Endodontics – Root Canal Therapy and Vital Pulpotomy

Broken canine tooth with pulp exposure.

Broken canine tooth with pulp exposure.

From WikipediaEndodontics (from the Greek endo ”inside”; and odons ”tooth”) deals with the tooth pulp and the tissues surrounding the root of a tooth. Endodontists perform a variety of procedures including root canal therapy, endodontic retreatment, surgery, treating cracked teeth, and treating dental trauma. Root canal therapy is one of the most common procedures. If the pulp (containing nervesarteriolesvenuleslymphatic tissue, and fibrous tissue) becomes diseased or injured, endodontic treatment is required to save the tooth.

After root canal therapy and composite restoration.

After root canal therapy and composite restoration.

Broken teeth need to be treated immediately.  A tooth that has been broken less than 48 hrs can be saved with a procedure called a “Vital Pulpotomy.”   After 48 hrs., treatment options are root canal therapy or extraction.  Since our pet friends rely heavily on their teeth, saving them is a better and less painful option (root canal therapy).   Leaving a broken tooth in the mouth without treatment causes unnecessary, prolonged oral pain. Finally, a discolored tooth is a dead tooth.  A recent study indicated that 92% of all discolored teeth are non-vital (dead).  Saving those teeth via root canal therapy +/- a crown is highly recommended for those teeth that are deemed strategic (all canine teeth, maxillary 4th premolars and mandibular 1st molar teeth)

Dental radiograph (X-ray) of root canal of broken canine tooth.

Dental radiograph (X-ray) of root canal of broken canine tooth.