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How to Prevent Needing a Root Canal in Alpharetta

A lot of our patients in Alpharetta hear the words “root canal” and wince with pain. They may have a past experience of being in excruciating pain that led them to receive a root canal. We don’t blame our patients for not wanting to receive a root canal in their life again. The key to never getting a root canal is taking care of your teeth. Find out what our patients at Old Milton Dental are doing to prevent needing a root canal in Alpharetta.

What is a Root Canal?

Before we dive into ways to prevent a root canal, you might be wondering just what exactly a root canal is. A root canal is a dental procedure that removes infected pulp from a tooth so that the tooth doesn’t need to be extracted. Root canals are necessary when a tooth becomes infected. This is caused by physical damage to the tooth, cracks, breaks or even from cavities that were never treated. Prior to receiving a root canal, it’s normal for patients to experience a severe toothache. This is from the infection in their tooth. With root canal therapy, the infection is removed, the nerve dies and the tooth is saved from extraction. The tooth is usually covered with a dental crown following the procedure to provide it with the most protection possible.

Brush Your Teeth Twice a Day

The first way to prevent needing a root canal is by simply brushing your teeth twice a day. When you brush your teeth, this removes plaque and bacteria from your mouth. Without proper brushing, the plaque and bacteria can cause cavities, gum disease as well as tooth decay. It’s important to make sure that you brush your teeth properly. If you’re not sure if you are, feel your teeth after you brush or scrape your fingernail against them. If they feel rough or plaque is coming off, you are not brushing properly. We recommend investing in a good electric toothbrush if you find getting your teeth clean enough is difficult.

Floss Once a Day

Another way to prevent needing a root canal is by flossing daily. We hear from patients all the time that flossing is a hassle and while we don’t disagree, it’s a hassle that is completely worth the health of your teeth. For best results, we recommend trying out different floss, flossers or even water flossers until you find the one that works best for you. Tape floss tends to be the most comfortable floss to use. If you decide to go with a flosser, make sure you recycle them after use since they are made of plastic. Water flossers are a good alternative to traditional flossing, however, they do not clean out between your teeth as well as string floss.

Whichever method you decide to use, make sure you do it once per day, preferably at night. Flossing helps remove debris and plaque from between your teeth and is one of the top ways to prevent gum disease.

Visit Your Dentist in Alpharetta Regularly

Another common way to prevent needing a root canal is by visiting your dentist in Alpharetta regularly. Typically, we want to see you every 6 months for a comprehensive dental exam. During this appointment, we check for cavities, decay and even physical damage that is occurring in your mouth. When we catch problems early, we can treat them before they progress into something more damaging. In addition to examining your mouth and taking x-rays, we also perform a professional cleaning in your mouth to remove plaque, tartar and surface stains. Visiting the dentist can help prevent your cavities or other dental problems from turning into a tooth infection that requires a root canal to treat.

Avoid Chewing Hard Foods, Candies or Ice

One thing many patients of ours in Alpharetta don’t consider is what they chew with their teeth. We recommend not chewing on any hard foods, candies or ice because it can physically damage your teeth by cracking or chipping a tooth. When you crack or chip a tooth, it’s possible that the tooth will become infected shortly afterward. Don’t chew on hard things and you can prevent needing a root canal.

Be Wary of Weak Teeth

If your teeth are weak due to restorations or just in general, try to avoid crunchy foods like raw vegetables, chips or even apples because they can easily crack your teeth. Although this is annoying, be extra careful when you have weak teeth.

Wear a Night Guard When Sleeping

This preventable action can actually save your teeth from significant damage like cracks in your teeth. When you grind or clench your teeth in your sleep, this can actually cause cracks or wear on your teeth. Without a night guard, after time, this might lead to an infection in your tooth. Wear a night guard at night if you’re prone to bruxism.

Wear a Mouth Guard When Playing Contact Sports

Just like wearing a night guard at night to protect your teeth, we also recommend wearing a mouth guard when playing contact sports to protect your teeth. When you wear a mouth guard, this can prevent injuries to the tooth which usually leads to needing a root canal.

