Root Canals Using Calcium Oxide
What is a root canal?
A normal, healthy tooth has a hard outer covering, enamel, and a deeper layer, dentin, which makes the root. There is a hollow chamber in the dentin which contains soft tissue. This chamber connects to a long tube or canal in the core of each of the roots and is called the root canal.
An injury to a tooth (a blow, decay, dental procedures, etc.) can damage or kill the soft tissue. When it dies, there is no longer a blood supply to find and destroy bacteria, which grow unchecked in the canals. The body sets up a defense in the bone at the end of the root; this is an abscessed tooth.
To treat it, we remove the contents of all the canals, the dead soft tissue, bacteria and their toxins.
To prevent the bacteria from returning, we fill the canals. When the source of the bacteria is gone the body heals the abscess.
I have heard that root canals can affect your health, is that true?
That could be true, and we could certainly use some more and better research to decide. However, there are some good studies that show that teeth with root canals can and do harbor bacteria and their toxins. It is not completely clear if the toxins cause disease in anyone. But it stands to reason that a place that harbors toxins and bacteria is not good to have in your body. If not sealed the dentinal tubules harbour toxins. Thousands of these tiny tubes are connected to the root canals and run through the dentin. When a standard root canal treatment is done only the large canal is cleaned and filled, not the tubules.
Are Endo Cal root canal treatments any better?
Yes. Endo Cal 10 is a root canal filling system that was invented in France about 15 years ago. It has had FDA approval for about six years. It is the least toxic filling material known: calcium oxide. The procedure is the same as a standard root canal, up to filling the canal. The standard method uses gutta percha, a resin, to fill the root canals. The resin is heated and forced into the canal where it cools to a rubbery material. The problem with this system is that only the large root canal is filled and the tubules are not.
Endo Cal 10 is different; it’s is a paste which is spun into the root canals. Right at first only the large canal is filled. Over the next few days there is a chemical and physical change. The calcium oxide “goes looking” for water. It wants to combine with water and will expand up to 900 times its original size as it finds it. The net effect is that the paste travels out through the dentinal tubules, completely filling them. Endo Cal also kills bacteria. When it finds water, the calcium oxide changes to calcium hydroxide and sets like cement. After many months (maybe years) it changes to calcium carbonate, which is what your tooth is made of. So you end up with a solid tooth with no canals or tubules, and most importantly, no bacteria or toxins. Endo Cal 10 is probably the safest way to get a root canal today.