What Is A Root And What Is A Root Canal?
Every tooth has a portion that you can see called the crown and every tooth has a portion that holds the tooth in the bone called a root. In order to generate bite forces to chew, the roots have to be healthy not only from the outside but also from the inside. Depending on how much bite force is needed, determines how many roots a tooth may have or the diameter could be larger as well. In other words, the canine tooth has a long and wide root, while most molars have generally three roots in the upper jaw and two roots in the lower jaw.
What Happens During The Root Canal?
The inside of a root contains a canal which can branch into multiple canals. Below, we break down each of the important steps involved in the root canal.
- In each canal, there are blood vessels and nerves. When an infection reaches the root either through a cavity or through a gum (periodontal) infection, it will irritate the nerve causing pain.
- Depending on how severe the infection is, either the cavity can be filled or you will be referred to an Endodontist (Root Specialist) who will perform a “Root Canal” treatment.
- A root canal treatment generally entails removal of the blood vessel and nerve through the Crown of a tooth by creating a small hole in the crown.
- Once the blood vessel and nerve are removed then a special filling material called Gutta Percha is placed thus completing a root canal.
- Afterwards, the endodontist may send you back to your general dentist for a new crown or new permanent filling.
What Is Apicoectomy Treatment And Why Do I Need It?
Once a root canal has been completed, sometimes an infection may persist or reoccur. The reason for this is that at the tip of the root which is called the Apex, the main canal breaks apart into multiple smaller canals that can only be seen with a microscope. These canals are similar to the roots of a tree. Since the Endodontist cannot get into these canals, if there is bacteria in them, then the root and surrounding bone can get re-infected causing pain, swelling and even pus.
How Is Apicoectomy Surgery Performed?
In order to get rid of this infection, the Apex (tip) of the root has to be cut out, removed and the surrounding bone cleaned. Once this is done, a special plug will be placed into the main root canal to seal it called a “Retro-fill”. This process is called an Apicoectomy and usually takes about 30–60 minutes.