You may have heard stories of how painful root canals are, but that’s in the past. Modern technology has revolutionized root canals so that they mirror your experience with other dental procedures.
If you have a cracked, inflamed, or infected tooth, you may need a root canal. It can save your tooth. You no doubt don’t want an empty space in your mouth when you smile, and a missing tooth can cause additional dental problems including teeth that shift and a misaligned bite.
Our board-certified dentists at A Caring Dental Group practice provide root canal therapy if you need it. Still, the best root canal is the one you never have. However, you can take proactive steps to help prevent the need for this procedure.
Why root canals are performed
If you have a cracked tooth or a tooth with decay, enough bacteria can travel through your tooth to the tooth root, or pulp. Your teeth have passageways or canals throughout the roots filled with tissue and nerves.
Bacteria can invade your tooth pulp, causing inflammation, swelling, and infection. Fortunately, an adult tooth remains viable with the pulp removed and the root canal filled and sealed.
What happens during a root canal
Our practice, headed by Benedict Kim, DDS, ensures you receive the right amount of anesthesia to keep you comfortable during the root canal. He accesses the root canal with a small drill and then removes the infected pulp and nerve tissue.
Then Dr. Kim cleans the canal thoroughly so no trace of infection remains. Then Dr. Kim fills the canal completely with a special material, the same way you would have a cavity filled.
In some cases, you may need a crown to protect and strengthen the remainder of your tooth. We let you know beforehand if that is the case.
Ways to prevent the need for a root canal
If your oral hygiene is good, you may be able to avoid ever having a root canal. Brushing twice a day and flossing once a day helps to keep teeth, gums, and jaws in excellent health, particularly when combined with dentist visits and cleanings every six months.
A cracked tooth can invite bacteria that causes decay and infection. Protect your teeth. Be mindful when eating hard or crunchy foods. Don’t bite down on hard candy, and watch for tough kernels when eating popcorn.
If you chew ice, it’s time to change the habit; you can damage tooth enamel that way. Finally, don’t use your teeth as a tool to open cans or bottles.
Go easy on the sweets and sodas. High acidic content and sugary foods and drinks soften tooth enamel and can lead to decay. Use a straw and rinse with water when you do indulge.
If you have dry mouth from medication you take, chew sugar-free gum or use oral rinses designed to keep your mouth moist.
Contact us today if you suspect a dental problem. Prompt treatment saves teeth and gums.