Root Canal San Francisco
When you think of a root canal procedure, you may automatically think of it as a painful experience. However, root canals are a common dental procedure that is performed to save a tooth that has been infected or damaged. Dental practices have come a long way, and root canals are now a much less invasive and painful procedure than they used to be.
If you need a root canal in San Francisco, Post Street Dental and our partner practice Young Dental SF Group, have qualified, expert dentists who can perform the procedure quickly and effectively. We understand that the thought of a root canal may be daunting, but we assure you that you’re in good hands with our experienced team. Call (415) 986-4534 to schedule an appointment or complete the online booking form and see why we are the best dentist in San Francisco.
What Is a Root Canal Procedure?
A tooth is made up of 2 main parts, the root, which anchors the tooth in the jawbone, and the crown, which is the visible part of the tooth. The root canal procedure is an endodontic treatment performed when the soft nerve tissue inside the root (known as the pulp) becomes damaged or infected. This can be caused by several things, such as decay (deep cavity), a crack or chip in the tooth, or repeated dental procedures.
Once the dental pulp is damaged, it can begin to die, leading to an abscess (a pus-filled pocket) forming at the end of the root. If left untreated, an abscess can cause severe damage to the tooth and jawbone and even lead to a life-threatening situation. A root canal procedure removes the damaged pulp and cleans out the canal, sealing it to prevent future infection in the diseased tooth.
Do I Need a Root Canal Procedure?
You may need a root canal procedure if you have any of the following symptoms:
- Severe pain or toothache
- Sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures
- Darkened tooth color
- Swelling or tenderness in the gums
- A small bump on the gums near the affected tooth
If you have any of these symptoms, please contact us today to schedule an appointment.
What Is the Procedure Like?
During your consultation, your dentist takes dental X-rays and will perform a thorough examination of your mouth, teeth, and gums to look for signs of infection and determine if root canal therapy is necessary. If they determine that you do need it, they will explain the procedure to you in detail and answer any questions that you may have. Your dentist will also discuss additional sedation options if you are anxious about the procedure.
The root canal procedure is usually performed over one to two visits to the dentist. During the first visit, the tooth will be numbed with local anesthesia, and a rubber dam will be placed around the tooth to keep it dry. The dentist will then access the pulp chamber and root canals through a small opening in the top of the tooth.
The infected pulp and any decay or infection will then be removed from the tooth root. The root canal will be cleaned and sealed with a rubber-like material called gutta-percha. A temporary filling will be used to seal the tooth, and you will be scheduled for a follow-up appointment.
At the second appointment, the temporary filling will be removed, and a permanent filling or crown will be placed. The type of permanent restoration used will depend on the tooth’s location and function, as well as how much dental structure remains.
After the Procedure
After the procedure, you will be given specific instructions on caring for your mouth and the tooth. It is important to follow these instructions carefully to ensure a successful outcome.
- You may experience sensitivity or discomfort for a few days after the procedure, but this can be controlled with over-the-counter pain medication.
- It’s important to avoid chewing on the tooth until the permanent filling or crown has been placed. You should also avoid flossing near the tooth as well.
- Swelling can be managed with ice packs placed on the outside of your cheek at 20 min intervals.
- Brushing and rinsing with warm salt water can help to keep the area clean and free from infection.
- Avoid smoking for 48 hours after the procedure as it can slow the healing process.
Tooth Removal or Root Canal?
Your dentist’s goal is to always save your natural teeth whenever possible. However, there are some cases where tooth removal may be the best option. Some factors that can influence this decision include:
- The extent of the decay or infection
- The location of the tooth
- The health of the surrounding teeth
- Your overall oral health
If your dentist decides that a root canal procedure is not the best option for you, they will discuss tooth extraction and other treatment options with you, including dental implants or bridge.
What Are The Risks?
Root canal procedures are generally very successful and have a high success rate. However, as with any dental procedure, there are some risks involved. These risks include:
Infection. If the tooth is not completely clean of bacteria, there is a risk that the infection could come back.
Nerve damage. There is a small risk that the nerve could be damaged during the procedure. This could cause numbness or tingling in the lip, tongue, or gums.
Failure to heal. In some cases, the root canal procedure may fail, and the tooth may not heal properly. This could require additional treatment, including another root canal procedure or tooth removal.
Frequently Asked Questions
No, a root canal should not hurt. The area will be numbed with local anesthesia before the procedure, so you should not feel any pain. You may experience sensitivity or discomfort after the procedure, but this can be controlled with over-the-counter pain medication.
A root canal procedure usually takes two office visits. The first appointment is to clean the tooth of infected, inflamed pulp and seal the tooth. The second appointment is to place the permanent filling or crown. The length of each appointment will vary depending on the individual case.
Most dental insurance policies will cover a portion of the cost of a root canal procedure. However, coverage may vary depending on your plan. We recommend you check with your insurance provider to find out exactly what is covered.
No, a crown is not always necessary after a root canal. In some cases, the tooth can be saved with just a filling. However, a crown may be needed in other cases to protect the tooth from further damage.
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Your San Francisco Root Canal Dentist
At Post Street Dental and our partner practice, Young Dental SF Group, our staff will work with you to ensure that you are comfortable and informed throughout the process. Root canals do not need to be a stressful experience. If you need a root canal procedure in San Francisco or any other dental treatment, we want to help. Please call us at (415) 986-4534. We are located at 490 Post St Suite 520, San Francisco, CA.
We look forward to helping you keep your smile healthy!