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Rooting out pain: La Jolla Village Endodontics works to help patients keep their natural smiles

Dr. Kevin Stewart hopes to continue recently acquired La Jolla Village Endodontics' four-decade tradition.
(Courtesy of Dr. Kevin Stewart)

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La Jolla Village Endodontics has had a new owner for the past year and continues to help La Jollans get to the root of their tooth pain, as it has done for more than four decades.

Dr. Kevin Stewart bought La Jolla Village Endodontics at 7855 Fay Ave. in March 2021 from Dr. Jeff Javelet, whom Stewart calls “La Jolla’s endodontist for 40 years.”

Javelet has stayed on to continue treating patients, meaning Stewart was able to expand the practice’s staff and number of patients.

“It’s worked out really well,” Stewart said. He added that he and Javelet have “a synergistic relationship” that allows them better availability.

Endodontics is a specialty of dentistry that focuses on “saving your natural teeth with root canal treatment when they get infected,” Stewart said.

La Jolla Village Endodontics offers root canals and related surgeries, plus evaluations of cracked teeth and facial or dental trauma resulting from falls or injuries.

“We do a lot of consultations and second opinions with our three-dimensional radiographs to determine whether your tooth can be saved,” Stewart said.

Endodontics is important because “there’s nothing better than having a natural tooth,” he said. “It’s important for people to keep functioning [with] what they have and to ultimately have something that is comfortable, that looks good, that feels good, that lasts a long time.”

Stewart decided to specialize in endodontics after practicing as a general dentist for about five years on a Navy ship based in San Diego.

Drs. Kevin Stewart (left) and Jeff Javelet (right) gather with the team at La Jolla Village Endodontics.
(Courtesy of Dr. Kevin Stewart)

“I really got into trying to diagnose pain,” Stewart said. “A lot of pain is root canal-related, and it’s also related to other things. The diagnosis part of trying to figure out what the problem is, and then the eventual treatment part … really drew me to that field because I thought it was really rewarding.”

He said endodontics requires technical skills, which he also enjoys. “You’re under a microscope, working a very finite set of hand skills.”

One of the challenges is seeing patients “not on their best day” — when they’re in a lot of pain and acting accordingly.

“You have to earn this person’s trust in a matter of minutes and help them out,” he said. “We’re good at it.”

Stewart, who lives in La Jolla with his wife and their five children, said the opportunity to purchase La Jolla Village Endodontics “was a perfect fit,” allowing him to practice “right in the same community I live in. … It’s awesome.”

He said practicing in La Jolla is special because “world-class dentists in most specialties [are] right here in The Village. … We all get to work with each other, especially on more complex cases.”

The sense of teamwork among his local colleagues was “a pleasant surprise,” he said. “It’s a small-town feel and we’re able to really come together.”

For more information about La Jolla Village Endodontics, visit lajollavillageendodontics.com.

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