How to Prevent the Need for a Root Canal

Proper dental care does more than just prevent gum disease and reduce plaque. It can help keep bacteria from penetrating through tiny cracks in your tooth enamel and infecting the inside of your tooth, causing you to need a root canal to repair damage and mitigate your pain. 

At Fresh Dental Care with three locations in the Houston area, our experienced team works to prevent common dental issues and fix them when problems do arise. If you’re worried about needing to have a root canal, here’s what we recommend to help you avoid that necessity, especially if you’ve already had one in the past.

Root canal basics

A “root canal” is more than a treatment. It’s also the correct name of that part of your tooth we address when we perform a root canal procedure. Each tooth has several root canals filled with a spongy pulp made of tissue and nerves.  

If a crack or cavity allows bacteria to invade the pulp inside your root canal, it can become infected. The swelling can cause pressure on the nerves in the tooth pulp, resulting in intense pain in your tooth, jaw, and even neck.  

Root canal treatment 

Infected pulp can’t be restored or regrown. It must be removed and replaced with biologically inert material during a root canal treatment.

Our team starts by making sure you are comfortable, and that any infection that may have spread to the tissue in your gums or jaw has been addressed. We begin the “root canal” by drilling a small hole in your tooth to access the pulp.

Using tiny tools, we remove all the pulp, including the nerves, and clean the root canal completely. Then, we fill the space with a sturdy material that hardens inside your tooth and gives it stability and strength.

Finally, we’ll create a restoration, or crown, that looks just like your natural tooth to cap the surface and cover the hole, sealing it tightly so no bacteria can reenter your tooth. With proper dental care, you can avoid having another root canal.

How to prevent the need for a root canal

The steps for avoiding a root canal are similar to those for avoiding any major dental procedure. Maintain a good oral health regimen at home (brushing at least twice a day and flossing at least once a day). Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and make sure not to skip your gumline.

Avoid sugary drinks and snacks, or ones with high acid content, that could damage the enamel on your teeth. If you do indulge, drink water to keep rinsing your mouth. If you have dry mouth, try chewing sugar-free gum to keep your saliva production high.

You should also see your dentist twice a year for cleanings and a checkup, and go see a dentist immediately if you experience one of the following:

Been a while since your last dental visit?

If you’re experiencing tooth sensitivity or pain, don’t wait until it gets so bad that you have to schedule a root canal procedure. Call the Fresh Dental Care location nearest you and schedule an appointment today. 

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