Root Canal

MY Dental Place

Mary Anne Yu, DMD

Family Dentist located in Sunnyvale, CA

Two words that strike fear in the hearts of most people are “root canal.” The good news is that when you tease the myths from the facts and factor in the technological advances in dental care, a root canal becomes just another tactic in a dentist’s toolbox to save your natural teeth. At MY Dental Place in Sunnyvale, California, Dr. Mary Anne Yu walks you through the treatment to help restore your dental health. Go online to book your appointment or call today.

Root Canal Q & A

What is a root canal?

A root canal is a dental treatment to save a tooth. The procedure removes the dental pulp or soft tissue inside of a tooth, which contains nerves and blood vessels. Dr. Yu may recommend a root canal if the pulp becomes diseased or infected due to bacteria entering the tooth. Several common causes of an infection include:

  • A chipped, cracked, or broken tooth
  • A deep filling or cavity
  • Repeated procedures on a tooth

How do I know if I need a root canal?

Mild to intense tooth pain is one of the main symptoms of dental infections. If you’re experiencing pain, especially when you bite down, it’s a good idea to have Dr. Yu check out what’s going on. Other symptoms are:

  • Sensitivity to cold or hot foods
  • Swelling of the gums
  • Discoloration of the tooth

If left unchecked, these symptoms just get worse, so making an appointment with Dr. Yu as soon as possible to start down the road to diagnosing and treating the problem. Whenever possible, keeping your natural teeth is a top priority at MY Dental Place.

What happens during my root canal treatment?

Dr. Yu examines your tooth and takes an X-ray to determine whether a root canal is the best treatment option. If Dr. Yu recommends the procedure to save your tooth structure, several basic steps take place over one or two visits.

Step 1: Dr. Yu gives you a local anesthetic to numb the area. The tooth and affected area are isolated by a piece of plastic called a dam, giving Dr. Yu a clean work area free of saliva.

Step 2: A small hole is made in the crown of the affected tooth so that the pulp can be removed. Dr. Yu also reshapes and prepares the canal for filling.

Step 3: Once the canal is clean, Dr. Yu fills it with artificial dental pulp, a material called gutta-percha, which is mixed with an adhesive to seal the root canal. Dr. Yu then puts in a temporary filling.

Step 4: The final step is to replace the temporary filling with a permanent restoration or crown.