A root canal-treated (RCT) or root-filled tooth is one in which the dental nerve, commonly called the pulp, is intentionally removed and is filled with an inert material called gutta percha.
Does tooth pain indicate i need a root canal?
A dentist first will tap on several teeth and look for signs of an abscess or a radiograph. A tooth with constant or severe pain does not necessarily indicate the need for a root canal.
These include sinus infections, myofascial pain, neurovascular disorders, neuralgias (a common cause), neuritis (a viral infection of the tooth), neuropathy, and neuromas. Even heart attacks can refer pain to the teeth of the lower jaw.
What is the Success rate of root canals and what constitutes failure?
With recent improvements in technology, root canal success rates are estimated between 86% and 98% that means that as many as one tooth in seven may be classified as a root canal failure.
The reasons for root canal failure are not entirely clear. Failure may occur predictably on teeth which have a poor clinical result. This might be caused by doctor error, the inability to clean out all the canals, or the failure to place a post or crown after the root canal.
Research has found four major causes of root canal failure:
• Tooth or root fracture
• Infections including bacteria (primarily enterococcus fecalis, etc), viruses, and fungus (candida, etc).
• The body’s reaction to root canal materials, microorganisms, and cements which inadvertently are pushed past the tooth into the bone.
Can a failed root canal have a systemic effect on the body?
When we consider that a tooth is an open biological system which communicates with the body, whether alive or dead following a root canal, the question of systemic effects on the body becomes an important issue.
Root canal failure, an issue of systemic proportion, remains a little understood and hotly debated subject.
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