Most people are familiar with the common reasons for needing endodontics, even if they don’t realize it. After all, a root canal is an endodontics procedure. Root canals have become one of the most common surgeries in America with over 13 million performed every year. Typically there is some level of inflammation around the gums of the teeth that leads us to the conclusion that further investigation and a potential root canal is necessary to keep the tooth in optimal health. A root canal is far preferable to an extraction or the loss of a tooth due to an unchecked infection.
Beyond a common toothache and infection, there are two other potential reasons that could lead us to recommend a root canal. These conditions are not as common as an infection but could also lead to serious damage if unchecked and uncorrected.
Repeated Dental Processes: There is such a thing as too much of a good thing. In an effort to have the best smile possible, it is possible to have too much dental work done over too short of a period. It is important to remember that any dental work puts a degree of stress on the teeth. When this is repeatedly followed up with more work, and the teeth have not been given sufficient time to recover, you can end up with damaged nerves or pulp. Repeated drilling close to the pulp of a tooth is an example of trauma caused to the tooth. This is why it’s important to keep your teeth clean and prevent a second cavity in a tooth. Additionally, the pulp can become inflamed during or after a procedure. In this case, we will then determine if the inflammation can be reversed using an endodontics procedure.
Resorption: Resorption is a relatively uncommon condition that occurs when the tooth structure starts to dissolve. It is thought to occur in response to some kind of trauma. This trauma can be from a maligned bite where your teeth come together in an incorrect way or from an injury such as a fall. There are two forms of resorption. The first is external resorption whereby the tooth starts to dissolve from the outside and goes inward. The second is internal resorption, which starts on the inside or middle of the tooth and progresses toward the outside. In both cases, the resorption can invade the pulp canal, as well as vital nerves and blood vessels, causing extensive damage to the tooth and the root network. Resorption doesn’t always pain, making it harder to detect. We will need to identify the symptoms and identify the disease using x-rays. The earliest symptom of resorption is known as the “pink tooth of Mummy” and manifests as a pink hue around the crown area of the tooth. Often there is no known etiology for resorption. It is important to catch resorption before perforation of the crown appears as this gives us a chance to save the tooth using endodontics therapy.
These are only a few of the reasons that you may need a root canal in your lifetime. Fortunately, we perform the procedure on a regular basis and can do so while keeping you entirely comfortable and at ease. Once the procedure has been completed, your tooth will start to feel better as the infected area will have been removed. In order to protect your tooth, we will typically place a dental crown around it as a way to complete the procedure. If you feel that you may need a root canal, call to schedule a dental exam.
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