Category Archives: Root Canals

My dentist won’t fix my bite after getting a crown!

I had to get a root canal because I broke my bottom molar in the back about a month ago eating a hard popcorn kernal.  After I got the crown, I knew immediately that it didn’t feel like my usual bite. The dentist ground it down a little, but I left that day with it still being off.  He said it would get better. I let it got for a week, but every time I would bite or clench my teeth together, they just didn’t fit. So I went back in to have him fix it, but he was really hesitant to grind much more, saying I just need to get used to “my new bite.” Does it weaken the crown to grind it down? I just can’t figure out why my dentist won’t fix how my teeth fit together.

Preston, Branson, Missouri

Dear Preston,

It’s not fun to have to get a root canal and crown, but it’s even more frustrating to have your occlusion, or bite, feel off.  Because eating is essential, it’s not like you can just avoid biting and chewing. Correcting the bite is a routine part of placing a crown. If your dentist is hesitating, it may mean that either he doesn’t know how to fix it or is uncomfortable to do so.

How dentists correct the bite on your crown

Your bite will never feel exactly the way it did with your original tooth. The dentist can shape the contour to match it as closely as possible. Dentists use a special registration paper to have you “tap tap” your teeth together. This helps them see what parts of the tooth are hitting before the other parts. They can then grind down those spots. It’s doesn’t weaken the crown to fix those small spots.

You can give yourself some more time to try to adjust to your crown. If you continue to  experience discomfort, you will need to do something. It’s not good for your jaw to have your bite off. You could try to see your dentist again, but if he was uncomfortable or not knowledgable to do it right the first time, it may not end well . You may need to see another dentist to fix it.

This post is sponsored by Vista Dorada Dental in Gilbert, AZ.

 

What are CEREC crowns and are they best?

I haven’t visited the dentist like I should over the past ten years. Because I had a toothache,  I finally went. I knew my teeth weren’t in the best shape and the dentist told me I would need a tooth fixed with a root canal, along with some other cavities filled.  I don’t know if I was just overwhelmed by all the dentist was suggesting I needed done, but I swear he started talking another language. He started talking about getting a serk crown. I have looked on the internet and can’t find anything. Can you please translate? What is it and is it the best thing for a mouth like mine?

JB in Wyoming

Dear JB,

We are assuming, based on the work you need done, that your dentist was recommending getting a CEREC crown. There certainly are words that are dentist lingo and do require some translation and CEREC crowns fit that category as they are a newer treatment option.

What are CEREC crowns?

CEREC machineCerec crowns are porcelain crowns that a dentist can create in the office the same day as your visit for the root canal. The dentist uses computer technology and his expertise to make them. The dentist matches the shade of your teeth to the color of porcelain. Using the computer images of your tooth, a special machine cuts the porcelain to fit your tooth. It is bonded on once the root canal is finished.

As to whether it is best for your mouth, again we are just going by your brief history, but CEREC crowns created by dentists who know what they are doing can be very successful. If they are bonded well and you don’t grind your teeth, they will last as well as other crowns. The only time CEREC crowns aren’t usually preferred is when you need a crown on a front tooth. This is for esthetic reasons. They may not look as natural as other crowns created in a lab for the front teeth.

Since you have questions, it wouldn’t hurt to ask the dental office to see pictures of others who have had CEREC crowns placed or about the dentist’s experience.

This post is sponsored by Vista Dorada Dental in Gilbert, AZ.

 

Can you get more than one root canal on a tooth?

I had a root canal two years ago from my dentist. I trust him and he usually does a great job. Recently, though, I have been feeling some pain on that same tooth.  I’ve been told before about pain in the teeth being projected (I think it was called) from another hurting tooth. I’m pretty sure that must be it because you can’t get a root canal twice in the same tooth, right?

Pat

Dear Pat,

toothacheThere are times when pain from a tooth is projected, or referred, from another tooth. In your case, though, it truly may be that you are feeling pain from the same tooth that had the root canal.

In most instances where a root canal is completed, the tissue, or pulp, in the tooth is completely cleaned out of the spaces and canals. Then the canals are sealed so bacteria can’t reenter. A crown is put on top and the patient goes home without another thought about the infection in the tooth.

So how come you may need another root canal?

Unfortunately, not all teeth are created equally. Most molars, for example, have three canals leading down to the roots. Every once in a while, those molars either have a fourth canal leading down or the canals are twisted and at angles that make it difficult for a dentist, even a good, competent dentist, to completely clean out the pulp. If that infected area isn’t completely cleaned out or properly sealed, it may cause pain again as infection grows. If that happens, a second or maybe even a third root canal may be necessary.

These scenarios of root canals aren’t common, but they do happen. If your pain continues, you may want to revisit your dentist to check your tooth. He may retreat it or may refer you to an endodontist, a dentist who specializes in root canal treatment.

This post is sponsored by Vista Dorada Dental in Gilbert, AZ.