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How can root canals be prevented?

Root canals are used to treat infected or decaying tissue inside a tooth. The only way the pulp of the tooth can become infected is if the exterior enamel of the tooth is somehow chipped, cracked, or otherwise compromised. Cavities are perhaps the most common way for this to happen. The best way to prevent root canals therefore is to practice diligent oral hygiene and protect your teeth from damage as much as possible.
Dante A. Gonzales, DMD
Orthodontics & Dentofacial Orthopedics
Root canals are usually only needed when there is decay or a crack into the pulp chamber of the tooth. Good oral hygiene, seeing your dentist regularly, and protecting the teeth from trauma will help prevent the need for a root canal. Brushing and flossing everyday should help prevent cavities, however, cavities can still occur and it is important to see your dentist regularly in order for the cavity to be caught at an early stage. If a cavity is allowed to progress it will eventually invade the pulp and a root canal will be needed.

It is also important to guard against any trauma that could crack the tooth. If you clench or grind your teeth, a dentist can make a special "nightguard" to help prevent trauma to the teeth while clenching or grinding. In addition, if you play contact sports, a mouthguard will help prevent trauma to the teeth.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.