Other Treatments involving Root Canal

Cracked Tooth

A cracked tooth is different from a fractured tooth: A cracked tooth means is an incomplete fracture of the tooth.A crack involves deeper structure of the tooth and may propagate to the pulp space. Usually it is a vertical crack of the tooth structure that cannot be seen on the radiographs.

If the pulp tissue is involved, toothache is resulted (crack tooth syndrome). Root canal treatment usually relieves the pain but whether the tooth can be salvaged depends on how deep the crack is. When a tooth is cracked, it means an incomplete fracture of the tooth. A cracked tooth is different from a fractured tooth since a fractured tooth involves separation of the fractured fragment. A crack usually involves a segment of the tooth and the crack propagates towards the pulp space and the gums. The extension of the crack is usually vertical in nature and is not something that is routinely detected on radiographs.

Once the pulp tissue is involved, toothache is resulted and we termed it as cracked tooth syndrome. Root canal treatment may be recommended to relieve the pain. However, in certain cases, the crack may be very severe and it may not be worth the time, effort and cost to save the tooth. The patient may be given the option of extraction and consider other replacement options.

Root Canal Treatment of an Immature Tooth

The primary function of the pulp is for the formation and maturation of the tooth. Maturation means fully developed tooth roots. A mature tooth root will have thick root walls and properly-formed root tip.

Root canal treatment for an immature tooth differs because the canal is large and the end of the canal is not shaped for a normal root canal filling. Another crucial difference is that immature tooth has thin root walls and is more susceptible to fracture. Currently there are several techniques to manage the root canal treatment of such teeth. These techniques involve different cleaning methods and filling materials to prevent further weakening of the canal walls and to allow for filling of the canal space in spite of the improperly formed root tip.

Different kinds of trauma to the teeth

How is trauma to the teeth related to root canal treatment?
Trauma to the teeth can be explained in 2 broad categories. These are fractures of the tooth structure and loosening of the tooth within its socket. These can happen concomitantly. Both of such trauma can affect the pulp tissue and it may degenerate like the way it does in a decayed tooth.

For fractures of the tooth structure, they can further classified by the type of tooth structure involved. The clinician will need to check the extension of fracture and determine the need for root canal treatment before placing a full restoration.

For teeth that have been loosened oravulsed from the socket, both the pulp and the surrounding tissue around the roots are affected. The outcome and treatment for the different types of teeth loosening varies and the clinician should explain what the treatments are and the different outcomes of the teeth.

Courtesy from Society of Endodontists, Singapore website for the radiographs