A Root Canal

What Are Calcified Root Canals, And Do They Need Dental Treatment?

If your dentist took x-rays at your most recent check-up and found that you have calcified root canals, you may have many questions. Read on to learn more about what causes calcified root canals and when they may require further intervention from your dentist.

What Are Calcified Root Canals?

Underneath enamel, dentin, and cementum, each tooth has a hollowed-out area that contains a pulp chamber. The pulp is the living portion of your tooth with nerves and vessels. The pulp runs down your tooth and extends into the root canals. When a patient develops calcified tooth roots—also known as pulp sclerosis—that means that there is an increased buildup of the mineral calcium along root canal walls.

What Causes Calcified Root Canals?

Calcium deposits may naturally occur as a person ages. However, tooth trauma—like a sports injury—is often the main cause of calcified root canals. These bodies may have a reactionary response to the trauma and create extra calcium deposits in an attempt to heal the injury.

Are There Symptoms of This Condition?

Some people may not even realize they have calcified root canals, and a dentist may be the first to notify patients of the condition after taking x-rays. However, the main symptom of calcified tooth roots is their discoloration. Calcified teeth may appear yellowish or darker than adjacent teeth.

If there is a great build-up of calcium deposits, then the root canal space may be significantly decreased. In this case, a patient may experience a toothache since the canal space will be narrower

Do Calcified Root Canals Need Treatment?

If you aren't experiencing any pain and your teeth are otherwise healthy, your dentist may decide to just monitor the root canals. If the calcified root canals have caused tooth discoloration, then some patients may want to seek out cosmetic dental services to restore the tooth shade.

If calcified root canals are causing pain or become infected, then a patient may require a root canal treatment. Some family dentists may be able to work on calcified root canals, but others may decide to refer patients to an endodontist since these cases can be a bit more challenging. When calcification is present, it can be harder to locate each root canal.

To improve the outcome of root canal therapy, a dentist may use a cone-beam CT scanner to take images. He or she would then use CAD/CAM technology to create a template guide for the proposed pathways for removing bacteria from the root canals. Lastly, a dentist may use microscopes during treatment to get a better confirmation that bacteria and calcium deposits have been debrided.

Reach out to a family dentist today for more details.