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Largo Endodontics

Why See an Endodontist for Dental Trauma

When you have a tooth injury, you might worry about losing the affected tooth permanently and needing to have it replaced. While these injuries can be severe, such as having a tooth knocked out or fractured, seeing an endodontist can help you save your tooth. Endodontists are able to perform root canals to save teeth that have been affected by dental trauma. Find out more about why you should schedule a visit with an endodontist for tooth injuries.

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Pregnancy and Root Canals – Is It Safe?

One question we receive frequently from pregnant patients is whether various types of dental and endodontic care are safe during pregnancy. Are you facing an upcoming root canal or other dental treatment during pregnancy? Here’s what you need to know.

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Are Sensitive Teeth a Sign I Need a Root Canal?

You might have sensitive teeth occasionally, such as when cold air hits your teeth outside or when you’re drinking a hot beverage. Eating ice cream or other cold foods might also cause your teeth to feel sensitive. When you have sensitivity that is severe or doesn’t go away with other treatments, a root canal might help.

Causes of Tooth Sensitivity

You can develop sensitive teeth for different reasons, including grinding your teeth or brushing too hard, which can damage tooth enamel. Sensitive teeth can also occur if you eat or drink foods and beverages that have a high acidic content on a regular basis, such as citrus fruits and soda, since these wear away tooth enamel. Having certain underlying conditions, such as acid reflux, can also raise your risk of having tooth sensitivity.

Dental problems that expose the dentin inside teeth, such as broken teeth and tooth decay, can also make them more sensitive. Having crowns or fillings that are worn down can lead to sensitive teeth as well. You can also develop sensitivity if you have your teeth bleached or whitened, although this is only temporary.

In some cases, tooth roots can become exposed due to receding gums or gum disease. Injuries and misaligned teeth can also lead to exposed tooth roots. When these roots are exposed, the nerves inside them can react to heat and cold. You might feel a sharp, sudden pain when eating or drinking something hot or cold, or you might experience a mild ache.

Without effective treatment, you might have persistent sensitivity that doesn’t go away when you’re done eating or drinking. Your dentist might have you try using toothpaste designed for sensitive teeth and take other measures to ease this discomfort. For example, you might find relief by managing underlying medical conditions, such as acid reflux, or having gum grafts done for receding gums. You might benefit from having a root canal to treat tooth sensitivity if other measures aren’t working.

How a Root Canal Can Help

Endodontists perform root canals to remove decayed or damaged pulp inside teeth. This pulp contains nerves that can cause tooth sensitivity. Removing the pulp and disinfecting tooth roots can provide immediate and long-term relief from sensitivity. During root canals, endodontists take out any decayed or damaged pulp, then thoroughly clean the canal. The next steps involve filling and sealing the affected tooth and putting a temporary filling in place. After the tooth heals, a permanent filling replaces the temporary one.

When you have a root canal done, you won’t have exposed tooth roots that cause sensitivity anymore. After having this procedure done, you should be able to eat and drink hot and cold beverages and foods without experiencing discomfort. Keep in mind that taking good care of your teeth can help lower your risk of developing sensitivity and needing additional root canals done.

When to Consider a Root Canal for Sensitive Teeth

When should you look into having a root canal to ease tooth sensitivity? This might be the right treatment option for you if other kinds of treatments haven’t been effective, such as desensitizing toothpaste. When you’ve tried other treatments and still have frequent or severe sensitivity, your dentist might recommend seeing an endodontist. Endodontists can evaluate your teeth and determine if a root canal is the best treatment for tooth sensitivity.

If you have sensitive teeth that are causing ongoing pain or discomfort, please contact Largo Endodontics for an appointment. Our endodontist, Dr. Ernest Rillman, can perform a root canal to provide you with relief.

Tooth Pain and Sinus Infections: Are They Linked?

Just about no matter where you live, springtime is beautiful. There’s new life everywhere you turn, and all sorts of plants and flowers are coming into bloom. This is especially true here in the Largo/Clearwater area of sunny Florida.

