Root Canal Therapy in Chevy Chase, MD

Relieve Tooth Troubles with Root Canal Therapy

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Infographic on how Root canal therapy process looks

When you have a toothache, it’s important to have it addressed as soon as possible. If not, infection may develop in the dental pulp, which can be extremely painful. When this happens, you have two options: extraction or root canal therapy.

Root canal therapy aims to remove the infection and salvage the structure of the natural tooth. Extraction removes the tooth- but replacement will be necessary to protect the appearance and functionality of your smile.

The dental team at Chevy Chase Dental Care has the experience and expertise to salvage your natural teeth, protecting your oral and overall health.

Understanding Root Canal Therapy

Root canal therapy, also referred to as endodontic therapy, is a procedure designed to salvage the structure of a tooth with infected/damaged pulp. The pulp is made up of nerves, blood vessels, and connective tissues. It is located in the center of the tooth. If the pulp is damaged, it can lead to severe pain and potential tooth loss.

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Who is the eligible candidate for Root Canal Therapy?

The root canal is often recommended for patients who are experiencing the following issues:

  • Infected dental pulp
  • Severe toothache
  • Sensitivity to hot/cold
  • Swollen gums/face
  • Darkening/discoloration of the tooth
  • Dental abscess on the gums
  • Cracked/fractured tooth
  • Dental trauma
  • Large dental fillings
  • Recurrent dental issues  

However, it’s important to note that only a qualified dental professional can accurately diagnose the need for root canal. If you are experiencing any of the above, it is advisable to schedule a consultation with the team at Chevy Chase Dental Care. Early intervention can prevent the need for more extensive procedures.

Why Choose Chevy Chase Dental Care for Root Canal Therapy?

There are several reasons you should choose Chevy Chase Dental Care for your root canal Therapy, including:

  • We offer comprehensive care from diagnosis/consultation to post-treatment care, ensuring the well-being of our patients at every stage.
  • We use advanced technology and techniques to ensure precision and efficiency during the procedure. Additionally, we use modern tools/equipment to contribute to a faster, more comfortable experience.
  • We have the experience and expertise to handle complex cases.
  • Patients can expect long-term relief from infection and pain, with the treated tooth functioning for many years.
  • We take the time to educate patients about their procedures, alleviating any concerns/fears.
  • We make patient comfort a priority through the use of modern pain management techniques, as well as open, honest communication.
  • We are available to help our patients any time of the day or night if they have an emergency dental issue.  

Root Canal Procedure & Aftercare

Root canal is designed to remove infected/damaged dental pulp, salvaging the structure of the tooth. Here is what you can expect at Chevy Chase Dental Care:

  • Consultation: every treatment at our clinic begins with a consultation, which will determine if a patient is eligible for the procedure.
  • Anesthesia: the dentist will start the procedure by administering local anesthesia to numb the area. If necessary, sedation may be offered.
  • Access opening: a small hole will be made in the tooth to access the infected/damaged pulp.
  • Removal of pulp: the dentist will remove the infected/damaged pulp.
  • Cleaning/shaping: the dentist will clean and shape the inside of the tooth, removing remaining bacteria/debris.
  • Filling the tooth: the space inside the tooth will be filled with a biocompatible material to offer additional support.
  • Sealing the tooth: the tooth will be sealed with a temporary or permanent dental filling.
  • Restoration: typically, a dental crown will be placed on the tooth to protect and strengthen it.

While this procedure is typically successful, proper aftercare is critical. Proper aftercare includes:

  • Take medications as prescribed.
  • Attend all follow-up appointments, making sure to mention any unusual symptoms.
  • Avoid chewing on the treated tooth, especially hard/chewy foods.
  • Maintain proper oral hygiene habits.  

