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Root Canal Procedure

Root Canal in Washington, DC

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What is a root canal?

One of the most feared procedures in the world of dentistry is quite possibly the most misunderstood. A root canal is the area inside of a tooth that contains both the tooth’s pulp and its nerve. When a tooth becomes infected, a root canal procedure becomes necessary to prevent issues such as chronic pain and eventual tooth loss. At the Washington Center for Dentistry, the highly trained dentists may suggest a root canal procedure if a patient is experiencing symptoms of an infected tooth. Common symptoms are a localized toothache, prolonged tooth sensitivity, swelling of the gums around a tooth, an abscess or pimple on the gums around a specific tooth and/or darkening of a tooth.

How is a Root Canal Procedure performed?

Root canal treatment generally requires two visits to our Washington DC dental office. During your fist visit, a small access hole will be drilled into the infected tooth through which our dentists can insert tiny files to scrape away debris and infection. Periodically during this process, the root canal will be flushed with sodium chloride to ensure complete removal of infection.

If our dentists believe your tooth has been sufficiently cleaned after this first visit, the access hole will be sealed. If the infection was serious, medication will be placed into the tooth, and you must wait five to seven days to seal the hole. In both instances, an additional visit for the placement of a dental crown will be necessary to protect the impacted tooth.

What Does a root canal Feel Like?

With the modern comforts offered at our Washington Center for Dentistry, you will experience minimal discomfort, if any, during your root canal procedure. In fact, most patients find that it is no more unpleasant than a traditional dental filling. However, if you are uncomfortable with the idea of root canal treatment, we would be happy to discuss your sedation dentistry options during your initial consultation.

Root Canal FAQ

What are the symptoms that indicate a root canal is needed?
Infected or internally damaged teeth may need a root canal to be saved. Some symptoms that indicate a root canal may be needed include:

  • Persistent tooth pain
  • Sensitivity to hot and cold
  • Discomfort when biting or chewing
  • A tooth that moves or feels loose
  • A chipped or cracked tooth
  • Swelling or inflammation of the gums around the tooth

Will I need a dental crown after having a root canal?
Root canals remove the nerve center and blood supply to a tooth, which can cause them to become brittle and more likely to break over time. As a result, a dental restoration should be placed. To protect a tooth after a root canal, we may recommend placing a dental crown, which helps strengthen and save the tooth structure. During your consultation at Washington Center for Dentistry, we can discuss the right type of restoration for you if a root canal is necessary.

How long does it take to recover from a root canal treatment?
Usually, it takes a few days of downtime to initially recover from a root canal treatment. Prior to leaving our Washington, DC facility, we will provide you with aftercare instructions to encourage your ideal recovery process.

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Learn More About Root Canals

If you have tooth pain and believe you may need a root canal, please call our Washington DC dental office and schedule your consultation today. For years, individuals have feared root canals, and many have had a negative feeling regarding them. Today's technology combined with a compassionate, caring dental staff makes the root canal process night and day from years prior. We will take great care of you and ensure your tooth is treated without pain, worry, or fear. We look forward to welcoming you to our dental practice.

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