Alex H. Mendoza, D.D.S.
Cosmetic, Family and General Dentistry located in San Jose, CA
Every year, about 15 million Americans get a root canal. A root canal is a quick, outpatient procedure used to prevent damage or infection to your pulp — the soft center of a tooth. At Japantown Dental in San Jose, California, Alex Mendoza, DDS, and the team provide root canal therapy on-site. If you’re experiencing a toothache, don’t wait to schedule an appointment. Book a consultation online or call the office to speak with a friendly staff member today.
Root Canal Q&A
What is a root canal?
A root canal is an outpatient procedure used to remove the soft center of your tooth called the pulp. Pulp contains connective tissue, blood vessels, and nerves. It helps your tooth grow and allows you to feel variations in temperature but isn’t necessary for a tooth’s long-term survival.
By removing your tooth pulp, it’s possible to ease pain and prevent the need for an extraction.
Why would I need a root canal?
A root canal treats damaged or infected tooth pulp. Some common causes of pulp damage include:
- Chipped or cracked teeth
- Deep decay caused by an untreated cavity
- Sports injuries
- Slip and fall injuries
- Getting hit in the mouth
You might also benefit from a root canal if you have a tooth that’s undergone multiple dental procedures.
What happens during a root canal treatment?
Root canal treatment is a quick and relatively pain-free outpatient procedure. It typically takes 60-90 minutes.
During your appointment, the team at Japantown Dental administers a local anesthetic to numb your tooth roots and gums.
Your provider carefully makes an access hole in the top of your tooth and removes the infected or inflamed pulp. Then, the center of your tooth is cleaned with an antiseptic and filled with a rubbery material called gutta-percha.
Afterward, the team takes impressions of your tooth and sends them to a dental lab that makes a permanent crown. Before you leave the office, your dentist bonds a temporary crown to your treated tooth.
A week or two later, you return to Japantown Dental. The team removes your temporary crown and bonds your permanent crown to the top of your tooth. You leave the appointment with a fully restored smile.
What is the recovery process after a root canal?
After a root canal, it’s normal to experience some mild swelling and increased tooth sensitivity for a few days. Follow your dentist’s instructions and feel free to take an over-the-counter pain medication for relief.
You can continue to brush and floss the treated tooth, but make sure to do so gently. Avoid chewing on your tooth until you receive a permanent crown.
Is root canal treatment painful?
Root canal treatment is safe and usually well-tolerated. To lower your risk of complications, make sure to brush and floss daily and visit Japantown Dental every six months for a professional cleaning and oral exam.
If you’re living with a toothache, schedule a root canal appointment at Japantown Dental. Book a consultation online or call the office to speak with a friendly staff member today.