alternative root canal treatments
Alternative Root Canal Treatments
Treating the Infected Tooth Nerve Instead of Removing It--Eliminating the Traditional "Root Canal"
Just because a tooth nerve is infected and causing a patient pain, doesn't mean that the nerve needs to be drilled out and a root canal procedure needs to be done.
As long as there is still viable nerve or pulp tissue in the nerve chamber, the infection can be removed with a laser, and the tissue can be encouraged to re-grow, and replace the removed dead and infected tissue using biocompatible, healing compounds. This procedure, known as the Laser Nerve Treatment, keeps the tooth alive and its blood and lymphatic circulation intact, which is important for the tissue surrounding the tooth and for providing continued immunity.
In this procedure, the tooth root is accessed using a high-speed, electronic drill that minimizes shock and trauma to the tooth. The infected, necrotic tissue is removed using a laser, the entire area is disinfected with a laser, then a nutrient-rich, biocompatible material is placed into the nerve/root chamber that will encourage the remaining, healthy nerve/pulp tissue to re-grow and replace the missing tissue. The tooth is then sealed with a biocompatible filling material.
This treatment may restore the tooth to full health, vitality and strength, eliminate the need for a crown, and is a much heathier and immunity-preserving therapy than the standard root canal.
But what if the tooth nerve is completely dead and fully infected, and needs to be removed from the root/nerve chamber?
Even then, there is a better, healthier alternative root canal treatment, called Root Calcification Therapy. The goal of this therapy is not just restoring the tooth or the root; it also involves trying to restore the health of the immune membrane that lines the tooth. We also have to restore health to the bone and get rid of any disease conditions within it, then restore the blood flow, oxygen and nutrients to the bone tissues so that the cells of the bone can survive.
This Root Calcification Therapy is in some ways similar to standard root canal therapy, with some notable exceptions:
First, after all of the dead infected tissue is removed, the nerve/root chamber is cleaned out and treated with ozonated water and other biocompatibles, and disinfected with a laser, providing much greater sterilization that standard chemicals. One reason the laser works better is that the disinfecting laser light is reflected off of all surfaces in the nerve/root chamber, so that no pathogens can hide from it.
After the chamber is completeley cleaned and disinfected, the root tips are sealed with Mineral Trioxide Aggregate (MTA), which is a biocompatible material that simulates the way live tooth tissue would act, thus helping to regenerate the circulation, tissues, immune membrane and bone surrounding the tooth. The remainder of the nerve/root chamber is filled with a calcium oxide-based material that mimics natural tooth calcification, releasing calcium into the dentin tubules, just as what normally happens throughout the life of a healthy tooth (see the "Basic Tooth Structure Page" and the discussion of normal root calcification). In this way, the tooth "simulates" a healthy, intact tooth so that the tissue and immune membrane around it remains viable.
alternative root canal treatment
Finally, an inlay or onlay is perfectly fitted to the missing tooth tissue, then laser-bonded to the tooth so that it is restored to its original strength and appearance.
Everything about these alternative root canal treatments is geared to preserve the mouth's and the body's immune systems, and to reduce or eliminate the side-effects and/or failures associated with the standard materials and techniques which are commonly used.
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