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Root Canals

Steven H. Chang, DDS

Family Dentists & General Dentists located in Monterey, CA

A root canal is a tooth-saving procedure that restores your tooth after an infection or severe decay. Steven H. Chang, DDS, and his team perform root canals at their office in Monterey, California, for your convenience. They even offer their services to other dentists in the area. Root canal therapy removes any infected nerve tissue from inside your tooth, eliminating any pain and discomfort you experience. To schedule an appointment at the office of Steven H. Chang, DDS, call or book online today.

Root Canals Q & A

What are root canals?

A root canal is an endodontic procedure that removes the living tissue inside your tooth. Also called the pulp, this tissue contains many nerves and blood vessels. The pulp is important for your early tooth development. Once your tooth fully matures, however, you no longer need your tooth pulp.

If you have an infection or decay that reaches the center of your tooth, Dr. Chang and his team remove the pulp to prevent it from spreading.

Root canals can save your tooth from severe damage. In many cases, the team performs root canals to avoid extracting permanent teeth.

Why would I need a root canal?

The most common reasons for root canals are severe tooth decay or infections that reach the soft tissues of the tooth. A tooth infection can be dangerous when left untreated. Some of the warning signs of a tooth infection include:

  • Tooth pain
  • Difficulty chewing
  • Sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures
  • Swelling or tenderness
  • Fever
  • Swollen lymph nodes in jaw and neck
  • Small pimple on gums

In some cases, a tooth infection can lead to an abscess. An abscess is a pus-filled sac that forms on your tooth roots. Eventually, an abscess can burst. If you have a ruptured abscess, you may experience a rush of foul-tasting liquid in your mouth. Contact Dr. Chang and his team right away if you have a ruptured tooth abscess to avoid further damage.

What happens during root canals?

Dr. Chang and his team use digital X-rays and other imaging scans to diagnose severe decay and infections. Once you have a diagnosis, the team administers a local anesthetic to minimize discomfort during the procedure. Sedation is also available if needed.

Next, the team creates a small access hole in the center of your tooth. Using small dental instruments, they extract your tooth pulp. To ensure the infection is completely gone, they clean and disinfect your tooth chamber.

Once your tooth is free of infection, Dr. Chang and the team replace your tooth pulp with a biocompatible material called gutta-percha. Finally, they seal the access hole to prevent further infection.

If your tooth is vulnerable to decay or infection, the team may recommend protecting it with a dental crown. This tooth-shaped cap fits over the visible portion of your tooth to restore its shape and size. Crowns also protect weak teeth from damage and seal out bacteria.

To learn more about root canals, call Steven H. Chang, DDS, or schedule an appointment online today.