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Root Canal Therapy

Root canal therapy is needed when the nerve of a tooth is affected by decay or infection.  In order to save the tooth, the pulp (the living tissue inside the tooth), nerves, bacteria, and any decay are removed and the resulting space is filled with special, medicated, dental materials, which restore the tooth to its full function.

Having a root canal done on a tooth is the treatment of choice to save a tooth that otherwise would die and have to be removed.  Many patients believe that removing a tooth that has problems is the solution, but what is not realized is that extracting (pulling) a tooth will ultimately be more costly and cause significant problems for adjacent teeth.

Root canal treatment is highly successful and usually lasts a lifetime, although on occasion, a tooth will have to be retreated due to new infections.

Signs and symptoms for possible root canal therapy:

  • An abscess (or pimple) on the gums.
  • Sensitivity to hot and cold.
  • Severe toothache pain.
  • Sometimes no symptoms are present.
  • Swelling and/or tenderness.

Reasons for root canal therapy:

  • Decay has reached the tooth pulp (the living tissue inside the tooth).
  • Infection or abscess have developed inside the tooth or at the root tip.
  • Injury or trauma to the tooth.

What does root canal therapy involve?

A root canal procedure requires one or more appointments and can be performed by a dentist or endodontist (a root canal specialist).

While the tooth is numb, a rubber dam (a sheet of rubber) will be placed around the tooth to keep it dry and free of saliva.  An access opening is made on top of the tooth and a series of root canal files are placed into the opening, one at a time, removing the pulp, nerve tissue, and bacteria.  If tooth decay is present, it will also be removed with special dental instruments.

Once the tooth is thoroughly cleaned, it will be sealed with either a permanent filling or, if additional appointments are needed, a temporary filling will be placed.

At the next appointment, usually a week later, the roots and the inside cavity of the tooth will be filled and sealed with special dental materials.  A filling will be placed to cover the opening on top of the tooth.  In addition, all teeth that have root canal treatment should have a crown (cap) placed.  This will protect the tooth and prevent it from breaking, and restore it to its full function.

After treatment, your tooth may still be sensitive, but this will subside as the inflammation diminishes and the tooth has healed.

You will be given care instructions after each appointment.  Good oral hygiene practices and regular dental visits will aid in the life of your root canal treatment.

Testimonials.

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Testimonials

Dr Kawai has been one of the most helpful and outstanding dentists that I have ever had the pleasure of seeing. I've been going to him for the last eight years, but since I have moved away from the area, I can say that I no longer come here. I can only give him and his wonderful staff a five-star recommendation.

His staff has always given me helpful advice to maintaining my dental health, and to this day, I have not had a cavity or serious oral problem. If you're in the Palos Verdes area and are looking for a reliable dentist that pays attention to detail, I would definitely suggest paying Dr. Kawai a visit.

Steve N.

I had a couple of dental problems spring up. My regular dentist, whom I've been seeing for years, I felt, didn't do a good job. I wanted to get a second opinion for treatment and went to see Dr. Kawai as well as a couple of other dentists. He was kind, professional, very thorough and seemed to be an excellent dentist. He even caught a cracked tooth. I would recommend this dentist and am seriously considering switching dentists.

Chris K.

Fantastic dentist! I have been seeing him since I was a kid. Friendly, trustworthy, and reliable. He is available for emergencies and NEVER tries to upsell any product or try to do an unnecessary procedure. Side story: I went to another dentist while away at college and he said i had a cavity. I said i wanted another opinion and took the xrays home. I saw Dr. Kawai and he did an oral inspection, viewed the x-rays, and told me that was just a stain on my tooth, nothing to worry about! 8 years later, still no cavity on that tooth!

Sadly, the only downside is he does not take United Concordia, so i have to see another dentist. But if there are any serious issues, i will still go to him for a second opinion because i trust him implicitly!

Amanda H.

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Contact Us. We encourage you to contact us with any questions or comments you may have. Please call our office or use the quick contact form below.

Contact Us

We encourage you to contact us with any questions or comments you may have. Please call our office or use the quick contact form below.