Root Canals

Dental Town DC

Cosmetic Dentists & General Dentists located in Washington, DC

Thanks to movies and TV shows, root canals have a bad reputation that’s largely undeserved. In reality, root canals are technologically advanced procedures that can save you from the pain of an infection and keep you from having to extract your damaged tooth. Samira Shenasi, DDS, and her team of professionals at Dental Town DC provide exceptional root canals for their patients in Washington, DC. Schedule your consultation with Dental Town DC today by calling the friendly office or booking a visit online.

Root Canals Q & A

What is a root canal?

A root canal is a treatment for damaged or infected tooth pulp, which is the inner layer of your tooth that’s composed of blood vessels, connective tissues, and nerve endings. 

When your pulp becomes compromised, either through physical damage or through extensive decay, it swells and pinches the nerves within. Swollen tooth pulp is incredibly painful, and it’s this pain that most people mistakenly associate with a root canal.

In reality, a root canal alleviates the pain of damaged or infected tooth pulp by removing the offending pulp and replacing it with a rubber-like compound called gutta-percha.

What symptoms indicate I need a root canal?

Some of the signs you might have damaged or infected tooth pulp include:

  • Severe toothache
  • Pus around your gum line
  • A small pimple-like pocket near your tooth root (abscess)
  • Darkened or discolored tooth
  • Foul taste in your mouth

If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, schedule a visit with Dental Town DC immediately. The sooner you get treated, the sooner you’ll be out of pain and the less damage your infection will create.

What happens if I need a root canal and don’t get one?

Leaving damaged or infected tooth pulp untreated only makes it worse. Over time, the infection just increases in severity and eventually spreads to other parts of your mouth, including neighboring teeth and your jawbone. This can lead to further pain and even tooth loss.

In some cases, an untreated tooth infection can make its way to your bloodstream where it causes sepsis.

How is a root canal performed?

First, your dentist takes an X-ray of your tooth to assess the extent of the damage and to use it as a roadmap during your procedure. Then, they use a drill to make a small access hole in the top of your tooth and extract the damaged pulp from within using a series of small files. 

Next, they clean the inside of your tooth, sterilize it, and fill it with a rubbery compound called gutta-percha. Finally, they fill the hole that was drilled in the top of your tooth and fit your tooth with a crown to restore its strength and structural integrity.

Is a root canal painful?

Dr. Shenasi and the team at Dental Town DC take measures to ensure your root canal is as comfortable and pain-free as possible, such as using local anesthetics to minimize any pain you might feel throughout the procedure. 

If you suffer from dental anxiety or are particularly worried about the procedure, the practice also offers a wide range of sedation dentistry options, like oral sedation and nitrous oxide, that can help keep you calm and relaxed during your treatment.

Don’t put off your root canal any longer. Schedule your visit today by calling Dental Town DC or booking an appointment online.