It is not always easy to preserve your teeth for your whole life – especially if they are inflamed. On this page we would like to explain a few of the most important aspects of root treatment by a specialist:
In most cases a tooth decays due to caries-causing bacteria but accidents and dental or orthodontic treatments can also be a cause. Inflammation or infection within the tooth can result from these stimuli. Inside a tooth there is a branching system of canals containing living tissue (pulp) with nerves and blood vessels. Unfortunately the defensive abilities of this tissue are very limited so the body sometimes cannot sufficiently deal with the irritation and heal the infection.
There used to be no way of saving these teeth. Because the canal system in a tooth is often very fragile and has lots of bends, there was no possibility of treatment so the tooth had to be removed.
In order to be able to preserve an inflamed or dead tooth its root must be treated. The bacteria in the tooth must be removed and the tooth sealed so that no new germs can get in.
Because the root system of a tooth has lots of small branches, like a tree (some as small as 0.06mm!), they can only be seen under a microscope. This technology and the associated flexible, minute instruments enable the optimum preparation for removal of the bacteria and the diseased tissue – and therefore also increased treatment success. Then the residue is removed with a rinsing solution. As a final preparation for filling the root canal system, the root canal is prepared with highly flexible micro-files. For the filling, the material gutta-percha, which is related to natural rubber, is heated and put into the now perfectly prepared system in combination with an adhesive cement.
1. DENTAL DAM
First the tooth is isolated from the mouth cavity using a rubber cloth (dental dam). For one thing this prevents the bacteria from the saliva getting into the tooth and for another thing it prevents the rinsing liquids from going down your throat.
The dental surgeon gains access to the canal system in order to look at the extremely fine canal structures. In doing so he must be very careful not to unnecessarily weaken the tooth. Magnification systems (such as magnifying spectacles or a microscope) are often absolutely essential in order to be able to clearly see the smallest details and perform treatment while protecting healthy material.
3. ROOT CANAL PREPARATION
The dental surgeon then cleans the canals with fine instruments and disinfectant rinses. The most important thing is to clean the canals along their entire length. This requires an X-ray to be taken. The length of the canal can also be very accurately determined electrometrically. Sometimes several appointments are needed for medicaments to be inserted to remove bacteria from the tooth.
4. ROOT CANAL FILLING
After the canals have been thoroughly cleaned, the dental surgeon fills the canal system with gutta-percha, a biocompatible natural material. This prevents bacteria from colonizing and infecting the canal system again. The access through the crown of the tooth is sealed with a filling material.