Non Surgical Root Canal

What is a root canal

To understand endodontic treatment it helps to know something about the anatomy of the tooth. Inside the tooth, under the white enamel and a hard layer called the dentin, is a soft tissue called the pulp. The pulp contains blood vessels, nerves, and connective tissue, and it creates the surrounding hard tissues of the tooth during development. It extends from the crown of the tooth to the tip of the roots where it connects to the surrounding tissue. During the tooth’s growth and development the pulp is very important. However, once a tooth is fully mature it can survive without the pulp, because the tooth continues to be nourished by the tissues surrounding it

Illustration of the steps in a root canal

Endodontic treatment is necessary when the pulp becomes inflamed or infected. The inflammation or infection can have a variety of causes: deep decay, repeated dental procedures on the tooth, a crack or chip in the tooth, and so on. In addition, an injury to a tooth may cause pulp damage even if the tooth has no visible chips or cracks. If pulp inflammation or infection is left untreated it can cause pain, or even lead to an abscess.

If you’re concerned about damage to your pulp, possible signs to look for include: pain; prolonged sensitivity to heat or cold; tenderness to touch and chewing; discoloration of the tooth; and swelling, drainage, or tenderness in the lymph nodes, as well in nearby bone and gingival tissue. Sometimes, however, there are no symptoms.


Cracked Teeth

Cracked teeth demonstrate many types of symptoms, including pain when chewing, temperature sensitivities, or even pain with the release of biting pressure. It is also common for pain to come and go, making it difficult to diagnose the cause of discomfort.

About Cracked Teeth

Chewing can cause movement of the cracked pieces of your tooth, and the pulp within the tooth becomes irritated. At the same time, when biting pressure is released the crack can close quickly, resulting in sharp pain. Eventually the pulp will become damaged and the tooth will consistently hurt, even when you are not chewing. It is possible that cracks can lead to infection of the pulp tissue, which can spread to the bone and gum surrounding the problematic tooth.

Types of Cracks

Craze Lines

These are tiny cracks that only affect the outer enamel of the tooth. They are more common in adults. Almost always they are superficial and usually of no concern.

Fractured Cusp

When a cusp becomes weakened a fracture may result. The cusp may break off or be removed by a dentist. A fractured cusp rarely damages the pulp, so a root canal is typically not necessary. Your dentist can restore the tooth with a full crown.

Cracked Tooth

This type of crack extends from the chewing surface of the tooth and vertically migrates toward the root. In some cases the crack may extend below the gumline, further into the root. Damage to the pulp is commonplace. In this case a root canal treatment is usually necessary. A cracked tooth that is not treated will worsen, resulting in the loss of the tooth. Therefore, early detection is essential.

Split Tooth

A split tooth is usually the result of an untreated cracked tooth. It can be identified by a crack with distinct segments. This type of tooth can never be saved intact, but the position and extent of the problem will dictate whether any portion of the tooth can be saved. Sometimes endodontic treatment and restoration allows a portion of the tooth to be retained.

Vertical Root Fracture

A vertical root fracture begins at the root and extends towards the chewing surface of the tooth. Unfortunately, they show minimal symptoms and may go unnoticed. Treatment involves endodontic surgery if a portion of the tooth can be saved by removal of the fractured root. Otherwise the tooth will have to be extracted.


How much will it cost?

The cost associated with this procedure can vary depending on factors such as the severity of damage to the affected tooth and which tooth is affected. In general, endodontic treatment is much less expensive than tooth removal and replacement with an artificial tooth.