A root canal is beneficial for sustaining the health and lifetime of a tooth. Root canal procedures are commonly performed by Drs. Alan or Yonatan Howard, both dental procedure experts. If you think you may need a root canal, please contact our Encino based office and schedule an appointment.

What Is a Root Canal?

retainer-photo-of-front-teeth Root canal therapy is a type of endodontic treatment that removes diseased pulp from the center of the tooth and its root canals. Endodontic treatments treat only the inside of the tooth. Before explaining how a root canal is performed and how it can benefit a patient, it is essential to understand a little about tooth anatomy.

Inside the tooth, there is a soft layer of tissue called pulp. This tissue resides in the center of the tooth underneath the white enamel layer and a hard, thicker layer called dentin. This pulp contains the tooth’s blood vessels, nerves, and connective tissues. It also works to create the hard, protective tissues of the tooth during its initial development.

retainer-photo-of-front-teethThe pulp extends from the top of the tooth, called the crown, down to the tip of the roots where it then connects to the tissues that surround the root. The pulp is essential during the tooth’s growth and development.

However, once the tooth is fully matured, it can survive without the pulp. This is because the surrounding tissues provide the necessary nourishment to the tooth. If this pulp becomes inflamed or infected, a root canal will be necessary to save the tooth and prevent it from decaying. With newer, more advanced techniques and technology, a root canal can be performed with ease. It is no longer the daunting procedure that it once was known as; it can be compared to that of a standard filling and can be completed within one or two appointments; however, this varies depending on the condition of the tooth.

Receiving a root canal is relatively painless and can be a beneficial way to ensure the longevity of your teeth. Patients will be back to smiling, biting, and chewing in no time.

How Does a Root Canal Save a Tooth?

It is necessary to receive root canal therapy in the case that the dental pulp within the tooth becomes inflamed or infected. This can be as a result of deep decay, faulty crowns, a crack or chip in the tooth, or due to repeated dental procedures. When this is left untreated it can cause severe pain and lead to an abscess or inflammation.

retainer-photo-of-front-teethThis endodontic treatment gives our Encino and Los Angeles clients a way to maintain their natural smile and keep their teeth healthy. Root canal therapy will save the tooth and allow clients to continue eating the foods that they love. This procedure also limits the amount of dental work that they may require in the future if left untreated.

Teeth that undergo this treatment can last a lifetime without causing further issues.


Root canal therapy is a beneficial procedure to maintain the healthy quality of teeth and ensure they last for years to come. This treatment has helped many of our clients achieve a lasting smile that will last for years to come. Some of the many benefits that are provided through root canal therapy include:

  • Save tooth from extraction
  • Virtually pain-free procedure
  • Restore efficient chewing abilities
  • Natural appearance
  • Normal biting force and sensation
  • Protects other teeth from excessive wear and strain

Root Canal Candidates

Root canal therapy is needed when the dental pulp within the tooth becomes infected. This can be due to the decay of a single tooth which has spread past the enamel and dentin. If this is the case, merely filling the tooth will not be sufficient and can cause further damage. This treatment can eliminate tooth and gum pain, while also preventing the spread of infection to the surrounding teeth. Generally, clients who would be a good candidate for root canal therapy experience some of the following symptoms.

  • Severe toothache
  • Prolonged tooth sensitivity to hot or cold
  • Discoloration of a tooth
  • Visible damage to the tooth
  • Swelling and tenderness in the gums
  • A persistent pimple or abscess on the gums
  • Pain and swelling in the face and jaw, near the infected tooth

If a client experiences one or more of these symptoms, Drs. Howard and Howard may recommend a root canal in Encino, California. Regardless if the client needs a type of endodontic treatment such as a root canal, it is vital that they come into the office immediately and receive proper procedure to ensure that future health and longevity of the teeth and gums.

We welcome new and existing clients to call The Dental Office of Encino to schedule an appointment with one of our dentists!

The Initial Visit

retainer-photo-of-front-teethEach treatment in our facility begins with a diagnostic examination. Before the examination, Dr. Alan or Yonathan Howard will need to gather specific information to ensure that the consultation is thorough and effective. First, they will review the client’s case and their medical history. This will help the dentist to provide safe treatment options for the client’s needs. X-rays will be taken to evaluate the tooth and the current damage better. This will allow them to see the shape of the root canals of the infected tooth and determine if there is an infection in the surrounding bone.

Once these are complete, the dentist will be able to build a custom treatment plan based on the client’s exact needs. In some instances, more than one treatment can be performed to provide the desired results and minimize the number of visits for the client. Before leaving our office, the client will be able to schedule their root canal procedure if the desire to do so. Once the treatment has been set, our staff will provide them with the necessary preparatory instructions they are advised to follow.

Properly Preparing for the Procedure

In preparation for root canal therapy, our dentist asks that clients avoid eating just before their treatment. Clients should refrain from smoking and consuming alcohol for at least 12 hours before the procedure. Depending on the current medications being taken, the dentist may ask clients to adjust or stop taking certain prescriptions. Preparation for a root canal is very minimal, and the patient will be able to drive themselves home after. If clients have any questions during this time, we encourage them to contact our office and speak with one of our knowledgeable and friendly members of staff.

Root Canal Procedure

retainer-photo-of-front-teethBefore beginning the root canal therapy, Dr. Alan or Yonathan Howard will numb the tooth, gums, and surrounding tissue to ensure that the client experiences no discomfort during the treatment. Once the anesthetic has taken effect, a shield will be placed around the damaged tooth to keep it dry and clean during the procedure.

An opening will be made at the crown of the tooth and into the pulp chamber to get access to the dental pulp. Fluid will then be placed into the opening to disinfect the canals and remove any debris. The liquid is then removed using tiny instruments, and the canals of the tooth are fully cleaned and shaped. Once the canals have been adequately cleaned and cared for, the dentist fills and seals the root canals. To fill the tooth, a sealer paste and a rubber compound are placed in the root canal. For the final step of the procedure, the tooth will be sealed further with a restoration, such as a filling or crown. The type of seal can be discussed during the initial consultation.


Once the root canal procedure is complete, clients will be able to return home to start their recovery comfortably.

Before leaving our office, they will be given instructions for pain management and aftercare of the tooth. Clients will be provided a prescription for antibiotics to prevent infection from occurring; this is also why it is important to maintain proper aftercare of the treated tooth.

As the numbing agent begins to wear off after the treatment, clients may experience swelling and tenderness throughout the area. This is completely normal and will dissipate within a few days. The immediate symptoms after this procedure often respond well to common over-the-counter medications such as Tylenol or Advil. Clients will be able to return to regular eating habits after the numbness in the mouth has fully subsided. It is important to practice good oral hygiene daily to keep the treatment area clean and free of infection.


Root canal therapy varies in cost based on the extent of treatment that is required. This includes the pre-existing damage and if the client undergoes another dental treatment during the root canal procedure. Some insurances will cover the cost of a root canal procedure, so please speak with your insurance provider before coming in for a consultation. Upon a dental examination, our staff will then be able to provide a more accurate procedure quote. To receive a custom quote, please contact our office and schedule a consultation!