Dental FAQ's RCT & Misc FAQ's

An Endodontist specializes in root canal treatment. Dental decay that is neglected often spreads deep inside the tooth and reaches the pulp tissue in the core of the tooth. The Endodontist specializes in removing infected and inflamed pulp and filling the area left after its removal.

Basically tooth is made of three layers, outer strong and hard enamel, intermediate tough dentin and inner soft pulp that contains the nerve ending, blood vessels and others cells which maintain the vitality of the tooth. When dental decay is allowed to progress, it results in a deep cavity that may reach the pulp thereby exposing the pulp to the exterior. Exposure of the pulp may also occur due to erosion or trauma like fracture of the tooth. Whenever the pulp is exposed to the exterior, it develops inflammation and infection. A tooth that has its pulp exposed by decay, trauma, etc has two treatment options; extraction of the tooth or retain the tooth by undertaking a root canal treatment. Such an Endodontically treated tooth can function normally in mouth. If untreated the tooth develops pain, swelling, etc, and the infection can spread deeper into the bone.

Rubber dam is a device that is used to isolate a single tooth or a group of teeth from the rest of the oral cavity in order to keep the tooth being treated away from saliva and also to increase visibility. In addition the rubber dam prevents accidental swallowing of delicate instruments, solutions, etc. It is used in filling procedures and is a must in root canal treatment.

Once decay reaches the pulp of the tooth, it gets infected and the tooth has to undergo root canal treatment. It involves complete removal of the pulp, cleansing and filling with inert material. Since pulp contains few nerve endings which are removed, it is commonly referred to as nerve removal treatment.

No, a tooth with minimal destruction that is well restored does not fracture in normal usage. However, a grossly destroyed tooth may fracture if it is not protected by a metal crown.

Root canal treated teeth are not immune to decay; hence, proper brushing and oral hygiene maintenance is necessary to keep decay away.

As the nerve supply to the tooth is removed the tooth does not respond to heat, cold, etc, like other normal teeth but continues to function like other teeth in the mouth.

Once the pulp gets infected and adequate treatment is not carried out there is a chance that the infection may spread to the underlying bone. In such cases the infection forms an abscess in the bone which is nothing but collection of pus. Such an abscessed tooth can be saved by antibiotic therapy followed by root canal treatment. However, these patients required to be followed up regularly by X-rays and clinical check up until complete healing take place.

A tooth that is completely developed can be treated by routine root canal treatment. However in young children the roots of the teeth are still developing. In such children it may be required to first undertake treatment to develop the root or close its wide open end and then complete the root canal treatment.

Yes it is done on primary teeth when the decay involves the pulp.

Depending on the involved tooth and infection status it may take multiple visits or can be completed in a single sitting.

A tooth that cannot be endodontically treated in the mouth is removed and then the Root Canal Treatment is performed outside the mouth. Soon after the completion of the Root Canal Treatment the tooth is put back in its place. Such a procedure is known as reimplantation. This procedure is done only in exceptional cases, as the long-term survival of the tooth is uncertain.

Yes, sometimes infection of gums can lead to pulp infection and vice versa. In such cases first the RCT is performed and later gums are treated by the specialist

Yes it is possible in selected cases. A tooth can be placed in the socket of another tooth and such a procedure is known as transplantation.

Yes, all the dentists are equipped to handle Root Canal Treatment, but an Endodontist can perform the procedure in a better way.

It is a myth that calcium is lost from the mothers teeth and "one tooth is lost with every pregnancy." But you may experience some changes in your oral health during pregnancy. The primary change is a surge in hormones-particularly an increase in oestrogens and progesterone which is linked to an increase in the amount of plaque on your teeth.

Prevention of dental problems should ideally start during pregnancy. The pregnant woman should have wholesome and nutritious diet that would help in proper development of the growing foetus. The expectant mother should also have a diet that is rich in calcium to ensure the healthy development of the baby bones and teeth. Good sources of calcium are cheese, milk, yogurt, leafy vegetables and dairy products. Good diet during pregnancy ensures to healthy teeth and bones in the child.

There are certain medicines and antibiotics that should be avoided during pregnancy. These drugs can cause defective development of the developing foetus. Tetracycline antibiotics when consumed by pregnant women cause permanent brownish grey staining of the child teeth. Thus self-medication should be avoided during pregnancy and medicines taken after consultation with the physician.

