Root Canal Therapy

Why Do You Need Root Canal Treatment?

Endodontics, more commonly known as root canal therapy, refers to a set of specialized procedures designed to treat problems of the soft pulp (nerve) tissue inside the tooth.

Pulp tissue in the tooth consists of blood vessels, connective tissues, and nerve cells, so when there is infection or inflammation of the pulp tissue, you will feel intense pain — this is when root canal treatment will be necessary. If you leave it untreated, it can lead to a dental abscess and in extreme cases can cause issues in other parts of the body. Issues with the tooth’s pulp can be caused by deep tooth decay, untreated dental cavities, or cracked or chipped teeth that allow bacteria to make their way to the center of the tooth and enter the pulp.

What to Expect From Root Canal Treatment

Root canal treatment has an unfair reputation for being an unusually painful treatment, but in most cases the relief it provides far outweighs any minor discomfort during the procedure. Also, root canal treatment may help save a tooth that otherwise would need to be extracted and lead to further complications and dental issues.

 

The root canal process generally begins the same way as a filling does, and with no greater discomfort: an anesthetic is administered to numb the tooth and the surrounding area. A small opening is made on the surface of the affected tooth to give access to the pulp chamber and root canals. We remove the dead and dying pulp tissue from inside these narrow passageways, clean and disinfect them and fill them with biocompatible material and seal the opening with an adhesive cement to prevent future infection.

What to Expect After Root Canal Treament

Following root canal treatment, your tooth may feel some sensitivity or tenderness for a few days. Over-the-counter pain relievers like ibuprofen are generally effective in relieving discomfort, but prescription medications may also be given if needed. During this period, it may help to avoid biting hard on the affected tooth. All of these symptoms, however, should be temporary.

 

If you are experiencing sharp pain and discomfort, particularly when you bite down on food, or lingering pain after eating hot or cold foods, this may be a signal that you have pulp tissue damage and should make an appointment with our Herndon dentists to review your symptoms in more detail and see if you require root canal treatment.