Root canal therapy is a procedure that gets rid of a deep infection in your tooth. It is the alternative to extracting your tooth entirely, as the dentist opens up the tooth to remove the pulp and other infected tissue. If you feel that you might be at risk for a root canal, but your dentist has not yet suggested it, the following tips can help you prevent this dental procedure.

Practice Good Oral Health

Root canal procedures are due to an infection that was caused by bacteria and decay. The best preventative measure is to take good care of your teeth. Brush and floss your teeth twice a day, and use mouthwash to get rid of extra bacteria in your mouth. If you have any type of tooth pain or notice decay, visit your dentist right away. Make regular appointments for check-ups and professional cleanings to remove any decay on your teeth.

Watch For Signs of Infection

If you can catch a dental infection when it is on the surface of your tooth and not yet in the pulp, you might be able to avoid a root canal. The most common sign of an infection is pain of the tooth when chewing or when hot and cold temperatures hit the tooth. You might also have an infection if there is swelling or tenderness of the gums, or if you have a foul taste in your mouth. Consult your dentist if you notice any signs of tooth infection.

Get Minor Dental Procedures

Another way to prevent a root canal is by treating dental issues as they arise. Even if you don't have an infection, you might have a cavity that needs to be treated. Do not put it off and let that tooth decay advance to a serious infection. You may need nothing more than a filling, but if you put it off long enough, that decay leads to an infection, which then requires you to have a root canal.

Opt For an Extraction

The only alternative to root canal therapy if you are really against it is to get the tooth removed. This will remove the tooth root, pulp, infected tissue and the surface of the tooth as well. The downside to this is that you will need to choose a tooth replacement, such as a dental implant or a bridge. It is typically easier to just get the root canal procedure and have a crown put over it by a professional such as someone from Eden Prairie Dental Care.