If you have deep tooth decay that has reached the pulp, or the living tissue underneath your enamel, then your dentist may recommend root canal therapy. During a standard root canal treatment, your dentist will use a local anesthetic and remove infected pulp tissue. Once the infected tissue is removed, they will shape the root canals and seal them with a polymer to prevent the spread of decay. Although standard root canals are nothing to worry about, some patients may wonder if there are other minimally invasive options. Here are just two types of minimally invasive root canal therapies to consider.
Pulpotomies For Mild Infections
During a standard root canal, your dentist will remove contents in a tooth's inner chamber and clean out the entire root canal system. If you have a milder infection, your dentist may opt for a pulpotomy instead. If you have a mild infection (e.g. no abscess), and your tooth still responds to temperature changes, then a pulpotomy might be a good option. During this procedure, your dentist will only remove a portion of the pulp beneath the crown. While pulpotomies are often done on baby teeth, they can be done on permanent teeth. This root canal procedure may be shorter than a traditional root canal, and you'll still see results such as preventing the spread of infection and eliminating tooth pain.
Ultrasonic Wavelength Technology For Severe Cases
Even if you have a severe case that requires full removal of the pulp tissue, you may still be a candidate for a minimally invasive procedure with ultrasonic wavelength technology. During this procedure, your dentist will access the pulp and root canals and flush the area with a disinfecting fluid. Acoustic energy is then sent through the fluid, which causes it to vibrate and flush out the canals. If you have a very complex root canal system or are prone to recurring infections, then an ultrasonic wavelength procedure may be more advantageous since it can be more thorough at removing infected tissue.
In fact, one study found that one ultrasonic device was able to debride and clean canals more effectively than traditional methods. Once the canals are clear, then your dentist will seal up the area like they would with traditional methods. In some cases, your dentist may place a crown over the tooth to protect the enamel from infection and to restore its appearance.
To learn more about these types of root canal procedures and other endodontic treatments, reach out to a dentist in your area today.