A root canal is an excellent way to treat an infected tooth and save it from extraction. However, we believe prevention is better than cure. Here, our North York dentists explain the best ways to avoid a root canal.
Read below to understand what a root canal is, why it would be needed, and the best ways to avoid one in the future.
What is Root Canal Therapy?
Inside the centre of every tooth, there is a soft area called the pulp that houses the nerves, connective tissue, and blood vessels. This is the most crucial element of a tooth and it is protected by the tooth's enamel and dentin. Damage to a tooth's pulp can lead to infection and ultimately, the death of that tooth.
A root canal procedure involves removing the pulp of the damaged tooth, cleaning out any residual tissues, and then sealing or capping it with a filling or dental crown. This prevents the loss of the tooth.
Endodontic treatment can stop the pain associated with an inflamed or infected tooth pulp. It will also allow you to continue to smile, eat, and talk properly, and reduce the chances of more significant or long-term tooth repair.
It's very important to have the infected root removed from your tooth. Left untreated, the infection in the tooth can contaminate other areas and systems, becoming potentially life-threatening.
Reasons for Needing Root Canal Therapy
There are many reasons that the pulp of a tooth may become infected and need to be removed. Here are some of the main causes that would result in the need for Root Canal Therapy:
- Serious decay
- A tooth with repeated dental procedures
- Faulty crown
- Chipped or cracked tooth
- Injury to a tooth
How to Prevent the Need for Root Canal Therapy
If you've had a root canal and want to avoid the need for further endodontic treatment, or you want to prevent ever needing a root canal, use the following list to guide you. If you take proper care of your teeth, you can prevent the need for a root canal procedure.
- Take proper care of your teeth by brushing twice a day and flossing every day.
- Visit your dentist preventively every six months or sooner if you're having any issues.
- Avoid particularly hard or crunchy foods and candies, especially if you already have weak teeth or dental restorations.
- Do not chew ice! This also can crack or fracture teeth easily, leading to damaged tooth pulp.
- Wear night guards or sports guards to protect your teeth from damage.
- Acidic foods and drinks should be avoided as they cause wear on your enamel and expose them to sugar.
- If you're experiencing any tooth pain, always see your dentist as soon as possible.