Wondering if you need a root canal? Our Sterling, VA, dentist, Dr. Tara Moshiri, shares information about root canal therapy and explains when it's needed.
Why are root canals performed?
You may need if a root canal if you experience a tooth injury or if your pulp becomes inflamed or infected. The pulp is located deep inside your tooth and extends into canals that reach into your roots. If you don't have a root canal, you may eventually develop an abscess, a serious bacterial infection that will not only affect your tooth but your general health. Inflammation or infection may be more likely to occur if:
- You have extensive tooth decay
- You've had several dental procedures performed on the tooth
- You have a chip, crack or another small opening that allows bacteria to reach the pulp
How will I know I need a root canal?
Tooth pain is one of the most common signs that you might need a root canal. Some people experience constant pain, while others notice that the pain tends to come and go. Pain can temporarily worsen if your teeth are exposed to hot or cold temperatures. Does your tooth hurt when you press on it? If you need a root canal, even the slightest amount of pressure can cause pain.
In some cases, an infected or inflamed tooth can become darker. If you notice a change in color, it's a good idea to make an appointment with our Sterling office.
What happens during a root canal?
Many people are a little apprehensive about undergoing a root canal. Despite what you may have heard, the procedure isn't painful, thanks to the effects the local anesthetic used to ensure your comfort. The root canal procedure is very similar to the filling process, although it will take longer than a filling. A dental drill is used to open the tooth, revealing the pulp. After the pulp is removed, the canals are cleaned and shaped with a small file. In some cases, small posts may be added to the tooth. The posts will help support the crown that you'll receive a few weeks after your root canal.
Root canals usually require two appointments. During the first visit, the pulp will be removed, and you'll receive a temporary filling. The permanent filling will be placed in the tooth during the following appointment. Your tooth may feel a little sore for a week or two, but you should soon notice significantly less pain. In some situations, a dental crown may be needed to protect the tooth.
Preserve your teeth with root canal therapy. Call our Sterling, VA, dentist, Dr. Moshiri, at (703) 434-3286 to schedule an appointment.