Unfortunately, all that growth has a huge downside for many Floridians: seasonal allergies and sinus issues. When the world explodes with color and new growth, it explodes with pollen and other allergens, too. And seasonal allergies can be far worse than just a runny nose. They can develop into serious sinus pressure and even sinus infections.

Why does any of this matter for us at Largo Endodontics? Because there’s a close relationship between the sinuses and the teeth, given how close they are in the anatomy.

We also see these issues crop up in our patients, who are sometimes unsure about the root cause of their tooth pain or sinus infection.

To help clarify what’s going on here, we’ve produced this short blog post on the connections between tooth pain and sinus issues.


Understanding Dental Pain

Pain is often a strange thing. Some forms of pain are extremely direct: you burn your hand on the stove, and it hurts exactly where you burned it. Sometimes the cause of the pain is obvious, too (again, like when you burn your hand on the stove).

But other forms of pain can be inconsistent and even confusing. Many of us have experienced seemingly random abdominal or chest pain from time to time that doesn’t seem tied to any particular trigger, nor can we say precisely what body part or organ is hurting. And that’s to say nothing of chronic pain conditions.

Sinus pain and dental pain are often more like the latter: inconsistent and not always particularly clear. Yes, there are times where the pain is direct and the source is obvious, such as when you feel a tooth break. But many times, the connection isn’t so clear. Some patients even experience mild dental pain that has no apparent source and that may diminish on its own over time.


The Connection Between Sinus Issues and Dental Pain

To further complicate matters, there’s a close connection between your sinuses and your teeth. Your maxillary sinuses and the back of your teeth are extremely close, and it’s not uncommon for there to be some overlap or interchange between these systems.

Tooth Pain from a Sinus Infection

It’s not uncommon for dentists to see a patient complaining of a toothache when there’s nothing at all wrong with the tooth. The patient is simply dealing with an acute sinus infection, and tooth pain is one of the symptoms the patient is experiencing.

This kind of scenario is pretty much good news all around. Deal with the sinus infection and the tooth pain will vanish. Still, the tooth pain can be intense enough that patients are completely convinced something is wrong with their tooth. Like we said above, dental pain can be inconsistent and confusing.

On the other side of the equation is a far worse possibility. Just like a toothache can be a symptom of a sinus infection, an undiagnosed dental infection can also cause sinus pain and even develop into a sinus infection.


Tooth Infection Causing a Sinus Infection

When a tooth infection causes sinus pain or even develops into a sinus infection, treating the sinus issues won’t solve the problem. You may manage to clear the sinus infection temporarily. But until the tooth infection is dealt with, the sinus issues are likely to just keep coming back.

Taking antibiotics for a sinus infection may even knock back the infection in the tooth. But without further endodontic treatment, you won’t fully heal the tooth, and the infection will gradually return.


Maybe It’s Not Just Allergies

Some folks regularly struggle with allergies, sinus infections, and even perhaps intermittent tooth pain. If your struggles don’t seem particularly seasonal or you have recurring sinus problems along with tooth pain, the wisest course of action is to visit an endodontist to make sure your issues aren’t resulting from a tooth infection.

You may still need to visit an ENT to deal with a serious sinus issue. But you want to make sure you’ve resolved any underlying cause, like an undiagnosed tooth infection.


Largo Endodontics Can Resolve Your Tooth Infection

Are you on the fence about whether your sinus infection or sinus pain may be connected to a tooth infection? Largo Endodontics is here to help. Dr. Rillman, along with our expert team, will complete a thorough examination of your teeth and gums and develop a clear plan of action if you’re dealing with tooth pain resulting from a tooth infection.

Got questions? Reach out today!


Medical Article Resource:
Diagnosing odontogenic sinusitis: An international multidisciplinary consensus statement – Craig – – International Forum of Allergy & Rhinology – Wiley Online Library

Tips for Caring for Your Root Canal Post-Op

When you need a root canal for tooth decay or other dental problems, you might be nervous about this procedure. Root canals are done in a way that minimizes discomfort, but what can you expect afterward? Since this procedure is an invasive one, it’s important to know how to care for your tooth post-op. The following information on post-op care can help you understand what to expect after having a root canal.


