There are many different types of conditions that could potentially threaten your oral health, but tooth decay is the most common one. As the cause behind cavity development, tooth decay can progress through several stages, eventually becoming a severe threat to your oral health if not treated effectively. The role of root canal treatment is to remove an infection that has reached the inner pulp chamber and root canal of your tooth. When it becomes necessary, that role means saving your tooth from having to be extracted, or from being lost before you can save it.
When tooth decay reaches your root canal
The first stages of tooth decay and cavity development can seem like a world away from its more serious stages. At first, a cavity develops within your tooth’s main structure, known as the dentin. This tooth structure surrounds and protects the more vulnerable pulp chamber of your tooth, which connects to the tooth’s root and canal within it. When tooth decay reaches these structures, the infection can directly affect your tooth’s nerves, blood vessels, and other soft tissues. This can lead to much more severe symptoms, including extreme discomfort and more noticeable erosion of your natural tooth structure.
What treating a root canal means
When you treat a mild or moderate cavity, the process typically involves removing the infected tooth dentin and filling the cavity in it with a tooth-colored filling. However, treating internal tooth decay is a more complex process, and will require removing the infection from within the tooth’s pulp and root canal chambers, as well. This stops the infection inside of your tooth from becoming even more severe, and can help you preserve what remains of your healthy, natural tooth structure. To further protect the tooth, you might also benefit from having a custom-made dental crown placed over it following the completion of your root canal treatment.
Why it’s important to treat it now
The fact that tooth infection is progressive is the biggest reason why it’s important to treat it as soon as possible. In many cases, early treatment of tooth decay can help you avoid the need for root canal treatment by stopping the infection before it reaches the root canal. If it already has reached it, then treating the infected root canals as soon as possible can help you preserve a maximum amount of your remaining healthy tooth structure. In more severe cases of tooth decay, the infection may cause enough damage to make extracting the tooth necessary for protecting the rest of your oral health.
Save your tooth with root canal treatment
For teeth that become severely infected with decay, root canal treatment can be the most important step in saving them. To learn more, schedule an appointment by calling Allen & Neumann Family Dentistry in Pella, IA, today at (641) 628-1121.