Root Canal Treatment

Root Canal Treatment


To alleviate the discomfort and stop further problems, the tooth might be removed or saved by root canal treatment. Root canal treatment has turned into a common dental process; more than 14,000,000 are performed each year, with a 90% success rate if performed by a specialist known as Endodontist, a dentist who makes a specialty of literally working inside of the tooth and the roots, in the opinion of the American organization of Endodontists. Root canal treatment might be performed by a general dentist practitioner however lower success rate should be expected. Within the tooth, the pulp’s soft tissue contains the blood supply, by which the tooth gets its nutrient elements, and the nerve, by which the tooth senses cold and hot. If a tooth becomes ill or injured, bacteria build up within the pulp, spreading infection from the natural crown of the tooth to the root tips in the jawbone.

Holistically speaking however, most root canals are not completely free of bacteria. Small tubules inside the tooth are left with bacteria which can not be cleaned out also known as secondary and tertiary canals. This bacteria which remains will often grow in time to cause a failure or new infection. At this point, the tooth will have to be retreated or extracted. In my experience, greater than 50% of teeth with root canals that I have removed had low grade recurring infection.

When typically occurs when a tooth needs a root canal is often called an Abscess. This is when pus accumulates at the ends of the roots, forming an agonizing pustule which can inflict damage to the bone and supporting teeth. Nevertheless in a some cases, when the pulp may die so slowly there will only be small yet conspicuous discomfort.

In treating a tooth for a root canal, a thin sheet of rubber called a rubber dam is placed in the mouth to isolate the tooth. The dentist removes any tooth decay and makes an opening thru the natural crown of the tooth into the pulp chamber. Making this access also eases the pressure within the tooth and can seriously ease discomfort. The dentist then determines the length of the root canals, typically with a collection of digital x rays, computer aided devices and/or microscopes. Small wire-like files are then used to scrub the whole canal space of healthy pulp tissue and bacteria.

The waste is flushed out with big quantities of sterile water ( irrigation ). The canals are also enlarged and formed to allow for placement of a non-reactive filling material called gutta percha. But the tooth isn’t filled and permanently sealed until it is totally freed from active infection. The doctor in severe cases may place a short lived seal, or leave the tooth open to relieve pressure, and prescribe an antibiotic to combat any expansion of infection from the tooth. That’s why root canal treatment may need one or three visits to the dentist. Once the canals are totally cleaned, they’re sealed with gutta percha and a anti-microbial cement to stop bacteria from entering the root in future. To make the tooth stronger (80% to 90% of its natural strength) a post should be placed in the pulp chamber so as too provide extra structural support and better retention of the crown restoration. The tooth is then completed and protected from fracture with a porcelain type crown.

When infections arise rinsing the mouth with hot salt water can a few times per day can help. Chewing on that side of the mouth must be avoided for the initial few days after root canal treatment. A follow-up appointment should be made with the doctor after three, six and twelve months after being treated to make certain the tooth and surrounding structures are healthy.

Environmental & Biological Dentistry
3 S. Prospect (Suite #9)
Park Ridge, IL 60068 (ten minutes from O' Hare International Airport)
Phone: +1 (847) 823-3441