How Root Canal Treatments Can Help Treat Oral Cavities

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Oral cavities, commonly known as dental cavities, are a prevalent dental problem affecting people of all ages. They are caused by the buildup of plaque, a sticky film of bacteria that forms on the teeth. Plaque feeds on the sugar and starch from your food, producing acids that erode the enamel, the hard, protective outer layer of the teeth. Over time, the acid attacks create small holes or cavities in the tooth’s structure, leading to tooth decay.

When left untreated, cavities can worsen and lead to complications such as tooth abscess, infection, and even tooth loss. However, the good news is that cavities can be treated. Treatment options depend on the cavity’s severity, but root canal treatments are generally recommended. However, many people don’t know they need it until later, compromising their oral health. For this reason, we will discuss the details in this article.

What Is a Root Canal?

A root canal is a dental treatment that involves removing the infected or damaged pulp from the tooth, cleaning and disinfecting the root canals, and filling them with a rubber-like material called gutta-percha. The procedure is usually performed under local anesthesia to save the tooth from further damage or extraction.

Root canal treatments are a common procedure used to treat severe cavities that have reached the tooth’s pulp, the soft tissue inside the tooth containing nerves, blood vessels, and connective tissue. When bacteria reach the pulp, they cause inflammation, swelling, and pain, and the only way to treat the condition is through a root canal treatment.

Root canal treatments are known to be painful, but they are not. Thanks to modern technology and anesthesia, root canal treatments are now virtually painless and are comparable to getting a filling.

Signs and Symptoms of a Cavity

One must recognize the signs and symptoms of a cavity to seek treatment early enough. Some common signs of a cavity include:

  • Toothache
  • Tooth sensitivity to hot or cold foods and drinks
  • Visible holes or pits on the teeth
  • Pain when biting or chewing
  • Dark spots or stains on the teeth

It’s worth noting that these symptoms often indicate tooth decay, a common dental problem that can lead to more serious issues if left untreated. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, scheduling an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible is important to receive a proper diagnosis and treatment plan. In the meantime, maintaining good oral hygiene habits, such as brushing and flossing regularly, can help prevent further damage to your teeth.

How Do Root Canal Treatments Treat Cavities?

Root canal treatments effectively treat cavities that have reached the tooth’s pulp. The procedure involves the following steps:

Step 1: Numbing the Tooth

Before beginning the procedure, the dentist will numb the tooth and the surrounding area with local anesthesia to ensure that the patient is comfortable and feels no pain during the treatment.

Step 2: Creating an Access Hole

Next, the dentist will create an access hole in the top of the tooth to reach the pulp chamber and root canals. This is typically done using a dental drill.

Step 3: Removing the Pulp

The pulp will be removed from the pulp chamber and the root canals using specialized dental instruments such as files and reamers. The dentist will carefully clean out all the infected or damaged tissue from the tooth.

Step 4: Cleaning and Shaping the Root Canals

After removing the pulp, the dentist will use special instruments to clean and shape the root canals. This is important to ensure that all infected tissue and bacteria have been removed and to create space for the filling material.

Step 5: Filling the Root Canals

Once the root canals have been cleaned and shaped, the dentist will fill them with a rubber-like material called gutta-percha. This material seals the canals and prevents bacteria from entering. The dentist may also place a temporary filling to close the opening in the tooth until a permanent restoration can be placed.

Step 6: Placing a Filling or Crown

After the root canal procedure, the tooth needs to be restored. Depending on the extent of the damage, the dentist may recommend placing a filling or a crown.

A filling may be sufficient if the tooth has only a small decay or damage. The dentist will remove any temporary filling and fill the tooth with a tooth-coloured composite material. This will restore the tooth’s function and appearance. If the tooth has extensive damage or has been weakened by the root canal procedure, a crown may be necessary.

Are There Other Options for Treating Cavities?

There are other options for treating cavities if a root canal is considered unnecessary or insufficient, including:

Fluoride Treatment

Fluoride treatment can prevent the progression of early cavities or help promote the remineralization of weakened tooth enamel. This treatment involves applying a fluoride gel or varnish to the affected tooth.

Dental Bonding

Dental bonding involves the application of a tooth-coloured resin material to the surface of the affected tooth. This material is then shaped and polished to match the natural appearance of the tooth. Bonding can be used to repair small cavities or chips.

Inlays and Onlays

Inlays and onlays are custom-made dental restorations used to repair larger areas of decay or damage. They are made from porcelain or composite material and are bonded to the tooth.


Extraction may be necessary if a root canal isn’t enough to save a severely damaged or infected tooth. This involves removing the entire tooth from its socket in the jawbone. After the extraction, the area may be left to heal, or a dental implant or bridge may be used to replace the missing tooth.


A root canal treatment can go a long way in saving a damaged or infected tooth and preventing the need for extraction. It is a relatively simple and common procedure that can be completed in one or two visits to the dentist, but you must consult with a dentist to determine the best course of action for your needs. This way, you can maintain good oral health and avoid potential complications that may arise if the problem is left untreated.

If you need root canals in Pickering, Ivory Dental can help you! Your oral health should never be taken for granted, so we provide dental solutions to maintain it. Call us today at (905) 839 – 9663 to schedule an appointment!

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