What Would Happen If Root Canal(s) Are Not Filled?
Why do a Root Canal Filling? What if a root canal were not filled? Then a medium of persistent irritation to the surrounding tissues and beyond is the most likely sequel. It is possible in some circumstances that the body, would be able to produce defence mechanisms to slow or and eventually halt the bacterial growth; however, in most cases, if a reliable pathway / food sources is provided the bacteria within the canal will continue to progress, in many cases faster than the body can protect itself.
There are many important aspects one needs to consider to understand the reason for providing a filling material and or medicaments in endodontic therapy. It was found by a researcher called Sjogren; that in root filled teeth the bacteria in the root canal system is reduced to undetectable culture levels leading to higher rates of success, and ultimately a better prognosis.
The process of root canal fillings have been shown to kill bacteria found in the root canal system. The use of NaOCl (organic solvent), along with EDTA (inorganic solvent), are extremely powerful agent used to disinfect the root canal system. Although, there is evidence suggesting that bacteria can penetrate up to 300 um into the dentine tubules (Love), whereas irrigants can only penetrate up to 60 um.
Further, there is evidence to suggest that the root filling material gutta percha is anti-bacterial, as studies have shown it to have a bacterial-static affect on staph aureus (Moorer). Often times to adjunct the filling material a liner is also placed in the initial step prior to placement and condensation of the gutta percha, this acts to further provide a greater seal. Moreover, there is evidence to suggest that sealer, for instance AH 26, can penetrate into dentinal tubules via smear layer removal. This allows for entombment of micro-organisms and enhanced seal and bonding. It has been found that resin based sealers (AH 26), are superior to ZnOE and Ca(OH)2 in terms of dimensional stability, solubility and ability to penetrate the dentinal tubules.
It is clear that the process of root canal fillings is capable of significantly reducing the bacterial load in root canal systems. Further with the use of temporary medicament’s such as Ca(OH)2 it is possible to further decrease the number of intra-canal bacteria to very low levels. In terms of GP and AH 26, these filling materials for the most part provide entombment of micro-organism limiting and future growth, or progression. Thus, the process of root canal filling can be considered bacterial-cidal in nature, whereas the filling procedure as bacterial-static.
If you wish for more information please do not hesitate to contact Skygate Dental today on (07) 3114 1199 or 0406 579 197.