Root Canal Treatment

Why Is a Root Canal Required?

Significant decay, repeated dental procedures, large fillings, a chip or crack, and facial trauma might all cause the irritation, inflammation and infection to a tooth’s nerve and pulp that necessitate root canal treatment. Read the information below to find out how our Natural Horizons endodontists help patients in the D.C, Baltimore and Fairfax, VA areas.

What Is a Root Canal?

A root canal is a procedure that is used to save an infected or badly decayed tooth. When the nerve or pulp of the tooth is damaged, it breaks down and bacteria start to grow and multiply in the pulp chamber. Without treatment, the bacteria and other decay can cause an abscess or infection, which may result swelling around the mouth, face, neck or head; bone loss at the tooth root tip; or drainage problems into the gums or cheek.

The natural cavity in the tooth center, or root canal, contains the tooth’s pulp (soft area) and its nerve. During the root canal procedure, the endodontist removes the nerve and the pulp before cleaning and sealing and the tooth’s interior.

Cleaning the inside of the tooth requires that an access hole be drilled into the tooth. A series of files is placed down the length of the tooth, scrubbing and scraping the sides of the root canal. As the files are worked into the tooth, the debris is washed away with water or sodium hypochlorite.

Sealing the clean tooth involves filling the interior of the tooth and inserting a compound into the root canal. The access hole is then closed with a dental filling. The last step is tooth restoration, as needed. A tooth that requires a root canal may have a large filling or a lot of decay or other weakness; a crown or other restoration may be needed to protect the tooth from breaking and to restore its chewing function.

Biological or Holistic Root Canals

At Natural Horizons, we are dedicated to your overall health. Our dentists and endodontists understand the connection between problems in the oral cavity and the whole body, and our goal is to prevent health complications that may result from dental procedures. We embrace an integrated, biological approach to dentistry that helps you maintain a condition of well-being.

Materials traditionally used in root canal treatment do not support whole-body health. The rubber compound (called gutta percha) often used to seal the root canal; the root-sterilizing chemicals; and metal-containing restorations can all cause harm to the patient’s oral health and overall immune system. Deleterious effects to the oral cavity may include re-infection and even bone death.

Our endodontists perform holistic root canals by using only biocompatible materials to fill and seal the tooth roots, which maintains circulation to the surrounding bone, keeping it healthy. The roots are sterilized with a disinfecting laser, which eliminates the use of harsh chemical substances; biocompatible sealing cement reduces the formation of bacteria and the release of toxins. Alternatives to metal-containing restorations include biocompatible inlays or onlays and biocompatible porcelain crowns.

Why Natural Horizons Wellness Centers?

In addition to using natural materials that are body-friendly, the biological dentists at Natural Horizons are aware that the cause of the root canal infection and subsequent tooth death may be found in certain conditions of the mouth, such as an acidic pH level, a circulation problem or poor lymphatic drainage. If we find any such issues, we may recommend the use of homeopathic remedies and enzyme therapies to help fix these problems. Our holistic dentists may even be able to circumvent the need for a root canal with nutritional intervention, lasers and certain healing remedies. Visit your dentist often to help save your teeth and maintain your optimal body health. 

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