Root Canal Therapy

In general, root canal therapy has a negative reputation for being a painful and intimidating procedure. However, statements and ideas such as these are mostly the result of rumors. While root canal therapy is a more invasive procedure, the technique itself does not cause more or less pain than any other restorative or cosmetic treatment performed.

Schedule a Consultation

At La Jolla Cosmetic Dentistry & Orthodontics in San Diego, CA, our modern and technologically advanced dentistry allows patients to receive root canal therapy in a comfortable environment. We offer sedation dentistry and state-of-the-art techniques to ensure a safe, relaxing dental experience.

Dr. Kohani takes care to ensure that all patients are completely at ease before, during, and after all procedures. He provides a comprehensive treatment plan, and any questions or concerns you may have can be discussed during your consultation before treatment.

Do I Need Root Canal Therapy?

When one tooth or multiple teeth become decayed or infected, it can lead to more invasive treatment required to correct the issue. A root canal, otherwise referred to as endodontic treatment (meaning that it occurs within the tooth), repairs and saves the affected tooth. This restorative method preserves the natural tooth.

Inside every tooth, underneath the hard enamel and underlying layer of dentin, there are soft pockets of pulp, which harbor blood vessels, nerve endings, root canals, and soft connective tissues that connect the tooth to the surrounding tissues in the jaw. The pulp chamber is what allows a tooth to grow and evolve during its many stages of development, and it becomes stationary when your dentition is fully established. Root canals are what connect the pulp to the nerves and blood vessels.

There are certain instances when the pulp becomes infected due to dental trauma or decay that has traveled deep into the tooth’s roots. When infection occurs within the pulp, a root canal is usually suggested to try and save the tooth’s natural structure. Without having a root canal performed, the infection can spread beyond the roots of the tooth and begin to impact the health of your other teeth, bones, and organs.

What Are the Benefits of Root Canal Therapy?

Reduced Tooth Sensitivity

Reduced Tooth Sensitivity

When the teeth are sensitive to hot or cold temperatures, eating and drinking can become difficult. Chewing can be painful, and the gums may become tender to the touch. Root canal therapy reduces discomfort and sensitivity in your teeth and gums by removing the cause of inflammation and infection.

Less Swelling

Less Swelling

Swelling around the gums where the tooth is located or in the lymph nodes in your neck can cause pain and discomfort. It can begin as mild swelling and become worse if not treated properly. Root canal therapy can be conducted to eliminate swollen gums and lymph nodes and restore the tooth.

Healthier Teeth and Gums

Healthier Teeth and Gums

Discoloration of the teeth and unhealthy mouth conditions can lead to diminished oral health and lower self-confidence. Infections within the teeth can cause permanent damage. The goal of root canal therapy is to address teeth concerns and remove potential problems that can cause more issues.

What Are the Root Canal Treatment Steps?

  • Dr. Kohani believes that saving the natural tooth will benefit your oral health the most. With this conservative approach to dentistry, he can provide treatment that works with your tooth structure to create a smile that is true to your specific needs and cosmetic goals.

    Dr. Kohani will take X-rays of the tooth using a 3D digital CT scan and locate the infection, at which point he will determine whether endodontic treatment is the right method for saving your tooth. Tooth extractions are also an option when preserving the health of your teeth and jaw, but they can also be costly and need to be replaced with a dental implant or bridge to restore functionality. If possible, depending on the extent of your infection, it is always best to save the natural tooth structure.

  • A root canal treatment specifically targets the infected pulp in the tooth and works to remove it from the mouth. Before the procedure is performed, Dr. Kohani will use a local anesthetic to numb the area. A sheet made of rubber, known as a dental dam, protects the mouth during treatment and also keeps bacteria away from the tooth receiving root canal therapy.

    Once the feeling is lost in the tooth, Dr. Kohani will create a small hole in the crown to access the pulp below. The dental pulp is carefully extracted from the tooth, the infection is wiped clean and disinfected, and the root canal walls are reshaped. The root canals are then replaced with gutta-percha, a biocompatible material similar in consistency to rubber. Dr. Kohani will then seal the root canals and replace your natural tooth enamel with a ceramic crown. Afterward, your tooth will be restored to its full function with the same inherent qualities as before.

  • As the anesthetic effects wear off, you will likely experience some sensitivity around your newly restored tooth, especially if you felt pain before your procedure. Cold compresses work to alleviate discomfort, and over-the-counter pain medications can relieve your soreness.

    Any pain or soreness should subside within a week of undergoing your root canal. However, if the pain persists, please contact Dr. Kohani for a follow-up appointment.

    You may also notice that your restored tooth feels different than your natural teeth because a ceramic restoration has partially or entirely replaced your natural tooth enamel. Although it may take some time to get used to the new surface, your replacement should act just like your natural teeth and even have improved function since having the discomfort of the infection eliminated.


Frequently Asked Questions

  • If you experience tooth sensitivity, tenderness, pain associated with cold or hot temperatures, or discoloration, then you may need a root canal treatment. An appointment with Dr. Kohani is necessary to evaluate your dentition and diagnose the cause of your symptoms.

  • Depending on the extent of correction being made, a root canal can take between one and two hours to complete. Most root canal treatments can be finished in one visit, while others may require a second visit.

  • Some insurance companies partially cover root canal therapy, so please contact your provider and discuss what your coverage plan includes. Your pricing will be discussed during your consultation, and a treatment plan will be established.

  • For some patients, pain does not present itself when the tooth becomes infected. This does not mean that the infection is not present or that it went away; different bodies react in various ways to infections. After an assessment of your teeth and gums, it may be determined necessary for you to receive root canal therapy to avoid future concerns from developing.

  • With adequate oral hygiene, your root canal treatment can be long lasting. If cracks, decay, fractures, or other problems are avoided, then the tooth can remain healthy for many years after your treatment with proper oral care. Daily brushing and flossing can maintain healthy teeth and prevent the need for future root canal treatments.

Do You Have More Questions?

To learn more about root canal therapy, >cosmetic dentistry services, general dental services, or tooth replacement, please schedule your personal consultation today. Our La Jolla Cosmetic Dentistry & Orthodontics office is located in San Diego near La Jolla and Universal City. We encourage you to fill out our online contact form or call our office at (858) 295-0603 for more information about our services.