Root Canal

CaliDental

Cosmetic Dentists, Implant Dentists, & General Dentists in Lompoc, CA and San Luis Obispo, CA

When you have a tooth that is decayed, a root canal helps restore your dental health and prevent the spread of infection and oral disease. The team at CaliDental in San Luis Obispo and Lompoc, California, offers therapeutic root canals to children and adults. For a consultation, call or schedule an appointment online with their office today.

Root Canal Q & A

What is a root canal?

A root canal is a therapeutic dental treatment that involves removing the pulp, nerves, decayed material, and bacteria from inside a decayed tooth. Your dentist performs a root canal when a tooth has significant decay and would otherwise die or spread the infection to other teeth.

After your dentist removes the tissues from inside your tooth, they fill the space left with medicated materials that help restore the strength of the tooth and prevent further infection. Root canal therapy is the last resort to help protect your oral health and integrity of your smile. 

While it may seem easier to just pull a decayed tooth, removing a tooth can cause spacing problems and cost more in the long-term than having a root canal. A significant benefit of having a root canal is that it allows you to keep your original tooth, so you don’t need dental implants or other cosmetic replacement. 

Do I need a root canal?

You may not always have outward signs that you need a root canal. If tooth decay has not affected your nerves, you may not have any symptoms at all.

If you have symptoms that indicate you need root canal therapy, they may include:

  • An abscess (or pimple) on the gums
  • Sensitivity to hot and cold
  • Severe tooth or jaw pain
  • Swelling and tenderness of the gums

These symptoms may indicate that decay, infection, or abscess has reached the root of your tooth or that you have had an injury or trauma to the tooth.

What happens during a root canal?

If your dentist recommends that you have a root canal, the team at CaliDental schedules one or more appointments for you. During your first visit, your dentist removes the materials inside your tooth.

Steps to this process include:

  • Numbing the tooth and gums
  • Accessing the inside of the tooth
  • Removing the pulp, roots, and decay
  • Placing a temporary filling

You may have tenderness and swelling after your treatment, but this should subside within a day or so. In about a week, after your tooth and gums have healed, you return for a permanent filling with a protective sealant over the surface of your tooth. 

In most cases, it is also necessary for your dentist to place a crown or cap to protect the long-term integrity of the tooth. This step, as well as regular oral hygiene, ensures the benefits of root canal therapy last a lifetime. 

To discuss how a root canal can benefit your oral health, call or schedule an appointment online with CaliDental today.