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A lot of people ask questions about root canals. Simply put, the procedure is used to try to save damaged or infected teeth. There is a negative stigma associated with root canals as it is widely assumed that the procedure is painful or that there may be detrimental side-effects, driving potential root canal candidates to look for other options.
Are there negative effects of root canals? As the topic of root canals is quite complex and has recently been somewhat contentious, we encourage our clients to explore the procedure as well as any available options including the advantages of receiving dental care practiced from a biological perspective. We believe in Empowered Healthcare which is a collaborative approach to really center on your value system. During an appointment with Living Wellness Dental Dorchester, we can discuss many approaches available to you that can support your oral and overall wellness goals.
A root canal is often recommended when oral bacteria invade the inner tooth or the “pulp”. Unmanaged cavities are usually the culprit. The bacteria pass through areas of weakened enamel, infecting the pulp and potentially the surrounding tissues and bone. A dentist may recommend a root canal when the following is identified:
A root canal involves removing the infected pulp, cleaning and disinfecting the area, and filling and sealing the inner portion of the tooth to prevent further infection. A root canal treatment aims to preserve the natural tooth and prevent the spread of infection.
One of the main concerns people have with root canals is the potential for bacterial reinfection from residual bacteria or toxins that may remain after a root canal, potentially causing systemic health issues. Despite thorough cleaning and sealing, there is a possibility that bacteria may remain or be introduced to the sensitive inner portion of the treated tooth, leading to further complications due to the increased likelihood of it entering into vital body pathways.
Correspondingly, some studies suggest a possible link between root canals and systemic health issues. The result of the referenced 2018 study by Johann Lechner and Volker von Beahr is a recommendation that, “…practitioners performing endodontic procedures should be aware of the relationship between the outcome of endodontic treatment and systemic diseases.” However, it is important to note that scientific evidence supporting these claims is limited, and more research is needed.
As with all things health , there are risks associated with root canals, including several complications that can result. We will discuss a few of the risks associated with root canals and how they can affect your health.
Cracks in the roots of teeth that go undetected during a root canal can represent serious risks to the patient’s health. These cracks can potentially lead to bacterial growth in the area and necessitate further treatment. A dentist will double a check but some cracks can go unnoticed.
In rare cases, the seal from a root canal can deteriorate over time. Deterioration of the seal can lead to a reinfection of the root..
Sometimes, bacteria can remain in a missed canal in the root of a tooth and cause an infection. Further treatment for that infection might require removing fillings, placing crowns, or implants to access and treat the tooth root.
Bacteria that remains inside a tooth or around the root tip after a root canal can lead to significant complications. The remaining bacteria can proliferate and spread. A course of antibiotics after a root canal may be necessary to control an infection caused by residual bacteria.
Underfilling and overfilling are two challenges that occur from time-to-time. If the instrumentation used during the procedure advances past the tooth root tip (overfill), there may be a concern that the filling material may be pushed to nearby locations in the body such as the sinus or nerve canals. . Overfills may not result in any problems if there is an adequate seal that is formed. An overfill does not necessarily mean that disaster is imminent. Underfilled canals can result in leaving spaces behind where bacteria will have a chance to grow and potentially lead to root canal failure. Dentists will work hard to create a proper seal, sobacteria don’t increase and find their way deeper into the soft tooth material, surrounding tissues, the jaw bone and perhaps even the vital body systems. A failed root canal will require additional visits, perhaps even tooth removal.
There are alternative treatment options for individuals concerned about the potential risks associated with root canals.
The likelihood of success of a root canal may be increased by using materials that take into consideration your body’s sensitivities as well as general body biocompatibility concerns. If a root canal seems like the right option for you, consulting with your Living Wellness Dental Dorchester dentist about materials used during the procedure is a smart idea.
While most people want the same as their dentists, , which is to save your natural tooth/teeth, in some cases, extraction may be the right option for preventing infections and severe health problems.
Removing a natural tooth can affect your oral health and cause difficulties with chewing, speech, overall aesthetics, and the drifting or twisting of teeth into the space where the tooth once was. However, there are several options to rebuild a tooth , such as dental implants, dentures and bridges all of which can help restore your oral function while integrating seamlessly into your radiant smile.
Decay, repeated dental procedures, and large fillings are several factors that can cause your tooth to become infected and inflamed—but you can take measures to prevent infections.
Some of the habits that help prevent tooth infections include:
Subjecting yourself to a root canal may or may not be part of your health goals. . Regardless, it’s essential to recognize that there are options available. This is the essence of what we offer; Empowered Health care. We believe in exploring alternatives and providing professional dental advice that takes into consideration your immediate health, your values and goals, as well as your long-term well-being.
Book an appointment with Living Wellness Dental Dorchester to discuss your dental needs and concerns. Together, we can make decisions that align with your individual circumstances, preferences, and position you to obtain elevated wellness.
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