Avoid Sugary and Acidic Drinks

Another way to prevent needing a root canal is by eating mindfully. Stay away from sugary and acidic drinks as these can cause cavities and dental decay. Cavities and decay can lead to tooth infections which will require a root canal if they go untreated.

Get Any Tooth Pain Checked Out Immediately

The last way you can prevent needing a root canal is by visiting our Alpharetta dentist at the first sign of trouble. If you feel any changes in your teeth as far as pain or appearance go, be sure to make an appointment at our Alpharetta dental office to receive treatment for your tooth as soon as possible.

Schedule Your Next Dental Exam With Our Dentist in Alpharetta

If you are due for a dental exam or want to have your teeth checked out so that you can prevent needing a root canal, visit our online form or give us a call today to schedule your dental appointment in Alpharetta.

Root Canals FAQs

Endodontics is the branch of dental health care that specifically deals with root canal therapy. A root canal is a procedure that removes infected tooth pulp and root tissue from a tooth, and replaces it with a filler to ensure that no infection can reenter the area. In the past, many people ran from the painful root canal treatments available, but today, your dentist in Alpharetta has many modern dental techniques to turn this procedure into a fast and pain-free appointment. Here are some more root canal FAQs:

Can I Just Take Medicine Instead of a Root Canal?

There is no antibiotic that can cure a root canal infection, because antibiotics are carried through the body through the blood. The root of a tooth does not receive any blood supply; therefore, the medication would not reach the area. Manually removing the infected area is still our best dental treatment to date.

Does a Root Canal Require Many Visits?

Most patients receive the entire root canal therapy in a single visit, and may have to return for a single follow up visit later. Root canals today take no longer than filling a tooth.

Why Are Root Canals Necessary?

If a tooth root is allowed to remain infected, it could not only spread to other teeth or throughout the rest of your body, but will eventually lead to the tooth becoming rotten and having to be pulled. This can result in a host of other oral health concerns.

Does Insurance Cover Endodontics?

Most insurance covers root canal therapy, either in full or in part. When you make your appointment with the dentist in Alpharetta, we can find out if your insurance will cover the procedure before you begin.

Learn More from Your Dentist in Alpharetta

Do you have other root canal FAQs we did not answer here? Contact us at 678-624-0370, or find us online.

Root Canals

For many people, the most dreaded words heard in a dental chair are “root canal”, and this is unfortunate because root canals are no longer the difficult, overly painful, and prolonged treatments they once were. At Old Milton Dental in Alpharetta, GA, patients can rest assured that root canals and endodontics (dentistry dealing with the interior of teeth known as the pulp) are expertly done by a dentist whose goal is to maintain the health of the tooth and keep the patient comfortable.

What Are Root Canals?

Perhaps it is more helpful to learn what root canals really are in order to remove the fear factor from them. They are treatments meant to preserve the tooth. Without root canals, you would face an unpleasant extraction and the many problems that can cause.

Instead, with endodontics, you enjoy direct treatment of the cause of pain, swelling, and infection in the tooth – preventing it from spreading or killing the tooth itself. The dentist will numb the area fully, using a comfortable local anesthetic. They will then perform the exact same sort of drilling that is done with any dental filling, and then clean the interior of the tooth and remove all infected tissue. Generally, a root canal is completed with a dental crown instead of a filling to ensure stability and that no further decay can possibly occur.

The benefits of root canals cannot be overemphasized. They save the tooth, prevent further problems, and because they are topped with dental crowns, they enable you to enjoy a stronger bite and better protected tooth structure over the long term.

Is It Always Necessary?

Even with all of the explanations about the benefits and the ease with which root canals are now done, many patients still want to know if the dentist can do something else. The most accurate answer is no – once infection has set in and the decay has reached the pulp of the tooth, it is actually imperative that a root canal be done.

If the idea of a longer than usual filling-like procedure is too upsetting, simply speak with your dentist honestly about your fears, and an appropriate method of pain management will be created.

Root canals may require a return visit in order for the new crown to be made and placed, but by the time of the second visit the pain and discomfort caused by the infection and decay will have ended, and the patient will leave with a strong new crown and a much healthier smile.

Contact our office today to schedule your root canal appointment.