Wondering when you should consult with a root canal specialist? Read on to learn more. Root canals are dental procedures designed to save teeth with severe damage or infection. A root canal specialist will ensure you get the best care for your dental needs.When faced with the following conditions, consulting a root canal specialist as…
Can an Endodontist Strengthen a Tooth?
An endodontist can perform root canal therapy as a last resort to stop the spread of an infection that could lead to tooth loss. Treating an infection inside a tooth is a multi-step process that prevents future infections and strengthens the tooth.
When is root canal therapy necessary?
Dentists and dental specialists like endodontists perform root canal therapy as a last resort when a standard filling is no longer adequate to treat a diseased tooth that may otherwise require extraction. In addition to removing the infected tissue and blood vessels from a tooth's root, an endodontic surgeon may also need to remove a root's tip or an abscess near the jawbone, depending upon the extent of infection. These procedures restore the tooth's function and prevent bacteria from potentially spreading to other areas of the body.
How can an endodontist strengthen a tooth following root canal therapy?
Although root canal therapy can prevent tooth extraction, it can leave a tooth fragile and vulnerable to chips and cracks. Avoiding these complications is critical for preventing future infections; therefore, an endodontist will take various measures to strengthen a tooth following the procedure.
Every root canal procedure involves filling the empty root chamber and sealing the access hole to keep bacteria out. This step also provides essential support for the weakened tooth following the removal of its connective tissue.
Placement of a post
The first step of root canal therapy involves drilling a hole through the tooth to access the root. The size of the opening may depend on the tooth's location and anatomy. Teeth that lose significant amounts of the natural crown or pulp within the root present a high risk for cracking and splitting, leading to re-infection. This outcome is preventable by placing a supportive metal rod or post in the root chamber to create a foundation that strengthens the tooth and enables it to withstand pressure from chewing.
Crowning the tooth
Although mature teeth can survive without the pulp, root canal therapy involves removing much of the connective tissue that provides support, making teeth susceptible to cracks. Therefore, an endodontist may choose to crown a tooth that performs heavy chewing following root canal therapy. A crown is a protective layer of porcelain or metal and fits the natural tooth like a glove. Finally, the dentist secures it to what remains of the natural tooth using cement, providing the frail tooth with crucial support.
An endodontist may recommend a bridge to support a fragile tooth following root canal treatment. A dental bridge attaches to healthy teeth immediately surrounding the treated one and supports its protective crown. The bridge provides additional reinforcement for the fragile tooth by distributing chewing pressure to the surrounding healthy teeth. Dentists usually apply bridges to posterior teeth.
Root canal therapy can simultaneously strengthen and weaken a tooth. An endodontist can determine the appropriate strengthening method to prevent re-infection and restore a tooth's full function, depending on its location and role in the mouth.
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