What Is A Root Canal?

Have you ever heard of a root canal? We’re not talking about the portion of your tooth that helps secure it to the jawbone and offers your smile stability. No, we mean the common restorative procedure that could save your smile from needing an extraction! Find out how your El Paso, TX, dentists use this endodontic treatment to save infected teeth.

The Causes of an Infected Tooth

The inner pulp, a group of living tissues residing in the center of your tooth and within the root canals, keeps your tooth alive and healthy, overseeing the flow of nutrients and blood to and from the tooth. However, when bacteria come into contact with the pulp, a painful infection can form, one that could cause the tooth to die and require extraction unless treated. The pulp is usually surrounded by a layer of dentin, and protected by the outermost layer of enamel. However, poor oral hygiene or injury could damage enamel and enable bacteria to reach the dentin, causing a cavity that could spread to the pulp. Warning signs include pain when eating or biting down, soreness in the jaw or face, headaches and fever, swelling near the tooth or a discharge from it, and prolonged aches or sensitivity.

Preserving Your Smile

If you begin to experience the warning signs discussed above, then please see us as soon as possible. If you have an infection, then we will administer a local anesthetic and possibly sedation to help you enjoy a comfortable experience. We then open the tooth to remove the infected tissue. We clean the interior of the tooth and then add a restorative material known as gutta percha. This stops the discomfort and prevents the unnecessary loss of the tooth.

Ensuring a Lifelike Appearance

Now, to shore up the tooth and prevent further damage or decay, we will cap it with a custom-made dental crown. The crown overs the entire visible portion of the tooth. We create them from a variety of materials, but often use ceramic. Not only is ceramic strong and durable, but the material can be shaded to match the color of surrounding teeth. When possible, we always strive to ensure your tooth looks natural and matches the rest of your smile following treatment. If you have pain that could indicate an infection, or if you would like to discuss our restorative care options, then contact our team today.


Our Sunny Smiles team is ready to help you enjoy a healthy smile by addressing a number of common restorative issues, such as cavities or infection. To learn more about our endodontic treatment option, please call our East El Paso location on N. Zaragoza Road at 915-849-9000!