Most people have heard of root canal therapy, in which the inner chamber of the tooth—where the nerve tissue that keeps the tooth alive is located—is cleared and sealed to stop an existing infection or decay. Root canal treatment can help you keep your natural tooth as opposed to getting it extracted.
There are a few different types of root canal treatments that can be done depending on your individual case. All have a similar goal in mind—to save your tooth and keep decay and bacteria from further affecting it. Here are a few different types of root canal therapy to know about!
Nonsurgical Root Canal Treatment
This form of root canal treatment is your typical root canal which removes the inner nerve tissue of the tooth and seals the inner chamber. You might need nonsurgical root canal therapy if your tooth has experienced extensive decay that can’t be fixed with a filling, or if you have an infection that’s compromised the nerves of your tooth. Either way, a root canal could be a viable form of treatment!
An apicoectomy is a procedure used for when a primary root canal—the nonsurgical root canal treatment we just discussed—is unsuccessful. In this case, the infection or inflammation may still be present in your tooth or in your alveolar bone, which is the bone that constitutes your jaw.
In an apicoectomy, only local anesthesia used, and this form of treatment is considered a microsurgical procedure . The very tip of your tooth’s root is removed, and a filling material is used to seal the canal.
In the following months, the bone in your jaw heals the tooth’s root where the affected material was removed. However, you won’t be in recovery for quite that long—most patients can return to their usual activities the next day!
Pulpotomy and Pulpectomy
Pulpotomies and pulpectomies are typically procedures done on baby teeth—essentially, root canals for children. Both of these procedures help save your child’s natural tooth, but they have one difference.
In a pulpotomy, the affected pulp of the tooth’s chamber is removed, and the healthy pulp is left in your child’s tooth roots. A pulpotomy only works if only part of your child’s tooth’s inner nerve tissue is affected.
In a pulpectomy, all of the pulp is removed and replaced with a filler material . This procedure is generally done for teeth that can’t be saved with just a pulpotomy due to the extensiveness of the infection or decay.
Root canals are a great way to save teeth that would otherwise have been lost due to infection or decay. Your professional dentist or endodontist—a specialist at saving teeth—can let you know more about what to expect during your consultation for root canal therapy!