Your Smile Dental Care

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Crowns for Baby Teeth

Stainless Steel Crowns

My Dentists wants to put crowns on my child’s teeth. This seems like an extreme measure since they will eventually fall out anyways!

Usually, dentists repair decayed teeth with filling material. However, when teeth are badly broken down by the cavity (decay) process, have had nerve treatment or are weakened by a developmental condition, replacing almost the entire crown portion of a tooth with traditional filling material is not always a practical nor secure solution.


A remedy must be found that allows the tooth to withstand the forces of biting and chewing  long enough for the incoming adult tooth to replace it – which could be many years.

Replacing the diseased crown of a tooth with a durable stainless steel crown (silver caps) is the most economical and durable solution until the tooth falls out and is replaced with the permanent (adult) tooth. These caps are not made in a lab like permanent adult crowns are. They come ready made in a variety of shapes and sizes, no impressions need to be taken, and there is no additional lab fees associated with their costs.  Additionally, they are categorized under  “routine restorative” so most insurance policies cover them as basic treatment. They are just another way to restore baby teeth so that they can function.

Why not just pull the tooth?

11-16-2016-7-58-51-pmThis is a common question, and sometimes, the teeth are not repairable and must be removed. However, taking out teeth before their natural time is a “last resort” solution. Baby teeth are vital to the dentition as natural space holders for the permanent teeth. Their premature removal will interfere with the eruption of the adult teeth.

Removing a baby tooth before its time is not the end of the problem. The space where the baby tooth was removed must still be replaced with a spacer maintaining appliance so that the adjacent teeth will not start to move into and invade this important place.

The chart below shows the normal eruption pattern of primary and permanent teeth. You will notice that there are many years between the emergence of the baby teeth and the age at which the adult teeth will eventually arrive in the mouth to replace them.


Permanent (Adult) Teeth

During a child’s teenage years, The adult teeth continue to develop there is significant growth and development of the dentition and jaws. This needs to be taken into consideration when restoring a badly broken down adult tooth in a child.

If you refer back to the eruption chart, you will notice that the first permanent teeth begin to erupt around 6 years of age.


From the illustration above, you can see that if a baby tooth becomes badly broken down by decay or a developmental condition when the child is still young, a suitable interim solution needs to be found until the permanent adult teeth are ready to emerge into position. Stainless steel crowns become an effective, affordable and practical semi-temporary measure until then.

Stainless steel crowns have been around for over 75 years and are safe and effective. They are easy to keep clean and rarely allow decay to reoccur. Although, some parents may not like the metallic appearance of the steel crowns,  since baby molars are in the back of the mouth, they are less noticeable.

All of this makes them an affordable and effective treatment solution for an otherwise serious problem.

We hope you have found this article informative. Please visit and subscribe to our blog to learn more about Your Smile Dental Care.


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Yours in Better Dental Health,
The Your Smile Dental Team
(905) 576-4537
(416) 783-3533





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Does pain go away after a root canal?

The Nerve of this Tooth!!!

Most people know that root canal treatment involves treating the “nerve” centre of the tooth, so it is understandable when patients are surprised to feel post treatment sensations after a root canal.

They are also surprised,  however, to learn that, although root canal treatment (endodontics) is time-consuming, it is no where near the horror stories they have heard. In fact, so routine and uneventful are most procedures that some of our patients have actually fallen sleep. The confusion, we believe, comes from the excruciating pain that some people experience before seeking the relieving treatment provided by a dentist. Perhaps, it’s what stands out most in their mind.

A root canal is a procedure that involves treatment to the inside, pulpal area of a tooth. Although we tend to think of our teeth as hard, rigid structures, the inside is fleshy and is made up of nerves, lymphatic tissue and blood supply that enter into the tooth through a hole at the end of each tooth. Usually this fleshy “pulpal tissue” needs to be removed once it becomes infected or tooth decay is deep enough to reach this area of the tooth.


Even though the nerves of the tooth that allowed you to feel hot and cold sensations have been removed, there are other tissues and ligaments that are typically damaged by the presence of infection. These tissues need healing time and tenderness is not uncommon after treatment. How sensitive your tooth will be after root canal treatment depends on how severe the damage to the pulp and how involved the treatment was. The aim during the procedure is to remove all of the infected tissue and bacteria from within the chamber and root portion of the tooth, clean and disinfect the inside of the canals, then seal the end of each root.

