An important part of maintaining your beautiful smile is protecting your natural teeth with good oral hygiene and treating any oral health issues early. Endodontic treatments, often called root canals, help treat and save millions of patient’s teeth every year, which in turns saves your smile and improves your oral health.
Understanding what root canals treat
Within your teeth and beneath the enamel and dentin, there’s tooth pulp, which is a soft tissue. Within the pulp resides nerves, blood vessels and connective tissues that all help the tooth root grow during its development. Fully developed teeth can survive without the pulp because the teeth continue to receive nourishment from the surrounding tissues. Root canal treatments treat the area inside of the tooth and become necessary when the pulp suffers infection or inflammation from decay, faulty crowns, cracks, chips, trauma to the tooth or repeated dental procedures. Without treatment, the infection or inflammation can lead to pain and an abscess.
Saving your teeth with a root canal
When your dental professional who specializes in endodontic treatments performs a root canal, he or she removes the infected pulp and cleans and disinfects the inside of the affected tooth. The dentist then fills and seals the area with a rubber-like material and restores the tooth with a filling or crown for protection. Following a root canal treatment, the tooth functions like other natural teeth in your mouth. The procedure for a root canal usually only requires 1-2 visits and is similar to a routine filling procedure. When your dentist saves your natural tooth with the help of a root canal, you enjoy benefits including:
- Natural tooth appearance
- Normal, efficient chewing
- Natural sensation and biting force
- Protection of other teeth from strain or wear
While there are many options for tooth replacement, it’s best to retain your natural teeth whenever possible and when it doesn’t interfere with your overall oral health. Root canals/endodontic treatments can help save your natural teeth, so you retain your smile, eat the foods you enjoy, and reduce the need for continued dental work on the affected area. By continuing good oral hygiene and care, teeth treated with root canals can last a lifetime.
If your dentist believes you need a root canal, try not to worry as you remember that your dentist is working toward saving your natural teeth. Make sure you protect your beautiful smile with regular visits to Dupont Dental and by contacting our offices if you experience any dental discomfort.