Most people are familiar with dental fillings – when we get a cavity in a tooth, we get it treated with a filling to restore it to health. Sometimes, however, that cavity does not get treated promptly enough and is allowed to worsen and burrow deeper into the tooth. When this occurs, a dental filling is no longer sufficient for restoring health to the tooth, and a root canal will be recommended. At Fanwood Family and Cosmetic Dentistry, we aim to perform comfortable yet effective root canals in Fanwood, NJ to help save our patients’ teeth.
A tooth is made up of layers. When you first develop a cavity, it is because decay has damaged the protective outer layer of enamel and possibly reached the layer underneath, called dentin. The innermost area of the tooth is not solid tooth structure as you might think, but contains the dental pulp, which consists of tissues, nerves, and blood vessels. When tooth decay manages to reach this area, a root canal procedure will be needed to remove the decay and bacteria from the tissues before it can cause an infection or other problems. Left untreated, tooth decay can even lead to the loss of that tooth; a root canal saves a tooth from extraction.
Before beginning the treatment, your dentist at Fanwood Family and Cosmetic Dentistry will take an x-ray of the affected tooth. This will provide a better idea of the shape of the canals and the extent of the decay. The tooth will then be numbed using a local anesthetic and isolated with a dental dam. This is a sheet of rubber meant to keep the tooth clean and dry for the procedure. Your dentist will drill a hole into the tooth in order to access the root canal. The dental pulp, along with the decayed areas, bacteria, and other debris, will be removed from the tooth, and the area will be flushed clean. The area is then filled in with a biocompatible substance to restore the structure to the tooth. A root canal in Fanwood, NJ is finished with a dental crown to cover the treated tooth.