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Posts for tag: root canal treatment

By Design a Smile
September 24, 2019
Category: Oral Health

Finding out that you need a root canal isn’t the best news you could get; however, it is pretty good that you keep up with your dental checkups so that our Miami family dentists Dr. Richard Romay, Dr. Martha Barrera, and Dr. Isis Sosa were able to catch the problem quickly. Having questions before getting any dental treatment is normal. Here are some of the top questions asked.

What is a root canal?

A root canal refers to small passages that branch out from the inside of the tooth to the tooth roots. Within the tooth you’ll find a dental pulp, a structure made from tissue, blood vessels, and nerves.

What is the purpose of root canal treatment?

Our Miami dentist will recommend root canal therapy when the dental pulp has become inflamed or infected. This happens when bacteria is able to get inside the tooth. This can occur as a result of severe decay, damage to the tooth (e.g. fracture), or traumatic injury/impact.

What are the warning signs that I might need root canal treatment?

When a root canal becomes infected the most obvious warning sign is a toothache. The pain is usually severe and may get worse when chewing or putting pressure on the tooth. It’s also common for the affected tooth to become sensitive to hot or cold (this is particularly common for teeth that are cracked or broken). If left untreated, the tooth will darken (this is a sign that the tissue inside the tooth has died). The gums around the tooth may also be red and swollen. A toothache alone isn't a dental emergency, so be sure to see your Miami dentist immediately.

Does getting a root canal hurt?

Contrary to what you might think, the purpose of a root canal is to actually treat the source of your pain not cause you pain. One thing that tends to put people at ease is to know that a root canal is no more invasive a procedure than getting a tooth filled. We will first numb the area around the tooth and the treatment process usually takes about 90 minutes.

Design a Smile has two offices in Miami, FL, providing comprehensive dental care to patients of all ages. If you are dealing with a toothache or other dental problems, call our office right away.


As the host of America's Funniest Home Videos on ABC TV, Alfonso Ribeiro has witnessed plenty of unintentional physical comedy…or, as he puts it in an interview with Dear Doctor–Dentistry & Oral Health magazine, "When people do stuff and you're like, 'Dude, you just hurt yourself for no reason!'" So when he had his own dental dilemma, Alfonso was determined not to let it turn onto an "epic fail."

The television personality was in his thirties when a painful tooth infection flared up. Instead of ignoring the problem, he took care of it by visiting his dentist, who recommended a root canal procedure. "It's not like you wake up and go, 'Yay, I'm going to have my root canal today!'" he joked. "But once it's done, you couldn't be happier because the pain is gone and you're just smiling because you're no longer in pain!"

Alfonso's experience echoes that of many other people. The root canal procedure is designed to save an infected tooth that otherwise would probably be lost. The infection may start when harmful bacteria from the mouth create a small hole (called a cavity) in the tooth's surface. If left untreated, the decay bacteria continue to eat away at the tooth's structure. Eventually, they can reach the soft pulp tissue, which extends through branching spaces deep inside the tooth called root canals.

Once infection gets a foothold there, it's time for root canal treatment! In this procedure, the area is first numbed; next, a small hole is made in the tooth to give access to the pulp, which contains nerves and blood vessels. The diseased tissue is then carefully removed with tiny instruments, and the canals are disinfected to prevent bacteria from spreading. Finally, the tooth is sealed up to prevent re-infection. Following treatment, a crown (cap) is usually required to restore the tooth's full function and appearance.

Root canal treatment sometimes gets a bad rap from people who are unfamiliar with it, or have come across misinformation on the internet. The truth is, a root canal doesn't cause pain: It relieves pain! The alternatives—having the tooth pulled or leaving the infection untreated—are often much worse.

Having a tooth extracted and replaced can be costly and time consuming…yet a missing tooth that isn't replaced can cause problems for your oral health, nutrition and self-esteem. And an untreated infection doesn't just go away on its own—it continues to smolder in your body, potentially causing serious problems. So if you need a root canal, don't delay!

If you would like additional information on root canal treatment, please contact us or schedule a consultation. You can learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine articles “A Step-By-Step Guide to Root Canal Treatment” and “Root Canal Treatment: What You Need to Know.”