The ABCs of Root Canals | Dentist in Riverside, CA

Woman SmilingTo most patients the thought of needing a root canal is very stressful. However, with modern dentistry, root canals are nothing to fear – the procedure itself is no more painful than having a filling placed.

A root canal is a treatment used to repair and save a tooth that is badly decayed or infected. It is performed when the nerve of the tooth becomes infected or the pulp becomes damaged. The nerve and pulp are removed, and the inside of the tooth is cleaned and sealed. For the sake of knowledge, let’s break the procedure down…

An x-ray is the first step to see the shape of the root canals and determine if there are any signs of infection in the surrounding bone. Your dentist or endodontist will then use local anesthesia to numb the area near the tooth. The nerve is dead, but most dentists still anesthetize the area to make the patient more relaxed and at ease.

An access hole will then be drilled into the tooth. The pulp, along with bacteria, the decayed nerve tissue, and related debris, is removed from the tooth using root canal files. A series of these files are worked down the full length of the tooth to scrape and scrub the sides of the root canals.

Your root canal procedure is completely finished when the permanent filling is in place and a crown, if needed, is in place to avoid re-contaminating the tooth’s interior or breaking before the tooth can be fully restored.

For the first few days following the completion of treatment, the tooth may feel sensitive due to natural tissue inflammation, but return to their normal activities the next day.

To set up an appointment, call Dr. Middleton in Riverside, CA at 951-688-3442 or visit

Dr. Middleton proudly accepts patients from Riverside and all surrounding areas.