Saving teeth through root canal treatment
A root canal treatment is necessary when bacteria have reached the dental pulp and the nerve of a tooth is dead or very inflamed. The objective of a root canal treatment is to permanently salvage the natural tooth.
Some of the causes of an inflammation of the dental tissue can be:
- tooth trauma or a tooth crack
- chemical of thermic damage
Unfortunately, the only alternative to a root canal treatment is the extraction of the diseased and irreversibly inflamed or dead tooth. In order to prevent a displacement (tilting, turning) of the adjacent teeth caused by the gap, an implant or a bridge must be used.
Process of a root canal treatment
Before the beginning of a treatment, an X-ray image is prepared, in order to get an overview of the curvature of the dental roots.
In order to prevent pain, the area around the tooth that will be treated is anesthetized with a local anesthetic before the actual treatment.
In order to work without the risk of bacterial infection, the tooth is isolated with a dental dam made of latex (rubberdam). This prevents saliva and the bacteria to get into the tooth. The most important target of a root treatment is to eradicate all bacteria.
Afterwards, the dentist creates an access to the diseased root canal. For a successful root canal treatment, the canals are precisely measured electrometrically and by means of X-ray.
Then, the inflamed and dead tissue in the root canal is removed with the help of very fine and flexible files. At the same time, the interior of the tooth is cleaned with disinfectant. In the end, a special medicine is applied, and the tooth is temporarily closed.
In a second session, the interior of the tooth is cleaned and disinfected once again. In the end, the canal is dried, then filled with a special root filling material and closed with a dense composite filling.
Frequently, a fiberglass or titan post is glued inside the root canal, in order to increase stability. This can be necessary if caries or trauma have previously caused a lot of tooth substance loss.
The healing process should be checked in about 6 months, by means of an X-ray exam. A partial or full crown should be installed on the tooth only after the inflammation has completely healed.