The best part of a root canal treatment is the fact it can save the natural tooth. The advantages are countless, from preserving a healthy bite to retaining a strong jawbone, it is a priority to try and save the tooth. However, some patients believe that a root canal treatment means that the treated tooth is completely protected from any further decay.
A tooth that has had a root canal treatment is at risk of tooth decay and gum disease, just like a tooth that has not had a root canal treatment. The only difference between the two is that a root canal treated tooth has no nerve and blood supply, and it is in no way sensitive to hot or cold foods.
Once a crown is placed over the treated tooth, the original structure of the tooth is no longer visible. Because of this, many patients believe that there is no chance of developing tooth decay. However, decay can form around the edges of a crown, and if left untreated, it could ultimately lead to tooth loss. The ceramic crown that is placed over the treated tooth protects the tooth against damage, not against decay. Cavities are caused by bacteria that naturally live in our oral cavity, however just having the bacteria present in your mouth does not mean you will develop decay. In order for decay to develop, factors such as sugar must be present. When you ingest a meal containing sugar, the bacteria consume those sugars. Upon consumption of those sugars, they release acid. That acid goes on to attack the mineralized part of teeth – the enamel – and weakens it.
Over time, the hard enamel shell of the tooth dissolves, leading to cavitation. This decay process can occur on any surface of the tooth regardless of whether the tooth is vital (a tooth with nerves and blood supply) or non-vital (a tooth that no longer has access to nutrients and blood flow).
Proper brushing and flossing, along with regular dental check-ups can eliminate oral bacteria caused by sugar and acid, and prevent decay in addition to any gum problems. If you have a root canal treated tooth/teeth and would like to book a 15 min root canal assessment you can book your appointment here and get -10% discount on your consultation and root canal treatment.