Elmhurst Root Canal Dentist Explains What Conditions can Cause Root Canal

Written by Dr. Scharfenberg on Apr 17, 2012

At our Elmhurst dental office, we treat all kinds of patients—different health concerns, cosmetic dental problems, and ideal smiles. Universally, however, these patients have one thing in common—they’ll do anything they can to avoid root canal therapy. Root canal treatment is one of the most generally feared dental procedures today. The good news is that thanks to modern dentistry, having a root canal doesn’t need to be painful or traumatic. In fact many of our patients report that their root canals were as comfortable as having a normal filling!


That being said, it’s always best to keep your teeth healthy with preventative treatments if possible. Today I’m going to review some of the common causes of root canal. Hopefully, armed with this information, you can work to avoid these situations when it comes to your own dental health.


Dental decay: This is the most common cause of root canal therapy. When your teeth have cavities, these cavities can progress to the pulp (inner core of the tooth), thus necessitating root canal therapy to save the functionality of the tooth.


Dental trauma/fracture: If your tooth becomes fractured, chipped, or cracked, you may require root canal therapy. Your teeth can become damaged due to an accident, chronic grinding or clenching, or chewing ice or hard foods. A dental crack or fracture can become infected with bacteria over time, eventually leading to root canal treatment.


Old fillings: Metal (amalgam) fillings change shape and size over time. If you have old metal fillings, they can shrink away from the edges of your tooth, allowing bacteria to take root under the fillings.


The best way to prevent severe dental problems is to brush and floss at least twice a day, and maintain semi-annul professional appointments with your dentist. If you notice that your fillings are not fitting correctly, or that you’re regularly grinding your teeth, discuss these concerns with a dental professional. Feel free to give our Elmhurst root canal dentists a call for more information or to schedule an appointment!