Root Canal (Endodontics)
Endodontists are dentists who specialize in saving teeth. Endodontists use endodontic therapy procedures that involve the soft inner tissue of the teeth, called the pulp. Root canals are probably the most notorious procedure in dentistry and the most common procedure relating to endodontics. When a tooth becomes infected it is usually related to the nerves in the root of the tooth. The infected nerves need to be removed. If left untreated an infection can turn into an abscess, which is a much more serious problem that includes bone loss in the jaw.
Signs You Need A Root Canal
Root canals are done when the soft tissue, pulp, inside the root canal has been infected or inflamed. Symptoms of an infected or inflamed pulp include:
- Sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures even after the heat or cold has been removed.
- Severe toothache when chewing or applying pressure to the tooth.
- Darkening or discoloration of the tooth.
- Swollen and tender gums nearby the tooth.
- Recurring pimples on the gums.
If left untreated an infection can turn into an abscess, which is a much more serious problem that includes bone loss in the jaw.
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Root Canal Procedure
The area around the tooth is numbed with a local anesthetic to start the procedure. The dentist will then drill down into the tooth to create an opening into the canal. They will then be able to remove infected tissue and clean the canal. After the infection has been removed, the space is filled with a sealant called gutta percha. It is highly recommended that a tooth that has undergone a root canal is fitted with a crown. This will improve the appearance of the tooth, and will also make it much more likely that the root canal is successful.
“Root canal” has become a scary term for dental patients to hear, but the benefits of the procedure and advances in dental technology have made it much less “scary”. Local anesthetics and proper pain medication allow the procedure to be performed with little to no pain in most cases. There may be some soreness following the procedure, but that is normal for most dental procedures. Over the counter painkillers are usually enough to relieve any pain afterwards, but your dentist may prescribe medication. The procedure will also relieve you from pain caused by the infection allowing you to enjoy all the foods you love without any pain from heat, cold, or biting too hard.
Endodontist Arlington, VA
Finding a trusted endodontist in Arlington, VA can be difficult but we’re here to help. Highly respected among their peers and the local community, our team includes specialists in a variety of dental care methodologies including endodontists. Their experience and education combine to exceed more than a half-century of providing local patients with the superior care they deserve.
If you’re experiencing recurring and worsening tooth pain, a root canal may be your best solution. Find out if an endodontist procedure is the best fit for your situation by giving us a call today at 703-291-4666 or filling our online contact form.