Do You Need Root Canal Treatment?

Do You Need Root Canal Treatment?
Posted on 01/31/2019

Many people experience severe pain if they need root canal treatment, but some patients may not realize it until their dentists suggests the procedure. Even if you take excellent care of your teeth, trauma or unnoticed decay can drastically affect your teeth.

In many cases, a root canal treatment may save dying teeth from needing to be removed, so you don't need an extraction or replacement. If you want to know more about root canal procedures, check out these common reasons you may need one. 

Do You Have an Infection?

In the center of each tooth is the pulp, which contains all the important parts for keeping the tooth alive: the blood vessels, nerves, etc. The pulp also runs down to the tips of each tooth root. If bacteria reaches the pulp, an infection or abscess can develop. This process may start small with little pain, but as the abscess gets bigger, it can cause a lot of pain by applying pressure to the tooth's nerves.

This situation is more common if you don't take good care of your teeth, but it can also happen if you experience trauma or if you frequently grind your teeth. Both circumstances can cause small to large cracks to appear, which allow bacteria to easily enter without having to get passed the tooth's protective enamel.

If your tooth does become infected, it begins to die. Dead teeth don't usually look or work well. However, with root canal treatment, the dentist can remove the pulp and infection and replace it with a dental filling material. This doesn't revive the tooth, but it prevents complications so you can continue to use your tooth like normal. 

Is The Tooth Severely Decayed?

If your tooth isn't infected, but you haven't taken good care of your teeth, you may still have major decay. The closer this decay gets to the pulp, the higher the risk of infection. Even getting a filling may not solve the problem, as a filling may still allow an infection to develop if the filling reaches the pulp.

Similarly, even if you don't have large cavities, you may develop a lot of smaller cavities on the same tooth/teeth throughout the years. This means the tooth will need to be repeatedly treated, which increases the risk of trauma to the pulp.

If your teeth did develop a lot of decay, but it's been treated and filled, the fillings may cause problems as they get older. Even with good oral hygiene, simply using your teeth to eat wears down fillings. This may allow cracks to appear or the filling to fall right out.

Is the Tooth Broken or Cracked?

If you have a large crack or chip in one of your teeth, your dentist may recommend getting a root canal treatment. As with major decay, depending on the size of the chip, the required filling may be too big an amount. Also, even if your pulp isn't exposed, you may have small, unseen cracks, which bacteria can use to reach the pulp.

In this case, if the dentist put in a filling, the tooth could still develop a future infection. To reduce this risk and the potential for severe pain, the dentist may want to do a root canal before rebuilding the tooth. In either case, however, a dental crown may need to be placed to help protect the tooth. 

Root canal treatment can seem scary, but it is one of the best ways to save a tooth that is dying or has a high risk of getting an infection. If you would like more information regarding treatment, contact us at Treasured Smiles Adult & Cosmetic Dentistry today.