While root canals are effective ways of treating an infected tooth it's better to just avoid needing one in the first place! We believe that prevention is the first and best line of defence. Here, our St. Thomas dentist explain how preventive oral hygiene can help you to avoid needing a root canal.
What is a root canal?
In the centre of every tooth there is a soft area called the pulp that is composed of connective tissues, blood vessels and nerves. This is the most vital elements of the tooth and is protected by the tooth's enamel and dentin.
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.
Root canals help to alleviate the pain associated with inflamed or infgected tooth pulp, allowing you to smile talk and eat without pain or discomfort. Your chances of needing more significant or long-term tooth repair will also be reduced.
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:
- Faulty crown
- Serious decay
- Injury to a tooth
- A tooth with repeated dental procedures
- Chipped or cracked tooth
How can I prevent the need for a root canal?
While your dentist will make every effort to help ensuhre that you don't feel pain after your root canal, we haven't met someone yet who enjoys getting a root canal. If you take proper care of your teeth at home between dental appointments, you may be able to avoid the need for a root canal procedure.
- Maintain your oral hygiene routine at home by brushing your teeth twice daily or as prescribed by your dentist. No matter how busy or tired you may be, this is incredibly important to remember!
- 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.
- Don't chew ice! This may fracture or crakc your teeth, allowing 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.
Visiting yoru denting for routine checkups and cleanings is critical to keeping up your oral health. Your dentist will also check your smile for indication of emerging dental issues before they develop into larger health problems. Any dental treatment can then be performed to help prevent health problems from growing worse or spreading throughout your mouth.