“I can’t believe I was going to have the tooth removed!”

08-06-2015 9-24-20 AMMost people who have been experiencing a lot of discomfort prior to treatment find much needed relief after the root canal has been completed, but like the cleaning out of any wound, it typically takes a few days for a tooth to “settle down” and recover.  During this time, residual infection outside the tooth is clearing up and affected ligaments are healing. Your dentist will usually recommend that you take a pain reliever that is also an anti-inflammatory to help reduce any pain and swelling.

Sometimes, depending on how severe the infection was, it can take a few weeks for infection to clear up. The blood vessels in the jaws are tiny and do their best to take away infection and bacteria. You can discuss the need for antibiotics with your dentist to help things along.

However, If the pain you are experiencing is like a toothache and happens only when you are biting down then it is likely that your bite is high. A simple and quick bite adjustment usually brings immediate relief to this type of sensitivity.

Typically, any pain or discomfort that is felt after a successful root canal should be mild to moderate and get progressively better as healing continues. If, however, you are still experiencing discomfort after a few weeks or the pain is increasing in intensity, contact your dentist and set up an appointment for a re-evaluation.


Complications that can arise:

If your root canal treatment was successful, your tooth should recover within a week to ten days. However, the tooth, like any other part of the body, can have residual issues and post treatment complications can arise after the root canal has been completed. A tooth with complicated anatomy can be a challenge for example.

If your tooth becomes re-infected, your dentist may suggest that the tooth be re-treated. There are a number of treatment options to retreat a root-canal to still save your tooth from extraction. Your dentist will re-evaluate your tooth and discuss the “specific to you” circumstances with you.

Although it is understandable that a patient may be disappointed and even dubious when treatment has failed, it is important to remember that just like other medical procedures, there is a certain percentage of cases that require additional therapy. A patient, in consultation with their dentist, will discuss the long term success of further treatment and consider all pertinent factors before deciding the lengths that each are willing to go in order to save a tooth.

Nobody wants to lose a tooth. A root canal helps to preserve your tooth in the jaw and allows it to function, but without sensation from within the tooth. Always keep you dentist informed of anything that you may consider to be unusual during your healing period.


Yours in Better Dental Health,

The Your Smile Dental Care team
(905) 576-4537
(416) 783-3533









Signs that you may need Root Canal Treatment

Problems like disease, decay and injury can threatened the health of your teeth and ruin your smile. But thanks to advances in treatment and technologies, many teeth can be saved before they reach the point of disrepair. One way which a tooth can be saved is with a procedure called “Root Canal Therapy.”

When Teeth Need Root Canal Treatment

Your tooth is a very solid structure that is made up of different hard tissue layers that differ in amount of hardness (calcification) and one soft, pulpal layer that is composed of a blood, lymphatic and nerve supply. This soft layer in located within a canal inside the tooth that runs from the crown to the tips of the roots with a hole at the end of each tooth root that allows these tissue to enter and exit. We called this area of the tooth the pulpal tissue and it plays a nutritive, protective, sensory and cell formation role for the tooth.

This pulp can become damaged if has sustained injury or becomes inflamed due to dental decay and large fillings. You can appreciate that there is no room for inflammation within the confines of a hard, calcified structure and as pressure builds up the nerve portion of the pulpal tissue reacts and sends pain sensations. If enough damaged has been sustained the pulpal will continue to breakdown and becomes necrotic. Infection will form which can extend out of the tooth root and form a pool of infection at the root tips. If left untreated, the infection will continue to spread and destroy surrounding bone,

With the infection at the end of tooth root, chewing can become painful as you push the tooth down into this area with each bite. The goal of a dentist would be to remove the tissue that is essentially rotting inside the tooth and seal off these canals by plugging the holes at the end of each tooth root with a dental material called gutta percha to protect the tooth from future bacterial contamination.

What can cause damage to the pulpal tissue?

  • Cavities that have grown and reached this pulpal area.
  • Teeth that have chipped or broken into this area
  • Injury or hard “hit” to the tooth cause the pulpal tissue to become inflamed and bleed
  • Bacteria associated with gum disease can enter into the pulpal area by way of the main holes at the end of the root tips or through tiny “extra” canal openings that sometimes exists along the root surface.

