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Dental Associates of Northern Virginia in Alexandria
1500 Belle View Boulevard, Alexandria, VA 22307

Can You Tell Me About Root Canals?

Known as endodontic treatment within the dental community, a root canal is a commonly performed dental surgery. A dentist will recommend this treatment when a patient comes in with severe tooth pain caused by an infection, injury or exposure of the pulp tissue located within the tooth. These issues are frequently caused by advanced tooth decay. No matter what the cause behind the necessity of endodontic treatment, the surgery will relieve you of pain and allow you to move on with your daily life.

When Are Root Canal Procedures Necessary?

Root canals are almost always necessary in cases where the pulp is severely damaged or infected. This is because pulp is unable to heal itself. When damage to the pulp occurs, it is necessary to perform this surgery because it is the only way to save your tooth. There are many signs that you need endodontic treatment. They include:

• Severe tooth pain that won’t go away
• A tooth that is particularly sensitive to heat, cold or touch
• Tooth pain that awakens you at night
• Pain when biting down
• Advanced cavities or discoloration
• Gum tissue that is swollen

These symptoms should not be ignored. If you think that you need endodontic treatment, don’t continue living your life in pain. Pick up your phone and call our friendly team members today.

What Type of Dentist Offers Root Canals?

If the procedure that you are in need of is a basic one, then a general dentist can perform the surgery. However, if you are having your tooth re-treated after a previous surgery failed, or if you are in need of multiple root canals, you may be asked to go to a specialist known within the dental community as an endodontist. No matter how simple or severe your issue may be, you can rely on finding a highly qualified root canal dentist at our office.

What Typically Happens During Root Canals?

You may be curious as to what happens during a basic root canal procedure. If your problem is a simple one, you can expect your dentist to take the following steps.

1. Your dentist will give you a local anesthetic so you can’t feel any pain.
2. The tooth is isolated via the use of a miniscule shield. This shield also keeps the area surrounding the tooth clean while you are having your surgery.
3. Your dentist will open up the tooth’s crown so that he or she can reach the pulp chamber.
4. The infected or damaged pulp will be taken out of the chamber. Your dentist will then clean out and shape your root canals.
5. Your canals will be disinfected via the use of a fluid. This fluid also clears out any remaining debris left within your root canals.
6. Your dentist will fill your root canals with a rubbery material known as gutta-percha. The canals will then be sealed off.
7. A root canal crown will be put on top of your tooth. This keeps the tooth from fracturing.

Simple procedures tend to take the dentist between one and two hours to complete. If you have a more complicated case, your procedure could take more time.

How Much Does a Typical Root Canal Cost?

Once you have seen one of our dentists, you will be provided with an estimate of your treatment. The cost that you will have to pay will be based on the complexity of your case, the severity of the damage to the tooth and whether or not you will need an endodontist to complete the procedure. Another factor in pricing is the number of roots that the tooth being worked on has. There is only one root present in a front tooth, this makes the front teeth less expensive to work on than other teeth. Molars have four roots. This means that molars are typically more expensive to work on. If you have insurance, get in touch with your provider to see if root canals are covered under your policy.

Can You Tell Me About the Different Kinds of Root Canals?

A standard dental root canal can be done on molars, as well as on any other type of tooth. A more complex procedure known as an apicoectomy is done when a portion of the tooth’s root has to be removed when a previous surgery failed. A pediatric pulpotomy is another type of endodontic treatment. This treatment removes the pulp but still leaves the nerves of the tooth in place.

Dental Root Canal Treatment

No matter what kind of endodontic treatment you need to have done, you will be placed under a local anesthetic so that you won’t experience any kind of pain throughout your procedure. If you would like to learn more about how to have a root canal in Alexandria, call our staff and schedule your appointment with us as soon as you can.

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  • Tuesday 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM
  • Wednesday 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM
  • Thursday 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM
  • Friday 8:00 AM – 2:00 PM


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  • Monday
    8:00 AM – 5:00 PM
  • Tuesday
    8:00 AM – 5:00 PM
  • Wednesday
    8:00 AM – 5:00 PM
  • Thursday
    8:00 AM – 5:00 PM
  • Friday
    8:00 AM – 2:00 PM

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(703) 596-0872

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Dental Associates of Northern Virginia in Alexandria

1500 Belle View Boulevard, Alexandria, VA 22307

(703) 596-0872