In the past, the only way to save a dying tooth involved a root canal. While these procedures still offer tooth-saving results, there could be another option: revascularization treatment.
Robert Scott Nance, DDS, MS, PA, who has practices in Statesville and Hickory, North Carolina, is an expert in providing specialized endodontic services, including revascularization. In this blog, he explains what the treatment is and some of its many benefits.
In the middle of each tooth is a hollow cavity that contains blood vessels and nerve tissue. This material is called the pulp. In the past, if the pulp got infected, the standard treatment was to perform a root canal.
With a root canal, a hole is drilled into the tooth and the pulp is removed. Then, the inside of the tooth is cleansed and filled with a dental substance. Finally, a filling is placed in the access hole. At the end of the treatment, your tooth remains fully intact, but it no longer contains any living tissue inside.
Revascularization also addresses diseased tissue inside the tooth. However, it works to restore healthy tissue, not remove it. This treatment usually takes two visits.
What to expect during revascularization treatment
During your initial appointment, Dr. Nance makes a small opening to gain access to the internal tooth tissue. Once inside, he removes debris, rinses the interior, and administers antibiotics to eliminate any infection. Finally, Dr. Nance closes the opening in your tooth with a temporary filling.
When you return for your second appointment 1-4 weeks later, Dr. Nance opens your tooth again. However, this time he performs a regenerative treatment, such as platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy.
With PRP therapy, Dr. Nance takes a sample of your blood. Then he places it in a centrifuge to separate the platelets from the other components in the sample. Platelets are powerful substances, because they contain elements that trigger healing and regeneration.
Finally, he injects the resulting solution into strategic areas to activate the healing process and increase blood flow inside your tooth.
The benefits of revascularization
Dr. Nance recommends revascularization for a variety of reasons, especially those involving immature permanent teeth in children. This unique approach can help a tooth develop and reduce the risk for decay, tooth loss, and bone loss.
Since revascularization activates the healing process in the treated tooth, patients can expect to see significant improvements within the first year of treatment and continued increases in dental wall thickness, root development, and root length for up to two years.
And the best part is that revascularization typically comes with little — if any — pain and few risks. There may be minor swelling post-treatment, but ice packs can usually ease any discomfort.
To learn more about revascularization and to see if this treatment may be able to save your tooth, contact the practice of Robert Scott Nance, DDS, MS, PA, to schedule an appointment today.