Not everyone will have to go through root canal treatment in their lives, especially if they keep up with excellent hygiene and regular preventive dental visits. However, not everyone can prevent the need for root canal treatment, either. While it is often necessary to treat tooth decay that has been ignored for too long, root canal treatment can also be recommended before fixing a cracked or fractured tooth. The procedure can ensure that any bacteria that may have entered the fracture are not sealed inside the tooth when your dentist restores it.
The Reasons for Treatment
In the case of extensive tooth decay, the infection can gradually work its way to the pulp chamber of your tooth, which houses a bundle of nerves and blood tissues. These tissues travel from the pulp to your jawbone through the tooth’s root canal, and your jawbone feeds your tooth necessary nutrients through this canal. When a tooth’s pulp is compromised by tooth decay, the root canal can offer oral bacteria a pathway beyond your tooth. If not treated, they can travel through the canal and lead to a host of subsequent dental issues.
The Consequences of Waiting
Tooth decay is progressive. If you catch a cavity in its earliest stages, then you can likely avoid the need for root canal treatment. However, if you hesitate, then it may not take your tooth’s infection long to spread to the pulp and root canal. If you continue to neglect treating it, then the infection can lead to an abscess (or pocket of infection) forming on the tooth’s root or the periodontal tissues near it. In severe cases, the decay can destroy enough of your healthy tooth structure to make restoring it impossible, and your dentist will have to extract and replace the tooth to save your smile.
Find Out More About Root Canal Treatment
If tooth decay reaches the nerves and tissues at the center of your tooth, then root canal treatment might be the only way to remove the infection and save your tooth from being lost or extracted. To learn more, schedule a consultation with Dr. Burds by calling Gateway Dental Group in Des Moines, IA, today at (515) 244-9565.