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Everyone should want a healthy mouth and teeth and take the appropriate steps to achieve and maintain good oral health. But sometimes cavities occur, which should be treated promptly to keep the teeth in good condition and prevent a root canal procedure. Don’t take too long to have a cavity taken care of. Learn how long it takes before a cavity turns into a root canal, requiring a more involved and expensive procedure. 

The Importance of Good Dental Health 

Good dental health plays an important part in an overall healthy life. Good teeth are critical for chewing and digesting food. They help us speak clearly and are important factors in personal appearance. Good oral hygiene helps to prevent infections and reduce the risk of diseases including cancer and dementia. Keeping one’s teeth clean and healthy helps avoid bad breath and can help overcome discoloration. Good dental health practices can help avoid cavities and the possibility of a root canal procedure.

When a Cavity Turns into a Root Canal 

Having cavities is a general occurrence among the American population. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has reported that 90 percent of adults aged 20 and older have had at least one cavity. About 57 percent of adolescents aged 12 to 19 have had at least one cavity in their permanent teeth, and about 52 percent of children aged 6 to 8 have had at least one cavity in their baby teeth. And more than 15 million root canal procedures are performed every year.

What is a Root Canal 

A root canal is a dental procedure used to treat a damaged or diseased tooth. A root canal can treat a cracked tooth, genetic issues, or issues from a prior filling. The procedure includes removing inflamed or infected pulp (soft tissue) inside a tooth. Once the pulp is removed, the inside of the tooth is cleaned and disinfected. The tooth is then filled and sealed. Since each patient is given a local anesthetic, a root canal isn’t really any more painful than a regular dental filling or wisdom tooth removal.

How Long Before a Cavity Turns into a Root Canal? 

There is no defined timetable for how long it takes for a cavity to get to the point of requiring a root canal. In some cases, it may be months or years before a cavity gets to the point of needing one. The speed at which a cavity develops varies from person to person. The incidence of cavities depends on oral hygiene and diet.  

The Benefits of Catching Tooth Decay Early 

The benefits include treating decay while it is still small, thus avoiding the need for local anesthetic for treatments that include fillings. Early detection and treatment help to keep the structure of an affected tooth intact. Early treatment avoids toothache, tooth sensitivity, gum swelling, and bad breath. There is less need for major dental work and savings on dental treatment costs beyond semi-annual dental checkups. 

Seek Professional Dental Care 

Contact Old Mt. Pleasant Dentistry, located right off Ben Sawyer Blvd in Mt. Pleasant, SC, for trusted dental care. We use practical treatment plans and the most advanced technology. We offer routine dental care and procedures, including extractions and root canals. To us, the patient is the most important person in the office.