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How to Avoid Needing a Root Canal

Damage and decay in teeth can lead to the need for invasive procedures such as root canals. Here, our Swift Current dentists share how routine dental care and oral hygiene can help you avoid needing a root canal.

What are root canals and what are they used for?

The soft inner section of each tooth contains flesh that we call pulp. This pulp contains various types of matter like connective tissue, nerves and blood vessels. These tissues are vital to a tooth, and the tooth’s enamel and dentin protect it.

If the protective enamel layer becomes damaged it could lead to infection within the tooth. If an infection occurs it can, unfortunately, lead to the death of the tooth.

During a root canal procedure, we remove the pulp in a damaged tooth, clean out any residual tissues and seal or cap it with a filling or dental crown. This prevents the need for an extraction.

A root canal can alleviate the pain associated with infected or inflamed tooth pulp and allow you to continue to eat, smile and talk properly. this may also be a factor in greatly reducing the chance of needing further treatment down the road.

What are some concerns that may lead to a root canal?

There are several reasons why the pulp of a tooth becomes damaged or infected resulting in removal. Here are some main reasons patients come to us needing Root Canal Therapy:

  • Serious decay
  • Faulty crown
  • A tooth with repeated dental procedures
  • Injury to a tooth
  • Chipped or cracked tooth

What are some of the ways you can prevent the need for root canals?

Your Swift Current dentist will take every possible precaution to help prevent discomfort during the root canal procedure, but it's still likely to not be the most pleasant experience. One way you can help prevent the possibility of experiencing one is to keep up with routine dental care. Some of the things you can do to keep your mouth healthy are:

      • Practice good oral hygiene by brushing and flossing twice daily, or as prescribed by your dentist. No matter how tired or busy you may be, don't forget this step. 
      • Visit your dentist for preventive care every six months, or as prescribed by your dentist.
      • Avoid particularly crunchy or hard foods and candies, especially if you already have weak teeth or dental restorations. These can easily cause teeth to crack and leave your tooth vulnerable to bacteria, which can enter the root system and cause damage from within.
      • Do not chew ice! This can fracture or crack teeth and allow bacteria to access and infect the pulp.
      • Avoid acidic foods and drinks; they cause wear on your enamel and expose the teeth to sugar.
      • Wear night guards or sports guards to protect your teeth from damage.

Visiting your dentist regularly can help prevent more than just root canals. During your visits, your dentist will be able to monitor for signs of any potential health concerns and help create a treatment plan. Any dental treatments can then be performed to prevent these problems from becoming worse or spreading to other teeth.

If you would like to request an appointment for an examination or cleaning, contact our Swift Current dentists today.

(306) 778-9100