Root Canal for La Jolla, Del Mar, & Pacific Beach

Root Canal for La Jolla, Del Mar, Pacific Beach

The idea of a root canal may conjure up feelings of fear or anxiety. But you don’t have to worry about root canals being painful or frightening when performed by the team at La Jolla Family Smile Design. Our dentists take great care to make the experience as quick and comfortable as possible. With a gentle touch and a warm, friendly attitude we will help you relax in the chair and get the important treatment you need to save your infected tooth. After the conclusion of your treatment, you will be able to bite, chew and smile with confidence again.

When Is a Root Canal Needed?

Root canal therapy is performed to rehabilitate a tooth that is diseased or badly damaged.

Inside your tooth is a soft tissue called dental pulp. The pulp, which contains blood vessels, nerves and connective tissue, is critical to the development of your tooth; however, a mature tooth can survive without the pulp. The pulp is contained inside the tooth’s root canals, which extend from the tip of the tooth roots to the crown.

If dental pulp becomes infected or inflamed, either due to a bad cavity, a deep crack or chip in the tooth or repeated dental procedures on the tooth, a root canal becomes necessary. Leaving the infected or inflamed pulp untreated can have serious consequences, including severe toothache or a dental abscess.

Signs you may need a root canal include the following:

  • Severe pain when chewing, biting or applying pressure to a tooth
  • Prolonged sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures
  • A pimple-like lesion on the gums
  • Visible crack or chip in the tooth
  • Swelling or tenderness in the nearby gums

Root canal therapy removes the infected or inflamed tissue, cleans out the tooth’s root canal and seals off the chamber to prevent future problems. Following the root canal, our dentists place a crown or other restoration over the tooth to strengthen it and restore it to full functionality.

Root Canal Treatment Details

Endodontic Therapy for La Jolla, Del Mar, Pacific Beach

To begin, one of our dentists will completely numb your tooth and surrounding part of your mouth so you do not feel any pain.

Once your tooth is numb, the dentist will create an opening in the chewing surface of the tooth. Using small instruments, the dentist will clean out the infected or inflamed pulp and disinfect the root canals, preparing them to be filled. The dentist will next fill the root canals with a rubber-like material called gutta-percha. A temporary filling may be placed over the opening and later replaced with a permanent filling or crown. The permanent restoration protects the tooth from fracturing and enables you to bite and chew comfortably.

You do not need to follow any special aftercare instructions, as long as you avoid biting or chewing with the treated tooth until the permanent restoration has been placed. Practicing good at-home oral care can help prolong the life and health of your affected tooth.

Root Canal FAQs

What does root canal therapy accomplish?

Root canal therapy is designed to address infections that occur deep within a tooth. By removing the infected pulp, cleaning and sterilizing the inner chamber, and then sealing it, root canal therapy saves the tooth and eases the pain associated with severe decay.

When is it necessary to get a root canal?

A root canal is necessary when the internal pulp of a tooth — home to its nerves and blood supply — is compromised by decay or injury, such as cracks or trauma. Symptoms that may signal the need for this procedure include tooth pain, sensitivity to temperature changes, tenderness when chewing or biting, discoloration of the tooth, and swelling.

Does getting a root canal hurt?

With advancements in dental technology and anesthesia, most people report feeling minimal discomfort during the procedure. At La Jolla Family Smile Design, we prioritize your comfort and use techniques to ensure the process is as pain-free as possible.

How long does a root canal typically take?

The duration of root canal therapy can vary, typically spanning one to two sessions, each approximately 90 minutes long; however, the duration of your specific procedure depends on the condition of the tooth being treated. We are committed to making the process both quick and comfortable for every patient.

What should I expect after having a root canal?

It is normal to feel some sensitivity or discomfort shortly after a root canal. This pain is typically mild and manageable with over-the-counter pain relievers. Our doctors will provide you with detailed aftercare instructions to ensure a smooth recovery. These instructions may include information about caring for the treatment area, how to maintain oral hygiene, and how to prevent complications.

Is it possible to avoid the need for a root canal in the future?

Preventing root canals starts with taking good care of your teeth and gums. This means establishing a good oral hygiene routine that includes brushing twice daily with a soft-bristled toothbrush and flossing daily. Consider limiting your consumption of sugary foods and beverages, as they can result in serious dental decay. You should also avoid hard foods and make sure to wear a custom-fitted mouthguard during sports to further protect your teeth from damage that might lead to a root canal. Your dental care routine should also include visits to La Jolla Family Smile Design for regular check-ups and cleanings.

Why should I choose La Jolla Family Smile Design for my root canal treatment?

At La Jolla Family Smile Design, our experienced dental professionals use state-of-the-art technology to ensure your dental procedure is as comfortable and effective as possible. We understand the anxieties that can come with dental procedures, and we’re committed to providing a supportive, patient-centered experience from start to finish.

Is it possible for a tooth that has been previously treated to become infected again?

In some cases, a tooth that has previously received root canal treatment can become compromised again. This could be due to subsequent decay, a crack in the tooth, or complications with a dental restoration. Should such a situation arise, additional treatment might be necessary to save the tooth.

Learn More About Root Canal Therapy

For more information about restoring an infected or damaged tooth with root canal therapy, La Jolla Family Smile Design is here to help. We would be happy to explain how we make root canal therapy comfortable and virtually pain-free for our patients. Contact us today to speak with a member of our team.