The goal of an endodontist is to perform a successful root canal that not only removes infected pulp and relieves pain, but also preserves the tooth’s structure. The less of the tooth removed, the better. However, this is often easier said than done.
Removing excess tooth structure is often easier, and was common before the dawn of today’s modern technology. In the past, the NiTi file rotary system was the go-to tool for root canals (it’s what was used by endodontists to manually clean out canals). In some cases today, the NiTi is still the right choice. However, laser dentistry can often provide a better, faster and more thorough cleaning.
Most endodontists, or dental surgeons, use laser technology. Lasers aren’t common among general dentists, root canal procedures without lasers are more risky. The majority of failed root canals are performed by general dentists, which is why it’s important to always rely on an endodontist for your root canals. After all, they have the best tools and the strongest skills for these procedures.
A root canal, by nature, is designed to save teeth, but the ideal root canal doesn’t remove any extra tooth at all. Canals should be cleansed without losing any dentin. If you’re not sure how much tooth was removed during your root canals, you can always ask your dentist or endodontist the next time you get an oral X-ray. Removal of dentin is clear in these images.
Preserving the shape of the tooth is critical to preserving teeth for the long haul. A successful root canal doesn’t make you immune to a future extraction or dental implant, but the more tooth structure you have, the stronger that tooth is. It can take more stress from chewing tough foods or grinding your teeth. It’ll simply last longer, perhaps helping you avoid a dental implant down the road.
Choosing an Endodontist
A root canal might be a common procedure, but it shouldn’t be taken lightly. Talk with your endodontist before your next appointment, and make sure you’re both on the same page. A mutual goal of preserving as much tooth structure as possible is a must. Of course, in some instances total preservation isn’t possible. Some patients put off root canals for so long that a generous portion of the structure has decayed or has been otherwise damaged.
Did your dentist recommend a root canal? Contact Rocky Mountain Endodontics today, where tooth preservation is a priority and state-of-the-art technology is on-site for the best results with a root canal.