Taking Medication

Will you need to take any medication after your procedure? You might have some pain and swelling afterward, which is normal as localized anesthesia wears off. Taking an over-the-counter pain reliever should help ease this discomfort. Swelling and pain after root canals are only temporary and should be minor. Depending on the condition of your tooth, you might need to take prescription antibiotics. These are typically used to treat infections in teeth, so they don’t spread to any other parts of your body. If you have to take antibiotics for an infection, you’ll have a procedure done at your next appointment once it heals. Our endodontist, Dr. Ernest Rillman, will provide you with instructions on taking prescription or non-prescription medications.


Brushing and Flossing

Do you have to do anything different when it comes to dental hygiene at home? It’s important to make sure your teeth, including your treated tooth, stay as clean as possible to reduce the risk of dental problems. After having a root canal, you should continue to brush and floss as often as you normally would. If your tooth and gums are sore, you should brush and floss gently. You can also rinse your mouth with mouthwash after your procedure.



Since you’re likely to experience discomfort after your procedure, you should avoid chewing or biting down on food on the affected side of your mouth. Our endodontist might advise you to do this in order to lower the risk of hurting the affected tooth until it’s done healing. Teeth that have had root canals or other endodontic treatments often have an increased risk of breaking or fracturing until a dental crown is put on. A dental crown helps protect your tooth from damage and infection after you’ve had a root canal.


When to See Our Endodontist

Root canals are common dental procedures that are safe, but there are certain risks to be aware of. These risks include nerve injuries, sinus and upper teeth communication issues, and post-op infections. Nerve injuries are rare and should be temporary if they do occur. In even rarer cases, these injuries become more permanent. Nerve injuries can result in tingling, pain, or a loss of sensation.

Root canals done on upper teeth can cause problems with your sinuses, although this is uncommon. You can reduce the risk of having this complication by avoiding blowing your nose for a few days after your procedure. Sneezing with your mouth open rather than closed also helps lower this risk. If you experience any pressure or discomfort in your sinuses after a root canal, you should let our endodontist know.

Infections can occur after root canals, although they’re not common. Signs that you might have an infection include swelling, pain, and fever. You might also see pus or develop an abscess. You should see our endodontist right away if you have an infection since you’ll need antibiotics for treatment.


Follow-Up Visit

After having a root canal, you can expect to have a dental crown placed on your tooth. You might have a temporary crown placed on your tooth the day of the procedure, which means you’ll need to go back for another visit to get your permanent crown. You might also need a follow-up visit if you’re experiencing any problems with your tooth after your procedure. You should make sure you go to any follow-up appointments you have to ensure that your tooth is healing properly.


If you need a root canal, please contact Largo Endodontics for an appointment. Our dental team will make sure you know how to care for your tooth post-op for proper healing.

Endodontic Treatments vs. Dental Implants

When you have tooth damage from decay, injuries, or other causes, your treatment options might include a root canal or dental implant. Dental implants can replace teeth that have been extracted, while root canals can prevent you from having damaged teeth removed. Find out more about these different types of treatment.



Root Canals

Root canals involve eliminating decayed or damaged parts of the interior of your tooth to prevent infections from occurring. This type of treatment is also done to stop decay or damage from getting worse. When you have a root canal done, your endodontist clears decayed or infected material from the inner part of your tooth called the pulp. This space is then sealed up, and you’ll have a crown placed on the tooth. This crown helps protect the tooth from becoming decayed or infected again while also fully restoring its function. Before treatment, you might have trouble biting down without experiencing pain or other symptoms.

Root canals have a lower cost compared to other types of treatment for damaged teeth, such as dental implants. Having a root canal done also requires a lower number of visits overall, making this treatment more convenient. With fewer visits needed, you won’t have to take time off from work or pay for multiple visits. Root canals also allow you to keep your natural tooth and jaw structure rather than having the affected tooth extracted.


