Protecting Your Smile From Root Canals
Root canals are very common dental procedures – nearly 15 million root canals are performed in the U.S. every year. Additionally, the procedure has a 95 percent success rate, meaning most teeth fixed with root canal therapy can last a lifetime.
Just as this procedure is common, it is also preventable in many cases. Before you can work to prevent a root canal, you have to know why they’re necessary.
When is a Root Canal Necessary?
A root canal (or endodontic) treatment is performed to eliminate bacteria from an infected root canal, prevent reinfection of the tooth, and save a natural tooth.
Beneath the white enamel on the top of your teeth is a hard layer called dentin, and then a deeper, soft tissue called the pulp. This tissue contains blood vessels, nerves, and connective tissue, which all help to grow the root of your tooth during its development. When these deep layers of the teeth become damaged, a root canal is needed to repair the tooth before tooth decay reaches a later stage where the only solution is to remove the tooth.
Root canals are also used on cracked teeth from injury or genetics, a deep cavity, or issues from a previous filling.
Signs You Need a Root Canal
If you think you may need a root canal, you’re likely experiencing the following symptoms:
- You have a cavity.
- Your tooth is sensitive to hot or cold foods and beverages.
- You have a cracked tooth.
- You have tooth decay.
What Does a Root Canal Involve?
Once our dentist prescribes endodontics (root canal therapy), you will be given a local anesthetic to numb the area, and if you choose, you may be given oral or inhalation sedation to soothe your fear.
First, we’ll create a small opening in the decayed tooth using a dental drill. Next, tiny instruments are used to clean the nerve chambers inside the teeth, which are then sealed off with a special material. Once your root canal treatment is complete, you will need to be fitted for a porcelain crown that covers the existing tooth. This color-matched crown will look, feel, and function just as a natural tooth, and will prevent the remaining tooth from becoming brittle over time.
Benefits of a Root Canal
In addition to preventing a dental issue from becoming more severe, root canals have the following benefits:
- Efficient chewing.
- Normal biting force and sensation.
- Natural appearance.
- Protects other teeth from excessive wear or strain.
Avoid a Root Canal With These Tips
Now that you know how cavities and tooth decay happens, you can work to prevent damage to your teeth — and the need for a root canal.
Here are some tips to help improve your dental care routine at home, one of the best ways to prevent the need for endodontic treatment:
- Maintain a healthy diet.
- Brush, floss, and use mouthwash regularly.
- Cut bad habits (such as chewing on your fingernails.)
- Keep up with your dentist visits.
These care tips can also help you prevent another root canal in the future if you’ve already undergone treatment. With proper care, your endodontics-restored tooth will function normally for decades.
Performing Root Canals in Valencia with Care
While many dentists have to outsource endodontic treatments to a specialist, at Nilda M. Woolard, DDS, we are proud to offer root canal therapy and many other types of restorative dentistry.
Utilizing our decades of experience, you can rely on us to determine whether endodontic treatment is the best choice for you. To book your appointment, contact our team today.