Root Canals 101

October 4, 2018

You may know a friend or relative who needed a root canal…but do you really know what a root canal is?  Read on to learn the basics of what an endodontic root canal procedure involves, who performs these procedures, and if you need one.

How do I know if I need a root canal?

If you are feeling tooth tenderness, gum pain, swelling under your jaw, a bump or abscess, pus drainage, or a strong sensitivity to cold or hot liquids, it’s time to contact your dentist and get it checked out.

When a tooth becomes infected and spreads to the dental pulp, the resulting infection can be very painful and requires prompt treatment.  Your dentist will evaluate and determine if you need to be referred to an endodontist for an endodontic root canal procedure.

What is an endodontist?

An endodontist is a dentist who has studied for two additional years in the care and treatment of the endodontium, the center of the tooth comprised of connective tissue and cells.  Because of their deep understanding of tooth pulp, endodontists are the dental professionals who typically perform root canals.  In addition to root canals, endodontists perform other oral surgical procedures including apicoectomies or root-end resections.   

What is the endodontium? 

The center of the tooth, also known as the dental pulp, is the sensitive area where the nerves, blood vessels and tissue are found.

What is a root canal procedure? 

Using a local anesthetic and a “dental dam” to segregate the diseased tooth, the endodontist begins the root canal procedure by removing the infected dental pulp, and if needed, the tooth roots.  The endodontist creates a small hole in the tooth to remove the dental pulp.  Once removed, the endodontist thoroughly cleans and medicates the area to remove any trace of infection.  Then, the small hole is filled and sealed with a filling or tooth-colored crown to protect the tooth.

Whenever possible, dental professionals aim to keep as much of the healthy, natural tooth as possible to maintain the jaw shape as well as to strengthen teeth for biting and chewing.

Will a root canal procedure hurt? 

Our top priority is to help you achieve the best pain-free oral care in a relaxing environment.  We offer a variety of options to minimize any discomfort and help reduce patient anxiety.  Our patients like conscious sedation dentistry not only because it allows them to relax during treatment, but because it helps numb the area more quickly, minimizes jaw soreness, and controls a strong gag reflex.

What causes a tooth infection and the need for a root canal?

Tooth inflammation or infection can be caused by severe dental decay, repeated dental procedures on a tooth, or a crack in the tooth.

If you believe that you or a loved one may have a tooth infection, the talented team of dentists and endodontists at Miro Dental Center can help.


Miro Dental Center

Dr. Claudio Miro and associates have been treating patients in the greater Miami area for over 30 years. As a team, we believe that the patient is of upmost importance at every level.   We take pride in the care we provide to our patients at Miro Dental Centers. We take the time to make sure our patients are fully informed and are given all treatment options.  Our goal is to the provide our patients with optimal oral health by using state of the art technology.

With the dental field rapidly advancing, we are always looking for new and innovative treatments to serve our patients. We provide all types of services, including dental cleanings, orthodontics, endodontics, periodontics, oral surgery and cosmetic dentistry.

If you have questions about your dental health or would like to schedule an appointment at our offices in Coral Gables, Kendall, Hialeah, or Hollywood, please contact us today at 305-442-7444.