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Root Canal

Severe tooth pain and increased sensitivity are telltale signs you need a root canal. At Sierra Oaks Dental in Sacramento, California, Peter Kim, DDS, and his team perform this treatment for patients to save teeth in danger of requiring an extraction. Don’t wait to seek professional help for a damaged or decayed tooth. Call the office to learn more about root canal therapy or schedule an appointment online today.

What is a root canal?

A root canal treats a tooth that has become infected or inflamed in the soft, inner tissue called the pulp. While the pulp is vital during early tooth development, it’s no longer necessary once the tooth fully matures. It contains blood vessels and nerve tissue, so the pulp can cause significant pain and discomfort when damaged or decayed.

During the procedure, the team removes the pulp and replaces it with a biocompatible material to strengthen and protect the tooth. This procedure reduces your risk of infection and can preserve your oral health. 

What are signs I need a root canal?

Understanding the warning signs of an infected or damaged tooth is essential to protect your teeth from additional damage. 

Some common warning signs that you may need a root canal include:

  • Persistent pain or sensitivity in the tooth
  • Swollen or tender gums around the tooth
  • Discoloration or darkening of the tooth
  • Visible damage or cracks in the tooth
  • Sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures 
  • Abscess (a pus-filled sac)

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, schedule an appointment with the Sierra Oaks Dental team for a comprehensive dental evaluation to uncover the source of your discomfort.

What happens during a root canal?

When you arrive for a root canal, the team administers a local anesthetic to numb your mouth. Next, they create an access hole in the center of your tooth to remove the pulp. Disinfecting the tooth chamber is essential to ensure the infection doesn’t return.

Once your tooth chamber is completely free of debris and bacteria, the team fills it with a biocompatible material called gutta-percha. They use filling materials to close the access hole and seal out additional bacteria. You can typically drive yourself home after a root canal.

What happens after a root canal?

After your root canal, the team schedules a follow-up visit to monitor your progress. Teeth treated with root canal therapy are often more vulnerable to infection and decay. To protect your teeth, the team may recommend placing a tooth-shaped cap called a crown. Sierra Oaks Dental offers CEREC® same-day crowns that they can place in one visit.

Call Sierra Oaks Dental to learn more about root canal therapy or schedule an appointment online today.