If the plaque is not removed, it can cause gingivitis:- red, swollen, tender gums that are more likely to bleed. So-called "pregnancy gingivitis" affects most pregnant women to some degree, and generally begins to occur in the second trimester. If you already have gingivitis, the condition is likely to worsen during pregnancy. If untreated, gingivitis can lead to periodontal disease, a more serious form of gum disease. Pregnant women are also at risk for developing pregnancy tumours: inflammatory, benign growths that develop when swollen gums become irritated. Normally, the tumours are left alone and will usually shrink on their own. But if a tumour is uncomfortable and interferes with chewing, brushing or other oral hygiene procedures, the dentist may decide to remove it.

You can prevent gingivitis by keeping your teeth clean, especially near the gum line. You should brush with fluoride toothpaste at least twice a day and after each meal when possible. You should also floss thoroughly each day. If tooth brushing causes morning sickness, rinse your mouth with water or with anti-plaque and fluoride mouthwashes. Good nutrition, particularly plenty of Vitamins C and B12 help keep the oral cavity healthy and strong. More frequent cleanings from the dentist will help control plaque and prevent gingivitis. Controlling plaque also will reduce gum irritation and decrease the likelihood of pregnancy tumours.

If you are planning to become pregnant or suspect you are pregnant, you should see a dentist right away. Otherwise, you should schedule a check-up in your first trimester for a cleaning. Your dentist will assess your oral condition and map out a dental plan for the rest of your pregnancy. A visit to the dentist also is recommended in the second trimester for a cleaning, to monitor changes and to gauge the effectiveness of your oral hygiene. Depending on the patient, another appointment may be scheduled early in the third trimester, but these appointments should be kept as brief as possible.

Non-emergency procedures generally can be performed throughout pregnancy, but the best time for any dental treatment is between the fourth and sixth months. Women with dental emergencies that create severe pain can be treated at any time during the pregnancy, but your doctor should be consulted during emergencies that require anaesthesia or when medication is being prescribed. Only X-rays that are needed for emergencies should be taken during pregnancy. Lastly, elective procedures that can be postponed should be delayed until after the baby birth.

The brand of the toothbrush is not nearly as critical as the type of bristle, the size and shape of the head and how frequently you replace your brush. We recommend a soft bristled brush with a small head. The soft bristles are most important for the health of your gums. A small head allows you to get around each tooth more completely and is less likely to injure your gums. Daily frequency of brushing and replacement with a new brush are much more important issues than the brand you choose. We recommend replacing your brush at least once every 3 months. I myself on an average brush 5 times a day. I brush first thing in the morning, after each meal and at the end of the day. If you are not able to do this because of your busy schedule, we recommend brushing twice a day at a bare minimum.

The first consideration in toothpaste selection is to use fluoride toothpaste. There are other ingredients that are placed in various brands of toothpaste. Following is a guide to some of these toothpaste ingredients and what they do:

  • Tartar-Control Toothpastes: These toothpastes help to prevent the formation of tartar or calculus from forming on the teeth. The active ingredient is usually pyrophosphate. The use of these toothpastes will not remove tartar. Only a professional cleaning can do that.
  • Baking Soda: Many people think that baking soda helps to fight gum disease. In reality it has not been shown to have any effect on periodontal disease. If you like the taste and feel of these types of toothpaste then by all means use them.
  • Desensitizing Toothpastes: There are two ingredients as effective in reducing discomfort associated with sensitive teeth: Strontium Chloride and Potassium Nitrate. These ingredients block the tube-like channels that pass through teeth and connect to nerves. When these tubes are exposed, hot, cold, and acidic foods stimulate the nerves, causing sensitivity. Desensitizing toothpastes take a couple of weeks of use before they will cause a reduction in sensitivity. If you have sensitive teeth, using one of these products in place of your regular toothpaste might result in less sensitive and more comfortable teeth.
  • Abrasives: Toothpastes contain a mild abrasive, usually silica, to remove plaque. The abrasives in toothpaste will not cause enamel to wear away. There are other ingredients that make various claims of efficacy, such as Aloe Vera and Sanguinary, those are placed in toothpastes. One should use the IDA Seal of Acceptance as a guide in deciding whether to purchase products with these ingredients.

