How to Avoid Needing a Root Canal

Root canals are a newer and effective method of treating tooth infections but while they are generally successful it is still better to not need one. Here, our Okotoks dentists talk about the benefits of oral hygiene and how it can help you avoid having a root canal procedure.

Root Canal Therapy

Your tooth is filled with living tissue including blood vessels and nerves. Your teeth have a strong outer layer called dentin which helps to protect the soft inner pulp of your teeth.

If this hard outer layer of your tooth becomes damaged it can cause bacteria and infections to make their way down to the soft inner pulp of your tooth potentially resulting in the need for a tooth extraction.

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. When you have a root canal it may also help prevent the need for other more serious treatments down the road.

What are root canals used for?

There are a number of potential causes behind the need for a root canal. 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

Are there ways to help prevent the need for a root canal?

No one enjoys root canals and so the best option is to avoid them completely if possible. 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. You need to always carry out this step.
      • Visit your dentist for preventive care every six months, or as per your dentist's recommendations.
      • 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.

Your dentist is able to help you maintain your smile with ongoing rutine dental visits 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.

If you would like to learn more about root canal procedures, contact our Okotoks dentists today for a consultation.

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At iDental, we're always happy to welcome new patients to our Okotoks dental family. Contact us to get started today. 

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