Root canal therapy is one of those things that often seems to strike fear into people’s hearts, in spite of the fact that it is a relatively benign treatment that can be little worse than having a filling. However the news that root canal treatment may one day be consigned into history is something that will be welcomed by most people, not least the dentist at Leeds City Dentalcare. Studies are on-going at the University of Liverpool in developing a new strategy for treating infected and damaged teeth that would otherwise have required this treatment. It’s thought that creating tiny areas of damage in the root area of infected teeth would trigger bleeding leading to the formation of blood clots. These blood clots serve the purpose of helping to stimulate the blood supply to the tooth nerve, potentially helping it to re grow and avoiding the need for root canal therapy.
Root canal treatment is usually necessary if the pulp area of the tooth becomes infected or damaged in some way. The pulp is located in the centre of the tooth and contains all the nerves and blood vessels. Root canal treatment is an extremely effective way of saving a tooth simply by removing the infected pulp before sealing the root treated tooth. Afterwards the tooth is usually restored through having a filling or by having a crown fitted. Although the treatment is quite straightforward it usually requires several visits to Leeds surgery. First of all the infection has to be diagnosed by Dr David Brown or another of our dentists before treatment can be arranged. This involves drilling into the crown of the tooth to access the root canal before cleaning out the root canal system with specially shaped files. Afterwards the tooth may be temporarily sealed to ensure all the infection is removed before being fully restored.
If this new procedure is found to be effective then it could take just two visits to Leeds City Dentalcare. The first step would be to drill into the tooth before applying a special antibiotic paste to help disinfect the root canal. The next visit would see tiny cuts being made to the root canal system, encouraging the tissue to bleed and subsequently clot. The closing process would encourage the growth of new blood vessels, and would boost the supply of nutrients and oxygen to the pulp, allowing it to repair itself. It’s not exactly known how this repair process would work, but it’s thought to be due to the fact that the blood clot contains certain growth factors that can help to repair damaged tissue. This technique is currently being used on a group of patients at the University of Liverpool and early studies are encouraging. It’s not yet certain how long it would be before this new technique will be available in dental surgeries around the country, including Leads City Dentalcare.
Even if this technique is perfected we still believe that prevention is always better than the cure. You can help prevent infections and dental abscesses by making sure you visit our Leeds surgery at regular intervals for check-ups. Early detection of any cavities that may be forming will allow us to halt them in their tracks, greatly lessening the risk of needing any type of root canal treatment, old or new.