If possible, saving a damaged or failing tooth is preferable to extraction. Nothing looks, feels or functions like a real tooth. A Tysons Corner root canal procedure works to save a tooth for years of service and great aesthetics.
What is root canal therapy?
Root canal therapy, also called endodontic therapy, removes diseased pulp from the interior of a damaged tooth. A tooth may have up to 4 inner chambers or canals which extend from the center of the tooth down into the roots. When decay and infection invade this space, pain, bad breath, jaw swelling and other difficult symptoms result.
Endodontists, such as Dr. Kathy Le of Avanti Dentistry in Tysons Corner, specialize in root canal therapy. Not the lengthy, torturous procedure that some people think it is, root canal therapy normally takes just 2 dental visits and is usually performed under simple local anesthesia.
The aim of endodontics is to keep that compromised tooth in place and simply remove the soft tissue. The blood supply, nerves and connective tissue in a tooth’s interior serves an important function during tooth development. However, the adult tooth can live well without pulp for years. That’s why root canal therapy works.
The process: step-by-step
Dr. Le uses low-radiation digital x-rays to the area to correctly diagnose the dental problem and properly plan treatment. She also examines the site and takes a complete medical history.
To begin the procedure, she places a protective rubber dam around the tooth. She uses local anesthetic to numb the area. When the individual is comfortable, she drills a small access hole into the tooth, accessing the first root canal.
The Tysons Corner endodontist employs tiny dental files to clean and debride the canal. She instills antimicrobial medication to quell infection, and then fills the space with a heated, rubbery sealant called gutta-percha. As needed, the dentist repeats the procedure on remaining chambers.
Dr. Le places a temporary filling over the tooth. After a week or so of healing time, the patient comes back to Avanti Dentistry for removal of the temporary restoration and placement of a natural-looking porcelain crown if necessary. Some teeth, such as front teeth, may not require a crown, but teeth with more complex structures, such as backmost molars, often need crowns to strengthen and protect their structure.
Do you need a “root canal”?
Without this tried and true treatment, a smile gap weakens remaining teeth, allowing them to drift to fill the space. Also, the gap weakens the jawbone underneath the site. So, endodontic therapy saves teeth and confers additional oral health benefits.
If you are concerned about the health of a tooth, don’t wait. Contact Avanti Dentistry, and come in for an exam. Dr. Le will help you decide what treatment option is best for your oral health and for your appearance, too.