Because it’s the most common concern for healthy, natural teeth, treating tooth decay is a frequent reason for needing restorative dental treatment. The good news, however, is that tooth decay can be successfully treated, and often, with minimally invasive solutions like tooth-colored fillings. However, more serious forms of tooth decay affect more of your tooth’s structure and inner tissues than a tooth filling is able to restore. Today, we examine why some teeth need root canal treatment to save them from decay, and how the treatment may help you save your tooth.
What the procedure is designed to treat
More conservative forms of tooth decay treatment, like tooth fillings, are able to save your healthy, natural tooth structure by removing the mild or moderate infection from your tooth’s structure. This infected structure is typically located within the main part of the tooth’s crown, known as its dentin, and can be effectively replaced with the biocompatible material used to create a filling. Yet, when tooth decay becomes severe, it can reach the pulp chamber located within the tooth and infect the tissues that are located inside of it. These tissues also traverse the canal inside of your tooth’s root in order to connect the tooth to its supportive jawbone structure.
When it’s bad enough to need root canal treatment
Tooth decay at any stage is a serious concern because it doesn’t take long for it to progress and become a more serious threat. For example, when the tissues inside of your tooth become infected, the infection won’t be contained within the tooth’s pulp. It can also impact the tissues inside of the tooth’s root canal, making the tooth decay a much more serious threat to your overall oral health. The point of root canal treatment is to remove these infected tissues and tooth structure from within the tooth’s inner chambers, then restore the remaining healthy tooth structure so it can once again function properly.
When a tooth becomes immediately threatened
While the progression of tooth decay can become serious faster than you might expect, it’s still a progressive condition, which means prompt treatment of your decay may help you avoid the need for root canal treatment. However, in some cases, a tooth’s inner pulp and root canal can become immediately threatened by harmful oral bacteria and require root canal treatment. For instance, if the tooth is fractured significantly enough, the pulp chamber and the tissues within it may become infected before you can restore the tooth. To prevent this, you may benefit from root canal treatment before having the tooth structure sealed and preserved with a custom dental crown or other restoration.
Learn if your tooth needs root canal treatment
Treating tooth decay doesn’t always require root canal treatment, but it could be the best solution for your tooth if the decay is severe enough. To learn more, call our Cleveland Family Dentistry office in Cleveland, TX, today at (281) 592-1234. We also serve the residents of Kingwood, Conroe, Livingston, and all surrounding communities.