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Dentistry/crowning process


Dear Dr. Kaufman,
I just had a root canal on tooth #31(finished it)on Monday,May 4. I believe a
permanent filling was placed.It is a white composite filling.I would have preferred an amalgam filling(stronger,lasts longer).Is composite
the standard used with root canals? During my procedure flashing lights were going off, and at one time a burning smell(?) was detected. What were the lights,lasers?what is their function?
I will need a crown.I think gold is the best,what do you think? Also, which yields a better outcome,DIGITAL IMPressions or the olde
PUTTYIMpressions? Iam very confused, and stressed, for I never had a crown.

also, what is the time limit to put a crown after a root canal?

         MANY THANKS,

which is better,a dentist using DIGITAL IMPRESSIONS or the olde PUTTY IMPRESSIONS? Iam very confused.

Dear Confused.
I understand your concern about the work that needs to be done. Unfortunately, the best advice I can give you is to find a dentist with whom you can communicate who will answer the questions that you have. I will definitely address your concerns, but ultimately, the answers that you need can only be answered by the dentist treating you. The burning smell that you mentioned is probably the root canal filing material. It is called Gutta-Percha. It is a rubberized material that is placed into the canal after it is carefully cleaned. Heat is used to melt the Gutta-Percha into the canal.
The blue light you mentioned is the curing light used to set the composite material. The filing material of choice is really up to the dentist and whatever material the dentist is comfortable using. Amalgam had been a fantastic material with an excellent track record, however, it has gone out of favor in the past 20 years and most people do not ask for it, and at this point, most dentists do not even offer it. I personally havenít delivered an amalgam filling in well over a decade. You are correct, composite materials, tooth colored fillings do not have as long of a track record as amalgam and in my practice, when a tooth requires a larger restoration, I deliver gold inlays and onlays and porcelain inlays and onlays if a tooth shade is required. And yes, they are more expensive than a composite filling.
The impression material of choice whether digital or traditional putty is entirely up to your dentist. Either technique has to be properly mastered and properly used. The quality of the work is dependent much more on the doctorsí skill than on the treatment modality. I can tell you that in my practice, although I use quite a bit of digital equipment, and most of our technical work is performed digitally, I still take impressions the traditional way. Each method has its limitations and it is far more important to go to a dentist who is meticulous and uses an excellent, careful technician than to get hung up on the method used.
Studies have shown that it is actually far more important to get a properly sealed restoration on top of a tooth which had a root canal than even the quality of the root canal itself. There have also been studies that have suggested, and also that is the conclusion of the association of Endodotists that a crown should be placed within 3 weeks after completion of root canal treatment. In short, get a crown on the tooth as soon as you can from a dentist whom you trust and have the dentist do the most appropriate crown for the location of the tooth in your mouth and use the method in which your dentist is most comfortable giving you the best result. The following two videos should help you as well.
Best of luck.  


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Zev Kaufman, D.D.S.


I can answer any question from simple routine dentistry to very complex dentistry with emphasis on reconstructive, cosmetic, and implant dentistry. My expertise is in co-ordination of very complex treatment plans with other dental specialists or as a one-man-team, since I have extensive training in Prosthodontics, Surgical Implantology, and orthodontics.


Over a decade in private practice of Surgical Implantology and Prosthodontics. Founder and owner of Prosthodontics & Implant Surgery of Manhattan, PC. Clinical Assistant Professor at the Post-Graduate Department of Periodontics & Implant Dentistry at New York University College of Dentistry. Lecture weekly since 1999 on advanced Implant Prosthodontics at New York University College of Dentistry Post-Graduate Program in Periodontics & Implant Dentistry. Former clinical assistant professor of Dental Radiology at the NYU College of Dentistry. Former clinical and lecture faculty at Lincoln Hospital, Dental residency program. Former clinical and lecture faculty at St. Barnabas Hospital (Bronx, NY) dental residency program. Lecture nationally on Prosthodontics and Implant Dentistry.

Memeber of the American College of Prosthodontics. Memeber of the Acacdemy of Osseointegration. Member or the Omikron Kappa Upsilon (OKU) Honors Dental Society. Member of the American Dental Education Association.

Graduated with Honors from New York University College of Dentistry. Post-Graduate training and certificate in the specialty of Prosthodontics. Post-Graduate training and ceritificate in Surgical and Prosthetic Implant Dentistry. Honors-program in Comprehensive and Applied Practice Management. Honors-program in Orthodontics.

Awards and Honors
NYU Cervice award to the community. OKU honor society. National Dean's List. National Who's Who.

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