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Although a root canal effectively treats an infected tooth, it's ideal to prevent the need for one altogether. We firmly believe that prevention is the best defense. Our dentists in Ottawa will explain how practicing preventive oral hygiene can help you steer clear of a root canal procedure

What is a root canal?

Every tooth has a central part called the pulp, which contains important elements like connective tissue, nerves, and blood vessels. It is crucial for the tooth's health, and the enamel and dentin protect it.

When the pulp of a tooth gets infected, it can cause damage and eventually lead to the tooth dying.

To address this problem, a root canal procedure is performed. It involves removing the damaged pulp, cleaning out any remaining tissues, and sealing or covering the tooth with a filling or dental crown. This procedure eliminates the need for tooth extraction.

A root canal can relieve the pain caused by an infected or inflamed tooth pulp, allowing you to eat, smile, and speak without discomfort. It also reduces the chances of requiring extensive or long-term tooth repairs.

Why would I need a root canal procedure?

The inner part of a tooth called the pulp, can get infected due to various reasons and might require extraction. Here are the common causes for which patients seek Root Canal Therapy:

  • Severe tooth decay
  • Damaged dental crown
  • A tooth that has undergone multiple dental procedures
  • Tooth injury
  • Cracked or chipped tooth

How can I prevent the need for a root canal?

Your dentist will try their best to ensure you don't experience any pain during or after a root canal. However, let's be honest, nobody enjoys getting them. To avoid needing a root canal, it's important to take good care of your teeth at home.

Here's what you can do:

  1. Practice good oral hygiene: Brush and floss your teeth twice a day, or as your dentist recommends. Don't forget this step, no matter how tired or busy you are. 
  2. Visit your dentist regularly: Schedule preventive care appointments every six months, or as advised by your dentist. 
  3. Be cautious with your diet: Avoid crunchy or hard foods and candies, especially if you already have weak teeth or dental restorations. These can easily cause teeth to crack, leaving them susceptible to bacterial damage from within.
  4. Don't chew ice: It can lead to tooth fractures or cracks and allow bacteria to enter and infect the pulp. 
  5. Limit acidic foods and drinks: They can wear down your tooth enamel and expose your teeth to sugar.
  6. Protect your teeth: Consider wearing night guards or sports guards to safeguard your teeth from damage.
Regular checkups and hygiene cleanings with your dentist are crucial for maintaining your oral health. The dentist can also detect early signs of dental issues before they worsen or spread to other teeth. By addressing these problems promptly, further complications can be prevented.

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

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