We diagnose and refer root canals to the best specialists in our area, however, our office does not perform root canals.

Root Canals

While it often gets a bad rap, root canal treatment is actually an important treatment that can be done painlessly to save a tooth and avoid more invasive care. Root canal treatment is the go-to method for saving damaged or infected teeth, when decay or damage has reached the pulp, or inner tissue, of the tooth. It offers many patients a way to avoid extraction of such teeth and retain their natural teeth.

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Root Canal Treatment in Santa Rosa

Root Canals End Tooth Pain.

Root canal therapy is often performed when a tooth is badly damaged and causing a lot of pain and discomfort. The pulp is made up of mostly nerve tissue, and infection or inflammation there can cause a great deal of pain. Root canal patients leave our office in much less pain.

A Root Canal Can Save Your Tooth.

When a tooth is damaged enough to need a root canal, the only other option is a tooth extraction. This can cause problems of its own for the patient’s future dental health, and we recommend working to save the tooth through a root canal procedure instead.

A Painless & Effective Treatment.

Endodontic treatment sometimes conjures up visions of complex, painful procedures. In reality, the treatment has greatly improved with better techniques , and while your appointment for a root canal will take longer than a regular filling, the treatment is well-planned and effective.

What is a Root Canal?

Root canals are a dental treatment that allows us to save teeth that might otherwise need to be extracted because of damage or infection. A root canal is an endodontic procedure, or one that deals with the tissue inside the tooth. Sometimes, that tissue, also called the pulp, becomes inflamed or infected through tooth decay, trauma or a crack in the tooth. It’s located in canals in the roots of the teeth, which is where the name comes from. Having a root canal means having the damaged or diseased tissue removed, the canals sealed, and the tooth filled with an inert material to prevent future problems.

Usually, an infected or inflamed tooth is very painful for the patient, and a root canal stops the pain, infection and inflammation that can also spread to other teeth or the surrounding gum and bone tissues. When a root canal isn’t possible, the other option typically is extraction of the affected tooth, but that’s something dentists – and patients – prefer to avoid when they can.

When Might You Need a Root Canal?

If you think you might have an infected or damaged tooth in need of a root canal, you should make a dental appointment to have it checked out. Some indicators that you may need a root canal or other dental work include:

  • Pain when eating or chewing
  • Tenderness to the touch
  • Swelling of nearby tissues
  • Swelling of local lymph nodes
  • Heat and cold sensitivity
  • Discoloration of the tooth
  • Severe tooth decay
  • A “pimple-like” fistula (abscessed tooth) on the gum tissue next to the affected tooth that has a lot of decay
  • A tooth that has a fracture

It’s also possible that a tooth infection or inflammation doesn’t result in these symptoms, but may be found during a routine check-up or other dental visit.

What To Expect With a Root Canal

A root canal treatment procedure begins with numbing the area with a local anesthetic. Then, isolation of the tooth to be treated is very important, which is done with a rubber dam barrier. We then remove the damaged or infected pulp through a small drilled opening. The canals inside the tooth are thoroughly cleaned, then sealed with gutta percha, and the opening is sealed again with filling material. In most cases, depending on the damage existing in the tooth, a protective dental crown is needed to restore the treated tooth to full strength.

Root Canal Treatment Options

Most teeth, even some severely damaged cases, can be saved with a careful root canal treatment. However, not all teeth can be saved. Sometimes the damage is too extensive. Dr. McCormick will evaluate your situation and tell you if you can have a root canal, or if a referral to an Endodontist would be the best course of action.

If no other options exist and we can’t save the tooth, in some cases we may recommend an extraction. Often, when we extract a tooth, it’s possible to replace it with a dental implant and replacement tooth, which will restore the look and function of your newly missing tooth. Talk with Dr. McCormick about whether you’d be a good candidate for a dental implant, and what treatments are possible.

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About Dr. Andrew McCormick:

Dr. Andrew T. McCormick is a native Californian originally from Monterey County. He graduated from U.S.C. school of dentistry and subsequently opened his practice in Santa Rosa, finding Sonoma County to be an ideal place to locate. 

Learning more about the connection between dentistry, medicine, and medications and environmental toxins is of particular interest to Dr. McCormick because he sees the effects of these on his patients.  Because of this, he has sought out non-traditional and progressive educations.  Some of these groups have recently been the American Academy of Oral Systemic Health (AAOSH) and the International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology (IAOMT).

One of Dr. McCormick’s interests is involvement in the community.  He was an early participant in Leadership Santa Rosa and now he sits on the board for PDI, a dental clinic in Windsor for underprivileged children. In January 2010, he became an accredited member of AACD, one of 350 dentists worldwide, after extensive work to raise his level of expertise in cosmetic and rehabilitative dentistry. Click here to read more about Dr. McCormick.

Voted Best Dentist in Santa Rosa
by Readers of Bohemian
1 of 350 Dentists Worldwide
Accredited with the American
Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry

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