When Does Root Canal Treatment Become Necessary?

Root canal treatment isn’t always the preferred option for treating tooth decay. In fact, the condition is more often addressed with a more conservative tooth filling, before root canal treatment ever becomes necessary. However, when tooth decay becomes severe, a tooth filling may not be enough to treat the infection inside of your tooth’s pulp chamber and root canal. Removing the decay and restoring the tooth could require root canal treatment, and the success of your procedure can depend on seeking treatment as soon as possible.

Why it isn’t always the right treatment for decay

The reason tooth fillings are more frequently recommended than root canal treatment is because tooth decay is more often addressed before it becomes severe. Tooth decay describes the erosion of your tooth structure as a result of infection by harmful oral bacteria. As a progressive condition, it starts relatively minor, with the weakening of your tooth enamel. By the time the enamel becomes compromised and the tooth structure becomes infected, the discomfort of the decay causes many patients to seek treatment for it as soon as possible. This not only relieves the discomfort faster, but also helps you keep your treatment minimally invasive and preserve more of your healthy, natural tooth structure.

How tooth decay becomes so severe

The process of filling a tooth cavity involves cleaning away the infected tooth structure and oral bacteria from the cavity, then placing a biocompatible material (such as tooth-colored composite resin) to fill the cavity. When tooth decay is severe, however, the infection surpasses the main portion of your tooth structure and into its pulp chamber, infecting the nerves and tissues housed within it. Root canal treatment involves removing these tissues from the pulp and the connected root canal in order to remove the infection, then sealing and filling the root canal, pulp, and tooth with strong, biocompatible material.

How root canal treatment saves your tooth

The point of treating tooth decay, whether with a tooth filling or root canal treatment, is to stop your tooth infection from progressing and save the rest of its healthy, natural structure. The difference is the extent of the infection and treatment. When root canal treatment is necessary, it’s because the threat to your tooth and the rest of your oral health is much more severe because of the decay’s progression. By treating your severely decaying tooth as soon as possible, you can have a better chance of saving it and avoid greater complications to your oral health.

Learn if your tooth needs root canal treatment

If your dentist recommends root canal treatment for your tooth decay, then treating it as soon as possible could be necessary to save the tooth. To learn more, contact our office by calling Syosset Dental in Syosset, NY, today at 516-433-2211 or 516-921-1678.