07 Apr Root Canal Roots: How To Avoid This Painful Procedure
Root Canal: What exactly is it?
Dentists perform root canals when infection or decay severely affect a tooth. The term “root canal” itself refers to the cavity in the center of the tooth that houses the nerves and pulp. The dentist or endodontist removes the nerve inside your tooth along with the pulp. Then the doctor cleans and seals the cavity. Tiny tubules that stem from the central nerve pose the risk of spreading the decay or infection further which creates abscesses. Ripping it all out at once puts a halt in that spread. Once gone, the tooth lacks sensation, but can otherwise perform normal day to day.
What does the dentist do?
Root canals take multiple office visits. Depending on the difficulty of your root canal, you may need to see an endodontist. An endodontist is a dentist with a specialty in dental pulp and the nerves of the tooth.
First, the dentist X-rays your teeth to examine your root canals and detect signs of spreading decay or infection. They also check out the shape of the root canals for effective expulsion. Next, they use local anesthesia to numb your mouth, particularly in the area around the infected tooth.
The dentist dries the area and places a saliva dam around the tooth. Once dry, the dentist drills a hole in the tooth. They clean it out by placing root canal files into the hole at increasing diameters until it reaches the entire length of the tooth. Then, the dentist rinses and disinfects.
You may take antibiotics before the dentist fills your tooth. Or the dentist may fill it the same day he drills. Because the tooth has existing decay, your dentist may recommend a crown or other dental restoration to protect it.
Oof! How do I prevent getting a root canal?
The best way to avoid root canal operations is to follow recommended procedures for optimal oral health. These includes:
- Brushing twice a day
- Brushing for 2 minutes– no more, no less
- Flossing at night
- Getting a professional cleaning twice a year
If you play sports or your job has a high risk of mouth injury, a mouthguard protects your teeth and prevents cracking that leads to infection. Also, you can protect your teeth from sugary drinks by using a straw. You should also limit those drinks, but if you must have soda or a milkshake then use one. Finally, use a fluoride toothpaste that builds enamel and strengthens teeth.
Did you know you can prevent tooth decay with your diet? It’s not just cutting back on sugary or sticky treats. In fact, several healthy foods such as apples and broccoli clean and protect teeth. High calcium foods like cheese and yogurt keep your teeth strong, so they are less likely to decay. Additionally, raisins and wine have polyphenols and flavonoids that fight oral bacteria that cause the cavities that lead to root canals.
Update your toothbrush
Many dentists believe electric toothbrushes make it easier to maintain oral health. Because they vibrate, users are less likely to harshly scrub off their enamel. The timer allows the person using it to not under or over brush. However, if you don’t like electric brushes or can’t afford one you can promote optimal oral health by changing your toothbrush every three months.
Visit your dentist
The best way to prevent root canals is regular visits to your dentist. They spot problems early, so infection and rot do not spread.
If you need a dentist in Delray Beach or Boca Raton, South Florida Smiles is here for you. Our full-featured family dental office offers both general and cosmetic dentistry. Maintain a healthy smile with regular cleanings and our excellent care.
Call South Florida Smiles today at (561) 257-0022 or contact online.