Last year more than 20 million American had a root canal procedure done – that’s right, just last year alone! Understanding more about how root canals occur will allow us to take the necessary precautions to avoid having them in the first place. A root canal is the process of removing infected, injured, or dead pulp from your tooth. “Pulp” is defined here as the nerve deep inside the tooth.
Why this is done is to save an infected tooth without having to remove it. Through proactive care however root canals can be prevented all together. If you’ve ever had a root canal before, you know that the pain that prompts a visit to the dentist for the procedure can strike out of nowhere. For some, the pain is incredibly intense. There’s no need to experience this pain and having to pay for a procedure if it all can be prevented in the first place.
A tooth can be broken into three main parts. There’s the enamel (the hard exterior), the dentin (softer middle layer), and dental pulp (soft tissue inner layer). The dental pulp is a vital part of the tooth but can be sufficiently traumatized through exposure to oral bacteria which enters in through a fracture in the tooth. This can lead to a tooth beginning to die. This is when a root canal is required. Thing is, this pulp is comprised of nerve tissue, lymph tissue, and blood vessels. Because of its’ composition, the pain can be extreme!
The easiest way to prevent things from progressing to this point is to brush and floss on a daily basis. This goes without saying but it must be said. Every day.
A tooth can also become infected from a crack or chip in the tooth, or even from an old filling. When a filling begins to fail, it can allow that bacteria to leak into the tooth and subsequently into the dental pulp. Seeing your dentist regularly to ensure your fillings aren’t leaking is the best way to prevent infection from getting deep into the tooth. Fillings don’t last forever. They must be checked regularly to ensure they are still doing their job.
These are the ways in which one can work to prevent root canals. Keep your fillings in mind. Sometimes brushing and flossing isn’t enough, and it’s not difficult for decay to form under a filling. If you do happen to be far off the deep end and you’re beginning to experience pain, don’t put it off for another minute. Don’t wait to have it treated. That’s the worst thing you can do. Contact your dentist immediately to have a root canal procedure scheduled or an appointment made to determine what the issue is.
The number of root canals performed annually in the United States has been increasing for the past few decades due to improper education on how to maintain oral health. Friedman Dental Group is looking to change that. Contact us for more information on root canals or to schedule an appointment.