A Root Canal Can Stop Tooth Decay and Save Your Tooth

Even with our best efforts, tooth decay can still emerge. Many factors can contribute to a higher susceptibility to cavities. For instance, some are more prone to tooth decay due to hereditary tooth shape. If left untreated, minor plaque buildup can advance to the point where the affected tooth is no longer able to function on its own. At this stage, a root canal is the best course of action to save your tooth.

When tooth decay is left to progress

The bacteria in our mouth feed on food particles and residue leftover from eating and drinking throughout the day. When the bacteria digest, they produce acid. This acid builds up when oral hygiene is neglected or when natural teeth are deeply grooved and therefore harder to clean.

As the bacteria colonize and the acid accumulates in one area, plaque builds up. High levels of plaque lead to tooth decay which eats away at the outermost layer of enamel. Holes start to form as the tooth decay progresses, also known as cavities.

Untreated cavities can turn into a big problem. Tooth decay will begin to destroy tooth structure and can even make its way into the root of the tooth. Inside every tooth, there is sensitive tissue known as pulp. When deep decay reaches the pulp, infection can take hold — this is known as pulpitis. Oftentimes at this point, the tooth is no longer viable and the infection needs to be removed in order to continue using the tooth. This is where root canal therapy comes in.

What is root canal therapy?

Also known as endodontic therapy, a root canal is the process of treating and removing infected pulp within a tooth. Root canal treatment is meant to clear infection and restore functionality to the affected tooth. This procedure also helps to relieve any pain associated with inflammation. A successful root canal will eliminate infection and protect the cleaned tooth from future microbial attack.

The procedure involves an endodontist drilling a hole in the top of the tooth to gain access to the pulp. Once the infected pulp is carefully removed, the specialized endodontist will sterilize the space and seal the hole with filling.

If the top of the tooth needs to be replaced, the endodontist will reshape your natural tooth and place a crown. Crowns are false teeth that are not susceptible to infection and therefore last indefinitely.

Who is a good candidate?

Those with good overall and oral health are good candidates for the procedure. If there are other infections in the mouth, such as gingivitis or any abscesses related to deep tooth decay near the jawbone, these issues will have to be taken care of before a root canal is performed.

How can a root canal save my tooth?

Once your tooth is filled and ready to use, the surrounding gum tissue will begin to heal. The jawbone density will increase and begin to support the tooth again. A root canal can be a last ditch effort to save a tooth before it needs to be extracted.

The average cost of a root canal with crown placement is much lower than that of an extraction combined with a dental implant.

Root canal therapy will restore your tooth and save it from further decay. If you suspect you may need a root canal, schedule an appointment with your dentist today to make a plan.

Request an appointment here: https://www.perkinsdentalbaltimore.com or call Perkins Dental Care at (410) 844-0632 for an appointment in our Baltimore office.

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