What is a Root Canal?
A root canal is a dental procedure that is required when the tooth’s nerve (pulp) has become infected or inflamed, and there is no other option for repair.
Reasons for Root Canal Procedure
There are several reasons why you may require a root canal procedure. These reasons include:
- Tooth infection
- An exposed nerve of a cracked or broken tooth
- A dead tooth
The tooth’s nerve lies within the root canal. When the nerve tissue is damaged, bacteria will increase within the root canal and can cause the tooth to become abscessed. An abscess is an infection that has spread past the ends of the tooth’s root. An abscess can cause:
- Bone loss around the tip of the root
- A hole to form in the side of the tooth leading to drainage into the gums, cheeks, and skin
- Swelling that can spread to other areas of the face, neck or head
What to Expect
The goal of root canal treatment is to remove all infected tissue from the inside of the tooth and then fill the tooth to prevent further infection. A small hole will be made to allow access to the inside of the tooth. The infected tissue and damaged nerve will be removed, and the root canal will be thoroughly cleaned and polished. If there is an infection, antibiotics may be prescribed, and the tooth will be temporarily sealed until the infection has healed.
Once the infection is clear, and the root canal is free of debris, it will be filled with a biocompatible rubber compound called gutta percha. Next, Dr. Upadya will cover the tooth with either a dental filling or dental crown to add strength to the tooth and protect it from future damage.
What if I don’t have the root canal treatment?
Tooth extraction is an alternative to root canal treatment. Once the pulp is destroyed, it cannot regenerate it is not recommended to leave an infected tooth in the mouth. Although some people would prefer an extraction, it is usually best to keep as many natural teeth as possible. Root canal treatment makes that possible.
Schedule an Appointment
To learn more about root canal treatment, contact our New Jersey dental office for a consultation with Dr. Raj Upadya. Call us at 973-241-5169 or schedule an appointment online today. Be sure to keep up with your regular check-ups and maintain a good oral care routine. If you have any questions or concerns, Metropolitan Center for Complete Dentistry is ready to help you.