Why Root Canal Therapy?
Published12/21/2014 by Dra. Ana Rodriguez
Why Root Canal Therapy?
PULP AND JAW INFECTION
Bacteria are the most common causes of inflammation and infection or the pulp. They enter the pulp through tooth decay or if tooth breaks.
Invading bacteria first overwhelm the pulp defenses in the pulp chamber. Then they destroy the pulp in the root canals.
Toxins (poisons) from the bacteria that have destroyed the pulp can leak out of the root ends into the jawbone. The jawbone, like all bones, is a living tissue. It has arteries, veins, and nerves like any other tissue. Therefore, it can become inflamed and infected by the presence of bacteria and their toxins.
INFECTION OF THE FACE AND NECK
- Finally, long-standing dental infection in bone can erode though the side of the bone into the mouth, or into the face or neck. and cause sudden, serious, and painful swelling.
WHY ROOT CANAL THERAPY?
The goals of root canal therapy are to:
- 1.- Remove bacteria and infected pulp from the pulp chamber and root canals.
- 2.- Completely fill the canal(s) and pulp chamber with a solid filling material to prevent future trouble.
- When root canal therapy is done, inflammation in the bone around root ends can heal, and the tooth is saved.
HOW ROOT CANAL THERAPY IS DONE
- The method of root canal therapy shown is a very common one. Other techniques differ in some details and materials, but accomplish the same goals.
Root canal therapy proceeds in two stages:
PREPARING THE ROOT CANAL
Step 1: Opening the tooth
The dentist gently makes an opening into the tooth. Local anesthesia may be necessary to prevent pain that can occur if any nerve fibers are still alive in the pulp.
All tooth decay is removed.
Step2: Shaping the canals
- The dentist uses a series of very delicate, flexible finger-held instruments. The one used in the illustration is a file.
Each file the dentist uses is slightly larger than the preceding one. The canals are delicately cleaned with these instruments to remove dead pulp debris and bacteria.
The dentist then shapes each canal to receive a filling.
X-rays help assure that the instruments go exactly to the end of the root and not beyond.
After preparation, all canals must be solidly filled. Otherwise, tissue fluid from the bone could eventually seep into any unfilled areas of the canals, decaying there into toxic products. These toxic products will then seep out of the root end into the bone to cause more inflammation.
B.- FILLING THE CANALS
The most commonly used filling material is a firm, waxy, rubbery compound called gutta-percha. It is manufactured into long, thin, tapering cones called gutta-percha points.
The first gutta-percha point is inserted into the prepared canal. It matches the size of the last largest file used.
The dentist coats this point with a special liquid cement. The coated point is then inserted firmly to the end of the root. Wedged tightly, it completely seals off the canal off the end of the canals so that no fluids can leak past it.
The dentist now packs the remaining portion of each canal with gutta-percha pieces up to level of the pulp chamber.
Lastly, the dentist fills the tooth with a temporary protective cement.
RESTORING THE TOOTH AFTER ROOT CANAL THERAPY
Now that root canal therapy is finished, the dentist can repair the broken-down tooth crown that was damaged by decay.
Tooth decay that was bad enough to let bacteria into the pulp usually has destroyed much of the crown. Cleaning and shaping the canals further weakens the tooth. Such a tooth may break during chewing unless repair includes an internal post support followed by a fully covering crown.
There are many internal post placement methods, all requiring great care, and precision. One approach for a badly broken-down lower molar is illustrated.
The temporary filling is taken out, and two thirds out of the gutta-percha is removed from the left root. A stainless steel post is inserted.
A plastic mix flows into the tooth and around the post, and is built up well above the gum. It hardens and then is shaped to receive a crown.
A crown is precision fitted.
Questions & Answers
- IS ROOT CANAL THERAPY PAINFUL?
- Local anesthesia can make most teeth painless to treat.
- Between treatments, aspirin-strength medications usually work well. Occasionally, a dentist must write a prescription for a stronger pain reliever.
- ISN’T ROOT CANAL THERAPY QUITE EXPENSIVE?
- It’s not, considering the time, patience, and skill needed to perform it. And the cost of root canal therapy is substantially less than the cost of a bridge needed to replace a tooth lost because root canal therapy was not done.
- WHAT IS AN ENDODONTIST?
- An Endodontist is a root canal therapy specialist. After four years of dental school, he or she takes two years of intensive specialty training. An Endodontist does both routine and complicated root canal cases.
- DESPITE A DENTIST’S O ENDODONTIST BEST EFFORT, DO SOME ROOT CANAL THERAPIES FAIL?
- Seldom. The odds for success in uncomplicated cases are excellent; in fact, they are well over 90%.________________________________
More Questions? Email: Dra. Ana Rodriguez
Nogales Root Canal Office is Located in
Nogales Mexico or Nogales, Sonora, Mexico