Root Canal Treatment – rescue at the last minute

Why root canal treatment?

Wenn sich Karies zu lange ungestört im Zahn ausbreitet, findet es über kurz oder lang einen Weg in das Innere – dort, wo die empfindliche Wurzel im Wurzelkanal ihre Arbeit verrichtet. Die dort eindringenden Bakterien führen zu einer Entzündung der kleinen Blutgefässe, der sogenannten Pulpa. Diese schwellen dann an und reizen den Zahnnerv, was in der Regel zu erheblichen Schmerzen führt. Die entstandene Entzündung kann sich von hier aus innerhalb kürzester Zeit (Stunden bis Tage) weiter nach unten ausbreiten, bis in den Kiefer hinein. Die berüchtigte «dicke Backe» und weitere Schmerzen sind die Folge. Um zu verhindern, dass es soweit kommt oder dass sich die Entzündung sogar noch weiter ausbreitet und auf angrenzende Zähne übergreift, sollte man schnellstmöglich den Zahnarzt aufsuchen und das Problem beheben lassen.

Not only tooth decay and bacteria may lead to a root canal, also broken teeth for example, can call for a root canal, as well as advanced periodontal disease, infections of the root from dental pockets and other illnesses.

What happens during a root canal treatment?

Simply put, the diseased tissue is removed. The channel system of the tooth is disinfected. Then the ensuing cavity is sealed with a bacteria-tight root canal filling.

In modern dentistry root canal treatment is one of the least invasive therapies available. The whole treatment can be done painlessly with a cleverly placed local anesthetic, so you can just sit back and relax.
For treatment the affected tooth is isolated from surrounding teeth and gums with a rubber dam. This creates a clean space for the dentist to work in and keeps out bacteria. From there the dentist cuts a small access passage to the root canal system.
Then the dentist can begin to clean and disinfect the root canals. Dead tissue material is removed along with caries and waste from bacterial degradation. The cleaning of the root canal can only be performed with very fine instruments and the dentist must be very careful not to penetrate too deeply into the root, otherwise the tip of the root could be injured. In our office we use a laser with great success as well as classical instruments.

As the tooth substance is weakened by caries and/or root canal treatment and furthermore, non-living teeth become brittle and have a higher risk of fracture, it is often necessay to stabilize the treated teeth. This is done with fiber or titanium pins and placing a crown.

Are there alternatives to a root canal treatment?

To this day a root canal treatment is the only way to save a irreversibly inflamed tooth. Teeth with dead roots contain toxins and waste products that put stress on the body, even if the affected person feels no pain! In rare cases, a root inflammation causes no pain at all and the infected teeth are discovered incidentally, during another treatment, for example. The only alternative to root canal treatment is tooth extraction. If the tooth is pulled the gap has to be closed with a bridge, an implant or a prosthesis, because teeth are functional units: they need neighboring teeth and counter-teeth so they won’t move or tilt into the gaps.

The only exception is when teeth have died after an accident and are completely without symptoms. ie. no pain and no x-rays to show inflammation of the surrounding bone. This is only seldom the case, and occurs when for example when teeth have suffered trauma in adolescence and the damage is discovered years later by chance. These teeth can be left untreated, but you should have them checked regularly. Since they have died off in an accident, they appear unharmed from the outside, but are they are sterile inside. This implies the nerve and vascular bundle was successfully and completely disintegrated by the body’s own defenses.

Pain after a root canal treatment?

Benefits of a root canal treatment

Some patients are concerned that the tooth will hurt after treatment. Root canal treatment can cause a slight irritation of the root tip at first. The patient might feel a light, nagging pain, a kind of pressure or throbbing when the anesthesia stops working. These after-effects however, are normal and subside after a few days.

  • Preservation of the natural tooth
  • After successful implementation, no further treatment is necessary – no implants or bridges
  • A root-treated tooth is better than artificial dentures and improves your quality of life

Your benefits with Dentanova

Although treatment guidelines are the same, root fillings are qualitatively different from dentist to dentist and even from tooth to tooth, depending on the anatomy of the affected canal.
A combination of manual/mechanical techniques and laser-assisted therapy in our office gives us a very high success rate for root canal treatments.

The machines we use to prepare root canals are extremely safe. They work with an exact speed and number of rotations for each procedure. This also prevents instrument breakage. The laser has the benefit of achieving a thorough bacterial decontamination and disinfection of the canal system.

In conclusion: preventing tooth decay is your first goal to avoid subsequent root canal treatment. So make sure to brush your teeth regularly, use dental floss and make use of the 6-monthly check-ups as well as professional dental cleaning by our team.