Even though many people associate the need for a root canal with tooth decay, a variety of conditions can lead a dentist to recommend one. In some cases, dental issues such as a chipped tooth cannot be ignored or fixed easily through cosmetic-type procedures. How do you know when your chipped tooth needs to be…
Can a Root Canal Save a Cracked Tooth?
Dentists may decide to perform a root canal for many reasons, but in most cases, the ultimate goal is to save a decayed or damaged tooth. Teeth that have severe cavities may be repaired this way. However, when it comes to fractures or breaks, it may not be as obvious whether this procedure can preserve the tooth. There are several factors that may affect the dentist’s decision, and patients who are not certain whether it can help may feel more certain once they understand how root canals are performed.
What is a root canal?
The idea of a root canal may strike fear into the hearts of many individuals, but today’s dental technology can make the process simple. The American Association of Endodontists notes that more than 15.1 million of these procedures are performed by dentists each year, making them a common solution for a variety of dental problems. During the procedure, a dental professional removes dead pulp and bacteria from a bad tooth, cleans out the remainder completely and then seals it to prevent further infection. This usually takes over an hour to complete.
Saving the tooth
Root canals are usually performed on people with severe cavities or otherwise infected teeth. However, depending on the type and severity of a crack, they may be helpful in preventing the loss of a damaged tooth. A dentist typically examines the tooth and notes several factors to decide whether the procedure will be beneficial:
- How far down the crack extends
- The width of the fracture
- Damage to surrounding gums and other teeth
Because circumstances can vary widely, the decision usually lies with the dentist based on what is uncovered during the initial examination of a cracked tooth. If the fracture is not severe, a root canal may be a viable option for treatment. A cracked tooth that has not been treated may have infected pulp or food debris in between the fracture. Before the crack can be repaired, a root canal is usually performed to ensure no bacteria or other objects remain. The space is cleaned thoroughly down to the root, hence the name of this process. Once the area around and in between the fracture is clean, a temporary crown is usually placed over the tooth until a permanent one can be molded and inserted.
What are the benefits?
There are several advantages to having a root canal performed once a tooth is cracked. These may be discussed with patients who are unsure about whether they should undergo the procedure.
Prevents tooth loss
Repairing a cracked tooth with a root canal prevents its loss and the necessity of dental implants. Most dentists will try to save the tooth if it is possible.
Preserves bone density
When a tooth is extracted, the surrounding bone may be affected. A root canal can help support the bone by preserving the damaged tooth.
A root canal may be the most viable solution for saving a cracked tooth. Speaking with a dental professional can help affected individuals decide whether it is the best course of treatment.
Are you considering a root canal in the Santa Rosa area? Get more information at https://santarosaendodontics.com.
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