Most people don’t want to hear that they need a root canal. However, root canal therapy has
changed dramatically over the years and today, having a root canal procedure isn’t much
different than getting a filling.
Root canal therapy allows your dentist to save your tooth and avoid the need for a
replacement. Why would a patient need a root canal? Here are the top reasons for necessary
root canal treatment.
Extensive Tooth Decay
Ideally, your dentist would be able to stop tooth decay before it happens with regular visits.
However, if you don’t visit the dentist, decay can progress to the point that it can destroy your
entire tooth. When this happens, getting a filling is no longer an option—you’ll either need a
root canal or a tooth extraction.
Some patients may have already gotten a cavity filled in a particular tooth but have neglected
to replace the filling with their dentist after a certain number of years. Decay can actually
reoccur underneath an existing filling that’s been cracked or damaged and the tooth in question
may require a root canal.
A cracked tooth won’t always cause symptoms. Sometimes, the crack is left untreated and will
progress to an even bigger crack down the tooth. When a tooth is cracked to the point that it
allows bacteria inside, the inner pulp—or the nerves—of the tooth can become infected.
By removing the pulp of the tooth and sealing it, your dentist can prevent the need for an
extraction with root canal therapy. If you suspect you’ve cracked your tooth, don’t hesitate to
see your dentist!
Injury to the Tooth
If your tooth has been injured in an accident, it may cause the pulp inside the tooth to die.
Many people don’t realize their tooth has been affected as a result of a particular accident, but
may see the tooth turning a brown or dark color a few months later.
A tooth turning dark is a sign that the inner nerves of the tooth have died and the tooth is now
dead. With prompt root canal therapy, your dentist should be able to help restore your tooth to
its original color.
A tooth infection could happen as a result of decay, a crack, or an injury that lets bacteria inside
the tooth where an infection can happen. A tooth infection may also be referred to as a tooth
abscess if the infection has progressed and will require prompt treatment from your dentist.
With timely treatment, the tooth can be saved, but if you let the infection go, it can actually
enter the bone that supports the teeth and cause even bigger problems. A tooth infection is
often symptomatic, so don’t hesitate to reach out to your dentist if you suspect your tooth is
Root canal therapy allows your dentist to treat your tooth and prevent further trauma. If your
dentist tells you that you need a root canal, don’t worry. The procedure is designed to be
effective, comfortable, and help you keep your natural tooth!