There are several different stages to tooth decay, ranging from mild to severe. Therefore, there are also different stages to tooth decay treatment, with different restorative options available to address each patient’s unique state of tooth decay. For the more severe stages of tooth infection, the most appropriate solution is often root canal treatment, which is more involved than treating a moderate cavity with a tooth-colored filling. In addition to treating the unique state of your tooth decay, root canal treatment can also help you avoid the consequences of allowing the infection to become even more severe.
The further progression of severe decay
When tooth decay is serious enough to require root canal treatment, it means that the infection has reached the pulp chamber in the middle of the tooth’s main structure. This chamber houses the nerves and other tissues of the tooth, and from here, the tissues run through the tooth’s root canal and into the jawbone. The decay is severe because, in addition to the intense discomfort it can cause, it threatens the health and integrity of the tooth’s vital tissues. Performing root canal treatment means to remove these infected tissues from the pulp and root canal, then sealing them so the infection cannot return.
The loss of significant amounts of tooth structure
As tooth decay progresses through its different stages, it erodes increasingly more of your tooth’s main structure. The earliest sign of this is the formation of the cavity that develops in the milder stages of decay. The cavity, or hole in the tooth structure, continues to grow larger the longer the tooth is allowed to decay. By the time it reaches the pulp and root canal of the tooth, it may have eroded a significant portion of its main structure already. By treating the severe decay with root canal treatment, you can avoid the erosion of even more of your tooth’s structure, which reduces your risks of losing the tooth or having to extract it.
The loss (or extraction) of the tooth itself
Root canal treatment is designed to address the more severe stages of tooth decay, but if internal tooth infection isn’t addressed promptly, even the more involved restorative treatment might not be able to save the tooth. If enough tooth structure has eroded, there may no longer be enough of it to support a restoration, and your dentist may have to extract it. If root canal treatment is recommended, it means you still have a chance of avoiding this and restoring the tooth’s health and integrity.
Avoid more serious decay with root canal treatment
When tooth decay is in a severe state, root canal treatment could be the best way to treat it and help you avoid more serious oral health concerns. To learn more, or to schedule your appointment, call Healthy Smiles in Gary, IN, today at 219-938-2637.