Root canal treatment
When Is a Root Canal Necessary?
A root canal becomes necessary whenever the pulp inside of a tooth becomes inflamed or infected, and this can occur for many reasons. For instance, a cavity is a breeding ground for bacteria, and if it is left untreated, the bacteria may infect the pulp. Cracked or broken teeth and common dental conditions like gingivitis can also lead to inflammation or infection and the need for a root canal.
Endodontics (also known as root canal treatment) deals with diseases of the inner structure of the tooth (soft tissue, nervous tissue (pulp) and adjacent dentine). Underneath the white part of your tooth, which is made from dentin covered by a thin layer of enamel, is the soft tissue of the tooth which is called the pulp. Located inside the pulp are blood vessels and nerves which are necessary for keeping the root of the tooth healthy as it develops. However, once a tooth has developed completely, it can survive without the pulp. A root canal, then, is the process of removing the pulp from the inside of the tooth.
A root canal treatment can heal even highly diseased and hurting teeth. With the aid of modern treatment technology, 80-90% of diseased teeth can be preserved by root canal treatments.
Affected teeth show often an inflammation of the pulp, caused by either extensive dental decay, leaking dental fillings or damage caused by trauma or dysfunctional biting habits. During a root canal treatment the infected tissue of the tooth root is removed and the root canal is cleaned and disinfected. An important aid in endodontics is the surgical microscope, with which even smaller canals can be found and difficult conditions in the canal can be treated.
Removal of the root tip (Apical root ectomy)
If dental tissue is diseased causing an inflammation of the bone at the root tip, this part of the tooth might need to be removed. Therefore. a minor surgical procedure is indicated following the completion of a previous root canal treatment. This treatment option aims to eliminate the inflammation without losing the tooth by extracting the inflamed tissue and sealing the root canal to keep away bacteria.