Calcified Root Canals

What calcified root is, why it happens and how it is treated.

A calcified root canal is a condition that occurs when the roots of teeth become hardened and filled with minerals, preventing them from functioning correctly. This condition can cause pain due to the inability of the tooth’s nerve to transmit signals.

Calcification blocks the roots of a tooth because it forms on top of them, thereby blocking blood flow to them. The blood vessels inside each tooth supply nutrients to its cells, but if they are blocked by calcification, these cells will die and cause tooth decay or damage.

dentsit working on patient under microscope

The most challenging part of working on a tooth with calcified canals is passing through the blockage.

For a successful root canal treatment, the endodontist needs to access the whole root to clean and disinfect it. When calcification blocks part or all of the root canal, it is challenging to access the whole length of the root. This often presents complications in the treatment. It may cause the separation of small files (instruments) inside the root. It also may prevent a good seal after the root canal is completed.

Treating a tooth with significant calcification is usually done by an Endodontist and is out of the scope of a general dentist’s expertise.

To reach the blocked area, endodontists use special instruments, microscopes, lasers, ultrasonic devices, and ultra-thin files. Treating such teeth usually takes much longer and often costs more than a regular root canal.

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