A root canal is a treatment to save a natural tooth by eliminating the bacteria from an infected root canal and prevent the reinfection of the tooth. Your local Annandale, VA dentist will remove the inflamed or infected pulp and carefully clean and disinfect the tooth and then fill and seal the tooth with a rubber-like material gutta-percha. Your dentist in Annandale, VA will then restore the tooth with a crown or filling that will protect your tooth so it will continue to function just like your other teeth.

Beneath the white enamel and the hard layer called the dentin, inside your tooth is a soft tissue known as the pulp that contains nerves, blood vessels, and connective tissues, which helps to grow the root of a tooth while it’s developing. Once your tooth has been fully developed, it can survive without the pulp because it continues to be nourished by the tissues surrounding it.

A tooth’s nerve is not significantly relevant to your tooth’s health and function once your tooth has come through the gums. The only function of the nerve is sensory—to provide the sensation of hot or cold. Regardless, whether the nerve is present or absent, it does not affect the day-to-day functioning of your tooth.

If your tooth’s nerve tissue or pulp is damaged, it breaks down, and then bacteria begins to multiply inside the pulp chamber. This bacteria along with the decayed debris can cause infection or an abscessed tooth. Once this happens, your Annandale, Va dentist may likely recommend a root canal.

Depending on your particular tooth, a root canal can usually be completed in one or two dental visits by your dentist in Annandale, VA. It is incredibly effective and reasonably painless. You should be back to chewing and smiling in no time.

What are the advantages of saving the natural tooth with a root canal by your local Annandale, VA dentist?

  • You still have your normal biting force and sensation, whereas you wouldn’t have it if the tooth were pulled and replaced with a partial denture.
  • It retains the natural appearance of the tooth.
  • It protects the other teeth for excessive wear or any strain.
  • It makes chewing more efficient.

You might be wondering how much pain is involved during a root canal. Your dentist in Annandale, VA will give you local anesthesia just like any other dental procedure such as a filling or pulling a tooth. You may be a little bit sore once the numbness wears off, but usually, it’s just a mild discomfort for a few days.

Most Annandale, VA dentists offer sedation dentistry, so if you are a bit nervous about the root canal procedure, just ask your dentist about their minimal sedation. You will take a pill one hour before arriving for your appointment in Annandale, VA and relax or sleep throughout the visit. You will be required to have someone drive you to and from your appointment. It is exceptionally safe and allows the dentist to work faster because he doesn’t have to stop if you begin to feel uncomfortable. Sometimes what may take two visits can actually be done in one visit.

If your tooth can be saved with a root canal by your Annandale, VA dentist and avoid extraction, this is the best way because once a tooth is removed, it leaves a gap between teeth and causes the other teeth to compensate. The other teeth end up moving inward toward the gap, and you don’t want this to happen. The extraction of a tooth will also affect your ability to bite certain foods and can cause other problems as well.

How can you tell if you need a root canal?

  • A chipped or cracked tooth
  •  Extreme pain when chewing or biting
  • Pimples on your gums
  • Tender or swollen gums
  • Sensitivity to hot or cold that lingers even once the sensation has been removed
  • Darkening of the gums
  • Deep decay

Most root canals last a lifetime if you properly take care of your teeth by brushing at least twice a day and flossing.