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How to Avoid Needing a Root Canal

While dental care has come a long way and we now have root canals to help save infected teeth, the ideal option is still to prevent the need for one entirely. Here, our Grande Prairie dentists share some information about root canals and how to avoid needing this invasive procedure.

What are root canals used to repair?

Each tooth has pulp in the centre which contains all of the tissues and blood vessels that help keep the tooth alive. The outer layer of the tooth is the dentin which helps to keep this soft centre safe and healthy.

Unfortunately, there are situations where the dentin can become damaged leading to the pulp becoming infected and potentially causing the death of the tooth.

During a root canal procedure, we try to save the tooth by clearing out the infected pulp and placing a crown on your tooth as its new form of protection. This procedure is used to help prevent the need for a dental extraction.

When you are suffering from an infected tooth it can cause severe pain. This can affect your ability to eat and talk. Your chances of needing more significant or long-term tooth repair will also be reduced.

What are some dental situations that may require a root canal?

There are a number of possible causes of dental infections that may result in root canals or extractions. Here are some of the typical causes behind the root canals we do in Grande Prairie:

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

What are some of the ways to prevent the need for a root canal procedure?

Our dentists make every effort to help keep you comfortable during your root canal procedure but it is still likely that you may experience some discomfort during and after the treatment. You can help avoid the need for a root canal by following a rigorous oral hygiene routine at home and by visiting your dentist for regular oral exams. Here are these and other ways that you can help prevent the need for root canals or dental extractions:

      • 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 your dentist prescribes.
      • 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.

Routine oral hygiene and professional care and cleanings are all important parts of your oral and overall health. The dentist can also check for early indications of dental issues before they develop into more significant issues. Any dental treatments can then be performed to prevent these problems from becoming worse or spreading to other teeth.

To learn more and schedule your appointment with us, contact our Grande Prairie dentists today.

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