Most people cringe at the thought of having to undergo a root canal procedure, and one of the best ways to not be put into that situation is to take steps to do what you can to avoid the need for requiring this type of procedure. While no particular step or set of steps is a guarantee that you’ll never have to visit the dentist for a root canal, the better you take care of your oral health, the more likely it is that you will not have to undergo this less-than-desirable treatment.
The procedure becomes necessary when the tissue deep within the pulp chamber of the tooth becomes decayed or infected. If left untreated, the infection can spread and can result in the loss of the tooth, as well as more serious medical issues. During the procedure, the decayed or infected tissue within the chamber, as well as within the root canals, is cleaned out by the dentist and then sealed. This is done to stop the further spread of decay and infection and to protect the remaining structure of the tooth. Since the tooth is weakened, the dentist then typically places a crown over the tooth to provide the strength it needs to function properly.
Since a root canal procedure becomes necessary due to decay or infection deep within the tooth, the best way to avoid the need for this procedure is to prevent the possibility that this decay or infection will occur. To do that, an individual should take steps to maintain his or her oral health with both at-home daily regimens as well as routine trips to the dentist.
For starters, it’s important to stick to a regular schedule of brushing and flossing. Teeth should be brushed at least twice per day (in the morning and before bedtime), and ideally after each meal. Flossing should also occur on a daily basis to remove debris between teeth and near the gum line that can lead to decay.
Decay or infection can occur deep within the tooth’s chamber if there are cracks or fissures in the surface of the tooth that allow bacteria to get in and then get trapped. Of course, if the tooth is visually cracked or chipped, you may be able to see this and can have the problem addressed by your dentist. But some cracks and fissures are tiny and are not noticeable to the untrained eye. These often occur due to teeth grinding or excessive force placed on the teeth. Therefore, if you grind your teeth, your dentist may suggest you wear a night guard or bite plate to protect the chewing surface of your teeth.
Speaking of your dentist, the best way to avoid an invasive procedure such as a root canal is to visit your dentist on a regular basis for preventative appointments and professional cleanings. By doing this, your dentist and hygienist can better ensure that your teeth are healthy and can identify and treat any small dental issues, such as a cavity, before they become bigger issues that may result in the need for root canal therapy.
For more information about root canal procedures, contact Gentle Dental in Bayside, Queens at 718-461-0100.