Root canal treatment, also known as Endodontic treatment, is a dental procedure in which the diseased or damaged nerve and blood vessels (pulp) of a tooth is removed which lies in the hollow portion of the tooth and the inside areas (the pulp chamber and root canals) are filled with a special filling material and sealed. One can say it is Neurosurgery of teeth.
It is a highly specialized procedure and needs Special Training and High Tec Equipment for good results.
More than 15 million root canal procedures are performed every year. Using conventional methods, 4-6 percent of root canals fail, a relatively high rate for a dental procedure, causing patients to go through retreatment. In some cases, the tooth cannot be saved and time consuming and expensive restorations such as dental implants are required. However with the advancement of technology, the use of lasers in root canal treatment has proven to be advantageous with very impressive success rates.
How is Laser Root Canal Done?
The method of treatment is almost the same as with a conventional drill except that once a hole has been made in the crown; longer tips are placed on the laser head in order to allow the dentist to reach down into the roots to remove all of the pulp material. For this, parallel beam of intense light is used to clean out the root canals. Laser therapy “melts” away debris consisting of bacteria and infection, known as the “smear layer” of the root, and cleans the root more thoroughly than traditional treatments.
Since lasers kill the bacteria in the root canal infection management is much better and the success rate of the root canal therapy is greatly improved.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Laser Root Canal Treatment
Advantages: One of the main advantages of using a laser for root canal work is treatment time is much faster. In particular because the heat from the laser effectively cleans and sterilizes the canals from bacteria, fewer follow-up visits are required than with conventional treatments.
Disadvantages: Not often, but sometimes infected tissue is pushed through the ends of the root, which will infect the gum. This is easily treated, but is also painful until the infection is cleared up. Canals are irregularly shaped, and if the canal is not accurately measured or branches of the canal were not discovered, it cannot be completely cleaned or filled requiring the procedure to be done again or leading to failure of the procedure.