The Root Canal Procedure
At the center of each of your teeth lives a soft area called the pulp containing the connective tissue, nerves and blood vessels. This is the most vital part of your tooth, and the tooth’s enamel and dentin protect it.
A tooth’s pulp can become damaged due to infection and ultimately lead to the death of the tooth.
During a root canal procedure, we remove the pulp in a damaged tooth, clean out any residual tissues and seal or cap it with a filling or dental crown. This prevents the need for an extraction.
A root canal can alleviate the pain associated with the infected or inflamed tooth pulp and allow you to continue to eat, smile and talk properly. Your chances of needing more significant or long-term tooth repair will also be reduced.
Why A Root Canal Is Needed
The pulp of a tooth can become infected for many reasons and may need to be removed. Here are some main reasons patients come to us needing Root Canal Therapy:
- Serious decay
- Chipped or cracked tooth
- Faulty crown
- A tooth with repeated dental procedures
- Injury to a tooth
How To Prevent A Root Canal
Though your dentist will make every effort to ensure you don't feel pain after a root canal (or during the procedure), we haven't met anyone who loves getting them. If you take proper care of your teeth at home between dental appointments, you can prevent the need for a root canal procedure.
- Practice proper oral hygiene by brushing and flossing twice daily. No matter how tired or busy you may be, this step should be forgotten.
- Visit your dentist for preventive care every six months, or as prescribed by your dentist.
- Avoid overly crunchy or hard foods such as hard candies, especially if you already have weak teeth or dental restorations. These can cause teeth to crack leaving your teeth vulnerable to bacteria, which can enter the root system and cause damage inside.
- Don't chew on ice! This can cause fractures or cracks in your teeth which can allow bacteria to access and infect the pulp.
- Avoid acidic foods and drinks; they cause wear on your enamel and expose the teeth to sugar.
- Wear night guards or sports guards to protect your teeth from damage.
Seeing your dentist for regular checkups and hygiene cleanings is critical to maintaining your oral health. The dentist can also check for early indications of dental issues before they develop into larger issues. Any dental treatments can then be performed to prevent these problems from becoming worse or spreading to other teeth.