Covering the Tooth After a Root Canal Procedure: Sealers and Fillings

A root canal procedure may be a last-ditch effort to try and save a decaying tooth before an extraction. If tooth decay is caught in its early stages, a dentist will treat it using fluoride products to stop further decay. When the tooth has been severely affected by dental decay, the dentist will likely suggest performing a root canal procedure to remove the decayed pulp and affected nerve. This will hollow out the tooth but will leave the rest intact so that the patient can still use the natural tooth as base for a dental crown.

What Are Sealers?

Before filling is applied, it has to be sealed first. Sealers are used to fill the space between the core obturation material and the canal wall as well as other spaces in the root canal system. Sealing the canals is important to avoid having the area get reinfected with bacteria. Ideally, the sealer should provide a watertight seal and adhere well to the canal wall when set. Additionally, there are other important requirements that the sealers have to meet. By design, the sealers set slowly but in the process they do not sink. They are bacteriostatic, tissue tolerant and are insoluble to tissue fluids.

Choosing the Filling Material

A patient can have a voice in the process of choosing the filling material with some guidance from the dentist. Expert advice is necessary in order to identify any existing sensitivities to one material or another before settling on the final choice. There are several types of filling materials: porcelain, gold, silver amalgam, and composite resin. Gold can be quite expensive compared to the other materials, but is known for its durability, strength, and aesthetics. Amalgams, on the other hand, are the least expensive of the options but are considered to be unsightly because they do not match the color of natural teeth. Tooth-colored composites are very popular because of their versatility, aesthetics, and ability to bond chemically to tooth structure.

Sources:

Root Canals Explained, aae.org

A Step-By-Step Guide To Root Canal Treatment, deardoctor.com

Know Before You Go: Root Canals, askthedentist.com

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