Pacific Beach Dentistry logo926 Hornblend Street
San Diego, CA 92109

(858) 273-7900
Joseph M. Snider, DDS
Terri Nguyen Snider, DDS


Root Canal Therapy

Root canal therapy (endodontics) treats disorders of the nerve (also called the pulp) of the tooth. The most common factors necessitating root canal treatment are:

  • Deep decay
  • A very large or deep filling
  • Traumatic injury and/or fracture
  • Severe periodontal disease

Regardless of the initial cause, the tooth pulp becomes inflamed and infected. Bacteria grow within the tooth pulp, causing pressure and pain, sometimes accompanied by swelling of the gum or face. Other times, the deterioration of the pulp happens so gradually that little pain is felt. This deterioration affects the jawbone surrounding the tooth which may become infected and abscessed.


First, we relieve you of any discomfort you may be experiencing. We use local anesthetic to numb the tooth and then isolate the tooth with a rubber dam. A rubber dam confines the treatment area and protects the mouth from bacteria and chemical agents. An opening is made through the crown of the tooth into the pulp.

Next, we carefully remove the diseased pulp. The root canals inside your tooth are cleaned, enlarged and shaped. We sterilize the inside of the tooth to remove bacteria. Throughout the root canal procedure, we take digital x-rays to ensure that all of the infected pulp is removed.

To complete the procedure, the root canals and pulp chamber are permanently filled and sealed. A cotton pellet and temporary filling is placed in the opening of the tooth until your next visit, when a build-up and crown or a permanent filling is made to fully restore your tooth to chewing function.

Healthy Tooth Anatomy

Heathy Tooth Anatomy


Infected Tooth

Infected Tooth


Root Canal Treated Tooth

Root Canal Treated Tooth