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Root Canal Therapy – Fairfax, VA

Give Your Tooth A Second Chance

Root canal therapy is the last resort for patients who are struggling with badly damaged, decayed, infected, or painful teeth. Many patients worry when they hear this treatment’s name, but the truth is, you have nothing to fear! Today’s advances in dental sedation and technology have helped root canal therapy in our Fairfax, VA dental office become no more uncomfortable than getting a large filling. Dr. Murray can quickly eliminate your dental pain and restore your oral health to give your tooth a second chance. To learn more about root canal therapy, continue reading or give our office a call.

Man in pain before root canal therapy

Why Choose MJM Family & Cosmetic Dentistry For Root Canal Therapy?

Reasons for a Root Canal

Person grimacing in pain before root canal therapy

If we recommend a root canal treatment for your tooth, it’s because we believe that your tooth can still be saved, rather than extracted. If your tooth has become infected as a result of unremoved decay, a root canal will work to remove discomfort and stop the infection from spreading further. If you suffered a physical injury that left your tooth badly damaged, a root canal may also be needed. If you notice severe dental discomfort and experience a high fever, get to our dental office as soon as possible for emergency care.

The Root Canal Process

Model smile before root canal therapy

Should Dr. Murray or De. Saadoon determine that a root canal is right for you, we will schedule your appointment. Prior to treatment, we make sure to numb the tooth and surrounding gum tissue to ensure your comfort during every step of the procedure. We also offer sedation dentistry to keep your nerves at bay and let you enjoy the relaxing and comfortable dental care you deserve.

Once you are completely comfortable, your dentist will create a small access hole in your crown via specialized tools. Through this access point, we will clear away decayed, dead, or infected pulp tissue from inside the tooth. After irrigating and shaping the canal to thoroughly remove any trace of bacteria, we’ll place a rubber-like material (called gutta percha) to replace the tissue that was removed. Not only will this strengthen the tooth, but it will reduce the risk of a future infection.

Lastly, a permanent custom-made crown is then placed on top of the repaired tooth. Our office provides same-day dental crowns, so you won’t need to wear a temporary restoration as your final crown is crafted. We’ll check to ensure that your bite is comfortable and lines up correctly, and then you’ll be ready to enjoy your newly pain-free smile.

The Benefits of Getting a Root Canal

Smiling woman framing her smile after root canal in Fairfax

Though root canal therapy has a bad reputation, this common treatment actually offers numerous benefits that will improve your quality of life, such as:

Root Canal FAQs

patient smiling while talking to dentist

Dental implants represent a big investment of both time and money, so you should be well-informed about the road ahead of you before you commit to anything. To help you understand this treatment, we have put together the following list of frequently asked questions about dental implants, along with succinct and easy-to-understand answers. If your specific questions are not addressed here, please reach out to us directly. We will be pleased to chat with you.

How Long Does It Take to Recover from a Root Canal?

While the recovery time after a root canal varies, many individuals can expect to resume work or school the day following the procedure. For those with physically demanding jobs, taking the next two or three days off is recommended to aid healing. Avoid vigorous exercise during this time as it may prolong recovery by diverting blood from the treated site.

Expect some soreness in your mouth for a few days. Make sure you follow your dentist's instructions for prescribed or over-the-counter pain medications. Stick to soft foods and chew on the opposite side of the treated tooth. Maintain regular oral hygiene practices but be gentle around the treated area. If your pain persists or worsens after about three days, or if there are signs of infection (i.e., fever or swelling) contact us right away!

Can I Take Antibiotics Instead of Getting a Root Canal?

No, taking antibiotics alone is not a substitute for getting a root canal. Antibiotics are effective in treating bacterial infections in various parts of the body, but cannot reach the pulp of a tooth. The bloodstream, through which antibiotics travel, does not extend to the tooth pulp. As such, antibiotics alone cannot eliminate an infection within the tooth.

If the pulp of a tooth is infected, the ideal solution is root canal treatment. This procedure directly addresses the infected pulp, eliminating the need for antibiotics. Attending a consultation with your dentist is incredibly important to determine the best course of action for addressing a tooth infection.

What Happens If You Wait Too Long for a Root Canal?

If you wait too long for a root canal, the consequences can be serious. Unlike other parts of the body, teeth cannot heal themselves. A tooth infection will not improve without proper intervention like root canal treatment. It's crucial to schedule a root canal as soon as recommended by your dentist.

Delaying treatment may lead to temporary pain relief, which is often misunderstood as improvement, but it actually indicates nerve damage. Waiting too long increases the risk of the infection spreading to the jaw, gums, neighboring teeth, or even to the rest of your body, causing systemic issues. Prompt root canal treatment is essential to prevent further complications and ensure the health of your smile.

Are Root Canals Safe During Pregnancy?

Absolutely! There are rumors that may suggest otherwise, but these have been debunked by the American Association of Endodontists (AAE). The safety concerns are mainly due to faulty research conducted nearly a century ago.

Root canals have an impressive success rate of around 95 percent, with teeth often lasting a lifetime after the procedure. Of course, like any medical intervention, there is a very small chance of some bacteria remaining in the tooth post-treatment and potentially causing reinfection. Though the odds are minimal, it's important to communicate any unexpected symptoms like intense swelling, pain, or fever to your dentist.

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