For some people, the fact that tooth decay and cavities can develop for nearly anyone can make the condition seem less serious. After all, cavities are often treated fairly easily with tooth-colored fillings, before they have a chance to become severe. However, tooth decay can become much more serious if given enough time, which is why fillings aren’t the only form of tooth decay treatment available. If your tooth decay reaches a severe stage, you might require a more involved restorative solution, like root canal therapy, to address the serious threat to your oral health.
The state of your tooth’s infection
Tooth decay is an infection in your tooth structure that’s caused by excess oral bacteria buildup (in the form of plaque and tartar). Like most types of infection, it grows increasingly worse the more time it’s allowed to progress, and given the limited structure of your tooth, it doesn’t take long for this progression to threaten the tooth’s existence. From its beginning stages to its more serious forms, tooth decay goes through several different levels of severity. The appropriate treatment for your tooth depends on that severity. For example, once the infection reaches the tooth’s nerves and tissues, a tooth-colored filling won’t be enough to restore the tooth after the infection has been completely removed.
What root canal therapy achieves
When you treat a cavity with a tooth-colored filling, the procedure involves cleaning out the depression in your tooth and removing any infected tooth structure. Then, the tooth-colored filling can restore the part of the tooth structure that’s been damaged by the decay. However, treating more serious internal tooth decay requires removing the nerves, tissues, and blood vessels from within the tooth’s pulp chamber and root canal, not just a portion of its crown structure. Thoroughly cleaning and restoring these inner structures of your tooth requires more care than a tooth filling procedure. However, after restoring your tooth, it will once again be healthy and strong enough to function properly.
The threat of waiting any longer
Because tooth decay is a progressive infection, it won’t stop eroding your tooth structure until you treat the condition, or until it becomes so severe that tooth loss or extraction is imminent. If your dentist suggests root canal therapy to address your tooth decay, then waiting any longer could expose your tooth and oral health to increasingly higher risks. In extreme cases, the best way to stop the infection from impacting the rest of your oral tissues may be to extract the tooth and replace it with a lifelike restoration.
Schedule your root canal therapy with us
If your tooth needs root canal therapy, you should take it seriously and undergo treatment as soon as possible. To learn more, schedule an appointment with Dr. Smith and our team by calling Pecan Tree Dental in Grand Prairie, TX, today at (972) 262-5111.