, pediatric, periodontics, restorative, implants, preventive dental care and much more. Serene Dental is located on Mowry Ave, near 880, next to Wells Fargo Bank in Fremont, CA.

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