Dental Treatments For Unusual Root Canal Problems

Posted on: 20 July 2015

The root canal is an essential structure traveling through the center of the tooth. Pulp material inside the canal carries blood cells, tissue, and nerves through the tooth and out into the underlying gums to keep the tooth and soft tissue alive. Damage to the canal and/or pulp can put the life of the tooth at risk.

Typically, a simple root canal procedure is enough to fix the issue. Your dentist will access the canal, clean out the damage, and seal everything shut. But sometimes the root is experiencing a deeper problem that requires a more specialized treatment.

Here are a couple of dental treatments used for unusual root canal problems. Discuss your options during your next visit to the family dentistry office.

Recurrent Infections

Dental infections are one of the most common reasons for a root canal procedure. The infection can cause the pulp material to become irritated and swell, which causes pain and can cause substantial damage if left untreated. A traditional root canal procedure is typically sufficient to fix this problem.

But sometimes an infection can keep returning despite a successful root canal. This is often a sign that the infection is getting in through the far end of the roots called the apex. The apex is located in the gums at the base of the tooth and is hard to reach in a traditional root canal.

If your dentist determines it is a problem with the apex, you will undergo an apicoectomy. This microscopic surgery involves the dentist removing the apex of the root. Access is gained through a cut in the gums and an ultrasonic tool is used to clean out any infection, removing the apex, and closing the remaining end of the root so that an infection can't enter through that route again. 


When your tooth experiences trauma or severe infection, its natural defenses can try and thicken your dentin for added protection. This mimics the calcification that occurs when your adult teeth are developing, but doing this later in life can cause the calcification to shove into the root canal.

If the calcification entirely replaces or severely damages the pulp, your tooth is essentially dead and will need to be removed. But beginning calcification can be treated with an advanced root canal. The only difference from a normal root canal is that the dentist will have to carefully file away the calcification before proceeding.


Trauma or decay-related damage can cause a fracture to form through the root canal. Treatment depends on the directional positioning of the fracture.

A vertical root fracture is only treatable if it hasn't completely bisected the root canal. Minor vertical root fractures can be treated with a root canal and an artificial dental crown. Bisecting fractures can't be fixed and the tooth will need to be removed.

Horizontal root fractures can usually be corrected with a root canal and a filling or crown to correct the surrounding damaged dentin. Your dentist can remove most of the pulp without threatening the health of the tooth as the pulp will return on its own. So a horizontal fracture typically doesn't threaten the life of the tooth.

Contact a local dentist, such as Mooresville Dental Care, if you are experiencing pain or suspect a problem.


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