Root Canal Procedures: What are they used for?
Your tooth contains nerves, pulp blood vessels and connective tissues that help keep your teeth healthy and alive. This is the most vital element of a tooth, and the tooth’s enamel and dentin protect it.
Any infection that affects your tooth can result in the death of the pulp and your tooth itself.
During a root canal procedure, we remove the pulp in a damaged tooth, clean 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.
Dental Issues That May Require a Root Canal
The pulp of a tooth can become infected for many reasons and may need to be removed. There are certain reasons that we frequently see the need for a root canal, they are:
- Serious decay
- Faulty crown
- A tooth with repeated dental procedures
- Injury to a tooth
- Chipped or cracked tooth
What can you do to avoid the need for a root canal?
No matter how gentle your dentist is, root canal procedures are not typically a fun time. By taking care of your teeth at home you can help avoid the need for root canal procedures.
- 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 your dentist prescribes.
- 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 more significant issues. Any dental treatments can then be performed to prevent these problems from becoming worse or spreading to other teeth.