Dental Implants

Dental implants are used for replacing missing teeth. When you have a tooth extraction done for damage or decay, a dental implant can help restore function if you’re having trouble chewing or speaking clearly. Dental implants can also help restore your smile, although keep in mind that you won’t have your natural tooth. Instead, you’ll have an artificial tooth attached to the implant.

Dental implants require more visits as multiple dental specialists are needed for this type of treatment. These implants are also more expensive than root canals. In fact, the cost of just one dental implant can range from $3,000 to $4,500. This cost can be even higher if you need multiple implants or if you need other work done beforehand, such as bone grafting to ensure that you have enough jawbone to hold an implant.

When you get dental implants, you can also expect the healing process to take much longer. The dental implant process starts with having an implant placed in your jaw and imprints taken of your natural teeth in order to have your artificial one match them as closely as possible. Your jaw then needs to fully heal before you can go back to have an abutment and artificial tooth attached to the implant. This can take several weeks or even months, depending on how long the healing process takes.


Which Treatment Should You Get?

When you visit a dentist for tooth decay or a tooth infection, you’ll need to decide which kind of treatment to get. While this depends on different factors, such as how much decay or damage your tooth has, keep in mind that it’s better to try and save your natural tooth if possible. You might be leaning toward a dental implant due to concerns about experiencing discomfort during a root canal. However, you should be aware that this type of endodontic treatment is not as uncomfortable as it might seem. Endodontists use local anesthesia, so you won’t feel anything during your root canal. You might be a bit sore when it wears off, but this is temporary.

When you have a dental implant, you’ll need to spend more time at the dentist’s office. You might also experience discomfort for a longer period of time overall due to the extended healing process. Root canals provide you with a way to save your natural tooth while paying a lower cost and spending less time at the endodontist’s office. You’ll have restored tooth function sooner rather than later with a root canal as well.

If you need to schedule a dental visit or if you’re looking for more information on endodontic treatments, please contact Largo Endodontics today. We can evaluate your damaged tooth and help you determine the most suitable type of treatment for it.

How is a Pulpotomy Different from a Root Canal?

You may have come across the term “pulpotomy” when searching online for the cause of your symptoms. Or perhaps your dentist mentioned the possibility of needing this procedure, so you’re looking for more information. So we’ll dive into the procedure here, and how it’s different from a root canal. 

What Is a Pulpotomy?

Most people think of teeth as solid, almost bony objects that are hard through and through, but this isn’t accurate. While the exterior of the tooth is hard, there’s quite a bit happening inside that hard shell. Inside each healthy tooth reside blood vessels, connective tissue, and nerves. All this softer material together is the pulp of the tooth.

Minor tooth decay, what we typically call cavities, can be easily treated before there’s any risk of damage to a tooth’s pulp. That’s what we’re doing when you get a standard filling. We’re getting rid of minor decay before it turns into something worse.

If left untreated, tooth decay will nearly always progress. Over time, a tooth can decay to the point where the pulp is exposed, no longer protected by the tooth itself. Bacteria then has access to the pulp, leading to infection.

A pulpotomy is the least invasive method for dealing with infected tooth pulp. In this procedure, only the pulp in the crown of the tooth is removed. The roots of the tooth are left intact. After removing a part of the crown of the tooth and the decayed or dead pulp inside, a dentist will install a medicated filling over the remaining roots of the tooth. In most cases, the dentist will then install a crown to further protect the tooth.

Most pulpotomies are performed on children when baby teeth show advanced decay. The procedure is sometimes recommended for adults, with research showing adult pulpotomies are successful in some scenarios. Still, the procedure can be harder to do and is sometimes less effective on adult (permanent) teeth.

What Is a Root Canal?

A root canal is another procedure that addresses damaged or dead tooth pulp. It’s considerably more invasive than a pulpotomy and involves removing all tooth pulp from the affected tooth, including the roots. While considerably more invasive, root canals tend to last quite well and are regarded as a long-term solution.

For quite a few years, the root canal has been the go-to solution for just about any scenario where tooth pulp is infected. This is changing, though. Thanks to improvements in dental technology, it’s easier today to identify how much of a tooth’s pulp is infected. If the infection is limited, a pulpotomy may do the job with far less invasiveness. Doing so saves more of the natural tooth and roots as well.


