Each tooth in your mouth has an interior root canal system that carries important pulp material, containing nerve and tissue cells through your tooth to keep it alive. Infections and trauma can cause damage to the pulp and canal and put your tooth at risk of serious damage or tooth death. A root canal is a common dental procedure used to treat this type of damage.
Not every patient and dental situation is a good match for a root canal procedure. Here are three important qualities that can make a patient a good fit for a root canal.
Pulp Hasn't Suffered Irreversible Damage
Pulp can become inflamed and damaged due to infection or trauma but pulp also keeps generating. So the removal of unhealthy pulp, which is essentially the point of a root canal procedure, makes way for the entrance of new, healthy pulp. But sometimes the pulp and root canal become so damaged that new pulp can't be produced and sent up the tooth to the top pulp chamber. In these cases, the pulp is considered necrotic and the tooth will have to undergo a dental extraction.
The possibility of pulp necrosis is why it is so important to go to the dentist as soon as you suspect an infection or undergo a trauma to a tooth. Catching the problem early usually means that the problem can be treated through a root canal procedure.
Most of the Natural Dental Crown is Intact
Your root canal and pulp need a strong support structure around them to protect from further or future damage. This means your tooth needs to have most of its natural dentin in place around the interior structures. Cracks, chips, and large cavities are all okay as long as there's enough natural dentin remaining to offer protection to the canal and to offer support for an artificial dental crown.
If you have lost the majority of your dentin or it has become overly weak, you will likely need to undergo a dental extraction.
You Are Willing to Get an Artificial Crown After the Procedure
Your dentist has to drill open your tooth in order to access the pulp and root canal. This means that you will have a hole that needs closing. An artificial dental crown can provide this closure and help strengthen the natural crown to best protect the canal and pulp. You will need to undergo the dental crown procedure soon after the root canal procedure so keep that in mind when considering whether you want to undergo a root canal.
For more information, contact a dentist, such as Gary B. Wiest D.M.D.