If you know you have tooth decay (the cause of cavities) but neglect to treat it, then you may not be too surprised when your dentist tells you that you need root canal therapy the next time you visit. Tooth decay is progressive, and if you don’t treat it in its mild to moderate stages, it can quickly progress and reach the inner structures of your tooth, including its root canal. However, ignoring tooth decay isn’t the only reason why you might need root canal treatment, and at our Newhall, CA, dental office, we may also recommend the treatment to address conditions such as these.
Your tooth filling failed
When you treat a cavity early enough with a tooth filling, you may stop worrying about the tooth and eventually forget that it was ever decaying. However, if the filling fails (i.e., falls out or separates from your tooth structure), you might not notice it right away and oral bacteria can have time to reignite the infection in your tooth. By the time you notice it, or attend your next regularly scheduled dental appointment, the infection may have progressed enough to reach the pulp chamber and root canal of the tooth. Saving the tooth could require root canal therapy to remove the infection and preserve the healthy, natural tooth structure that remains.
Your previous root canal failed
Root canal therapy involves filling the cleaned out, infection-free sections of your tooth, including the pulp chamber and root canal that housed the tooth’s nerves and blood vessels. Without these tissues, your tooth may grow weaker, and the biocompatible material used to seal these areas (known as gutta percha) is designed to fortify it as well as seal off the vulnerable portions of your tooth. If your root canal treatment fails, then another procedure may still save the tooth if you seek treatment as soon as possible.
Your tooth fractured
A tooth that isn’t decayed may still become a liability to the rest of your oral health if it becomes fractured or broken. The damage will only grow worse if not treated, which often involves the placement of a highly lifelike dental crown over the tooth. However, if the tooth’s pulp has been exposed due to the fracture, then oral bacteria may have entered it and led to an internal infection. Before placing a crown, we might recommend performing root canal therapy first to remove any signs of infection before capping the tooth with a dental crown.
Find out if you need root canal therapy
You might not always realize that you need root canal therapy until after a thorough examination at your dentist’s office. For more information, schedule a consultation by calling Newhall Dental Arts in Newhall, CA, today at (661) 259-7760.