What about Pulpectomies? Pulpotomy vs. Pulpectomy Explained

One question you may have is about pulpotomy vs. pulpectomy. These terms sound similar, and they do refer to similar procedures. However, there’s not usually much debate between the two.

We covered pulpotomies above, but as a reminder, this procedure involves removing just the pulp in the crown (top) of the tooth, then placing a medicated filling above the remaining roots.

The term pulpectomy refers to removing all the pulp (including the roots) from a tooth. It’s never a standalone procedure. Something else — some kind of follow-up step procedure — has to be done after removing the pulp. In most cases, that follow-up procedure is a root canal.

So a pulpotomy is a standalone procedure that saves some pulp and the roots of a tooth. A pulpectomy, on the other hand, removes all the pulp from the affected tooth but is not a standalone procedure.


Which Procedure Is Best for Me?

If you’re dealing with tooth pain, what’s the best solution? Perhaps all you need is a filling. If you already know that you’re dealing with infected pulp, is a pulpotomy the right choice, or do you need a root canal?

The only way to know for certain is to discuss your options with a dentist or endodontic specialist. To accurately identify the right solution, a practitioner will need to carefully evaluate the state of your tooth, among other factors. Usually, within one visit, you’ll gain a clear understanding of the options available for your unique situation.

Largo Endodontics is here for all your dental and endodontic needs. Reach out today to schedule an appointment. We’ll help you determine the next steps in your oral health journey.

So You Need an Apicoectomy?

When you have an infection or pain in a tooth that has already had a root canal, your dentist might recommend a different procedure known as an apicoectomy. This procedure involves removing the tip of the affected tooth root to ease discomfort and prevent an infection from spreading. Knowing more about having an apicoectomy can help you feel more comfortable about this procedure.


Reasons for an Apicoectomy

Why might your dentist recommend having this procedure done? If you’re having pain due to an infection or inflammation, even after a root canal, an apicoectomy can provide relief. Having this procedure done is also an important part of stopping an infection from becoming widespread, which can be dangerous. Since your affected tooth has already had a root canal, the only other option, in this case, is removing it entirely. An apicoectomy provides a less invasive way to treat an infection or inflammation under the gum while also allowing you to keep your natural tooth.


What to Expect During and After an Apicoectomy

When you have this procedure done, your endodontist will use a surgical microscope and surgical instruments to remove the tip or end of your tooth root. This approach offers a highly precise and delicate way to treat infections or inflammation under the gum. Before this procedure, you’ll be given local anesthesia to numb the area and reduce the risk of discomfort. Your endodontist will then make a small incision to get to the root tip and gently remove it. You might also have your root canal cleaned to reduce the risk of getting another infection. Your tooth will then be sealed to keep bacteria out, and you’ll have sutures placed at the surgical site.

Apicoectomy animation

You might have some minor pain and swelling after you have this procedure, but this should only last for a few days. Your endodontist might recommend taking over-the-counter pain medication to help relieve discomfort. You should also follow your endodontist’s instructions for caring for your tooth to ensure that it properly heals.


Benefits of an Apicoectomy

Having an apicoectomy provides some benefits compared to having the affected tooth removed. When you save your natural tooth, you’re helping to protect the teeth on either side of it. Removing a tooth can cause problems for the surrounding teeth, such as shifting, which can affect your bite. Keeping your tooth helps prevent these issues from occurring.

Saving your natural tooth with this procedure also means you’ll be having a less invasive procedure done. With tooth removal, you might need to undergo dental implant surgery afterward in order to replace it with an artificial tooth. This type of surgery involves cutting into your gums to place a post inside the gum tissue. You then have to wait for it to heal before having your artificial tooth put in place. When you have an apicoectomy, you don’t have to worry about undergoing more invasive surgery.

Preserving the affected tooth with an apicoectomy also helps you save money on dental costs. Dental implants to replace natural teeth are much more expensive than the cost of having the tip of your tooth root removed.

