Dental pain can prevent us from enjoying our lives to the fullest. Thankfully, root canal therapy, also known as endodontic treatment, can restore a severely infected or injured tooth. While it may sound intimidating, this procedure can alleviate pain, prevent future dental issues, and ultimately preserve your natural tooth. In today’s blog, your Prairie Village, KS, dentist explains how to restore oral health with root canal therapy.
When Is Endodontic therapy Necessary?
When the soft tissue, known as pulp, inside your tooth becomes inflamed or infected it’s time to take action to protect your health. This can occur due to deep decay, a cracked tooth, repeated dental procedures on the same tooth, or a traumatic injury. If you experience prolonged tooth sensitivity or severe, throbbing pain, even when not using the tooth, it could be a sign of an infected pulp. Tooth discoloration could also be a sign of internal damage or infection. Along with infection comes gum swelling, tenderness, and sometimes even blood or pus in more severe cases.
The Root Canal Process
If endodontic treatment is needed, a small opening is made in the tooth to access the infected pulp. The pulp, along with any decayed tissue, bacteria, and debris, is carefully removed using specialized instruments. Then, a biocompatible material called gutta-percha is placed inside the canals to seal them and prevent re-infection.
In most cases, a tooth that has undergone root canal therapy will require a dental crown. This step is crucial as it helps protect the treated tooth, restore its functionality, and provide a natural appearance.
Preventing Future Infections
While it may not always be possible to completely prevent the need for endodontic treatment, there are steps you can take to reduce the risk and maintain good oral health.
First and foremost, practice good oral hygiene by brushing your teeth twice daily with fluoride toothpaste, flossing regularly, and maintaining six-month cleanings and check-ups. This helps to prevent decay and identify any potential issues early on.
Invest in a nightguard if you grind or clench your teeth. Wear a mouthguard during sports or activities that pose a risk of dental injuries and avoid using your teeth as tools to open packages or bite non-food objects.
Additionally, consuming excessive amounts of sugary and acidic foods and beverages can lead to tooth decay so be mindful of your diet and try to choose healthier options.
Schedule Your Next Dental Check-Up
Root canal therapy, though often feared, is a valuable dental procedure that can save your natural teeth and alleviate pain caused by infected or damaged pulp. If you would like more information on how we can optimize your oral health, please reach out to our Prairie Village, KS dentist’s office at 913-901-8585.