Root Canal Procedures
When a tooth becomes too infected to be restored with a filling or a crown, patients may require a root canal. Root canals remove bacteria and the dying or dead tissue from inside the damaged tooth. This treatment can help save the existing tooth from being removed. After the procedure, the tooth will need to be sealed. Further restoration may be required and may need a crown or other restorative treatment.
Root canal therapy allows the tooth to be preserved for longevity and function. If a tooth is at risk of further decay or cracking and an infection is likely or inevitable, a root canal will remove the pulp to cure the infection and save the tooth.
Surgical vs Non-Surgical Procedures
There are surgical and non-surgical root canal procedures. Surgical root canals are performed when a tooth is too infected or damaged for a non-surgical procedure. A surgical procedure may require an incision in the gum to access the root canal to remove the infected tissue safely. A non-surgical procedure will remove the injured pulp by drilling farther than a typical filling, then cleaning the root canal and placing a filling to seal the hole. Both surgical and non-surgical procedures will require a local anesthesia.
Risks of Infected Teeth
By having a root canal, your dentist will be able to ensure that the infection in your tooth will not spread to your jawbone or even your brain. There are health issues that can result from dental issues, including risk for heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and respiratory disease.
Of course, saving your natural teeth is the most ideal option. A root canal can help save your natural tooth. Preserving your natural teeth is most ideal because the loss of a tooth or teeth can cause most obviously gaps in your smile, and you may have trouble eating or speaking clearly. However, there are alternatives to a root canal procedure which would require extracting the tooth and replacing it with a bridge, implant, or removable partial denture. Prosthetic options should be used as a last resort if decaying or broken teeth cannot be repaired.
Prevent Infection & Tooth Decay
Preventing an infection can help you avoid nerve pain, infection, and tooth decay. Maintain healthy dental habits and brush twice a day, floss, and use an antiseptic mouthwash daily to help prevent deep tooth decay.