Root Canal

More than 15 million root canals are performed annually in the United States. For many years this procedure was lengthy and painful. Thanks to advances in dental technology, root canals today are much less invasive and more comfortable for patients.

You’re in good hands with our experienced San Francisco root canal dentists at Young Dental SF Group. Our team has extensive experience performing thousands of successful procedures, and we use the latest technology to ensure your procedure is as comfortable and effective as possible. If you’re searching for San Francisco root canal treatments, call us today for a consultation and see why we are the best dentists in San Francisco. Call (415) 392-8611 to schedule an appointment or complete the online booking form

What Is a Root Canal?

A root canal is an endodontic treatment to repair a tooth damaged by decay or injury. During a root canal, the damaged dental pulp (the soft tissue inside the tooth) is removed, and the inside is cleaned and sealed.

Root canal therapy is necessary when the pulp becomes infected. This can happen due to decay, a deep cavity, cracked or chipped tooth, or an injury. If the pulp is damaged and not treated, it can become infected. The infected pulp can cause pain, swelling, and abscesses (pockets of pus). An abscess can damage the bone around the tooth and spread to other body parts if left untreated. A root canal procedure can save a tooth damaged by decay or injury and prevent the need for extraction.

Signs You Need a Root Canal Procedure

There are a few telltale signs that you may need treatment. If you have any of the following symptoms, please call our office right away for an appointment:

  • Severe toothache pain that doesn’t go away
  • Sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures that lingers after the stimulus has been removed
  • Discoloration of the tooth
  • Swelling or tenderness in the gums
  • A small bump on the gums near the affected tooth

The Root Canal Procedure

During the consultation appointment, the dentist will evaluate the damage to your tooth and look for signs of infection. They will take x-rays to determine if a root canal is the best treatment option. If a root canal is recommended, the procedure can be completed in one or two appointments.

First, the infected tooth will be numb with local anesthesia. If an alternate form of sedation is desired, your dentist can discuss that with you. Once the tooth is numb, a sheet of rubber called a rubber dam will be placed around the tooth to keep it isolated and clean during the procedure.

Next, a small access hole will be made in the tooth with a dental drill to allow the dentist to reach the pulp chamber. Using small instruments, the dentist will then remove the damaged pulp and nerve tissue. The inside of the tooth will be cleaned and disinfected, and a material called gutta-percha will be used to fill the tooth and seal it. The opening will be sealed with a temporary filling, and the tooth will be left to heal. During the follow-up visit, the temporary filling will be replaced with a permanent filling. In some cases, a permanent crown may be placed over the tooth to protect it from further damage.

Recovery From a Root Canal Procedure

To ensure success and prevent infection, taking care of your tooth after the procedure is important. You will be given instructions on how to take care of your teeth during the healing process. Follow these instructions carefully and call your dentist if you have any questions or concerns. 

Some things to keep in mind are:

  • After the procedure, you may experience some tenderness in the gums, which can be relieved with over-the-counter pain medication. Always take medication as directed.
  • You may experience some swelling which can be controlled with ice packs applied to the outside of your face.
  • You will need to avoid chewing on the tooth that was treated for a few days or until your permanent restoration is in place. Eat soft foods and avoid hard, crunchy, or sticky foods.
  • Brush and floss your teeth as normal, but be gentle around the tooth that was treated.
  • Do not use tobacco products for at least 48 hours after the procedure.

Are There Any Risks?

As with any medical procedure, there are some risks associated with root canal treatment. These risks are usually minor and can be easily controlled or treated. 

Some risks include:

  • Infection 
  • Bleeding
  • Nerve damage
  • Swelling
  • Allergic reaction to anesthesia
  • Pain

These risks are rare, but if you experience any of these symptoms, please call our office immediately.

Is Root Canal or Tooth Extraction Better?

The goal of any dental treatment is to save the natural tooth if possible. A tooth extraction should only be considered when root canal treatment is not an option or if the tooth is too damaged to be saved. After a tooth is extracted, you will need to replace it with a dental implant or bridge to prevent problems with eating, speaking, and adjacent teeth from shifting.

The Best San Francisco Root Canal Dentists

Our team at Young Dental SF Group is committed to providing you with the best possible dental care. Our dentists use the latest technology and techniques to ensure you are comfortable during your procedure. We also offer sedation options to help you relax. If you’re looking for a San Francisco root canal treatment, please call our office or our partner practice, Post Street Dental, to schedule an appointment. Call (415) 392-8611 or complete the online booking form.


What to eat after root canal?

You will need to avoid chewing on the tooth that was treated for a few days or until your permanent restoration is in place. Eat soft foods and avoid hard, crunchy, or sticky foods. Foods like soup, eggs, pasta, and yogurt are all good options.

I still have pain after my root canal, what should I do?

If you’re still experiencing severe pain three days after your procedure, it’s important to call your dentist right away. There could be an infection or other complication that needs to be treated.

Can I wait to get a root canal?

It’s best to treat a tooth as soon as possible. The longer you wait, the more damage can be done to the tooth. If the tooth is infected, the infection can spread to other teeth or even to your jawbone.

Can you smoke after a root canal?

You must avoid tobacco products for at least 48 hours after the procedure. Smoking can affect healing after a root canal and increase your risk for complications.

When can I resume normal activities after a root canal?

Most people can resume their normal activities the day after the procedure.

How much do root canals cost?

Root canal treatment can vary in cost depending on the severity of the infection and the tooth that is affected. We will discuss the cost of treatment before any procedure is performed.

Contact Us

"*" indicates required fields

New or Existing Patient?*