The field of dentistry has several subgroups, each of which focuses on a specific branch of the field. Endodontics is that part of dentistry which studies and treats the nerve center of the tooth – the pulp and the tissues around the root of the tooth. Endodontics includes root canal therapy which is the removal of the pulp.
Endodontics and Salvaging a Tooth
When dental decay is allowed to progress to the point where it attacks the pulp, root canal therapy is often used to save the tooth and keep it from being extracted. Usually by the time root canal therapy is advised, the nerve tissue in the tooth has died. The dead pulp is often infected, and an abscess has formed at the apex of the root.
The pulp and the infection are removed from the tooth and the canal where the pulp once was is sterilized, filled and sealed off. The remainder of the tooth is filled with an appropriate filling material and generally, a dental crown is placed on the tooth to provide strength and stability.
In the case of a child’s tooth, decay can compromise a tooth that is not fully developed. In fact, permanent teeth in children can be developing two years beyond their eruption in the mouth. This means that a child with a severely decayed tooth may need root canal therapy on a tooth which has not fully developed. This can be a problem.
Up until recently, children have had to undergo traditional root canal therapy when a tooth has become infected. However, research is showing promising results with stem-cell based therapies. Using stems cells, the undeveloped tooth continues to develop, and healing is promoted as well which can allow the tooth to function normally.
Regenerative endodontics uses the child’s stem cells from the infected tooth and applies them therapeutically. The regenerative endodontic procedure delivers the stem-cells surgically. These cells help the tooth heal from the damage caused by decay or trauma and at the same time the tooth continues to develop in a normal way.
Normal Development of Permanent Teeth
Children who experience trauma to a permanent tooth or severe dental decay before the tooth is fully developed run the risk of developing problems with traditional root canal therapy. Regenerative endodontics is a way to treat the damaged tooth and at the same time give it the opportunity to continue to develop completely and be fully functional.
For more information about this cutting-edge research, contact Pearland Dentistry. We do our best to keep your family’s oral health at its best.