Root Canal

woman in dental painEven with diligent brushing, flossing, and dental care, sometimes decay and damage can occur. Regular check-ups can help catch dental problems in the earlier stages when they’re still small. However, there are times that you may not realize something is wrong until you experience tooth pain, swelling, or sensitivity, in which case an infection may have already developed. Dr. Parham Mansouri, our extensively trained endodontist, can perform root canal treatment on a tooth that has an infected pulp. For some people, the thought of having a root canal incites feelings of panic, but root canal treatments aren’t nearly as bad as their reputation. This procedure is designed to get rid of the infected tissue and to preserve as much of the natural tooth structure as possible. As a result, you can maintain a beautiful healthy smile without the need to replace the tooth.

What is the root canal procedure like?

The first step in determining if you have an infection in your tooth is to have Dr. Arash Azarbal, our experienced dentist, evaluate your tooth by requesting images be taken. Dr. Azarbal will then clinically evaluate the tooth. If he determines a root canal is necessary, he will refer you to Dr. Mansouri, who will perform the procedure. You will be numbed with a local anesthetic for the procedure. If you experience dental anxiety, we offer a number of advanced sedation dentistry options to help you feel more comfortable and at ease. Once you’re numb, Dr. Mansouri will create an opening into the tooth and clean out the infected pulp. Once all the infected tissue is removed, the canal will be sealed, and a restorative dental crown will be affixed to the top of the tooth. Root canals can sometimes require two visits to complete if there is significant infection. Dr. Mansouri and Dr. Azarbal strives to make this experience as comfortable as possible, and most patients experience only minimal discomfort.

Frequently Asked Questions About Root Canal Treatment

Why do I need a root canal treatment?

The pulp of your tooth may become infected when tooth decay sets in. Normally when your body fights an infection, your white blood cells come into the infected area and go to work fighting the infection. The swelling in the area is a sign that your body’s defenses are working. Unfortunately, when a tooth tries to fight an infection and needs to swell, there is no room for the swelling to go. Instead of healing, the tissue dies. A root canal heals the tooth by removing the infected tissue and sealing the area.

What are symptoms of needing a root canal treatment?

  • Lingering toothache when consuming hot or cold food/beverages
  • Sensitivity to tapping or pressure on the tooth
  • Toothache that wakes you up in the middle of the night
  • Pain when biting down
  • A pimple on your gum that releases puss
  • Radiating pain from one part of your mouth to another

Are root canal treatments painful?

Root canals have a reputation for being painful, so patients often mistakenly choose to have the tooth extracted instead. What they don’t realize is that a tooth extraction is one of the more stressful procedures that can be done. Plus, you have the added expense of having to replace the missing tooth. However, a root canal treatment is usually not painful for a patient. Often the tissue is already dead so there may not be a need for local anesthetic. However, if this procedure frightens you, we are experienced in sedation dentistry. You won’t feel a thing.