Why do teeth need root canals?
Teeth are formed from the inside out, such that the mature tooth has a hollow space in the center filled with the tooth forming organ called the dental pulp. The pulp can be compromised by decay, cracks in the tooth, or traumatic blows to the tooth. When this happens the tooth can start to feel increasingly uncomfortable with time. To stop this process we enter the pulp space, remove the diseased contents, and fill the space down to the tip of the root.
Magnification is Imperative:
The anatomy of this space can be quite complex and the magnification of the dental microscope allows visualization of the canals that track down the different roots of the tooth.
This is the initial root canal therapy for a diseased tooth done by access through the biting surface of the tooth.
Root canal therapy can fail for a number of reasons but the tooth can often be saved by addressing suspected reasons for failure with a new treatment.
In some cases a tooth can be saved by placing a filling at the root end by surgical access.
In a small number of cases it may be better to extract the tooth, do a root end filling outside the mouth, and then replace the tooth back in the original position. This has a surprisingly high success rate as long as the tooth is not initially cracked and not damaged by the extraction.