While an infected tooth can be treated effectively with a root canal, it's always best if to avoid needing one at all! We believe in prevention as the first line of defence. Today, our Abbotsford dentists explain how preventive oral hygiene can help you avoid a root canal procedure.
What is a root canal?
A soft area called the pulp lies at the centre of each tooth. This contains the connective tissue, blood vessels and nerves. Protected by the tooth's enamel and dentin, the pulp is the most vital element of a tooth. It can become damaged due to infection, ultimately leading 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.
A root canal can alleviate the pain associated with 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.
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:
- Serious decay
- Faulty crown
- A tooth with repeated dental procedures
- Injury to a tooth
- Chipped or cracked tooth
How can I prevent the need for a root canal?
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
- 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.
- 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.