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In the United States alone, 15 million root canals are performed every year. What was once a procedure that incited fear among patients has become commonplace, and root canals are one of the best ways to relieve pain and save otherwise healthy teeth.

At Grace Dental Group in Fillmore District, San Francisco,  Dr. Sean Kim and Dr. Woo Young Lee provide endodontic services, including root canals, to relieve your pain and halt the infection of the tooth root.

The anatomy of your tooth

From the outermost layer to the innermost, your tooth’s structure includes:

  • A thin layer of shiny enamel that protects your teeth from most substances
  • A thick layer of hard dentin, with long roots that go down into your jaw
  • A pulpy interior filling each root
  • A nerve running through each root

When you need a root canal

The nerves and pulp in the roots helped your teeth grow to maturity, but adult teeth don’t need them anymore. That’s why, if your tooth root pulp gets infected, it can be safely removed. You might need a root canal if you have pain in your tooth that is intense and seems to come in waves, or gets worse when exposed to hot or cold temperatures or pressure.

The infection in the pulp can easily spread to the gums and soft tissues of your mouth, and could even cause you to lose your tooth. A root canal can safely and effectively remove the infection before it reaches that point.

How a root canal works

During your root canal, your dentist simply opens the tooth up, cleans out the infected pulp, and deadens the nerve. Then he fills the inside of your tooth roots with a sterile, rubber-like material and covers up the top of the tooth he drilled through with a restoration of your original tooth surface, known as a dental crown. The whole procedure typically takes two visits.

After your visit, you’ll probably feel some residual discomfort and tingling for a few days. We’ll make sure you have pain medication and follow up with you to make sure your mouth and teeth are healthy during your biannual cleanings. Overall, root canals have a high rate of success, and you’ll be pain-free and your restored tooth will be fine for years to come.

If you think you need a root canal, don’t delay out of fear over the procedure. Contact our office today at (415) 921-8867 or book your visit online.

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