Wisdom teeth – what are they and how to deal with them?

Calculus deposits, also known as pulp stones, are calcifications that occur within the dental pulp, mainly in its chamber. Many of us are not aware of their presence until intense pain occurs. Therefore, we want to help in recognizing calculus deposits and effectively treating them.

Where do calculus deposits come from?

Calculus deposits, also known as dental pulp stones, are calcified deposits of mineral salts, which are a form of dental pulp degeneration. They most commonly occur in molars, lower incisors, and in teeth that are yet to erupt or are impacted. Calculus deposits typically develop in necrotic areas, mainly around the pulp chamber and root of the tooth.

Although the exact causes of calculus deposits formation have not been fully elucidated, they are often associated with inflammatory conditions or tooth trauma. Calculus deposits can vary greatly in size, from microscopic changes invisible to the naked eye to large deposits that can lead to pulp chamber obliteration.

Types of calculus deposits

Due to differences in size, structure, and location, several types of calculus deposits are distinguished:

Based on size and location:

1. Compact – located within the tooth chamber and visible on X-ray.
2. Dispersed – typically located in root canals and not visible on X-ray.

Based on structure:

1. True – structurally similar to dentin, occurring relatively rarely.
2. False – lack a dentin-like structure, containing calcified cells that continuously expand due to increasing calcification.

Based on location:

1. Loosely embedded – not attached to the tooth cavity walls and completely surrounded by pulp.
2. Wall-attached – partially connected to dentin.
3. Intrapulpal – completely surrounded by dentin.

Symptoms of calculus deposits

Calculus deposits often do not cause any pain symptoms for a long time, making them typically detected during routine dental visits or on X-rays. Only with the growth of calculus deposits, when they begin to compress the sensory nerve and blood vessels, does bothersome pain arise. Initially, this pain resembles discomfort associated with pulp or trigeminal nerve inflammation. As calculus deposits reach significant sizes, they can fill the entire tooth chamber, leading to pulp damage and necrosis. Confirmation of calculus deposits requires X-ray imaging.

Treatment of calculus deposits

Untreated and continuously developing calculus deposits can lead to serious health problems. In the case of small, painless calculus deposits, the dentist may recommend observation and regular check-ups. However, if pain symptoms arise, removal of the affected pulp and root canal treatment is recommended. This procedure is performed under anesthesia, making it painless.

It is important to note that even small calculus deposits can complicate endodontic treatment, hindering access to the tooth chamber floor and canal openings. In such cases, removal may be necessary. Regular follow-up visits to the dentist are crucial as they allow for the prompt detection of any changes in the oral cavity.

Finally, it is worth noting that calculus deposits are not associated with tumors. Many people mistakenly associate calculus deposits with benign tumor nodules due to the similarity in names to the term “odontoma.” However, despite growing within the pulp, calculus deposits are not neoplastic changes.

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