Is Your Root Canal Infected?
Let Us Take a Look
One of the primary reasons patients seek out Origin Dental Wellness for their dental care is because they have a root canal treated tooth that they want to be evaluated with the cone beam CT scan. The cone beam CT (CBCT) scan gives us the ability to look around a tooth 3 dimensionally.
Why is this important?
Because infections in a tooth will be evident in the bone surrounding the root of the tooth. Because of this, it is very important to be able to see the bone around the root of a tooth. However, traditional dental radiographs only show a one dimensional view of the tooth root. What if the infection is sitting in front of the root? Or behind it? Or even between the roots? Traditional dental radiographs will not show that infection. The resultant image will look as if the tooth is normal and healthy. However, a CBCT will show that the same exact tooth has an abscess present that is literally eating away the bone. In addition, the bacteria present in the abscess are infiltrating into the bloodstream, often causing systemic inflammation and illnesses. What is very frightening about these infections is that patients often have no symptoms, and therefore have no idea of the debilitating effects that are occurring within their own bodies.
The three pictures below represent the silent, often hidden infections from a root canal treated tooth. The picture on the left is a one dimensional, traditional x-ray that doesn’t reveal the severity of this patient’s situation. The picture on the right was taken with the CBCT and shows what was hiding in between the roots. The center photograph is the surgical picture in which the abscess of infection between the roots is clearly obvious. Often, the patient has no symptom of pain due to the fact that the nerve had been removed from the internal portion of the tooth during the root canal procedure. However, we often hear patients tell us, “My health changed after I had this root canal,” or “This tooth doesn’t hurt, it just feels different”. Without having symptoms, this infection can burden a person’s immune system for years, taking a devastating toll on one’s overall health or even worse, can be deadly.
We at Origin Dental Wellness go above the standard of care and take a 3-dimensional CBCT image during all new patient appointments to either confirm or rule out this type of infection. In addition, we review the CBCT with all patients, showing them the health of each individual tooth. It is one of the first steps taken on the journey to health at Origin Dental Wellness.