Root canal therapy is not a torturous therapy. Tysons Corner endodontist, Dr. Kathy Le, performs this tooth-saving treatment and counters root canal myths.
Root canal therapy saves damaged teeth. While reputed to be lengthy, expensive and painful, endodontics relieves toothaches, takes just 2 dental visits and saves time and money in the long run.
What is root canal therapy?
Root canal treatment in Tysons Corner repairs teeth damaged by extensive decay, multiple fillings or injury to the mouth. Removing infected pulp from one or more interior tooth chambers or “root canals,” root canal therapy saves teeth otherwise destined for extraction. In fact, endodontic therapy is a tried and true alternative to pulling failing teeth and thus preserves natural tooth alignment, gum tissue and jawbone integrity.
To extract diseased tooth pulp, Dr. Kathy Le administers local anesthesia and drills a small pilot hole in the ailing tooth. She uses a series of very small files to gradually and thoroughly clean out the damaged soft tissue. She rinses the canals and instills anti-microbial medication.
To seal each of the treated root canals, Dr. Le uses a rubbery material called gutta-percha. This allows her to place a temporary filling over the tooth so the patient can return home to heal. During a second visit, she places a permanent crown over the tooth for a durable, beautiful restoration.
Root canal misconceptions
Unfortunately, some patients avoid this restorative dental service and opt for extraction. Missing teeth compromise oral health with shifting alignment, deteriorating gum and bone integrity and poor smile aesthetics.
Conversely, root canal therapy saves teeth, and patients should understand that rather than causing pain, endodontics relieve it. Removing bacteria-laden pulp and treating the infection stops the sometimes substantial discomfort associated with a tooth abscess. Plus, local anesthesia is usually is sufficient to numb the area and avoid pain.
Another misconception regarding endodontic therapy is that the procedure takes a lot of time and money. On the contrary, this restorative treatment takes 2 dental appointments–one to clean out the chambers and seal the tooth and another to crown it. Both visits should be no more than an hour each, spaced one to 2 weeks apart. While the upfront cost is higher than a simple extraction, root canals save patients substantial money in terms of tooth replacement costs.
Finally, some people think a root canal will make them sick, spreading the infectious bacteria throughout their systems. In fact, the American Association of Endodontists, dentists who specialize in performing and studying root canal therapy, states that there is no evidence that supports the notion that endodontic therapy causes infection elsewhere in the body. Rather, it quells the infection within a tooth and spares tooth structure for long-term use.
Recommending a root canal
The professional team at Avanti Dentistry, including Dr. Kathy Le, Tysons Corner endodontist, highly recommends root canal therapy to qualified patients. It remains safe and effective and optimizes oral health. If you have questions about this restorative treatment, or wonder if you need one, contact Avanti Dentistry to learn more or to set-up a consultation.