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What Are Root Canals?

Root canal surgery, also called endodontic treatment, is a procedure dentists use to repair a tooth that has extensive tooth decay. Inside of your teeth are canals that contain nerves, blood vessels, and a type of soft tissue called pulp. When this soft tissue becomes damaged, endodontic treatment is needed to remove the infected pulp and relieve painful symptoms.

When Do You Need a Root Canal?

After the pulp tissue becomes infected or damaged, endodontic treatment is needed to save the tooth and prevent an extraction. If you have any of these symptoms, you may need a dental root canal:

  • Tooth sensitivity to hot, cold, or touch
  • Tooth discoloration
  • Persistent tooth pain that’s moderate to severe
  • Gum swelling or tenderness
  • Pain when biting down

What Kind of Dentist Does Root Canals?

A specialist called an endodontist or a general dentist can offer root canals. In general, an endodontist focuses on cases that are more complicated. If you’re seeking an experienced root canal dentist, we encourage you to contact us today to schedule an appointment.

What Is the Procedure for a Root Canal?

It only takes about one or two hours to perform a basic root canal procedure. Here are the steps involved:

1. To prevent dental pain, your dentist numbs the tooth.
2. A protective sheet is placed to isolate the tooth and keep the surrounding area dry.
3. An opening is made near the crown of the tooth so your dentist can access the pulp chamber.
4. The damaged pulp is removed, and small tools are used to clean and shape the root canals.
5. The inside of your tooth is cleaned and disinfected with fluid.
6. A rubbery material called gutta percha is used to fill the root canals.
7. The tooth is sealed, and a crown is placed on top to restore normal form and function.

How Much Does a Root Canal Cost?

The cost of the procedure can vary depending on the unique needs of each patient and is influenced by a variety of factors. The severity of tooth decay present in the affected tooth, which tooth requires treatment, and the number of roots in the tooth can all affect the price of treatment. For example, endodontic treatment on the front teeth, which only have one root, usually costs less compared to molars, which have four roots. Whether you have dental insurance and if you receive treatment from a general dentist or endodontist can also influence total costs. After a careful examination of your mouth, our dentists can provide a cost estimate. Call our office today to schedule an appointment.

What Are the Different Types of Root Canals?

A root canal crown placed on the molars or front teeth is standard for this procedure, although alternative treatment options are available. An apicoectomy involves the removal of the top of a tooth’s root, which is typically performed after a previous treatment was unsuccessful. Another alternative treatment option is pediatric pulpotomy, which removes damaged pulp from the tooth but leaves the nerves intact.

Is Dental Root Canal Treatment Painful?

While it’s common to feel uneasy about needing endodontic treatment, our dentists will use anesthetics to ensure that you’re comfortable during the procedure. You shouldn’t let mouth pain keep you awake at night or affect your everyday activities. Contact us today to make an appointment, and find relief from your mouth pain by getting a root canal in Northern Virginia.


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