This weekend I was asked by a friend of mine “Are Teeth Live Parts of Our Body?”. I remember being asked this question before by other people which shows that people think about this once in a while.
Natural teeth evolve from little buds placed under the gums. They have a space in the center, called Pulp Chamber which contains a nerve, blood vessels and limphatic vessels. So, yes, teeth are alive up until they get a necrosis (dead tissue) into the nerve or they get a Root Canal or are Extracted.
The good thing about the teeth is that they are so hard (the hardest structures in the human body) that they last in the mouth even if the nerve in the pulp chamber is cleaned up (pulpectomy). That procedure is called Root Canal Therapy and is needed when a tooth is very badly fractured or when a cavity is touching the nerve. In the latter case, the nerve dies because it cannot defend itself against infections. After the diseased nerve is cleaned up from the inside of the chamber, the remaining empty chamber is filled with a synthetic material(guthapercha mixed with zinc oxide).
After a Root Canal Therapy, the tooth is held in place by the surrounding jaw bone (maxilla on the top and the mandible on the bottom).
Also after this procedure the crown of the tooth becomes weaker or more fragile and needs a Dental Crown(cap). If the tooth does not get a crown within 3 months after the root canal was performed, the endodontic protocol is to redo the root canal.
So, if you get a root canal, you also need a crown. If not, the tooth is prone to break.
If you need more information, call me on my cell 609-408-9318 or my office (Sewell Dental Arts) in Washington Township, NJ at 856-582-2220. I would be happy to invite you for Free Consultation to discuss whatever concern you might have.