Benefits of Root Canal Therapy

When performed by an experienced dental team, root canal Therapy offers several benefits that contribute to the oral and overall health of the patient. Benefits include: 

Pain Relief

The primary goal of root canal  is to alleviate tooth pain associated with infected/damaged dental pulp. Since the procedure is fairly invasive, many patients are concerned about pain during the procedure. However, local anesthesia is used during the procedure and, for patients who have anxiety in the dental chair, we offer sedation. This will ensure that patients have little to no pain during the procedure.

Preserves Natural Teeth

During the procedure, the dentist removes the infected/damaged pulp from the tooth, which prevents the need for extraction. The structure of the natural tooth is salvaged, which contributes to better oral health, aesthetics, and functionality.

Aesthetic Results

Root canal Therapy, followed by a dental crown, provides a seamless, aesthetically pleasing outcome. This treatment results in the restoration of the appearance and functionality of the natural tooth.

Prevents Further Infection

Removal of the infected/damaged dental pulp and disinfection of the root canal system, prevents it from spreading to surrounding tissues/adjacent teeth.

A root canal is a reliable, proven solution for addressing issues related to dental pulp and offers a variety of benefits.

Common Misconceptions about Root Canal

Root canal Therapy is surrounded by many misconceptions. The team at Chevy Chase Dental Care believes that dispelling these myths is critical to helping our patients make informed decisions about their oral health. Some of the most common misconceptions include:

Root Canal Therapy is Painful

The goal of root canal Therapy is to eliminate pain, not cause it. In the past, this procedure could be uncomfortable. However, advancements in dental technology and techniques ensure that this treatment is no more painful than a dental filling procedure.

Tooth Extraction is a Better Option

According to oral health experts, extraction can lead to oral health concerns including misalignment and difficulty chewing. Preservation of the structure of the natural tooth when possible is preferable.

Root Canal Therapy is Time-Consuming

While complex cases may require more than one appointment, most of the time they can be completed in a single appointment.

Root Canal Treated Teeth are Weak

Root canal Therapy involves the removal of infected/damaged pulp, while preserving the structure of the tooth. Typically, a dental crown is placed on the treated tooth to strengthen and protect it.

Root Canal Therapy is Obsolete

Root canal Therapy remains a standard, effective treatment for saving a tooth with infected/damaged pulp. Advancements in dental technology and techniques have improved the efficiency and success of this treatment.

Alternatives to Root Canal

While root canal Therapy is the preferred option, in some cases, extraction is the better option.

If the tooth is severely damaged, infected, or structurally compromised, root canal Therapy may not be feasible. In this case, extraction will be recommended. However, a missing tooth can lead to additional oral health concerns. In this case, replacement options such as dental implant, may need to be considered.

Additional alternatives include:

Pulpotomy: similar to root canal Therapy, but less extensive, involves the removal of the infected pulp from the crown- leaving the pulp inside the tooth intact. This is often used in pediatric dentistry, but may be considered for some adults.

Apicoectomy: surgical procedure involving the removal of the apex (tip) of the tooth and the surrounding tissue. This is followed by sealing the end of the root. This is often considered if conventional root canal Therapy has been unsuccessful, or retreatment is challenging.  

Cost and Insurance

The average cost of root canal Therapy ranges from $500 to $2,000+ per tooth. This depends on several factors including:

  • Experience/expertise of the dentist
  • Geographical location of the dental clinic
  • Diagnostic/consultation fees
  • Post-treatment costs
  • Type of dental crown
  • Location of the tooth
  • Dental insurance coverage  
While we are not in-network with any certain providers, we can work with your provider to determine your coverage. If you do not have insurance or if you need help managing your costs, we offer in-house and third-party dental financing.

Root Canal Therapy at Chevy Chase Dental Care Can Save Your Smile

If you are experiencing any of the indicators that you need root canal Therapy, schedule your consultation with Chevy Chase Dental Care right away. Early intervention can reduce the risk of further complications.

In addition to root canal Therapy, we offer a variety of other general, restorative, and cosmetic dental treatments for the entire family.

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