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Root Canal Therapy

What is Root Canal Therapy?

The term “root canal” refers to the natural cavity within the center of each tooth. This cavity houses the soft area called the pulp. This chamber is what holds the nerves. When this area becomes infected due to cavities, irritated or experiences trauma or decay, then a root canal is the therapy required to clean out this root cavity and remove the nerve, which is the source of pain or discomfort. It is important to not leave an infected tooth untreated because the infection will form an abscess, causing swelling to your face, neck, and lead to bone loss around the tooth’s root.
Symptoms of Root Canal Problems

  • Moderate to severe tooth pain
  • Sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures and sweet foods
  • Discoloration of affected tooth
  • Gums which become swollen and tender
  • Recurring pimple along the gums

What Can I Expect During The Root Canal Therapy Procedure?

  1. Your dentist will conduct a thorough exam along with x-rays of the afflicted tooth. Once your doctor discusses their findings with you treatment can often begin the same day. They will administer a local anesthetic to numb the tooth and surrounding areas to avoid any pain during the procedure. A “dental dam”, which is a plastic protective sleeve placed around the tooth to keep it clean and free of saliva during the procedure to ensure a dry and sanitary workspace.
  2. Your dentist will then make an opening into the tooth’s crown. Using their specialized instruments the pulp will be cleaned out from within the pulp chamber, the root canals and they will create the proper space needed to hold the filling.
  3. The canals are filled with a biocompatible material, typically consisting of a rubber-like material. An adhesive cement will be used to seal the root canals completely before a temporary filling is applied to the crown of the tooth until your dentist can complete the restoration process either by applying a permanent crown or other restorative treatment.
  4. Once your permanent crown is received from the dental lab, unless another restorative process will be utilized, your dentist will fit and place your custom made crown atop the root canaled tooth and full function will be restored.

If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms or any other dental issues, please call Smile On Dentistry at (703) 543-8112 to schedule your consultation.