At Los Gatos Family Dentistry, we offer root canals performed in a state-of-the-art facility. Although “root canal” has traditionally been synonymous with “something intensely painful and unpleasant,” it really doesn’t need to be!
Root canal therapy is simply the treatment of an infection that occurs inside one or more of a tooth’s roots. Once we remove the infectious bacteria from deep within the tooth's roots, the infection is eliminated, and so is the pain.
Why We Need to Perform a Root Canal
Within the root of each tooth is a chamber that contains nerves and blood vessels; this is the life force of a tooth as it develops. When an infection takes hold, this material (called the pulp) gradually dies. This process may take years, throughout which the patient may experience a range of uncomfortable symptoms.
Though the phrase “root canal” is often associated with immense pain, this treatment is the preferred method of removing infectious bacteria from deep within a tooth. It is the inflammation caused by an infection that leads to throbbing, persistent pain. Eliminating the infection and sealing the treated tooth is the only way to relieve pain, so that’s when we will recommend our root canals as a treatment option at our Los Gatos dental office.
The Root Canal Procedure
Contrary to widespread belief, root canal therapy is not a painful procedure to be avoided, but rather a necessary treatment that can help preserve your tooth and eliminate pain caused by an infection. In fact, this procedure is typically no more uncomfortable than a simple filling, and it may eliminate the need for extraction in the short-term.
During root canal procedures performed at our Los Gatos dental office, the infected pulp is removed, and the resultant cavity is cleaned and disinfected. The entire area is numb throughout this procedure, so you won’t feel a thing as Dr. Phan prepares your tooth to be filled.
When we are sure we have removed the last remnants of infected tissue, we fill the area with a biocompatible material called gutta-percha. To protect the tooth against future damage, Dr. Phan will then cover it with a custom dental crown.
Symptoms of a Root Canal Infection
While an examination with Dr. Phan is the only definitive way to diagnose a root canal infection, there are some obvious signs associated with this type of problem that you can keep in mind between dental visits. These root canal infection symptoms include:
- Pain while chewing or when pressure is applied to the tooth
- A recurring bump on the gums near the affected tooth
- A change in the color of the tooth; it may take on a dull gray hue
- Intense sensitivity to extreme temperatures
- Gum tenderness or inflammation
- Pain that radiates throughout the jaw
While most cases of infection with a tooth do result in uncomfortable symptoms, it is important to remember that not all cases lead to noticeable signs of damage. This fact is why regular visits to Los Gatos Family Dentistry are integral to your continued oral health.
Using the latest in dental diagnostic technology, Dr. Phan can detect the presence of a potentially serious issue before the problem grows worse and puts your smile at risk.
Do You Need Root Canal Therapy in Los Gatos?
If you have been told that you need root canal therapy or if you suspect that you might be suffering from a tooth root infection, we invite you to contact our office today to schedule an appointment with Dr. Phan.
Our state-of-the-art dental practice proudly serves families from throughout Los Gatos, CA, and the communities of Saratoga, San Jose, Cupertino, Campbell, Sunnyvale, Monte Sereno, Los Altos, and beyond.