Desperate To Avoid A Root Canal? A Pulp Capping Procedure May Save You The Trouble

When the soft pump inside of your teeth is exposed to air or infectious bacteria, eating and breathing can cause painful toothaches. The usual solution for this problem is a root canal to remove the affected pulp, but this procedure takes a great deal of planning and recovery time after the surgery. If you're hoping to avoid a root canal surgery, you might benefit from a timely dental capping treatment, which can protect the sensitive pulp inside your teeth.

What Is Pulp Capping?

Instead of removing the pulp after it has begun to cause toothaches, pulp capping aims to permanently protect it from pain and infection. During a capping procedure, the cavity is cleaned out and a permanent adhesive is used to cover up the exposed area of the pulp. This should stimulate the growth of a new protective layer around your tooth's nerve, which reduces your risk for future toothaches.

Capping treatments are usually speedier than root canals, and they require less planning before you get in the dentist's chair. You also don't have to deal with persistent jaw pain or swelling like you might after root canal surgery.

Who Is Eligible For The Operation?

In root canal surgeries, the pulp must be removed because it is infected or at a great risk for infection from the surrounding dentin. Since infection is a concern, not all potential patients will be helped by a pulp capping, only those whose tooth pulp is still healthy.

If your teeth show evidence of pulpitis or your tooth infection has been allowed to persist too long, pulp capping will probably not be an option. To keep your chances high for a successful capping, go to the dentist as soon as you suspect a problem with your tooth. 

What Happens If The Capping Doesn't Work?

Sometimes the tooth pulp will develop pulpitis even after a cap is in place. This can happen if the cavity isn't cleaned well enough or if the pulp was already infected and not yet symptomatic. When pulpitis develops underneath a cap, the dentist will need to perform a root canal as normal. Failure was a serious concern with early pulp capping techniques, but modern dentists see success rates as high as 92% among patients who undergo the procedure today.

If a cavity in your tooth is giving you grief, waiting too long to address the issue may result in needing a root canal. Talk to your dentist or someone at a place like Michels & Gauquie Cosmetic and Family Dentistry about possible treatment today, and you just might be able to avoid more serious dental surgery in the near future.