What are root canal procedures (endodontics)?
The interior of each of your teeth is made up of pulp which contains connective tissue, nerves and blood vessels. The dentin that encases the tooth helps to protect the vital internal pulp of your teeth.
If your tooth crack or breaks and becomes infected it can cause damage to the pulp potentially leading 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.
What are some reasons for needing a root canal?
There are a number of potential causes of tooth damage resulting in the need for endodontic treatment. Here are some main reasons patients come to us needing Root Canal Therapy:
- Serious decay
- Faulty crown
- A tooth with repeated dental procedures
- Injury to a tooth
- Chipped or cracked tooth
What are some ways to protect yourself from needing a root canal?
No one really loves having a root canal which makes the prevention of this dental concern very important. If you take proper care of your teeth at home between dental appointments, you will help reduce your risk of needing root canal therapy. Some of the preventive measures you can take include:
- Practice good oral hygiene by brushing and flossing twice daily, or as prescribed by your dentist. No matter how tired or busy you may be, don't forget this step.
- Visit your dentist for preventive care every six months, or as prescribed by your dentist.
- Avoid particularly crunchy or hard foods and candies, especially if you already have weak teeth or dental restorations. These can easily cause teeth to crack and leave your tooth vulnerable to bacteria, which can enter the root system and cause damage from within.
- Do not chew ice! This can fracture or crack teeth and 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.