Root canal infections are painful and, if left untreated, can lead to tooth loss. Endodontic therapy can help. General dentistry treatments, including endodontic therapy, are highly effective at treating dental damage, restoring oral health, and preventing tooth loss. Dr. Victor R. Siegel offers personalized consultations to determine if patients are good endodontic therapy candidates. Schedule a consultation at Dr. Siegel's Rockville, MD practice to find out if endodontic therapy is right for you.
What Is Root Canal Therapy?
Endodontic therapy, or root canal therapy, becomes necessary when the inner pulp and nerve tissues of a tooth become infected. Root canal infections are caused by tooth decay or dental injury, which allow bacteria to reach the inner structures of the damaged tooth. If left untreated, root canal infections can become painful and spread to the jawbone and surrounding tissues. Root canal therapy can help save infected teeth from requiring extraction and alleviate the pain caused by root canal infections.
During root canal therapy, a local anesthetic is used to help keep the patient comfortable during treatment. A hole is made in the tooth to access the infected pulp tissue. This tissue is then removed and the inside of the tooth is cleaned. Finally, a dental crown is placed to restore the damaged tooth.
Candidates for Root Canal Therapy
Root canal therapy is necessary for anyone who suffers from a root canal infection. However, not all patients with root canal infections are suitable candidates for root canal therapy. In cases in which the root canal infection has become severe and the tooth is too damaged to be saved, tooth extraction is generally the best option. You may be a candidate for root canal therapy if you suffer from one of more of the following symptoms:
- Tooth pain or jaw pain
- Swelling around jaw, cheek, or neck
- Abscessed gums
- Tooth sensitivity
- Tooth decay, fracture, or other damage
Prevent Root Canal Infections
You can avoid the need for endodontic therapy by practicing good oral hygiene and taking steps to protect your teeth from injury. Follow these tips to reduce the risk of root canal infections and prevent the need for root canal therapy:
- Practice proper oral hygiene: Brushing at least twice a day and flossing once a day is key to preventing tooth decay and root canal infections.
- Limit sugary, acidic foods and drinks: Sugary, acidic foods and drinks increase the risk of enamel erosion and tooth decay. Limiting these foods and drinks can help keep the teeth healthy.
- Wear a mouth guard when playing sports: Playing contact sports, like football or hockey, can increase the risk of dental chips and fractures, which can lead to root canal infections if left untreated. Those who play contact sports can reduce the risk of dental injuries by wearing mouth guards during play.
- Schedule regular check-ups and cleanings: Regular check-ups and cleanings keep the teeth healthy and free of plaque and tartar buildup, decreasing the risk of root canal infections.
Schedule a Consultation
To learn more about your treatment options, we invite you to schedule a consultation with Dr. Siegel.