Endodontics Monterey CA

The space inside the tooth from the center, known as the pulp chamber, that travels down the length of the root to the tip (or apex) is called a “canal,” or more specifically, a root canal. Human teeth may have one to four root canals, depending on the anatomy of the tooth. Molars, may have 2 to 4 canals, premolars may have 1 to 2 canals, cuspids may have 1 to 2 canals, and finally incisors generally have 1 canal. Extra canals may branch out from the main canal, called “accessory canals.” The number of canals and the anatomy can vary among teeth.

Common Reasons for Root Canals

The tiny canals contain the pulp of the tooth also commonly referred to as the nerve, which originates from the pulp chamber. Any trauma or infection of the nerve will result in the need for root canal therapy. Common reasons for root canal therapy include:

  • Tooth decay invades the tooth, penetrating through the enamel and then the dentin in to the pulp.
  • A tooth has become abscessed — also known as infected — from decay.
  • Trauma, such as a chipped or broken tooth, occurs and results in the exposure of the nerve.
  • A tooth is slowly dying, due to aging or past trauma that did not result in the need for treatment at the time of injury.

Root canal therapy can be preformed in single or multiple visits. Before the procedure, though, Dr. Tuesta will advise you as to the number of appointments necessary to complete the canal. If you had an infection or abscess in the tooth, we may choose to have you start antibiotics before completing the root canal.