How to Avoid Needing a Root Canal

While a root canal is an effective way to treat an infected tooth, it's always best to avoid needing one in the first place! We believe prevention is the first line of defence. Here, our Fort St. John dentists explain how preventive oral hygiene can help you avoid a root canal procedure.


What root canal therapy?

At the centre of each tooth, there is a soft area called the pulp which contains the connective tissue, nerves and blood vessels. This is the most vital element of a tooth, and the tooth’s enamel and dentin protect it.

Your tooth’s pulp can become damaged due to infection and ultimately lead to the death of the tooth.

During a root canal procedure, our dentists remove the pulp in a damaged tooth, clean out any residual tissues and seal or cap it with a filling or dental crown. This prevents the need for an extraction.

A root canal can alleviate the pain associated with infected or inflamed tooth pulp and allow you to continue to eat, smile and talk properly. Your chances of needing more significant or long-term tooth repair will also be reduced.

Why do I need a root canal procedure?

The pulp of a tooth can become infected for a number of different reasons, leading to the need for a root canal in order to relieve painful symptoms and save the tooth. Here are some main reasons patients come to us needing Root Canal Therapy:

  • Serious decay
  • Faulty crown
  • A tooth with repeated dental procedures
  • Injury to a tooth
  • Chipped or cracked tooth

How can I prevent the need for a root canal?

Though your dentist will make every effort to ensure you don't feel pain after a root canal (or during the procedure), we haven't met anyone who loves getting them. If you take proper care of your teeth at home between dental appointments, you can prevent the need for a root canal procedure.

      • Practice good oral hygiene by brushing and flossing twice daily, or as prescribed by your dentist. No matter how tired or busy you may be, don't forget this step. 
      • Visit your dentist for preventive care every six months, or as prescribed by your dentist.
      • Avoid particularly crunchy or hard foods and candies, especially if you already have weak teeth or dental restorations. These can easily cause teeth to crack and leave your tooth vulnerable to bacteria, which can enter the root system and cause damage from within.
      • Do not chew ice! This can fracture or crack teeth and allow bacteria to access and infect the pulp.
      • Avoid acidic foods and drinks; they cause wear on your enamel and expose the teeth to sugar.
      • Wear night guards or sports guards to protect your teeth from damage.

Seeing your dentist for regular checkups and hygiene cleanings is critical to maintaining your oral health. The dentist can also check for early indications of dental issues before they develop into larger issues. Any dental treatments can then be performed to prevent these problems from becoming worse or spreading to other teeth.

To learn more and schedule your appointment with us, contact our Fort St. John dentists today.

Full-Family, Full-Life Dental Care

At Alaska Avenue Dental, we are here for you and your family... for life. Whether you simply need a regular check-up and hygiene, you believe you need a filling or crown, or you or your children may need orthdontic care, we are your one-stop dental practice in Fort St. John, BC.

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Tips for a Healthy Smile from the Alaska Avenue Dental Team

Testimonials, Alaska Avenue Dental, Fort St. John, BC

  • Sugar plays a big role in the development of cavities. Avoid foods with 'hidden' sugars, like crackers, processed food, and milk. Brushing twice daily, swishing with water or chewing sugarless gum after meals can reduce the harmful of effect sugar on your teeth.
    - Terri, Hygienist

Looking for a healthier smile? Contact the Alaska Avenue Dental team today!

(250) 787-1606