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Root Canal

Advantage Dental Care

General Dentistry & Cosmetic Dentistry located in Springfield, VA

Severe tooth pain is a sign that you may have a tooth infection. Advantage Dental Care in Springfield, Virginia, provides root canal therapy for patients suffering from potentially dangerous tooth infections. With early intervention, a root canal can save a tooth that may be in danger of extraction. To learn more, call Advantage Dental Care or book an appointment online today.

Root Canal Q & A

What is a root canal?

A root canal is an endodontic treatment designed to repair and save a badly decayed or infected tooth.

Your teeth are made up of enamel, dentin, and pulp. The pulp at the center of your tooth contains nerves, blood vessels, and connective tissue that, when infected, can feel extremely painful and uncomfortable.

Fortunately, once your teeth reach maturity, you no longer need your tooth pulp. A root canal removes the pulp, as well as any bacteria and other debris, to clear an infection or severe decay before it spreads.

Why would I need a root canal?

You may need a root canal to save your tooth from needing an extraction. If you think you have severe tooth decay or a tooth infection, watch out for these telltale signs:

  • Tooth pain while chewing
  • Gum inflammation
  • Small pimples on your gums
  • Throbbing toothache
  • Facial swelling
  • Fever
  • Swollen lymph nodes under the jaw
  • Tooth sensitivity
  • Severely cracked tooth
  • Darkened gums

If you have a sudden rush of foul-tasting fluid in your mouth, call Advantage Dental Care right away. You may have a tooth abscess, which requires immediate treatment.

What happens during a root canal?

Once your dentist determines that you need a root canal to save your tooth, they numb the tooth with a local anesthetic to ensure you feel as comfortable as possible during the procedure. Next, your dentist makes a small opening in the crown of the tooth to access your tooth pulp.

Your dentist then uses very small dental instruments to clear the infection from your tooth chamber, removing the pulp and any bacteria and debris inside the tooth. Once the chamber is completely cleaned out, they fill it with a biocompatible material called gutta-percha.

Finally, your dentist seals the tooth and places a temporary filling on the opening to protect it from further infection. 

Depending on the severity of the infection or decay, you’ll likely have to return to the office for a dental crown or similar tooth restoration. A crown completely covers the visible portion of the tooth and seals out plaque and bacteria, so it’s typically the best choice for restoring tooth function after a root canal.

If your tooth is in danger of being extracted, call the experts at Advantage Dental Care or book an appointment online for a root canal today.