Landmark Dental Arts Logo

Root Canal Therapy: When and Why It Is Needed?

Root Canal Therapy: When and Why It Is Needed?

Have you ever heard someone say, “I’d rather have a root canal than…” followed by something they really don’t want to do? We’re here to tell you that root canals aren’t as bad as their reputation suggests! In fact, they’re a vital dental procedure that can save your tooth and relieve pain. Let’s discuss the world of root canal therapy and demystify this often misunderstood treatment.

What Exactly Is a Root Canal?

Before we get into the nitty-gritty, let’s start with the basics. A root canal is a dental procedure that treats the inside of a tooth. It’s named after the part of the tooth it addresses – the root canal system. This system is a network of tiny passages that run from the tooth’s center down to the root’s tip.

A root canal becomes necessary when the soft tissue inside this system (called the pulp) becomes infected or inflamed. The procedure involves removing the damaged pulp, cleaning the canal system, and then filling and sealing it to prevent further infection.

When Is Root Canal Therapy Needed?

Now that we know what a root canal is let’s talk about when you might need one. Root canal therapy becomes necessary when the pulp inside your tooth becomes infected or inflamed. This can happen for several reasons:

Deep decay: When a cavity goes untreated and reaches the pulp of the tooth.
Repeated dental procedures: Multiple procedures on the same tooth can cause irritation.
Cracked or chipped tooth: Damage to the tooth can allow bacteria to enter the pulp.
Injury: Even if there’s no visible damage, a tooth injury can cause pulp damage.

The Symptoms for Root Canal Therapy

How do you know if you might need a root canal? While only a dentist can diagnose the need for this procedure, there are some telltale signs to watch out for:

● Severe tooth pain, especially when chewing or applying pressure
● Prolonged sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures
● Discoloration of the tooth
● Swelling and tenderness in nearby gums
● A persistent or recurring pimple on the gums

If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, you must schedule an appointment with your dentist immediately. At Landmark Dental in Kearny Mesa, we’re always here to help you maintain your oral health and address any concerns you might have.

How to Get Prepared

So, your dentist has recommended a root canal. What now? Don’t worry! With a little preparation, you can confidently approach your root canal appointment. Here are some tips to help you get ready:

1. Ask questions: Don’t hesitate to discuss any concerns with your dentist. Understanding the procedure can help ease anxiety.
2. Take prescribed medications: If your dentist prescribes antibiotics before the procedure, be sure to take them as directed.
3. Eat before the appointment: You might not feel like eating immediately after the procedure, so have a good meal beforehand.
4. Arrange transportation: Depending on the type of anesthesia used, you might need someone to drive you home after the procedure.
5. Wear comfortable clothing: Choose loose, comfortable clothes for your appointment.

Remember, being prepared can make a world of difference in your root canal experience.

Is Root Canal Painful?

Now, let’s address the elephant in the room – pain. Many people associate root canals with pain, but the truth is the procedure itself is typically no more uncomfortable than getting a filling. Thanks to modern techniques and effective anesthesia, most patients report feeling little to no pain during the procedure.

In fact, root canal therapy is designed to relieve pain, not cause it. The discomfort many people associate with root canals often comes from the infection itself, not the treatment. After the procedure, you might experience some sensitivity for a few days, but this is usually manageable with over-the-counter pain relievers.

The Root Canal Process

Let’s walk through what you can expect during a root canal procedure at Landmark Dental:

1. Examination and X-ray: We’ll start by examining the tooth and taking X-rays to plan the procedure.
2. Anesthesia: Local anesthesia is administered to ensure you’re comfortable throughout the procedure.
3. Isolation: A dental dam is placed to keep the area dry and free from saliva during treatment.
4. Access: A small opening is made in the crown of the tooth to access the pulp chamber.
5. Pulp removal: The infected or inflamed pulp is carefully removed.
6. Cleaning and shaping: The root canals are cleaned, shaped, and disinfected.
7. Filling: The cleaned canals are filled with a biocompatible material called gutta-percha.
8. Sealing: The opening in the tooth is sealed with a temporary filling.
9. Crown placement: A crown is placed on the tooth to protect it and restore full function.

Aftercare and Recovery

After your root canal, it’s important to follow your dentist’s aftercare instructions. These typically include:

1. Avoiding chewing on the treated tooth until it’s fully restored
2. Practicing good oral hygiene – brushing twice a day and flossing daily
3. Returning for any follow-up appointments as scheduled

Most patients can return to their normal activities the day after the procedure. Any discomfort should subside within a few days, and you’ll soon be enjoying your restored pain-free tooth!

Your Dental Health Matters

At Landmark Dental, we believe that a healthy smile is a key component of overall well-being. Root canal therapy, when needed, plays a crucial role in maintaining that healthy smile. By addressing infections and saving natural teeth, root canals can prevent more serious dental and health issues down the line.

If you’ve been putting off dental treatment due to fear or anxiety, we encourage you to reach out to us. At Landmark Dental, we’re committed to making your dental experience as comfortable and stress-free as possible. From our friendly staff to our modern, relaxing office environment, we’re here to change your perception of dental visits.

Schedule Your Appointment Today!

Don’t let tooth pain or dental concerns impact your quality of life. If you’re experiencing any symptoms that might indicate the need for a root canal or if you’re due for a regular check-up, we’re here to help. Contact Landmark Dental in Kearny Mesa today to schedule your appointment.


Landmark Dental Arts
4540 Kearny Villa Road, Suite 116
San Diego, CA 92123
Phone: 858-571-3534
Fax: (858) 571-5826

Monday By Appointment Only
Tuesday 9:00 am - 6:00 pm
Wednesday 9:00 am - 6:00 pm
Thursday 9:00 am - 6:00 pm
Friday By Appointment Only
Saturday Closed
Sunday Closed