Posted on: 2 November 2016
When your child's adult teeth erupt, vital pulp material containing cells, tissue, and nerves travel back and forth between the roots of the tooth and the surrounding tissue and bone. This transport system keeps the tooth alive and thriving and ensures that the tooth continues to develop properly. One vital part of this transport system are the tooth apexes, which are the openings at the tips of the tooth roots that allow the material to pass back and forth.
A growing tooth can become infected without proper care. The inflamed infected pulp material within the tooth can then pass back and forth through the transport system and spread the infection while weakening the tooth's growth. How can your child dentistry office stop this from happening? One key step is a procedure called apexogenesis.
Apexogenesis involves the dentist cleaning out the tooth of the current infection, taking steps to prevent a reinfection, and then strengthening the apexes and canal structure to ensure healthy continued tooth growth. The strengthening happens due to a calcification agent that the dentist applies to healthy pulp, which transports the agent through the tooth where it will harden and help hold those structures firmly in place during growth.
Without the apexogenesis, the infection damage can sufficiently weaken the root structure to the point of collapse. The collapse would cut off pulp flow and the tooth would eventually die and require extraction.
Root Canals and Apicoectomy
Apexogenesis doesn't work if the tooth still has a raging infection since the calcification would end up trapping the infection inside the tooth. Your dentist will need to clear out the infection first with root canal therapy and a potential follow-up apicoectomy.
Root canal therapy involves scraping out the infected pulp, cleansing with an antibiotic, and then inserting a dissolving filler that will hold the canal open and empty for a brief period to prevent more infected pulp from entering the canal.
The root canal procedure might not reach the infection deep within the tooth roots or apexes, which is why an apicoectomy might become necessary. The dentist will snip off the apexes, plug the root entry holes with a similar dissolving filler, and then complete the infection treatment process.
Once the tooth starts to fill back up with healthy pulp, the apexogenesis procedure can begin. Your child's dentist will schedule periodic visits to check on the status of the calcification to make sure the structures continue to remain strong and develop properly.
For more information, contact local professionals like Marci Mendola-Pitcher DDS.Share