Tooth decay is far too common; according to the CDC, over 90% of adults in the United states have had a cavity at some point. Obviously, it’s best to try and avoid this problem altogether with great oral hygiene, but if worst comes to worst, you could be in serious danger of losing your tooth. Luckily, if that happens, your family dentist in Lisle has a solution that can keep your smile complete: root canal therapy.
What is Tooth Decay?
Tooth decay is when the hard enamel layer protecting your teeth is destroyed. While this can sometimes be the result of acidic foods and drinks, the most common cause is the bacteria that live in your mouth. If they’re exposed to sugar, they’ll secrete acids that gradually wear the enamel away and form cavities.
If decay isn’t stopped, the bacteria will enter the tooth itself and infect it. This is painful enough on its own, and it only gets worse from there. The infection can eventually spread to other parts of your body, causing further pain and additional health problems. Also, if the tooth isn’t treated in time, it could be lost altogether.
What is Root Canal Therapy?
A root canal in Lisle is performed is when a tooth has already been infected but is still salvageable. After the area has been numbed, a hole is made and the pulp (innermost layer of the tooth that’s been infected) is removed, as is the bacteria that’s causing the issue in the first place. Afterwards, a crown or filling is used to bring the tooth back to full strength and stop further damage.
Root canal therapy has a reputation for being very painful, but in fact this isn’t the case at all; most patients say that any discomfort is about on par with getting a filling.
Why Should You Save a Tooth with a Root Canal?
Some patients think it’ll be easier to just get rid of the tooth altogether instead of trying to save it, but there’s plenty of reasons why you should go to the trouble of keeping a complete set of pearly whites:
- Your tooth will be restored with a natural-looking crown or filling that will let you smile with more confidence than you could with a gap in your mouth.
- A gap will cause your remaining teeth to shift out of place, becoming crooked and damaging the alignment of your bite.
- Replacing a missing tooth so that you can eat or speak normally is more costly and inconvenient than simply keeping your natural tooth.
Of course, sometimes an extraction will be the only option if the damage is too severe. If you want to keep your smile intact, you should call your dentist as soon as you notice that your tooth is in pain or if you think it might be decayed. It’s better to stop tooth decay from happening at all, but if it does start to develop, it needs to be treated sooner, not later!
About the Author
For 30 years, Dr. Frank Marchese has enjoyed his career of keeping smiles healthy and building relationships with his patients. He’s had over 1500 hours of extensive training in many aspects of dentistry, such as using realistic-looking restorations to repair teeth that have been badly decayed. If you think you might need a root canal, you can contact his practice, Arbor Dental Care, by visiting his website or calling (630) 969-2310.