Root Canals

Root Canals in El Segundo, CA

A tooth is made up of layers. The outer layer is a protective layer called enamel. It is very strong and gives teeth their white appearance. Directly underneath the enamel is the dentin layer. In the center of the tooth is the pulp, a soft tissue that contains the blood vessels, nerves, and connective tissues of the tooth. The pulp is essential to the development of a healthy tooth, but once it has fully matured, it no longer needs the pulp and can be nourished by the surrounding tissues.

When a tooth becomes affected with decay in its outer layers, it can effectively be treated with a dental filling. However, once the decay reaches the dental pulp, a procedure called a root canal will be needed to restore it to health. You can find this procedure at Dr. Smile in El Segundo.


There are several symptoms commonly associated with a root canal, such as:

  • Severe pain while chewing or biting
  • Pimples on the gums
  • Tooth sensitivity
  • Swollen or tender gums
  • Deep decay or darkening of the gums

How does a root canal save a tooth?

The procedure, also called endodontic treatment, removes the decay, cleans the tooth, and refills the space with a biocompatible material to restore function and health to the tooth.


A root canal may need two appointments. Your dentist will first take x-rays of the tooth to get a better idea of the damage. The tooth will be numbed and isolated with a dental dam. This is a small protective sheet that will keep it clean and dry for the duration of the procedure. An opening will be made into the crown of the affected tooth to give your dentist access to the pulp. Using very small instruments, your dentist will then clean the pulp from the chamber and the root canals, then shape the space for filling. Once the canal has been prepared, a material called gutta-percha will be used to fill in the canal. The tooth will be sealed with a temporary filling until a permanent restoration, usually a dental crown, is made and placed on the tooth to fully restore its function.

Come see us at Dr. Smile if you believe you are in need of a root canal in El Segundo.

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