One of the most-feared procedures in modern dentistry is the root canal. They have a bad reputation, but why? Are they really that bad? Thanks to modern technology, root canals aren’t as bad as you think, especially when you visit Capital Cosmetic Dentistry in Chevy Chase, MD.
What is a Root Canal?
A root canal treatment, often simply referred to as a “root canal,” is necessary when the sensitive tissues inside of your teeth becomes infected. This tissue is called “pulp,” and it can get infected as a result of deep cavities or even a chip or crack in the surface of the tooth when bacteria are introduced. This infection can spread down through the pulp to the root canals of the teeth into the gums and form an abscess, which is a severe and painful condition that needs to be addressed.
Do I Need a Root Canal?
Signs that a root canal may be necessary are sensitivity of the tooth to hot and cold, sensitivity to touch or while chewing, and inflamed and sensitive gums around the tooth. Informing your dentist of these and any other symptoms you may be having during exams will allow he or she to decide if a root canal is necessary and appropriate for your condition. Some dentists will perform root canals. Others will refer you to an endodontist. An endodontist is a dental specialist who specializes in treating the insides of your teeth.
Root Canal Treatment in Chevy Chase, MD
The first step of the root canal treatment is removing the infected pulp. Your dentist or endodontist will drill down into the infected tooth (after numbing the area, of course) and remove the pulp. As adults, we no longer require the pulp as the tooth will receive nutrients from surrounding tissue.
Once the pulp has been removed, the now-empty space in your tooth is filled with a biocompatible material. Sometimes, tooth decay makes the tooth unstable, and a tiny metal rod needs to be inserted into the root to hold the tooth in place in the gums.
Next, the restoration process begins. A crown is created and placed over the tooth to seal it to make sure bacteria can’t get in. This crown will match the hue of your teeth and soon your tooth can be used normally. Thanks to modern dental technology, this process feels similar to having a filling placed over a cavity.
Root canals really don’t deserve the bad reputation they’ve earned. The root canal treatment is a helpful procedure designed to preserve your natural teeth and alleviate the pain of an infection. If you are experiencing symptoms of an infected tooth, don’t hesitate to get in touch with Dr. Christopher Banks at Capital Cosmetic Dentistry in Chevy Chase, MD. Schedule online or call 202.769.0324 to keep your smile healthy and pain-free.