Apicoectomies also have high success rates, making them a good option for saving natural teeth that are infected. When you have your apicoectomy done by an experienced endodontist, you can depend on having a successful procedure with a low risk of complications.


Good Candidates for Apicoectomies

If you have had a root canal in the past and are experiencing signs of an infection or inflammation in the same tooth, you might be a good candidate for an apicoectomy. Keep in mind that tooth root infections can end up spreading quickly, so you’ll need to have this procedure done sooner rather than later. Your endodontist can go over detailed information about this type of procedure and determine if it’s the right option for you. Since the only other option in these cases is usually tooth removal, apicoectomies are typically recommended as a treatment. This procedure is generally safe for patients since the risks of complications are low compared to more invasive endodontic surgery.

If you need more information on having an apicoectomy, please contact Largo Endodontics today to schedule an appointment with our endodontist, Dr. Ernest Rillman. We provide root canals, apicoectomies, and other types of endodontic procedures for patients in and around the Largo area.

Endodontist vs. Dentist: Which to Choose?

When you have tooth pain, dentists and endodontists can provide treatment that relieves this discomfort and prevents additional problems from occurring. However, there are certain differences between the treatments that dentists and endodontists offer. It’s important to understand how these treatments differ to ensure that you receive proper care to ease tooth pain.

Dentist Treatments

Dentists provide a wide range of care to help people maintain healthy teeth and gums, such as cleanings and exams. They also do root canal procedures and other treatments that are needed when patients have tooth decay or other tooth problems. For example, dentists can do tooth extractions for advanced decay or provide fillings for more minor cases of decay. Some dentists also provide cosmetic procedures, such as teeth whitening or veneers.

When dentists determine that a patient needs a root canal, they might perform the procedure at the office. However, some dentists refer patients to an endodontist instead. While dentists can perform root canals, they are not considered specialists for this type of treatment. Dentists know the basics of doing these procedures since they receive some endodontic training, but endodontists have more advanced training.


Endodontic Treatments

Endodontists specialize in diagnosing the causes of tooth pain and providing root canals or other endodontic procedures as treatment. These involve treating the interior part of an affected tooth in order to prevent infections from occurring and ease symptoms. These treatments also aim to preserve the natural tooth, so that patients don’t need to have it extracted and replaced.

Root canals are among the more common procedures that endodontists perform. This procedure involves removing decayed or diseased pulp from the interior of the affected tooth, then filling it in and placing a cap or crown on it. Endodontists do this as a way to relieve discomfort caused by tooth decay and stop it from getting worse. This type of procedure also allows patients to avoid having their tooth pulled and needing to get it replaced with an artificial tooth.


Benefits of Seeing an Endodontist for a Root Canal

Although both dentists and endodontists can perform root canals, there are important advantages to seeing an endodontist for this type of treatment. These benefits include the following:

  • Specialized care
    Endodontists do not provide cleanings, fillings, and other types of dental care as dentists do. Instead, they focus on providing treatments that deal with the interior of a decayed or diseased tooth. Having this type of specialized care means endodontists perform root canals more frequently than dentists. This provides them with more root canal experience over time compared to dentists. In general, dentists might only perform a couple of root canals per week, while endodontists typically perform around 25 root canals each week.


  • Latest endodontic equipment
    Since endodontists specialize in performing root canals and similar types of treatment, they typically have more advanced equipment, technology, and tools available. This equipment might include microscopes or ultrasound instrumentation that offers a better view inside teeth, as well as more accuracy. Endodontists might also have 3D or digital imaging technology for more detailed information about the affected area. Using this equipment helps ensure that endodontists are able to do root canals properly, safely, and successfully.


  • Advanced endodontic education
    While dentists receive some training in endodontics at dental school, endodontists receive an advanced education. After receiving an education at dental school, endodontists need to have up to 3 years of education in endodontics. This education provides them with a more in-depth understanding and knowledge of diseases and conditions that affect the interior of teeth, as well as the types of procedures used as treatment. With this education, endodontists can perform more complex root canals as needed. Dentists usually don’t have this kind of knowledge or experience.


