What is Root Canal Therapy?

Root Canal Therapy involves procedures to save teeth that would otherwise require extraction due to pain or infection. The root canal is the essential core of the tooth that contains the nerve, blood vessels and tissues that enable the tooth to develop. This is collectively known as the pulp. The canal extends from the root tip up to the crown of the tooth. When the pulp is damaged beyond repair, it may become infected, painful and die out. This damage may be caused by decay or trauma. When this occurs, the pulp must be removed. The removal of the pulp is done by making a hole in the top of the tooth and drilling down into the pulp. The pulp is removed by hand file and the canal is cleaned and shaped, using special drills and disinfectants. This is followed by filling the canal with gutta percha, a rubber like material with a cement sealer. This ensures the canal will remain free from future infection. The tooth has a temporary filling until the patient returns to their general dentist for a permanent restoration. Complex cases may require multiple visits to clean and sterilize the tooth.



Even though root canal therapy has a 95 percent success rate, there are instances where it will not be successful. Over long term teeth may become reinfected due to decay. If this occurs, retreatment of the root canal is usually recommended. Drilling through the crown may be necessary as we try to remove the post and previous root canal filling. The canal is cleaned and shaped, disinfected and resealed with gutta percha, followed by a temporary cement filling. If the crown is in good shape, often the general dentist can restore the crown.



In some cases, the root canal therapy does not resolve the infection or the tooth may become reinfected due to new decay. If this occurs, an Apicoectomy, a surgical procedure is performed to clean out the infection from the bone, remove the root tip, and seal the end of the root with a filling. Less than five percent of patients will need this procedure.

Our services include all aspects of Endodontics: Root Canal Therapy, Non-Surgical Retreatment and Surgery, as well as adjunct procedures including Post & Core, Broken Post Retrieval, and Perforation Repair.

Contact Information

Directions to the Westfield Office:

From the East or West: Take Route 22 and exit in Springfield onto Springfield Avenue following signs to Westfield. Follow to East Broad Street and turn right onto East Broad Street. Continue along East Broad Street and turn left onto Saint Paul Street (first left past the police station). Continue to 140 Saint Paul Street, on the right.

From the North or South: Take the Garden State Parkway to Exit 135 and follow ramp/circle onto Central Avenue/Westfield. Continue on Central Avenue to the end and make a right turn onto East Broad Street. Once on East Broad, make the 2nd right turn onto Saint Paul Street. Follow to 140 Saint Paul Street, 2nd office before the stop sign on the right.

Please call if you need help with the directions (908) 486-6640.