What is a root canal?
A soft area called the pulp, located in the centre of each tooth, contains connective tissue, nerves, and blood vessels. The enamel and dentin of the tooth protect this vital component.
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 relieve the discomfort brought on by the infected or inflamed pulp of the tooth, allowing you to continue eating, smiling, and speaking normally. You will also have a lower likelihood of needing longer-term or more significant dental work.
Why would I need a root canal procedure?
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
- Faulty crown
- A tooth with repeated dental procedures
- Injury to a tooth
- Chipped or cracked tooth
How can I prevent the need for a root canal?
Though your dentist will make every effort to keep you pain-free after a root canal (or during the procedure), we have yet to meet anyone who enjoys them. You can avoid the need for a root canal procedure if you take good care of your teeth at home in between dental appointments.
- 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.
To keep your oral health in good shape, visit your dentist for routine examinations and cleanings. Before dental problems become more serious, the dentist can look for early warning signs of them. Then, any necessary dental procedures can be carried out to stop the deterioration or spread of these issues to other teeth.