A root canal is an essential procedure that can eliminate infection and save your teeth. But it involves extensive work on the tooth, and some people are concerned that the result might not be strong enough to give long-lasting results.

Although a tooth that is treated in a root canal are weakened by decay and by treatment, they are also reinforced so they’re usually strong enough to last for a long time, possibly decades.

Decay Weakens the Tooth

Let’s remember, a root canal is only necessary when a tooth has suffered significant decay, meaning a cavity has developed to the point that it penetrates the innermost part of the tooth, infecting the pulp chamber.

This doesn’t mean that the tooth is dangerously weakened: the cavity can be narrow and deep, leaving most of the enamel and dentin intact. Other times, though, the tooth might have much of the enamel and dentin removed, putting the tooth at risk for failure.

Root Canals Can Reduce Tooth Strength

In a root canal procedure, we have to access the pulp chamber, which means we have to remove some enamel and dentin. Whenever we do this, we are obviously weakening the tooth. We also have to remove some of the internal material and widen some of the root canals in order to be able to fully access and clean them.

Chemical agents used to clean out the interior of the tooth can also weaken the tooth. They are acidic, which means they dissolve some of the natural tooth material, weakening it further.

Teeth Are Reinforced as Part of a Root Canal

But we don’t leave your tooth weakened. If a significant amount of tooth material had to be removed, we will reinforce the tooth with a metal post. Then the addition of a dental crown will not only protect the tooth from wear, but also brace it against bite forces.

The result is a tooth that is as strong or stronger than it was before we began treatment.

Is a Root Canal Right for You?

The key to a successful root canal is making the proper decision whether it’s the right procedure for you. We will carefully evaluate your infected tooth to determine whether we can make it strong after treatment. If we can, then we’ll recommend a root canal. If we can’t, we’ll recommend removal of the tooth and replacement with a dental implant.

Both root canals and dental implants can give great-looking results that last a long time. To learn which is right for you, please call 910-392-6060 for an appointment with a Wilmington, NC cosmetic dentist at Kuzma Advanced Dentistry.