Root Canal Infection and Tooth Loss By Jin Ha Joung on September 10, 2020

diagram of infected tooth from pulp to surface of toothDentists commonly perform root canal treatment to remove inflamed or infected tooth pulp. The tooth pulp is the inner part of the tooth that contains the blood vessels, nerves, and connective tissue that helps teeth grow. If the damaged pulp is left intact, infection can spread to neighboring teeth. 

Here, our team at Ridgewood Dental Associates in Ridgewood, NJ discusses root canal infection and tooth loss. We will also explore appropriate treatment options for tooth loss, such as dental implants

What Causes a Root Canal Infection?

Several factors can lead to an infection of the root canal. For example: 

  • Cavities or severe tooth decay
  • Cracked tooth
  • Teeth that have additional canals that harbor harmful bacteria
  • Periodontal disease

Symptoms of a Root Canal Infection

You may experience mild discomfort or pain if your root canal is infected. In some cases, the pain might feel worse as time goes on, and might occur when you eat or drink. Your tooth might be hyper-sensitive to temperature changes.

You should also check for these symptoms:

  • Greenish, yellowish, or discolored pus
  • Swollen gum tissues
  • Swollen neck or face
  • A bad odor or taste from the infected area

If you experience any of these symptoms, contact our Ridgewood office immediately.

Treating the Infection

Our doctors will examine your mouth to find the infected tissue and numb the area with local anesthesia. Next, the problematic tooth is accessed, and the infection is cleaned out. The dentist will dry out the area and fill it with a polymer. Finally, we will use a filling material like composite or amalgam to seal the tooth and protect it from further damage.

Tooth Loss

If you ignore a root canal infection or if it has advanced quickly, it can spread to surrounding tissue, leading to serious dental problems. The necrotic tissue could cause you to lose the infected tooth – and even surrounding teeth – if the infection has spread. 

Dental Implants: A Tooth Loss Option

If your root canal infection has led to tooth loss, patients may consider dental implant treatment. These small titanium posts are placed into the jaw to replace missing teeth roots. Once healed, your implant can be restored with a dental crown to complete your smile and reestablish full function.

Our Bergen County doctors will ensure you have healthy bone tissue and are in generally good health for the surgery. We can complete all steps in-house to provide you with a new, full smile.

Schedule Your Consultation Today

If you are concerned you may have a dental infection, or are looking for tooth replacement options, contact our office today. Our team can discuss your treatment options with you in detail. For a consultation, you can call our office at (201) 652-2474 or send our team a message

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Drs. Jin Ha Joung, Mark Samani, and Min-Hee Cho.

Ridgewood Dental Associates

At Ridgewood Dental Associates in Bergen County, we pride ourselves on being able to handle virtually all of your needs in a single location. Dr. Jin Ha Joung, Dr. Mark Samani, and Dr. Min-Hee Cho are affiliated with:

  • American College of Prosthodontists
  • American Academy of Periodontology
  • Academy of Osseointegration
  • American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine
  • American Dental Association

For more information about our services, contact our office or call (201) 652-2474 today.

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