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Root Canal

Beautiful Smiles Dental

Zaihly Azar Santana, DDS

Dentist located in San Diego, National City, CA

Root canal therapy can help you preserve your natural teeth, even if they’ve been badly damaged. Having a successful root canal means you need to see a dentist with experience in the most advanced techniques, and Dr. Zaihly Azar is an excellent choice. As a top-rated dentist in San Diego, Dr. Azar is skilled in state-of-the-art root canal treatment techniques, helping patients at Beautiful Smiles Dental avoid extractions while still enjoying optimal oral health and avoiding more serious problems. Plus, Dr. Azar is experienced in pain management methods so you can relax and feel confident about your care, every step of the way.

Root Canal Q & A

What is a root canal treatment?

Every tooth has roots that connect the central portion of the tooth with the jaw. Inside this central tooth portion is the tooth pulp, which contains the nerves, blood vessels, and connective tissues that support the health of the tooth. The pulp extends from the center to the root in narrow channels or canals. Many superficial cavities never reach this deeper part of the tooth. But sometimes, the pulp becomes infected or otherwise damaged. In those cases, root canal treatment often can be used to preserve the tooth and avoid having it pulled.

How is a root canal performed?

Root canal treatment (sometimes called root canal therapy or RCT) uses a similar approach as the method used to treat cavities in the more superficial layers of the tooth. Special instruments are used to access and then remove the damaged pulp. Then the area is cleaned, and the canal is sealed and filled with a special filling material. If there’s an infection, Dr. Azar might use a medicinal filling first to treat the infection, then replace that filling with a “regular” filling at your next office visit. Once the tooth is filled, it will need to be covered and protected with a crown, which will be applied during a separate visit.

Do root canals hurt?

Dr. Azar uses special pain management methods to reduce discomfort during the root canal procedure and during your recovery to help you stay relaxed and comfortable.

Do I have to have a crown?

Yes. Crowns provide an added layer of protection and strength to the tooth so it doesn't break after root canal treatment when the tooth is weak, plus they help hide discoloration that tends to occur once the central pulp portion of a tooth is removed.

Why is a root canal better than having the tooth pulled?

Root canal therapy preserves your tooth so your bite balance is maintained, and that means you won’t risk developing bite imbalances that can lead to uneven tooth wear, cavities, and chronic jaw pain and headaches. Plus, having a root canal to preserve your own tooth is usually much less costly than having a tooth pulled and then replaced with a restoration. Keeping your tooth is also a more comfortable option compared to having it replaced with a denture, which can slip and cause sore spots, and most people simply prefer knowing they’ve kept their own tooth.