Root surgeries can be necessary for anyone, although you can certainly work to help prevent them. The most common root surgery is a root canal, which requires creating a small hole in the tooth, then cleaning out the canals to remove all bacteria. Some teeth have multiple canals, while some just have a couple. The best tool for this job is a YAG Laser, which often is found only in an endodontist’s office — not a general dentist’s.
Why do some people undergo multiple root canals in their lifetime, while others don’t need any? It’s a combination of many factors. Bacteria can certainly exist in canals and not cause any problems. It’s when bacteria, along with decayed debris, cause an infection, or abscess (pus-filled area), that a root canal is necessary. Without treatment, abscesses can lead to bone loss, drainage issues and can even spread to the head, neck and face.
Pulp irritation and infection has only one cause: decay. If a tooth has cracks, chips, trauma or has undergone dental work, it’s simply easier for bacteria to get into the canals. If you don’t regularly practice proper at-home dental hygiene, you have a higher chance for bacterial growth. When you don’t keep up with your dental appointments, you aren’t caring for your teeth and aren’t allowing dentists and hygienists to catch problems early.
Proper oral hygiene, including regular dentist visits, is your best defense against future root canals. However, your diet and overall health also play a role. A mouth-healthy diet that limits overly acidic foods, such as berries and coffee, is key. Your body is an integrated machine, and poor health in one area can lead to poor health in another, including your mouth. The whole body works together, and it’s simple: The poorer your health, the greater your odds of infections, whether in your teeth or other parts of the body.
Just Your Luck
Finally, two other factors are important: Genetics and having your root canal performed by a general dentist. Some people are simply more prone to needing root surgeries than others, and you don’t have control over this. If that’s you, you probably already know it. It’s likely that if you’ve had at least one root canal, sticking to a better oral hygiene routine won’t make you immune to future ones.
The vast majority of failed root canals are performed by general dentists, not endodontists, so choosing the wrong type of dentist can make the procedure riskier. Rely on an endodontist for any and all dental surgeries, including root canals, for best results. Call Rocky Mountain Endodontics to connect with your local Salt Lake City endodontist team that puts patient comfort first.