What is a Calcified Root Canal and How to locate it – Root Canal Treatment

Calcified Root canals have always been a nightmare for Dentists and Endodontists alike, they are difficult to locate and are very time taking to locate and prepare.

Why and When are Root Canals Calcified ?

Root canals are calcified in both anterior and posterior teeth alike without many variations in ratios; there are many reasons why Root canals can become calcified:

  • Can be a result of Natural Process of Aging
  • Prolonged Trauma
  • Prolonged infection
  • Non Vital tooth without Endodontic treatment for many years
  • Dental Decay
  • Dental Fillings or Crowns which are exerting constant force on tooth and root canal over a long period of time
  • Gingival Recession that occurs in Coronal part of the tooth

how to find calcified root canalsHow does the Calcification Progress in the Root Canal ?

  1. Calcification process often starts from the Coronal Portion of the Root canal, the coronal portion of the root canal is the first to calcify due to the many reasons mentioned above which are often seen mainly on the coronal part of the root canal.
  2. Hence the coronal portion is more calcified compared the Apical portion in a Calcified Root Canal, if you can go through the Corol 1/3 rd portion of the Calcified Root then it becomes very easy to reach the apex with the help of Files, Reamers and some help from RC-Cal or EDTA to soften the Dentin in the Root canal.

How to Locate Calcified Root Canals:

  1. Locating Calcified canals in Anteriors is a rather easy process as we know the location and even the size of the root canal is rather large. But the trouble begins in case of Posteriors or teeth with multiple root canals where locating the Root canal openings becomes rather difficult and over cutting of the Dentin will often lead to Perforations in furcation as we have seen in many cases.
  2. While locating Calcified canals having Patience is of utmost importance
  3. Using the Radiograph get a mental picture of the supposed location of the calcified canal and start removing the Dentin covering.
  4. When you reach the location which you think was the canal opening earlier, isolate the cavity properly
  5. Now you can see the difference between the Primary and secondary Dentin which is slightly whiter
  6. And in the middle of the Secondary Dentin you can find a White Spot which is the remnant of the Root canal
  7. This is where you need to start exploring using either a “Micro canal Opener” or “Ultrasonic Tips” to slowly make way for the Files to be used.
  8. Once the Coronal part of Calcification is dealt with it is very easy to reach the apex without much difficulty taking help of files and Reamers starting from 8 n.o and progressing towards bigger numbers.
  9. There are many lubricants or De Calcifiers which are available in the market like RC-Cal which help in softening the calcified portion of the root canal to ease the way for doing BMP.

Calcified Roots are an enigma in Dentistry for the Endodontist, treating such cases is a challenge but it sure brings in a lot of satisfaction after completing the case successfully. Main sutra of treating Calcified canals is to be patient and keep trying.


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