What is Root Canal Treatment?
Inside every tooth, there is soft tissue, referred to as dental pulp, which contains nerves, blood and lymph vessels. If the dental pulp becomes damaged through decay, gum disease or trauma, it may become infected and very painful.
Your body’s immunity and defences will try and repair/heal this trauma, however, because your tooth’s pulp has been damaged, your body’s natural defences against bacteria won’t be able to fully reach the area to do its job effectively. If your body cannot repair the damaged pulp, the pulp “dies” and this often leads to an infection. If untreated this infection will cause an abscess to develop at the root tip (apex).
Root canal treatment attempts to remove inflamed dental pulp and infection from inside the roots. We aim to fully clean and “sterilise” the root canal system as best we can; although fully “sterilising” the root canals is almost impossible to achieve.
Will Root Canal Treatment impact my health?
We are often asked at Natural Dentistry, is root canal treatment OK? And safe for everyone?
Well, the simple answer is; everyone’s health is different, and it may affect different people in different ways. Your overall general health and wellbeing will often determine if root canal treatment will have any adverse effects on your health.
At Natural Dentistry we are open to discussing the differing viewpoints on root canal treatment, with you and performing the treatment that is in your best interest.
There are often 2 differing viewpoints about root canal treatment.
If root canal treatment is done well and to a high accepted dental standard; and your body’s immunity can deal with the invading bacteria and toxins, then any adverse effects on the body are minimised. After treatment is completed, we can see on an x-ray that bone has regenerated (filled in) around the root tip and this is a healthy outcome often indicating treatment success. This can also be evaluated with a 3D x-ray called a CBCT (Cone Beam Computed Tomography).
This results in a positive outcome for the patient as we leave their own natural healthy tissue in their mouth.
Although the pulp is “dead” the tooth is not. The tooth is very much alive and functioning because it receives a source of blood and nerve supply from the surrounding tissues that hold it in place in your jawbone. The tooth will have no sense to feelings of hot, cold or sweets but will be responsive to biting pressures etc.
The other viewpoint is root canal treatment can adversely affect your health if we cannot fully sterilise the root canal system. Leaving bacteria and toxins present inside the root may be a source of an ongoing systemic inflammatory process that can compromise your immune system.
If a patient is already immune compromised and if we cannot fully remove the dead pulp, then this may compromise their immunity further. We may then look at other alternatives, such as extracting the infected tooth and filling the empty space with other options.
At Natural Dentistry we are open to discussing both sides of the argument with you and assessing your needs to arrive at the best outcome for you.
“Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you may seek an opinion from another appropriately qualified health care practitioner”.