If you have diseased nerve and pulp tissue in your teeth, you may want to extract it and get an implant. While dental implants have great success rates, root canal therapy also has good success rates—and nothing beats the original tooth structure. Aae.org says that dental implants usually require more follow-up treatment than root canal therapy, so you may want to consider root canal therapy first.
Take a look at some common root canal concerns and how to improve your chances of a successful treatment.
When Does Root Canal Therapy Fail?
One of the most common reasons for failure is poor oral hygiene. It's important for you to follow your dentist's after-care instructions to the letter.
If you have the time, try and get your permanent filling done the day of the root canal or soon after. While temporary fillings have good success rates, the longer you go without a permanent filling, the more likely your root canal could fail.
Another common reason for failed root canals is when teeth have longer canals than would be expected or even more than one canal. For instance, people's incisors usually only have one, but some people have two. Your back teeth may also end up having three or four canals that need to be filled. If you've had a failure in the past due to this complication, it's important to let your dentist know beforehand. The dentist can look for an extra canal to fill so that it doesn't become infected.
You can prevent a failure by seeking out a dental office that specializes in endodontic therapy. For instance, a dentist that doesn't specialize in endodontic care may not use proper magnification during treatment. This in turn means he or she may be more aggressive and remove more tooth structure since more light will be needed to see the canals.
Keep in mind that if a root canal does fail, you can retreat it and still have good success rates. Sometimes tooth canals are quirky—some canals are wavy or narrow and can be hard to fill on the first go-around. During a repeat root canal, your dentist can easily remove the old material and get a better seal.
Take Good Care of Yourself After the Procedure
Again, one of the most common reasons for root canal failure is poor oral hygiene. So making sure that you take good care of the restored site is imperative.
For instance, you should try and chew on the side of your mouth that doesn't have the root canal. You should also avoid eating sticky foods as these can loosen temporary fillings. When you first come out of the dental office, you may still be numb from the local anesthetic, so you should avoid chewing hard items since you may bite down more forcefully without knowing it.
Your swelling and pain should be decreasing over time, but if they get worse, you need to see your dentist ASAP to make sure there is no risk of an abscess. In the long run, you should avoid acidic or starchy foods that cause cavities.
Keep up with your annual dental check-ups. Since there aren't any nerves in the tooth that's had the root canal, your dentist will need to help you make sure that cavities aren't forming in the tooth. If you keep all of these tips in mind, you will improve your chances of a successful root canal. Contact a dental office, like Minnesota Lakes Dental, for more help.