What is a root canal procedure?
At the centre of every tooth, a soft area called the pulp contains the connective tissue, nerves and blood vessels. This is the most vital element of a tooth, and the tooth’s enamel and dentin protect it.
Unfortunately, teeth can die when the pulp within them becomes infected.
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 procedure is designed to help prevent the need for a tooth 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. It may also greatly reduce your need to further procedures or tooth repairs.
What are the reasons to have a root canal?
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
Can root canals be prevented?
Though your dentist will make every effort to ensure you don't feel pain after a root canal (or during the procedure), we haven't met anyone who loves getting them. By ensuring that you follow a complete at-home dental hygiene routine as well as visiting your dentists for routine dental care, you can help reduce the chances of needing a root canal procedure.
- Practice good oral hygiene by brushing and flossing twice daily, or as prescribed by your dentist. This is one step that you never want to skip!
- 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 on ice. If you crack your tooth it can easily become infected.
- Avoid acidic foods and drinks; these erode the enamel on your teeth reducing their strength.
- Wear night guards or sports guards to protect from injury or teeth grinding.
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.