Dr. Brian LaBombard at Airport Dental Care is very good at performing root canals. He’s done so many, he could probably do one in his sleep. (Don’t worry, he won’t actually try that.)
But here’s the thing: He’d rather not have to do a root canal on you.
If you need a root canal, that means something has gone wrong with your oral health, and we want all of our patients to have excellent oral health.
To that end, our team at Airport Dental Care here in Austin, Texas, would like to give you some information on root canals — what they are, why they’re necessary, and what you can do to prevent the need for one in the future.
What is a root canal?
You likely think of your teeth as hard structures, but underneath the rigid outer layer is soft tissue known as pulp that contains nerves, blood vessels, and connective tissues.
If bacteria reach the inside of your tooth through a crack or a chip, this inner tissue can become inflamed and infected. This can cause a lot of pain and might even lead to an abcess.
Warning signs that your tooth may be infected include pain in your tooth, prolonged sensitivity to heat and cold, tenderness, and swelling.
Root canal treatment is the process of removing the infected pulp from your tooth to save the tooth. The treatment is usually finished by adding a crown to restore and protect the tooth.
You’re given anesthesia for the procedure so you won’t feel pain, but you’ll be numb afterward and may feel some discomfort.
How can you avoid a root canal?
So, if your goal is to avoid a root canal, what can you do? We’ve got three suggestions:
Practice good oral hygiene
You want to keep bacteria at bay, so the best things you can do include brushing your teeth at least twice a day (preferably after you eat) and flossing at least once a day. Don’t forget to change your toothbrush every 3-4 months, and consider using a powerful electric toothbrush.
Watch what you eat
Your diet doesn’t only affect your weight, but your oral health as well. Avoid too many sugary or acidic foods that can break down the enamel on your teeth, which can cause cavities where bacteria can work their way in.
You should also stay away from chewing on hard foods and ice cubes that could chip your teeth.
Visit the dentist
This one might seem like a no-brainer, but it’s important nonetheless. Your dentist can catch decay in your teeth before it gets too bad, and their professional tools and training can help remove any buildup and bacteria on your teeth or below your gumline.
If you think you may need a root canal or want to take steps to avoid one, contact Airport Dental Care by calling our office or booking your own appointment with our online scheduler.