Root Canal Sterling, VA

Root Canal An Overview

A root canal is often considered a “life-saving” treatment for a tooth that is severely damaged or diseased. Dr. Datta, Dr. Sensenbrenner and Dr. Shaw will always recommend a tooth canal if appropriate to avoid tooth extraction, keeping your natural tooth and smile in tact.

The phrase “root canal” actually refers to the natural cavity at the center of the tooth. Inside the root canal is soft tissue called pulp and the tooth’s nerves. Bacteria or debris can enter this area and cause an infection or inflammation or in extreme cases, an abscess.

The root canal procedure, like many dental procedures, has also been the beneficiary of advances in techniques and the improving standard of materials. Most patients report that their root canal was no more uncomfortable than a dental filling. In many cases, the pain caused by the infection within the tooth is immediately relieved once the procedure is under way.

Ridgetop Dental performs root canals in our family friendly, modern dentist offices in Reston and Sterling, VA. Your dentist will go over all aspects of the root canal procedure with you and discuss options for anesthesia to ensure you are completely comfortable. If you experience dental anxiety, we offer dental sedation, including nitrous oxide.

After the Root Canal Treatment

To strengthen the tooth after root canal therapy, we recommend the placement of a dental crown to help support the structure of your tooth. Crowns are custom fit and color matched to your natural teeth. They fit around your entire tooth like a cap and will help support the long term health of your tooth.

Root Canal What to Expect

The root canal procedure is typically completed during one visit, but a second visit to place a dental crown may be recommended for a lasting result. Our dental team will work with our patients to ensure their optimal comfort during treatment. We believe that patient education can help relax patients and allow them to feel more confident in their oral health decisions. For our patients who are fearful of dental treatments or dentist offices, we also offer dental sedation. We are able to administer nitrous oxide (also known as “laughing gas”) or IV sedation to help put you at ease for your root canal.

Once you are relaxed and comfortable, your dentist will administer an anesthetic to numb the tooth and the surrounding area. They will then create a tiny hole in the back of your tooth. The infected tooth pulp will be removed from the interior of the tooth. The interior chamber of the tooth is then thoroughly cleaned. The tooth is then filled with a biocompatible compound which will prevent future infection and stabilize the tooth structure. We will seal the tooth after the process is complete.

While root canals have a painful reputation, most patients actually experience pain caused by the infection, not the root canal procedure. A root canal is actually very similar to a regular tooth filling and there usually isn’t any greater discomfort, either. After the procedure, many patients even enjoy pain relief once the infection is removed, cleaned and sealed.

Root Canal FAQs

Is it normal to experience some pain after a root canal procedure?

Experiencing some tenderness at the site of the root canal procedure is normal for the first few days. Any discomfort or pain that you experience should peak within 24 hours after your procedure. Over-the-counter pain relievers are normally sufficient to help minimize post-procedure pain. Report any severe pain or pressure occurring longer than a few days.

What can I expect after my root canal?

It is normal to experience some tenderness in the area where the root canal procedure was performed. Following your root canal treatment, your post-procedure instructions will typically include:

• Do not eat until your mouth numbness has faded.
• Avoid biting or chewing with the tooth until you have received a dental crown for it.
• Continue brushing and flossing as normal.
• You may resume normal activities once your anesthesia has worn off.

How long will my root canal take?

There is no one answer to this question, as each individual case is different. However, root canal procedures generally take anywhere between 30 and 90 minutes.

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