(703) 935-2879

Dental Associates of Northern Virginia in Burke
6035 Burke Centre Pkwy, Suite #200, Burke, VA 22015

What Do I Need to Know About Root Canals?

Located within each tooth is a soft tissue that is called pulp. In cases of advanced tooth decay or severe injury, the pulp of the tooth can become diseased, damaged or exposed. This is an incredibly painful condition that can severely impact a person’s daily life. A root canal, also called endodontic treatment, is a form of dental surgery that removes the offending pulp and rids the patient of pain and discomfort.

When Is Root Canal Treatment Necessary?

A dental root canal is necessary whenever the pulp is too severely damaged or diseased to heal itself. While you may find the idea of surgical intervention to be a scary one, it is important to realize that this is often the only way to save your tooth. If have any of the following signs of needing surgery on the root canals, you should contact our office immediately.

• Severe tooth pain that won’t go away
• Pain when biting
• Swollen gums around the sore tooth
• Sensitivity in the tooth to touch or changes in temperatures
• Waking up at night due to tooth pain
• A discolored tooth or a deep cavity

Once you have been seen by one of our dentists, he or she will be able to determine whether or not endodontic treatment is the right course of action for you to pursue.

What Kind of Dentist Performs Root Canals?

Root canals are performed by either a general dentist or by a specialist referred to as an endodontist. Most patients can have their issues taken care of by their general dentist. However, those who have more severe cases may need to be seen by an endodontist. No matter how mild or severe your case is, you can come to our office in order to see a skilled root canal dentist.

What Will My Root Canal Procedure Consist Of?

The exact steps that your dentist will need to take for your procedure will depend upon the complexity of your issues. Basic root canals consist of the following steps:

1. The dentist applies local anesthetic to the tooth so that the patient can’t feel pain.
2. A tiny shield is put around the tooth in order to keep it isolated.
3. The dentist opens the crown of the patient’s tooth so that the pulp chamber can be accessed.
4. Special instruments are used to clean out the pulp. The canals are then cleaned out and shaped by the dentist.
5. The dentist utilizes fluid to both disinfect and clear out debris from the canals.
6. Gutta-percha (a rubbery material) is placed into the now empty root canals. Those canals are then sealed off.
7. A root canal crown is put over the tooth so that fracturing will be less likely to occur.

Simple cases involving the above steps typically take one to two hours. If you have more severe issues you will probably have a longer procedure.

What Can You Tell Me About What Root Canals Cost?

Root canal cost is determined by the amount of damage the tooth has sustained and the type of preparation that the dentist has to do in order to do the surgery. Your cost will also be affected by the number of roots present in the tooth. Teeth with four roots (like molars) will be more expensive than teeth with one root (like front teeth). Your costs will also vary if you have to have the procedure done by an endodontist rather than by a general dentist. If you currently have a dental insurance provider, give them a call to find out if endodontic treatment is covered under your plan. At our practice, we will always give you an estimate after your first visit. Contact us today to learn more about how much endodontic treatment may cost you.

How Many Types of Root Canals Are There?

The standard surgical procedure used for root canals is useful for molars, as well as other kinds of teeth. More complicated cases may require different types of root canals. For instance, if a patient has previously had endodontic treatment that failed, he or she may require an apicoectomy. This procedure involves a dentist taking out part of the root’s tip within the tooth. Another advanced form of endodontic treatment is a pediatric pulpotomy. This consists of the dentist or endodontist removing the pulp from a child’s tooth while also leaving the nerves in place.

What Else Should I Know About Dental Root Canal Treatment?

Since we utilize local anesthetic throughout your treatment, you will not feel any pain while your root canals are being worked on. Pick up the phone and call our team today to learn more about how to schedule a root canal in Burke.

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Dental Associates of Northern Virginia in Burke

6035 Burke Centre Pkwy, Suite #200, Burke, VA 22015

(703) 935-2879