Root Canal Therapy in Falls Church
You are likely to seek root canal treatment because you are experiencing pain. But you may have concerns having heard from friends and family that the treatment itself is painful and/or expensive. You may then feel that the tooth is not worth saving or that the pain is so severe that you would rather have the tooth extracted. Is it so?
What is a root canal treatment? It is a procedure used to treat infection in the root canal system - the center or pulp of the tooth. Infection and inflammation generally occur due to tooth decay or damage. During the treatment, infected pulp in the root canal is removed and replaced with filling material, allowing you to keep your tooth in place.
Do I need root canal therapy? An exam including an x-ray will determine whether or not the tooth pulp has been damaged by infection. On the surface, your tooth may look healthy, but you will likely be experiencing symptoms such as pain when eating or drinking hot/cold food/drink, pain when chewing, a loose tooth, swelling of the gum and darkening of the tooth, oozing pus, and facial swelling.
What does the treatment involve? The root canal procedure is best performed as soon as the issue arises. The treatment is done under local anesthesia so the tooth will feel nothing during the process. The treatment takes around 1 to 1 1/2 hours to complete. The tooth will stop feeling pain immediately after the treatment; however, it may remain sensitive for a few days afterward when biting or chewing. First, an opening is made through the back of a tooth. Then, a pulpectomy is performed. This is the removal of the diseased pulp. The pulp chamber and root canals are then cleaned, made larger, and shaped to ready them for the filling If you require multiple visits, a temporary filling will be placed Following this, the permanent filling is used. This is a rubbery substance called gutta-percha and may be sealed in place with dental cement If necessary, a plastic or metal rod is put in the canal to provide structural support. Eventually, a crown is placed over the tooth to give it back its natural look and prevent tooth fracture. Success of the treatment depends on how soon it is performed. The sooner you seek help for a root canal infection, the better the prognosis regarding saving the tooth. The treated tooth can last for many years following a root canal. There is no expiration date on the root canal treated tooth, so it can last for as long as you live. Statistically, the average is around 9 years. In the event that the tooth is extracted, it can only be restored with an implant or bridge.
Are root canals painful? Contrary to common belief, you will experience only minor discomfort (similar to when having a filling) but no pain. Root canal recovery is usually swift, although you may feel some sensitivity for a few days; avoid biting hard foods and take painkillers if necessary.
Is root canal therapy really as expensive as I've heard? The cost of the root canal is usually largely covered by insurance companies, although this depends on your individual insurance plan.
As the knowledgeable dentist offering services to Falls Church, Arlington and Alexandria, we can help you decide if root canal treatment is right for you. We can advise on the procedure, possible payment plans, and also help allay your concerns regarding the treatment. Just call us on 703-417-9622 to speak to a friendly staff member. Our team, led by general dentist and owner Vladyslav Ovcharenko, DDS, want you to feel comfortable with any treatment you have and happy with the results!