Without flossing, plaque and calculus build up on teeth and underneath the gums, creating inflammation of the gums which leads to gingivitis and more serious forms of gum disease. Perhaps you notice that when you floss and/or brush that your gums tend to bleed. If so, this is generally a sign that your teeth are not clean. A visit to your dentist and a proper home oral hygiene regimen can get you back on the right track. If the risk of gingivitis and periodontal disease is not enough, flossing will also help reduce bad breath! If you do not floss regularly, you might notice that when you do floss, a faint (or strong) odor is apparent. These odors are caused by the buildup of bacterial debris (sulfur compounds) between the teeth and underneath your gums. These compounds can contribute to bad breath, whether or not you recognize it. There are several flossing devices available today which, when used properly, can help. If you are interested in these products, please ask our office during your appointment so that we can show you how to use them without damaging your gums. Difficulties in flossing also arise from problems such as rough or worn fillings or heavy calculus buildup. We can also show you special techniques for flossing underneath bridges

Floss can shred if the contact between the teeth is tight or there is a rough or broken surface between the teeth.

Dentists have to take special measures with many materials used in their offices to ensure proper bio medical waste management.


Fluoride is a mineral found in nature. There is fluoride in the ocean, in the earth crust and in fresh water.

Fluoride works by making the outer layer of teeth (called tooth enamel) stronger. When the outer layer is strong, teeth are less likely to get cavities.

Fluoride is provided mainly through drinking water, toothpaste, mouthwash, supplements (chewable tablets or drops), and other materials such as gels and rinses that may be applied during your visit to the dentist.

Adding fluoride to the water is the best way to provide fluoride protection to a large number of people at a low cost. That is why many towns and cities put fluoride in the water in a controlled manner.

The State Government and the respective Municipal Corporation is responsible for watching the level of fluoridation in water supplies. In recent years, this committee has recommended that optimal levels of fluoride should be between 0.8 and 1.0 parts per million. This recommendation is based on the fact that we receive fluoride from many sources. As a result, some communities have lowered the level of fluoride in their water supply, in keeping with this recommendation.

Optimal levels of water fluoridation means finding the right balance between putting enough fluoride in the water to maximize the benefits of fluoride exposure while minimizing potential to contribute to dental fluorosis.

Fluoride helps reverse and prevent tooth decay in three ways:

  • Promoting Tooth Remineralization: Acids can demineralize a tooth i.e. create a weak spot that develops into a cavity. Fluoride helps promote the opposite process, called remineralization, which can reverse the very early stages of tooth decay.
  • Helping Teeth Become More Resistant to Tooth Decay: Fluoride actually strengthens teeth, giving them natural protection against future tooth decay.
  • Inhibiting Oral Bacteria's Ability to Create Tooth-Attacking Acids

Fluoride disrupts bacteria's ability to metabolize sugars, the process that leads to the attack of tooth enamel.

Dental fluorosis occurs when white specks appear on a child teeth and is the result of a child getting too much fluoride. There is recent evidence that dental fluorosis among children is increasing. Most dental fluorosis is mild and barely visible. Dental fluorosis is not health threatening. It is mainly a cosmetic condition. In more severe cases, it can be easily treated by the dentist. Dental fluorosis is not a problem for older children or adults.

Today young children are getting fluoride from a variety of sources, including drinking water and toothpaste, as well as foods and beverages that are made with fluoridated water. Children who show signs of dental fluorosis are generally being exposed to more fluoride than is required simply to protect their teeth.

Fluoridation of drinking water is still the most economical means of getting the proven protection that fluoride gives to teeth. Where fluoride has been added to municipal water supplies, there has been a marked decline in tooth decay rates. Children need fluoride protection while their teeth are developing. Adults also need it since the possibility of root cavities (tooth decay in the roots of the teeth) increases as they get older.

Fluoridated toothpaste should be used twice per day with a minimum amount of water used to rinse the mouth after brushing. As excessive swallowing of toothpaste by young children may result in dental fluorosis, children under 6 years of age should be supervised during brushing and only use a small amount (e.g. pea-sized portion) of toothpaste. Children under 3 years of age should have their teeth brushed by an adult using only a smear of toothpaste.

Your dentist is aware of the fluoride levels in the water in your area. He or she will try to estimate your child total fluoride intake and risk of cavities before prescribing fluoride supplementation. Supplementation, in liquid or chewable format, has proven useful in protecting patients at high risk of cavities or living in areas with high rates of cavities. Whatever your dentist decides, he or she will discuss any treatment option with you.

Many studies have looked at this topic. A committee on environmental health that has reviewed many of these studies has concluded that there is no link between cancer in humans and fluoride levels. And although some studies suggest that increased bone fragility may be linked to higher rates of exposure, we don not know yet for certain as there are too many factors involved. Like many natural substances, fluoride can be harmful in excessive amounts. Even table salt can be harmful if taken in large quantities. However, we are typically exposed to acceptable amounts of fluoride.

