Endodontists often work with handling the pulp side of dental care, as the pulp is the primary area within the tooth structure that requires the most focus. Dentin, however, is the supportive structure that often determines what types of treatments will be used. More specifically, dentin damage, or lack of dentin thereof, will often result in either endodontic treatments or implant restorations – either repair the tooth or replace it. Because dentin is considered one of the determining factors for treating, addressing the initial problems at hand with endodontic care could potentially produce better results, especially for endodontists searching for more conservative approaches to tooth care.
What’s The Big Deal With Maintaining Dentin?
Endodontics is all about cleaning, shaping, and filling the root canal system to support the tooth and protect it from decay and disease. But the secondary function of endodontics is all about managing the tooth long-term, reestablishing the connective tissues supporting the tooth to ensure proper healing. The long-term results are often left lacking when attempting to restore the tooth, most often due to the difficulties and challenges presented within this field. More and more dentists are defaulting to implants because of the perceived notion of higher success rates, but in fact, it’s avoiding the issue of improper technique in dentistry. To better understand this, we need to look at the failures patients experience within the endodontic treatment and find the common problems.
For instance, excessive removal of dentin and enlargement of the canals to an excessive degree is considered one of the primary causes of canal failure. When the canals are larger than necessary and the dentin is heavily removed, it leads to a greater risk of fractures, fiber posts, coronal leakage, and an increased risk of cavities. When looking further into the issue of dentin removal, many dentists tend to lack awareness of the factors involved, especially in the endodontic field. Some of these factors include:
- Overuse of Shaper Tools: Some irrigation techniques used in tooth repair can be inhibited by improper or overuse of shaper tools such as glidden burs, pisco reamers, and gates. Excessive use of these tools can harm the tooth’s integrity and cause excessive dentin removal.
- Excessive Taper Preparations: Predicting how to taper the root canal system and clean the system completely can be difficult to manage overall, causing excessive tapering and leading to a reduced amount of dentin. This is especially true if the coronal tooth structure is too large; it can lead to the radical removal of healthy dentin.
- Overaccommodating Obturation Techniques: In cases where excessive coronal shaping occurs, obturation techniques can also result in wider enlargement of the root canal area, especially if the dentist is attempting to overcompensate.
All of these factors have a heavy role in the reduction of dentin, and this issue needs to be addressed on a larger scale due to the role that dentin has on our teeth. If these issues aren’t fully addressed, then it’s more likely that endodontists will be faced with higher failure rates and unsatisfied patients than not. But one way that endodontists are attempting to correct this issue is through the use of directed dentin conservation.
How Can Directed Dentin Conservative Be Achieved
Endodontic root canal therapy is often considered the best and most conservative choice for saving a patient’s teeth, but techniques need to be altered to achieve this goal more effectively. Among the various methods out there, directed dentin conservation works to preserve the dentin during the cavity preparation process through the use of conservative techniques. By offering this goal in the dental field, more endodontists can potentially retain their patients, even as the onset of implants becomes more and more popular among dentists. While implants can work to replace teeth that cannot be saved, patients wishing to maintain their tooth structure can benefit from how endodontists utilize restorative techniques. These techniques, through conservative measures, can also reduce the risk of overall tooth failure for the patient.
With the help of directed dentin conservation, more dentists can pay deeper mind to their overall goals for their practices and include extra safety precautions that work towards tooth preservation. This includes aspects such as paying attention to root canal shapes, noticing discrepancies between post sizes and canal shapes, and using newer tapering preparation methods. This goal can also help bring out popularity for endodontic care and be used to reach out to other dentists in similar fields of care. But overall, it helps patients when they need it most by protecting and preserving their natural teeth in the following ways:
- Safe Instrumentation: Endodontists using better rotary file systems and taper preparation methods can be able to provide a narrow but accessible space for root canal treatment, especially for teeth with long and curved canals.
- Effective Obturation Techniques: Obturation techniques like the warm condensation technique can help provide more efficient sealing capabilities to reduce the risk of reinfections and preserve the inner dentin.
- Protective Bonding Systems: Lastly, the use of more efficient bonding systems can restore the natural tooth for long-lasting restoration, which in turn can better improve the goal of dentin conservation for patient health.
It is important to note that most of these benefits will only be experienced as long as the patient’s awareness of the tools used at hand and will experience a gorgeous smile regardless of the methods used. But overall, dentin conservation should be used in endodontic practices, as it has the ability to provide maximum protection against dentin-related tooth failures. Incorporating conservative measures in endodontic care can allow patients to experience greater success with their treatments, giving them the ability to avoid the costs and complications that come with implant treatments and preserve their natural tooth structure.
Patients wishing to learn more about conservative endodontics, dentin preservation, and other treatment options can go to their local dentist for more information for a healthier, natural smile. With the help of directed dentin conservation, patients can experience better forms of care, even when faced with complex tooth problems.