The Dentist From a Child' Point of View

Understanding The Difficulty Of Cleaning Tooth Roots

Root canals are completed to save a tooth, and around 15 million of these treatments are completed each and every year. Root canals are typically successful, but they can sometimes fail, even after a dental crown is placed. Root canals fail if the tooth roots are not cleaned out completely. If you want to know why this cleaning problem may occur and what your dentist will then do about it, then keep reading.

Why Are Tooth Roots Hard To Clean?

Tooth infections, damaged dental pulp, and the death of a tooth will all make it necessary to clear away all of the living tissues from inside the tooth. These tissues are called the dental pulp. This pulp receives blood, oxygen, and nutrients through the capillaries that run through the openings in the dental roots. Once a portion of the pulp becomes injured, the tissues will die. Tissue death will spread throughout the pulp until it reaches the tooth roots. Dead tissues degrade and become infected. Your dentist will remove the tissue before all of the tissues die and the infection spreads to the tips of the tooth.

When the dentist cleans the tooth, they will need to get rid of all the blood vessels along with the tissue. If they are left behind, then they will continue to degrade and become a breeding ground for bacteria. However, the dental roots contain openings that are so small your dentist can break off the tips of the tooth simply by cleaning them. Your dentist will drill through tooth roots very carefully. A cleaning tool called a file will then be forced into the root openings. If the dentist does not reach through the root to the very bottom, the miniscule amount of tissue left behind can cause a new or continuous infection issue.

Can Roots Be Cleaned Later On?

If your dentist does happen to miss some of the tissue in the tooth root, then they may need to complete a new treatment at a later date to remove debris that has been missed. In most cases, you will likely feel some pain and pressure as the remnants of the tissue become infected and place pressure on the tooth and the jaw. If you have not had a permanent crown placed on the tooth yet, then the dental professional may choose to drill through the filling material in your tooth. Your tooth will be cleaned again with special attention paid to the dirty root.

If a dental crown has already been set on the tooth, then the dentist will surgically remove the dental root through the gum tissues. Only the very tip of the root is released, where debris still remains inside the tooth.