The Signs You Need a Root Canal

While there are some distinct signs and symptoms that most people are familiar with, there are also other less obvious ones that only your dentist can detect. Pain can vary from person to person and can range from slight discomfort to extreme, throbbing pain.

Signs you will notice


  • can range from a slight discomfort that may come and go or an extreme pain that can continue for prolonged periods of time.
  • can be a throbbing ache that makes sleeping and difficult.
  • may or may not be relieved by medications depending on the severity of the damaged nerve
  • can occur when eating hot or cold foods/drinks and will often linger on afterwards. 
  • can radiate into your jaws, ears or temple areas.
  • can lessen or intensify as you change your position.
  • can happen when you bite down or press on the tooth due to inflammation at the root tip. (like when you press down on an inflamed pimple)

Darkening of the tooth caused by the dying nerve

Swelling of the cheek, lips or face.

Pimple (fistula) or sore on the gum above the tooth in question. Pus may drain from the pimple and have a foul smell or unpleasant taste.

Swollen/red gums


Foul taste in mouth

Bad Breath

Swollen neck glands

Sinus pressure/pain

Difficulty opening mouth

A general feeling of unwellness

Signs your dentist will notice:

  • No Signs: Many times, a patient may come in for a routine visit with no signs or symptoms of a dying tooth. The dentist may notice some redness and swelling along the gum or the problem is picked up on a check-up x-ray.
  • Vague Signs: There are patients who come in with discomfort in an area and the dentist must conduct a series of tests to determine the source and nature of the pain and the health of the pulp. An x-ray may help identify the tooth in question, but this is not always the case. Sometimes, even after the tests, a dentist may still have difficulty locating the source of the discomfort and recommend that the patient see a specialist for further testing
  • Acute Signs: Other times a patient will come in with obvious signs of an abscessed tooth, in which case an x-ray will help determine the extent of damage.

Curious about what goes into a root canal procedure?

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As is often the case for ailments of the body, the signs that you may need a trip to the doctor/ dentist is not always obvious. Damage to the root canal portion of your tooth can be one of those “silent” diseases that you are not even aware exists. This is why we always recommend that our patients keep up with their regular check-up visits. In doing so, we can detect problems early to minimize the amount of damage a tooth will suffer.

Root canal treatment is one way in which Dr. Sam Axelrod & Associates can prolong and preserve the life of a tooth and the sooner treatment is begun the greater the chances of saving the tooth!

Yours in Better Dental Health,
The Your Smile Dental Care Team
(905) 576-4537
(416) 783-3533


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The Friendly Root Canal

Never heard of a friendly root canal?

This is a phrase that has been used by some of our patients to describe their root canal experience. The fact is, most people are surprised by just how relaxed they become during the procedure and are thrilled that is was not as scary as they imaged or had been told.


No need to fret about having a root canal.

We often hear, “That’s it? It’s over?” It’s the one time where the term “boring procedure” is actually a compliment to us. The imagination is quite capable of conjuring up all sorts of doomsday scenarios based on more fiction than fact. It’s the one dental procedure that people tend to swap horror stories about – each trying to one-up the other.

When patients are attending to their regular dental care check-ups and cleanings, we can often spot problems before they begin to show signs and symptoms. The infections that grow within and around the root of the tooth can appear on x-rays long before the patient is in discomfort or crisis. Only on occasion, is the tooth so hyper-sensitive that it does not respond quickly enough to freezing (anaesthesia) or has the infection grown large enough to cause swelling and pain.

Most patients are able to have root canal treatment in a typically pain-free manner and certainly long before the infection has spread and caused more damage. In this way, we are able to save the tooth and prevent it’s early loss.

After Care Treatment

TeenagerThe typical root canal doesn’t hurt any more than other dental procedures. Once your tooth has been numbed using anesthetic you will feel no pain. The tooth will require additional care since it will dry out over time and will be prone to fracture. Your dentist will recommend a crown be placed over the tooth for added support and strength.

It is important to know however, that even though root canal therapy is a routine procedure, if left untreated, it can spread causing significant damage to the tooth and surrounding tissues. It can also make you feel very sick and affect your heart.

Infections of the tooth are nothing to mess around with. If you suspect that your tooth may need a root canal or you have recurring sinus problems or swelling of the cheek and/or neck area, you should make an appointment to see your dentist right away.

Yours in Better Health,
The Your Smile Dental Care Team
(905) 5SMILES