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First! What is a root canal?

Let's cover the basics

When people often think of root canals, they think of pain, but the procedure itself is painless. A root canal will remove the infection, stop the pain and save your tooth. 

We have an in-house root canal specialist, also known as endodontist, who can give you the confidence you are receiving expert care. 

Root Canal Dentist South San Francisco

"As an endodontist, I am in a unique position to help people feel better, improve their oral and overall health, and encourage them to maintain their natural teeth.” 

Dr. Jeffrey Yui 

Root canal specialist

Why Patients Love Dr. Jeffrey Yui

Root Canal Patient

"Dr. Yui made my entire experience pain free and enjoyable. Had to have a couple of root canals. The entire office environment is very warm and welcoming." 


Danny M.

Root Canal Patient in South San Francisco

"Dr. Yui is a miracle worker! The root canal went off without a hitch and I was one of the lucky ones who didn't experience any of the post-root canal negatives like swelling, pain, and sore gums."


Amy L.

Check our guide to root canals!

Expand each section to learn more

What is a root canal?

The name of this dental procedure is derived from the actual cleaning of damaged area inside the tooth, also known as the pulp (pulpectomy). The pulp is a soft tissue that contains nerves, blood vessels and connective tissue. This soft tissue helps sustain your tooth and is located inside the tooth extending from the crown to the root within the jaw. Thus, if a tooth is left untreated, you may accumulate puss at the root, forming a "pus-pocket" called an abscess. This leads to high pain, swelling and sometimes fever. A root canal is not painful as some describe and can be explained in three steps: 1) We remove the damaged area of the tooth 2) Then, the area is then disinfected and cleaned 3) We then fill and seal the tooth Something important to remember is that if the root of a treated tooth is nourished, the tooth will remain healthy. This is why it is important to continue to care for your teeth and gums.

What is a root canal retreatment?

There are cases when a tooth that has been treated with a root canal doesn't heal properly and produces pain. If this is happening to you, endodontic retreatment may be a great choice. The goal of endodontic retreatment is to give your tooth a second chance at healing properly ultimately saving your tooth. During endodontic retreatment a few steps will occur: We will remove the canal filling Examine the canals for abnormalities Clean the canals, seal, and place a filling Once the process is completed a new crown or restoration will be placed on the tooth to restore it back to its full function and look. However, if we see that the canals are very narrow, we may perform an endodontic surgery to further complete the endodontic retreatment.

Why do I need a root canal?

In the past, a tooth with disease or decay would be simply extracted. However, a root canal is a common procedure that helps repair and save a severely damaged tooth. Some examples that often lead to a root canal are: Cavities Cracked or fractured tooth General injury to the tooth Our in-house root canal specialist, an endodontist, will recommend a root canal based on patient symptoms, a digital x-ray and an endodontic microscope. You can be confident that your diagnosis will be accurate and verifiable.

Does a root canal hurt?

The root canal procedure itself is painless. The pain you feel is caused by an infection in the tooth, not by root canal treatment. A root canal is done to eliminate that pain and save your tooth from requiring extraction. We will apply a local anesthetic to numb the tooth and the surrounding area. Many people may be afraid to have a root canal because they are anxious about having dental work done. We can provide sedation to help reduce your anxiety and fear. Ask about our sedation options.

Why Choose Us for Root Canal Treatment

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