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Root Canals Q&A

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What is a root canal?

A root canal is a treatment that removes the inside layer of a tooth when there’s a problem. Each of your teeth consists of three layers: the enamel, the dentin, and the pulp. The enamel is the outermost hard part that you can see, the dentin is the durable middle layer, and the pulp is the soft inside tissue containing blood vessels and nerves. Like other tissues in your body, the pulp can become infected or inflamed and cause terrible pain.

How can I tell if I need a root canal?

The need for a root canal can also arise from dental decay or breakage. In either case, the pulp becomes infected with bacteria or inflamed because of the trauma. Signs of tooth inflammation or infection include:

  • Dull, constant tooth pain
  • Sharp pain when you bite down
  • Heat sensitivity
  • Cold sensitivity
  • Gum inflammation
  • Tooth darkening


If you notice these differences, you should make an appointment at South Coast Dental at your earliest convenience. If you need a root canal, getting it early could mean the difference between keeping and losing your tooth. In the meantime, you can relieve the swelling with an ice pack.

What can I expect during a root canal?

When you come to South Coast Dental for a root canal, Dr. Bashawaty gives you a CT scan to view your inner tooth and determine the extent of the inflammation or infection. The view he gets from the CT scan allows him to perform the procedure very precisely while minimizing the chances of complications. 

Dr. Bashawaty performs root canals using microscopic endodontics. That means that he utilizes a microscope to magnify your tooth by up to 25 times, seeing the minute details including tiny cracks and hidden canals within your tooth. 

Dr. Bashawaty drills a hole in the chewing surface of your tooth through which he can access the pulp. As he views your tooth through the microscope, Dr. Bashawaty uses small specialized tools to remove infected and inflamed tissue while keeping the tooth’s structure intact and preserving areas of healthy tissue. Then, he fills the inner tooth with gutta-percha. He may also request that you get a custom crown attached at a second appointment for additional tooth reinforcement.

If you think you might need a root canal, call or click to reserve an appointment at South Coast Dental today.

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