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"Living" Root Canals - The Future of Artificial Blood Vessels in Dentistry

July 18, 2017 By Dr. Rick Leppo

blog03Root canals remove or prevent damaged nerves due to disease or fracture. If your tooth needed a root canal but you didn't get one, your tooth could wind up seriously infected and very painful.

Even though a root canal could be the only way to hold onto your tooth, no one is usually very excited about endodontic therapy. Especially since the procedure leaves your tooth without sensation and can sometimes take a bit of time to complete.

The Oregon Health & Science University recently came up with a method that could revolutionize the way root canals save teeth.

What's Different?

Currently, root canals work by replacing infected tooth tissue with a filling material. This essentially renders the tooth dead. Until that point, your tooth is alive, fueled by a blood supply. But the new method works by artificially creating a new scaffold of blood vessels. These tiny veins and capillaries would allow a tooth to keep living.

What This Means

A "dead" tooth is little more than a shell. Even with a root canal, it serves the purpose of helping you chew and maintains the alignment of your other teeth. A root canal is the better option over pulling a tooth.

But without a steady blood supply, a tooth can't maintain itself. With the nourishment from a new blood vessel network, a root-canaled tooth could theoretically keep functioning and reinforcing itself.

While this technology hasn't yet been applied in the clinical setting, Dr. Leppo is always on the alert for new developments. Who knows what the future holds for dentistry in Columbia, IL? Find out the latest by planning a visit to Columbia Dental Center.

Posted on behalf of Columbia Dental Center

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