Likely, at some point in your life, you’ve heard about root canal therapy, but may not be sure what the procedure entails and why you may need it. To help clear up any confusion, your dentist in Las Cruces provides a simple explanation of what the procedure involves and why you may need it.
What’s the Purpose of a Root Canal?
The purpose of a typical root canal is to remove advanced bacteria growth that has entered the more sensitive parts of a tooth. It is a more complex form of restoration than a filling, which only repairs damage to the enamel (the hard-outer layer of your teeth).
When bacteria growth is allowed to penetrate into the area where the canals and nerves are housed, a root canal provides a way to stop the advancement and salvage the tooth.
How a Root Canal Works
Here are the usual steps taken to complete the root canal process:
- X-ray images are taken to locate exactly where the decay is.
- A numbing medication is applied to ensure that you have a pain-free experience.
- An incision is made into the tooth to gain access to the decayed tissue.
- Once the bacteria are removed and the area is thoroughly cleaned, a compound called gutta-percha is added to fill the tooth.
- The tooth is sealed to prevent any new infection and digital bite impressions are taken. They will be used to create an all-porcelain crown.
Once your tooth is restored, the last thing you want is to endure a similar problem in the future. Therefore, it’s best to be proactive about your oral health moving forward.
How to Maintain Your Oral Health
Thankfully, it’s not difficult to maintain healthy teeth and gums. A good place to start is by properly and consistently performing oral hygiene. This should include brushing and flossing your teeth a minimum of two times a day, which will help to keep the #1 nemesis of your teeth and gums – dental plaque – at bay.
It also helps to monitor your consumption of snack items and other processed foods, which are typically higher in sugar. That’s because sugar is the food of choice of oral bacteria.
A final way to fortify your oral health is to maintain regular visits with your dentist for cleanings and checkups. Therefore, you can stop any oral bacteria before they can advance and begin to cause serious problems.
About the Author
Since graduating from dental school, Dr. Ramon M. Ortiz has remained an active and enthusiastic learner, spending considerable time taking continuing education courses. He now puts his expertise to work by mentoring other dentists at the Scottsdale Center for Dentistry in Scottsdale, AZ. Dr. Ortiz restores his patients’ oral health by performing root canal therapy at Painted Skies Dental Center, and he can be reached for more information through his website.