A root canal is a procedure designed to save a tooth from extraction when the pulp has become damaged. At Northern Jersey Endodontics, our endodontist in Montvale can discuss treatment options with you before and after your root canal, and whether you are a candidate for one. When tooth decay has reached a critical level, the pulp of the tooth can become damaged. The best option for saving the tooth is a root canal procedure.
Symptoms that a root canal may be needed are inflamed gums, tooth pain, swelling and pain at the site of the infected area. At some point, the pulp inside the tooth – the living tissue that keeps the tooth alive – becomes inflamed or infected, which causes the gum to swell. Cracks, chips and fractures can all contribute to pulp damage, as can gum disease. Once the pulp has become inflamed, it swells and becomes pressurized. The tooth begins to hurt and the pulp begins to decay. If this isn’t caught in time, infection can set in, causing an abscess inside the tooth, which can be dangerous.
Root canal therapy involves removing the damaged pulp, cleaning the tooth out, shaping any areas that need to be smoothed out, and finally, filling and sealing the tooth itself. A crown or cap is then usually placed on the tooth by our endodontist in Montvale to protect the hole. This procedure is crucial to saving the tooth itself so that it eradicates the need for extraction. Afterwards, once the site has healed, patients can go back to their normal eating and drinking activities within days. Chewing should get easier over time. Some patients do experience slight irritation, but this should go away after a few days.