The good news about treating tooth decay is that you have several options for doing so. Each treatment is designed to address a specific level of decay while preserving a maximum amount of your healthy tooth structure. Root canal therapy, for instance, is preferable in severe cases, when infection has reached the inner chamber of your tooth and a filling will not suffice to treat it. If your tooth is in severe pain because of lingering tooth decay, or if you’ve had a filling placed and it has failed, then it could be time to consider root canal therapy to save the tooth.
When a Tooth Is in Trouble
Tooth decay is progressive; its stages grow worse as time goes by. The earliest stage of decay, known as enamel erosion, is caused largely by oral bacteria weakening the protective outer layer of your tooth. Then, the bacteria infect the main tooth structure, causing a cavity to grow. All of this occurs within the enamel and dentin (the main structure of your tooth), and it can be stopped by placing a filling in the cavity. Once the decay reaches the pulp of the tooth, where the nerves and blood vessels rest, then a filling won’t be enough to remove the decay and restore the tooth.
What Root Canal Therapy Means
Because both a filling and root canal therapy are designed to address tooth decay, the principles of both treatments are similar. First, remove the bacteria and infected tooth structure, then fill the tooth to restore and protect it. In the case of root canal therapy, this involves carefully accessing the pulp at the center of the tooth’s dentin and the root canal that extends from the tooth pulp to your jawbone. The procedure is more delicate than a tooth filling, which only involves restoring the tooth’s dentin, and therefore, you may require a dental crown after the procedure is completed.
Ask Your Dentist About Root Canal Therapy
If your tooth is threatened by extreme tooth decay, then you may still have time to save it with root canal therapy. To learn more, schedule an appointment by calling the Sunny Smiles dental office nearest you in El Paso, TX, today! We have offices in the East, Northeast, and Westside of El Paso, and happily welcome patients from all nearby communities, including Chaparral, Canutillo, Vinton, and Sunland Park, New Mexico.