When it comes to your teeth, you want to make sure that it’s in the best condition. Brushing, flossing, and regular dental checkups can keep them healthy and clean. But the unexpected can happen, and suddenly, you end up with an infected or decayed tooth that you don’t know how to take care of. Root canals used to be the solution to this problem, but the advances in technology have provided alternatives that could replace them altogether.

What Is A Root Canal?

A root canal is the elimination of bacteria located in the infected root of a tooth, which could have occurred through having deep cavities or cracked teeth from injury, for example. When infected, the root is removed, the bacteria is cleaned out, and the tooth is then filled and sealed. It’s a procedure that can be done at Bridgewater-Family-Dental. Most times, this would be enough to take care of the problem, but complications can arise such as improper healing, continued pain, or tooth-related disease long after the treatment. So what other options are available?

Direct Pulp Capping

Direct pulp capping is a procedure that involves the treatment of exposed root pulp. Dental material is used to promote repair and keep the root pulp protected and maintained during this repair process. Two of the most commonly used materials in direct pulp capping are mineral trioxide and calcium hydroxide.


A pulpotomy procedure takes place while the tooth is still alive and hasn’t completely decayed. The procedure involves the extraction of the root pulp that sits just above the gum line. That way, the surgery is less invasive and there’s a faster healing time since not all of the pulp is removed. This is usually done on baby teeth that have pulp trauma, permanent teeth that have experienced trauma, or cavities that have reached the pulp.


A pulpectomy is somewhat the opposite of a pulpotomy; the procedure is done when the teeth are no longer alive, i.e. they don’t respond to changes in temperature or sensation. The root pulp is removed from all parts of the tooth, including the roots. Then the interior is completely cleaned and sealed to prevent further infection.

Endodontic Retreatment

This procedure takes place on a tooth that has already been through a root canal. The tooth is opened up and the filling materials that were used during the root canal procedure are removed. Careful examination of the tooth interior takes place to ensure that there are no new canals or signs of infection. Everything is cleaned out and new temporary filling materials are used to reseal the tooth. Once the tooth heals, then a new crown or another form of restoration is placed on the tooth.

There are other alternative methods that can replace root canal surgeries that might be the best option for you. If you’re experiencing tooth pain or are concerned for the health of your teeth, please consider calling your nearest or local dentist as soon as possible to schedule an appointment.