As a top-ranked dentist in Los Angeles, CA, Dr. Rudell Jacinto corrects deep tooth decay with state-of-the-art root canal techniques aimed at helping patients avoid tooth loss. Dr. Jacinto's office is conveniently located near Central LA, Wilshire Center, Koreatown, Oakwood, Melrose, Farifax, La Brea, Beverly Grove, Little Ethiopia, Dockweiler, Vineyard, Mid-Wilshire, Faircrest Heights, and Mid City.
A root canal is a dental procedure that uses special tools and techniques to remove the deep, central portion of the tooth called the pulp. The pulp is the living portion of the tooth that extends all the way down to the roots through channels or canals. When the pulp becomes decayed or damaged, a root canal can remove the damaged pulp and fill the cavity so the tooth doesn't need to be extracted.
The only real way to know if you need a root canal is to have a dental exam so your teeth can be examined and x-rays can be taken to look for signs of deep decay, damage or infection. When your tooth is badly decayed or infected, it may cause problems like pain when biting or chewing, tender gums and persistent bad breath.
A root canal is similar to having a “regular” filling except special tools are used to reach the tooth's central pulp. Once the root canal is complete, a crown is usually placed over the tooth to provide strength and hide discoloration which typically occurs.
You could have a badly decayed tooth pulled, but generally speaking, it's always better to try to save a natural tooth. Your teeth work in pairs – upper and lower – and when you lose a tooth, you can cause problems with your bite that can result in uneven tooth wear and additional decay as well as jaw pain. Plus, when a tooth is missing, the jaw bone that supported the tooth will begin to atrophy, enabling neighboring teeth to “lean in” to the gap, causing weak roots and, eventually, additional tooth loss.