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Why Do People Get Root Canals?
Root canal therapy is a common, usually straightforward procedure that is designed to save a natural tooth when it is severely decayed, broken or weakened. This treatment is necessary when the inner tissue of the tooth roots, known as the pulp is infected. Teeth that are in need of root canal may or may not be painful, depending on the severity of the infection.
What is root canal therapy?
Root canals are meant to clear the inside of tooth roots when there is existing infection. During the procedure, the dentist will create a hole in the top of the enamel to gain access to the inside of the tooth. Then, the root canals will be cleared, sanitized and filled. The procedure also alleviates pain.
What is pulpitis?
The nerves and soft tissue inside root canals is known as the pulp. When this tissue is inflamed or infected, it is known as pulpitis. Pulpitis can occur for a number of reasons, including fractures, repeated dental procedures, faulty dental crowns, cracked teeth and deep decay.
When the infection is advanced, the tooth roots may not feel any pain at all. This is because the tooth roots are slowly dying.
When is it time for a root canal?
If you have one of the following teeth conditions, it may be time to consider root canal therapy.
Tiny cracks known as fractures can form in teeth for many reasons. Over time as we age, the enamel naturally begins to thin out. Poor oral hygiene, genetics, malocclusion (bad bite) and using teeth as a tool can exacerbate this effect.
Fractures can also be caused by a condition known as bruxism. Bruxism is characterized by the unconscious clenching and grinding of teeth, usually during sleep. This constant contact between teeth wears down the enamel much faster than what is natural. All teeth should experience some kind of wear, but bruxism speeds up enamel erosion.
Eventually, untreated bruxism will lead to small fractures in the teeth. These fractures then turn into big problems, like broken teeth that need root canal.
Repeated dental procedures
Repeated dental procedures, even past failed root canals can prompt a root canal treatment. Large fillings where dental decay has invaded underneath often need root canal as well.
Faulty dental crowns
Whether the crown was placed poorly or it became loose over time, a faulty crown can cause all kinds of problems. Tooth decay can find its way underneath the crown, eating away at the vulnerable tooth beneath. Decay then makes its way into the tooth roots, where it wreaks havoc on the pulp.
Severely broken or cracked teeth are in a weakened state. Before having to extract the tooth, a root canal may be attempted to save the remaining tooth structure.
Cavities are destructive holes in the outermost layer of teeth. Tooth decay is caused by acid, produced by bacteria in the mouth. Poor oral hygiene and genetics can make a person more susceptible to tooth decay. When cavities are not filled right away, they can go on to cause infection in the tooth roots. At this point, root canal therapy is necessary to save the tooth. Once a root canal is completed, the dentist will likely top the vulnerable tooth with a crown to protect it from future decay and damage.
Root canals can save your natural teeth
A root canal is essentially a last-ditch effort in saving the natural tooth when extraction seems inevitable. If you have a tooth that has experienced severe damage, or have a tooth that is extremely painful call our office right away. The sooner you receive root canal treatment, the better the success rate.
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