If your dentist informs you that you need a root canal for a cavity, it means that your cavity has moved into the interior of your tooth, and is threatening the living tissue within. When an infection makes it to this area – the pulp – it has the potential to kill your tooth. Not every cavity requires a root canal, but it is important to note that a root canal can be the last step to save your tooth without having it extracted. A root canal treatment is not solely used for cavities, as it can also restore the health of a tooth that has been injured.
Saving A Vulnerable Infected Tooth
A cavity that has time to progress will find its way into the pulp, where it can infect the living tissue that sustains your tooth. Not only can a cavity at this stage do irreparable harm to the tooth, it can also move through the root and do more damage. In the course of a root canal treatment, your dentist will access your pulp, take out the infected tissue, and re-seal the area. A tooth after a root canal will typically have a dental crown placed over it.
How To Avoid Needing A Root Canal
The best way to avoid a root canal is to avoid cavities. However, you can successfully have a cavity treated without a root canal, if your dentist can address it in time. A cavity that has not bypassed your enamel can typically be treated with a composite filling, which fills the area where the infected surface was removed, and bonds directly to the surrounding enamel.