Proper oral care can keep you smiling well into retirement. Brushing at least twice a day with fluoride toothpaste and a medium-bristle brush are as important as ever. Flossing can help you save your teeth by removing plaque between teeth and below the gum line that your toothbrush cannot reach.

Gingivitis - most people don not realize how important it is to take care of their gums. Gingivitis is caused by the bacteria found in plaque that attack the gums. Symptoms of gingivitis include red, swollen gums and possible bleeding when you brush. If you have any of these symptoms, see a dentist at once. Gingivitis can lead to gum disease if problems persist. Three out of four adults over the age of 35 are affected by some sort of gum (periodontal) disease. In gum disease, the infection becomes severe. Your gums begin to recede, pulling back from the teeth. In the worst cases, bacteria form pockets between the teeth and gums, weakening the bone. All this can lead to tooth loss if untreated, especially in patients with osteoporosis. If regular oral care is too difficult, your dentist can provide alternatives to aid in flossing and prescribe medication to keep the infection from getting worse.

If you have arthritis, you may find it difficult to brush and floss for good oral health care and prevention of disease. Ask your dentist for ways to overcome this problem. Certain dental products are designed to make dental care less painful for arthritis sufferers. You may want to try strapping the toothbrush to a larger object, such as a ball, to make the brush more comfortable to handle, or electric toothbrushes can help by doing some of the work for you.

Oral cancer most often occurs in people over 40 years of age. See a dentist immediately if you notice any red or white patches on your gums or tongue, and watch for sores that fail to heal within two weeks. Unfortunately, oral cancer is often difficult to detect in its early stages, when it can be cured easily. Your dentist can perform a head and neck exam to screen for signs of cancer. Since oral cancer is often painless in its early stages, many patients will not notice the signs until it is too late. In addition, many older people, especially those who wear dentures, do not visit their dentists enough and problems go unseen.

Dry mouth (xerostomia) happens when salivary glands fail to work due to disease, certain medications or cancer treatment. This can make it hard to eat, swallow, taste and speak. In certain cases, such as radiation therapy, dry mouth can lead to severe complications, which is why it is important you see a dentist immediately before beginning any form of cancer treatment. Drinking lots of water and avoiding sweets, tobacco, alcohol and caffeine are some ways to fight dry mouth. Your dentist also can prescribe medications to fight severe dry mouth.

Studies have shown that maintaining a healthy mouth may keep your body healthier and help you avoid diabetes, heart disease and stroke. The best way to achieve good oral health is to visit your dentist for a cleaning at least twice a year.

A dentist is a doctor who cares for your teeth. He is also called a Dental Surgeon. Dentists are trained extensively at Dental Colleges to look after the health of your teeth. Dentists have to undergo courses for 5 years at the dental school after which they acquire the degree Bachelor of Dental Surgery (BDS). On completion, of this course the dentist has to go through a year of further training and practice called the Internship before he can practice individually or set up his own practice.

Once the Dentist completes the graduate program he can specialize in a certain aspect of Dentistry. This requires him to undergo further training for 2-4 years. These specialization courses are postgraduate programs that give the Dentist the Masters degree called MDS. So we can have dentists who specialize in gums or braces and so on.

Dentists can specialize in a number of fields such as restorations, braces, gums, dentures, radiology, surgery etc.


An Orthodontist is a dental specialist who specializes in treating crooked teeth by using braces of different types. He also supervises the growing jaw bones and developing dentition and tries to prevent or intercept abnormalities of the bite. Thus the orthodontist can be said to be the dentist who can improve your smile.

b. Prosthodontist:

A Prosthodontist is a dentist who specializes in making dentures or prostheses. He replaces teeth that are lost due to dental decay, gum diseases or old age. The Prosthodontist has a number of different artificial dentures in his armamentarium. By replacing lost teeth he reestablishes your ability to bite and chew and also maintain normal facial appearance. The Prosthodontist can also make artificial replacements for facial areas that are lost by injury or disease.

c. Periodontist:

A Periodontist is a dental specialist who looks after the gums and helps you maintain good oral hygiene. He can also undertake specialized surgeries of the gums and structures around the teeth.

d. Endodontist:

An Endodontist specializes in root canal treatment. Dental decay that is neglected often spreads deep inside the tooth and reaches the pulp tissue in the core of the tooth. The Endodontist specializes in removing infected and inflamed pulp and filling the area left after its removal.

