Root Canal

Sonoma Endodontics

Dr. Tina Vani

Endodontist located in Petaluma, CA

Although many people worry about having the procedure done, millions of teeth are saved each year through root canals. To relieve your tooth pain through an expert root canal procedure, trust Dr. Tina Vani of Sonoma Endodontics in Petaluma, California. Make an appointment to take advantage of her expertise by calling the office or using the online booking agent.

Root Canal Q & A

What is a root canal?

A root canal saves a tooth that has an infected pulp. The pulp lies deep within your tooth and contains nerves, blood vessels, and connective tissue to support your tooth’s growth as it develops. Once a tooth reaches maturity, it no longer needs the pulp, as it is supported and nourished by the tissues of the gums and jawbone.

During a root canal, Dr. Vani removes the infected pulp, replaces it with a biocompatible material, and seals the tooth. This preserves the tooth and saves it from decay.

Why is it important to save your natural teeth?

Saving your natural teeth enhances your smile. It prevents other teeth from changing position or experiencing stress. Your natural teeth also provide optimal biting force and the most efficient chewing capabilities. When you have a root canal and preserve your tooth, you also save the expense of an extraction and dental implant to replace the missing tooth.

What indicates that I need a root canal?

Sometimes a tooth with infected pulp shows no symptoms and is only detected during a regular exam. Signs that you may need a root canal include:

  • A pimple on the gums or abscess in your mouth near the infected tooth
  • Severe pain
  • Sustained intolerance to hot and cold temperature drinks and food
  • Darkening of the tooth
  • Swelling in the nearby soft tissue of the gums or cheek

What causes the pulp of my tooth to become infected?

Poor dental hygiene can lead to an infected tooth. You may also have had repeated dental procedures, a crack or chip that allowed bacteria to enter the tooth, or a faulty crown that failed to protect the tooth completely. If you had trauma to the tooth, such as during an accident or fall, you may also have pulp damage that requires a root canal.

What happens during a root canal?

The root canal procedure is not painful, despite its reputation. It actually resolves pain and other symptoms of the infected tooth.

During a root canal, Dr. Vani uses local anesthesia on the area to be treated. She creates a tiny hole in the tooth and thoroughly cleans out all the infected pulp. She applies a disinfectant to discourage future infection and fills the area with a material called gutta-percha. Once the tooth is sealed, it’s capped with a protective crown that helps it look and function just like your other teeth.