Restorative Dental Services: Root Canals
At the centre of every tooth, a soft area called the pulp contains the connective tissue, nerves and blood vessels. This soft inner core of your tooth contains everything your tooth needs to stay alive and functional. Each tooth has a layer of dentin which acts as a barrier to help protect it.
If the pulp of your tooth becomes infected it can lead to a number of other serious concerns and ultimately 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 is one of the many ways that we are now able to prevent dental 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.
What are some reasons why you may need a root canal procedure?
There is more than one possible cause behind tooth infections. Here are some of the most common causes behind tooth infections that lead to the need for a root canal procedure:
- Serious decay
- Faulty crown
- A tooth with repeated dental procedures
- Injury to a tooth
- Chipped or cracked tooth
What can you do to help avoid the need for a root canal?
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. If you take proper care of your teeth at home between dental appointments, you can prevent the need for a root canal procedure.
- 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.
In order to help protect your oral health you should visit your dentist regularly to have professional cleanings and examinations. 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.