e. Restorative Dentist:

He specializes in removing dental decay and filling cavities. There are a number of different materials that he can use to fill the cavities.

f. Pedodontist or Pediatric Dental Surgeon:

He specializes in treating children. He supervises the developing dentition, advises the mother on how to look after the infant dental health, undertakes preventive measures to prevent dental disease in children and treats all dental problems in children. The good care that a pediatric dental surgeon extends can give the child a lifetime of strong healthy teeth.

g. Oral Surgeon:

He is basically a surgeon who does surgeries of the dental and facial structures including the jaw bones. He can extract teeth, remove the wisdom teeth that are deep inside the jaw, perform surgeries of the jaws and face to make them look nice or to treat diseases affecting them.

h. Implantologist:

He is basically a Dentist who has taken an advanced training to study Implants and become a Certified Implantologist.

i. Oral Physician & Radiologist:

An oral radiologist specializes in diagnosing oral diseases by examining and using diagnostic aids such as X-rays.

j. Preventive and Community Dentist:

They are dentists who undertake community-based programs for preventing dental diseases. They also educate the people on the care of teeth and help in increasing the dental awareness. They also undertake studies to find out the prevalence of dental diseases and effectiveness of dental treatment procedures.

k. Forensic Odontologist:

Teeth are the strongest structures of the human body. The teeth and its arrangement are unique to each individual just as a fingerprint. The forensic deontologists are often called to solve mysteries of crime and accidents to identify the person based on clues offered by the teeth.

This could be due to sinusitis. Consult your dentist who will refer you to a specialist, in the event of sinus related problem.

Sensitive teeth can be caused by a range of factors. The porous part of the tooth, called dentin, is the region that registers pain, and dentin can become exposed due to:

  • Fractured or chipped teeth
  • Teeth injured by clenching or grinding
  • Receding gums caused by gum disease or improper brushing

Pain from sensitive teeth often comes and goes, but if you experience constant pain, you may have a more serious problem. There are many effective treatments for sensitive teeth, including:

  • A soft-bristle toothbrush to prevent gum irritation
  • Toothpaste designed to insulate the nerve that registers pain
  • A fluoride rinse or gel If you have sensitive teeth, discuss your symptoms with a dentist to determine the exact cause of your pain and develop a course of treatment.

Teeth grinding can be caused by a range of factors; often, both emotional and physical factors are involved. Causal factors can include stress, sleep disorders, an abnormal bite, and crooked or missing teeth.

Once the cause or causes of Bruxism are determined, your dentist can develop a course of treatment. Treatment methods may include:

  • Relaxation techniques if stress is at the root of the problem
  • Physical therapy
  • Muscle relaxants
  • A plastic tooth guard to wear at night during sleep

Bruxism can cause serious pain and headaches, as well as dangerous wear on the teeth. In severe cases, restorative dentistry techniques such as inlays or porcelain crowns are needed to rebuild teeth damaged by Bruxism. Therefore, it is crucial to seek treatment for Bruxism early to avoid waking up with headaches or jaw pain.

How often you go for a check-up depends on your oral health needs. The goal is to catch small problems early. For many people, this means a check-up every six months. Your dentist may suggest that you visit more or less often depending on how well you care for your teeth and gums, problems you have that need to be checked or treated, how fast tartar builds up on your teeth, and so on. If you do the following:

  • Floss every day?
  • Brush twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste and follow my dentist instructions on how to brush properly
  • Eat a well-balanced diet, including food from all food groups, and limit sweets and sticky foods
  • Smoke heavily
  • I have a history of cavities or gum disease
  • My overall health is good

The answers to these questions are all factors that affect your oral health. They will help you and your dentist decide how often you need to visit for check-ups.

How often you need to have x-rays also depends on your oral health. A healthy adult who has not had cavities or other problems for a couple of years probably wonot need x-rays at every appointment. If your dental situation is less stable and your dentist is monitoring your progress, you may require more frequent x-rays. If you are not sure why a particular x-ray is being taken, ask your dentist. Remember that dental x-rays deliver very little radiation; they are a vital tool for your dentist to ensure that small problems don not develop into bigger ones.

Your health is very important to your dentist. One of the ways that your dentist helps you stay healthy is by preventing the spread of germs. One of the best ways to do this is to use barrier protection such as gloves and masks. Your dentist and other dental team members also wash their hands regularly. In addition, they sterilize equipment used in the dental clinic.

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