Root Canals

What is a root canal?

A root canal is a treatment that removes the inside layer of a tooth when there’s an issue. Every tooth consists of three layers: The enamel, dentin, and 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, often leading to 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 sensitivy

- Cold sensitivy

- Gum inflammation

- Tooth darkening

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, 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?

Our process begins with a CT scan to view your inner tooth and determine the extent of the inflammation or infection. Dr. Bashawaty performs root canals using microscopic endodontics, meaning he utilizes a microscope to magnify your tooth by up to 25 times, seeing the minute details including any tiny cracks or hidden canals. Next, a hole is drilled into the chewing surface of your tooth through which the pulp can be accessed. As your tooth is viewed 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, the inner tooth is filled with gutta-percha. A custom crown may have to be 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.