What Is Canal Treatment? (Endodontics)
Canal treatment is the removal of the small, thread-like tissue, meaning the tooth core (pulpa), in the centre of the tooth. When the damaged, ill or dead pulpa is removed, the remaining gap is cleaned, shaped and refilled. The root canal is closed by this process. Tears ago, ill or damaged teeth were extracted. Today even teeth in conditions to be lost can be recovered by the canal treatment.
The most general reasons of pulpa damage are the following:
- Cracked tooth
- Deep caries
- Damages to the tooth due to severe impacts on the tooth in the past or recently.
When the pulpa is infected or is death, abscess generating purulence can accumulate at the tooth root, inside the mandibular or maxillary bone if this should not be treated. The abscess may destruct the bone surrounding the tooth and cause pain.
How is Canal Treatment Performed?
The canal treatment consists of several steps which require multiple sessions depending on the situation. These steps are the following:
- • Primarily a hole is drilled at the back of the front teeth or the crown of the molar or premolar tooth
- • The pulpa gap and the root canals are cleaned, widened and shaped for the canal filling after the removal of the ill pulpa (pulpectomy).
- • Temporary filling is performed in the hole drilled into the crown in order to protect the tooth when multiple sessions should be required.
- • Then the temporary filling is removed and the pulpa gap and the canal are permanently filled. Gutta percha called rubber material with a conical tip is inserted in each of the canals and adhered to its place with cement (adhesive). Sometimes a metal or plastic stick may be placed into the canal for a structural support
- • At the final step, a crown is placed on the tooth in order to recover the initial look and shape of the tooth. When the tooth should be broken, the application of a post may be necessary prior to the placement of the crown.
How Long Can The Repaired Tooth Be Used?
Treated and repaired tooth/teeth can be used a lifetime with the correct mouth and tooth care. Since new caries can develop in the treated tooth, mouth care and regular dentist controls are necessary in order to prevent other possible future problems.
The treated tooth will get fragile and more sensitive against breaking since the pulpa, keeping the tooth vital, doesn’t exist anymore. This issue is important when deciding on applying a crown or filling to the tooth after the canal treatment.
The most frequent used method in order to check the success of a canal treatment is to compare the x-ray images taken prior to the treatment with the x-ray images taken after the treatment. This comparison will indicate whether the bone loss continues or not or whether the bone recoveries or not.
Why isa canal treatment performed?
It must primarily be known that no artificial tooth can take the place of a natural tooth. Therefore we need to protect our teeth until the final stage with treatments. One of the most common treatment methods when one of our teeth is harmed is the canal treatment. The canal treatment is assistive at the protection of damages teeth. The pulpa (the soft layer inside the tooth including the nerve, blood, lymph vessels) will die when it is damaged such that it will not heal itself. Generally bacteria at broken teeth or deep caries cause this. The bacteria will cause purulence in the core of the tooth. The tooth and the tissue around it will be subjected to infections when the damaged or ill pulpa should not be removed. And you may completely lose your tooth at the end.
What will happen when no canal treatment is performed?
The tooth will lose its vitality, the infection may spread on the whole tooth in cases where the pulpa can’t heal itself due to deep caries and cracks. The infection can reach the tissues at the root end when no canal treatment should be performed. Also the bone surrounding the tooth will be infected and abraded. Abscess will generate in this developed space. This table is accompanied by pain and swelling and the tooth is lost in a short time.
Stages of the canal treatment;
- Primarily the tooth in narcotized in order to perform pain and ache free treatment.
- Then the caries is cleaned and the ill and soft tissue is removed when the tooth core is accessed. Nerve and tissue residuals are cleaned.
- The tooth canal is formed until the root end. The healing may be accelerated by applying some medicine when necessary.
- The top of the tooth is closed with temporary filling materials until the tooth heals between the sessions. Upon determination of the generation of purulence and the end of purulence flow at the root end, the canal is filled with a special filling material until the root end.
- In some cases, it is possible to complete the canal treatment during a single session healthy without the need for these sessions.