Endodontics: Root Canal Procedures
The centre of each of your teeth is filled with a soft pulp that contains the blood vessels and nerves that help keep your tooth alive allowing it to function as it should. The dentin on the outside of each tooth acts as a protective barrier against any tooth damage that could potentially cause harm to the soft inner pulp.
If the pulp of your tooth becomes infected it can lead to serious conditions such as the death of your 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 alleviate the pain associated with the infected or inflamed tooth pulp and allow you to continue to eat, smile and talk properly. Root canals can also help prevent serious dental conditions from occurring in the future.
When are root canal procedures necessary?
The pulp of a tooth can become infected for many reasons and may need to be removed. Here are some of the most common conditions that lead to needing root canal therapy:
- Serious decay
- Faulty crown
- A tooth with repeated dental procedures
- Injury to a tooth
- Chipped or cracked tooth
What are some ways to avoid the need for a root canal?
We don't know for sure but we can say that we are pretty sure no one in this world enjoys root canal procedures. If you take proper care of your teeth at home between dental appointments, you can help avoid the need for one yourself.
- 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.
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.