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Z dentistry Blog

Posts for tag: root canal

By Z Dentistry
June 11, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: root canal  

Tooth PainYour mouth’s health is an important part of keeping your entire body in good condition. However, many people avoid necessary dental procedures like root canals for fear of them being painful or being in the dental chair for a long amount of time. However, a root canal is a painless, common procedure which usually takes no more than an hour. Find out more about root canals and the signs you may need one with Dr. George Zatarain at Z Dentistry in Reno, NV.

What will a root canal do for my tooth? 
A root canal is a dental procedure which repairs a tooth damaged by infection of teeth decay. As decay moves through the layers of the tooth, it eventually reaches the inside pulp chamber which houses the tooth’s nerves and blood vessels. Once the infection reaches this area, the tooth begins to exhibit the symptoms of a toothache, including pain, discomfort, and sensitivity to hot and cold. As the decay becomes worse, so do the symptoms. By eliminating the infection, a root canal cures teeth decay and rebuilds the tooth’s structure using composite resin and a dental crown, which protects it from future damage.

My tooth doesn’t hurt. Do I still need a root canal? 
A tooth’s outer, hard enamel cannot feel pain. This is why a smaller cavity which only affects the outer layers of the tooth does not hurt. However, a cavity is an active issue and grows over time to eat its way farther and farther into the tooth. It is not until the decay reaches the inner pulp chamber that you begin to feel the pain and discomfort associated with a cavity. Dentists treat most minor cavities with a simple dental filling, which, like a root canal, removes the decay from the tooth and refills it with composite resin. However, some cavities come close enough to the tooth’s inner pulp to render a simple dental filling useless and requiring a full root canal. Your dentist may suggest a root canal before the tooth begins hurting and save you from a toothache altogether.

Root Canal Therapy in Reno, NV
A root canal is a powerful weapon in your dentist’s arsenal against teeth decay. This procedure eliminates the need for an extraction, which is the only other way to cure severe decay. Extraction, which comes along with several days of healing time and side effects like bone atrophy and shifting healthy teeth due to the resulting missing tooth, is not always ideal. Work with your dentist at a consultation to determine if you can benefit from a root canal.

For more information on root canals or other dental procedures, please contact Dr. Zatarain at Z Dentistry in Reno, NV. Call (775) 331-1616 to schedule your appointment today!


Tooth decay can be relentless: left untreated it can work its way into a tooth’s inner core — the pulp chamber or better known as the root canal. Once this occurs, the best course of action to save the tooth may be a root canal treatment to clean out the diseased pulp (nerve) and seal the canal from further decay.

So, what signs and symptoms might you encounter if decay has invaded a tooth’s root canal? When the pulp is first infected you may experience acute pain; over time, however, the pain may suddenly dissipate. This doesn’t mean the tooth has healed itself — quite the contrary, it may mean the infected pulp tissue, including the nerves, has died. Once the nerves die, they no longer transmit pain signals to the brain.

While the pain may cease, the infection hasn’t and will continue to travel from the end of the tooth root into the bone. At this point, you may encounter pain whenever you bite on the tooth. This time the pain is originating in nerves located in the periodontal ligament that surrounds the tooth root and joins the tooth with the jawbone. This can lead to an acute abscess (with accompanying pain) or a chronic abscess that may have no pain symptoms at all. As the decay progresses you may eventually suffer bone and tooth loss.

The important point here is that you may or may not notice all the signs and symptoms that indicate deep decay within a tooth. That’s why it’s important to undergo a thorough dental examination if you have any symptoms at all, especially acute pain that “mysteriously” disappears.

A root canal treatment and removal of the decayed tooth structure will stop the progress of tooth decay and preserve the tooth. The longer you delay, though, the greater the risk your tooth will eventually lose the battle with tooth decay and infection will continue to spread.

If you would like more information on root canal treatment, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Signs and Symptoms of a Future Root Canal.”