  • Prompt care
    Patients who go to a dentist for a root canal might have to wait to have it done depending on availability, since dentists see many other patients and provide several services. Those who see an endodontist for a root canal can usually have emergency care done if needed instead of having to wait.


If you need endodontic care, please contact us for an appointment with our Board-certified endodontist. We offer endodontics, such as root canals and other procedures, to help improve your oral health and ease tooth pain.

Can an Endodontist Fix Cracked Teeth?  

Largo Endodontics always utilizes the latest in dental technology, so we can offer the best diagnosis, treatment, and care for our patients’ teeth. Our Largo endodontist, Dr. Ernest Rillman, is a board-certified endodontist who works to preserve the underlying structure of your teeth and save as much of your dental structure as possible.

You may experience a cracked tooth for many reasons, such as biting down on hard food, grinding your teeth, or damage due to a traumatic injury. Sometimes teeth can crack just due to natural aging, or as the result of large fillings that left only a thin veneer of dental enamel. Signs of a cracked tooth often include pain or sensitivity to extreme temperatures, but some patients don’t even realize they have a crack in a tooth until their dentist uncovers it during a regular check-up. If left untreated, the crack could allow bacteria to enter, leading to infection, pain, sensitivity, abscess, and possible loss of a tooth.

Cracked tooth

Coronation Dental Specialty Group, CC BY-SA 3.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons

When you visit our dental office with a cracked tooth, we will first perform a thorough examination to determine the extent of the damage and recommend an appropriate course of treatment. Many patients are concerned about whether endodontic treatment can fix their cracked teeth, and that is certainly what we strive to achieve. The first consideration in determining whether our endodontist can repair your cracked tooth is to find out what type of crack it is. Cracks usually fall into a few possible categories that are generally treatable and non-treatable.


Cracked Teeth That Are Generally Treatable

  • Fractured Cusp: This is the part of the tooth that is visible above the gum, or around a dental filling. When it becomes cracked or chipped, it can usually be repaired with a filling or dental crown. The doctor will assess whether the fracture has extended below the gum line and damaged the pulp.


  • Incomplete Crown Fracture: This is a crack that extends from the chewing surface of your tooth and moves downward toward the root. If the fracture stays above the gum line, the endodontist will be able to fix it.


Endodontic Treatment for Treatable Cracked Teeth

An endodontist is a doctor who treats conditions that affect the tooth pulp and the tissue surrounding the roots of your teeth. If a crack extends into the pulp of your tooth, our doctor may recommend root canal therapy to prevent the crack from spreading and causing further damage. A dental crown may be required to preserve the surface portion of your tooth. In some cases, your tooth may require endodontic retreatment if new damage or decay exposes the original root canal treatment.


Cracked Teeth That Are Generally Non-Treatable

Unfortunately, there are some situations where we might have to recommend an alternative form of treatment, such as an extraction.

  • Complete Crown Fracture: This is a more complex fracture that extends down the root of your tooth. In most cases, the tooth will need to be extracted. That is why we recommend early diagnosis and treatment for cracked teeth.


  • Split Tooth: If a cracked tooth is left untreated, it can actually cause your tooth to split into distinct segments. In some cases, we may be able to preserve a portion of the tooth, but it is unlikely that the entire tooth can be preserved.


  • Root Fracture: In some cases, the actual root of your tooth may fracture, either vertically or horizontally. This may go unnoticed without regular dental care and could result in endodontic surgery to attempt removal of the fractured root.



Tips to Prevent Cracked Teeth

Proper use of mouthguards, good oral hygiene, and regular visits to your dental professional are the best protection against cracked teeth. Be careful of grinding your teeth, biting down on hard objects, and never use your teeth to open items.


Largo Endodontics (formerly World Class Endo) is a specialized dental practice providing professional endodontic treatment. Dr. Ernest A Rillman, DMD is an endodontist who has served Largo, Florida, and the surrounding communities of St. Petersburg, Clearwater, Indian Rocks, Bell Air Bluffs, Seminole, Tampa, Palm Harbor, and Dunedin since 2004. Call us at 727-399-2969 to set an appointment and learn more about fixing cracked teeth.