Root Canal (Endodontics)

Root Canal

root-canalIf you think that tooth extraction is the only solution for your decayed or damaged teeth, think again. Now you can save your teeth and your smile with root canal therapy. Each year, millions of teeth are being saved by this treatment. Stellar Dental offers root canal therapy and endodontics at Silver Spring and Hyattsville, MD, to help save your teeth and smile.

What is root canal therapy?

Root canal therapy or endodontic treatment refers to the sequence of procedures which is used to treat the infected pulp and save a decayed or damaged tooth. Because this treatment lets you keep your tooth, it is considered as a much better alternative than tooth extraction.

The root canal is the term used to describe the pulp-filled cavity in the root of the tooth; while the pulp refers to the soft area at the center of the tooth that contains the nerves, blood vessels and fibrous tissues of the tooth. During root canal therapy, the infected pulp is removed and the pulp chamber is cleaned, disinfected and sealed.

Why is the pulp removed?

Illustration showing a root canal procedure

A broken, damaged or infected pulp is a breeding ground for bacteria to multiply. If the infected pulp is not removed, the infection can spread into the nerves and roots of the tooth. The tooth would then be continuously weakened by the bacteria and eventually, it may break down completely, causing it to “die.” Infection in the pulp can also lead to dental abscess, which refers to the pus-filled pockets that form at the tooth’s roots or that may surround the tooth. Dental abscess in turn can lead to more serious problems like swelling of the face, neck and other areas of the head as well as bone loss in the roots of the tooth and in the jawbone.

Root canal therapy involves removing the infected pulp and cleaning the pulp chamber. This way, the infected pulp will not cause more problems for the tooth and surrounding teeth. If you need to have your infected pulp removed, visit Stellar Dental now for a root canal treatment. Our team of dental care experts at Stellar Dental will provide you with excellent endodontic services to meet your dental needs.

What causes infection in the pulp?

Infection in the pulp can be caused by a number of factors like:

  • Deep decay,
  • Untreated gum disease,
  • Cracks and chips in the tooth,
  • Repeated dental procedure,
  • Trauma, blow or injury on the tooth, and/or
  • Damaged or destroyed tooth structure.

What are the signs and symptoms that you need root canal therapy?

Some of the tell-tale signs that you might need root canal therapy are the following:

  • Dull and throbbing toothache
  • Tenderness of the teeth when touched
  • Pain when biting or chewing
  • Discoloration
  • Visible injury to the tooth
  • Swelling of the gums surrounding the tooth
  • Swelling of your face
  • Sensitivity to hot and cold food and drinks
  • Exposed nerves of the tooth
  • Bad taste or bad smell in the mouth
  • Extreme biting discomfort which does not go away
  • Cracks which go into the root canal of the tooth

Always remember that early intervention is essential. The earlier the root canal treatment is performed, the higher the success rate. If you experience any of these symptoms, visit Stellar Dental as soon as possible. Dr. Allen Gotora and his team of dental care professionals at Stellar Dental will conduct a dental examination to determine if your tooth needs root canal treatment.

What are the advantages of root canal therapy?

As compared to other procedures and treatments like tooth extraction or dental implants, root canal therapy has many advantages like:

  • It lets you keep your natural tooth and maintain your natural smile.
  • It restores your chewing efficiently.
  • It maintains the appearance of your teeth.
  • It maintains your normal biting force and sensation.
  • It proves to be less expensive in the long run.

Is root canal therapy painful?

Many people are afraid of root canal treatment because of its reputation of being painful. However, with the latest advances in dentistry, root canal therapy is now virtually painless. Dr. Gotora will perform the procedure under local anesthesia and also offers sedation dentistry to ensure that patients are comfortable during the root canal treatment.

After the root canal therapy is performed, it is normal to experience a little tenderness and discomfort, especially after the anesthetic has worn off, but this is likely to subside after a couple of days. Dr. Gotora will prescribe painkillers to help manage this tenderness and discomfort.

Root canal therapy at Silver Spring and Hyattsville, Maryland
If you want to learn more about root canal therapy or if you have any questions relating to the procedure, visit Stellar Dental and have our expert team of dental care professionals meet you for a consultation. Call us today at (301) 754-1900 (Silver Spring branch) or at (301) 853-1567 (Hyattsville branch) to book your appointment!