Regenerative endodontics is a state-of-the-art field. It is a new set of solutions for an old problem.
After we perform a root canal treatment, removing infected tissues from within a tooth, we can now replace those tissues. We can restore the function of the root canal system, even after tissues have been diseased or dead.
A major goal of endodontics is to let you keep the structure of your natural tooth. Regenerative endodontics now helps us achieve that goal with both immature teeth, which are still growing, and some mature teeth with complex issues.
Even though these procedures are cutting edge, they have success rates of 90–100%. After you have had a toothache or tooth infection, we may be able to restore the full function of your tooth, along with protecting its cosmetic beauty.
The Challenge of Root Canal Treatment on Immature Teeth
What is the problem? When a patient has adult teeth that are still growing, we sometimes must perform a root canal treatment on them. We clean infected tissues, nerves, and blood vessels (“pulp”) from the inner chambers of the tooth.
However, this tooth pulp is vital to a maturing tooth. It supplies the organic materials that are used to continue building the walls of a tooth until it is finished growing.
For decades, endodontists have only been able to replace the tooth pulp with an inert material. This protects the root canal from infection in adult teeth, but it cannot help immature teeth to continue growing.
The Groundbreaking Solution: Regenerative Endodontics
Under traditional methods, an immature tooth with no inner pulp is no longer able to grow. It may need to be extracted.
But today, we can restore the pulp using regenerative endodontics. These procedures have been recognized by the American Association of Endodontics (AAE) for their current effectiveness and future potential. The techniques can save immature teeth, along with mature teeth with complex cases.
You can see some of the AAE’s major Considerations for Regenerative Procedures here. This provides guidelines that we use during the treatment process, including:
- Methods for choosing cases with a high chance of success—we will only recommend a treatment if it is likely to work for you or your family member.
- Being sure that the patient or parent understands the procedure and agrees to it.
- Ensuring that the patient is not allergic to the antibiotics or other medications we use.
- Informing the patient or parent of the alternatives to the treatment.
- Using two or more appointments—one to remove the infection and a second to regenerate the tooth pulp.
At the same time, our Surf City Endodontics team continually reads the latest studies to ensure we provide up-to-date treatments. The AAE has invested in ongoing research into regenerative orthodontics, and we are learning more about it every year.
How Does Regenerative Endodontics Work?
Regenerative endodontics uses current techniques in tissue engineering. First, we disinfect the root canal with antimicrobial agents. Then, at the tip of the tooth root, where it is attached to the jawbone, we use tools to stimulate the body’s own regenerative response.
We then allow the patient’s own blood vessels to bring in blood cells and nutrients to rebuild the tissues within the tooth. The patient’s stem cells and growth factors naturally create the needed tissue structures, which we can also enhance with plasma and blood protein.
This process connects the new pulp to the walls of the tooth. Over time, these tissues will add minerals to the tooth walls and help to develop the tooth root. Eventually, the entire root canal system can be a healthy, functioning part of the tooth again, even after an infection.
We will follow up with the patient periodically to check for further infection. In most cases, a new infection does not occur. In fact, the new pulp uses the patient’s immune system to fight infections. However, checkups ensure that any potential problems are quickly treated.
Contact Surf City Endodontics for Regenerative Procedures
If you have any questions about regenerative endodontics, contact our team in Huntington Beach. If you or someone in your family has an infected immature tooth, make an appointment with us for a state-of-the-art regenerative endodontics treatment—and save your natural tooth and beautiful smile.