If you have pain, tenderness, or swelling in your mouth, it may be the sign of a problem. You should be sure to have it checked out as soon as possible. Often, what’s needed is a root canal. Whether you know that's the case or need to learn more, Dr. Preet S. Bajwa can help. Make an appointment with him at AB Reston Family Dental in Reston, Virginia by calling or clicking today.
Underneath your teeth, you have soft tissue called pulp, which contains nerves, blood vessels, and other tissues. The pulp extends from the crown to the tips of the roots. When the pulp becomes inflamed or infected, it needs to be removed. A root canal is a treatment that removes infected pulp.
When your teeth are still growing, pulp serves an important function: It helps nourish the tooth. But when your teeth have matured, you can manage without the pulp. The surrounding tissues will take over that function.
The pulp can become infected from deep decay, repeated dental procedures, or a crack or chip in the tooth. Sometimes the injury is invisible but is enough to cause inflammation.
If the pulp is left untreated, the area could become infected. It’s important to have the root canal before that happens.
Dr. Bajwa and his team X-ray the area to get a complete picture of what needs to be done. After applying local anesthesia, he’ll place a shield over the tooth to protect it during the procedure.
Using delicate instruments, Dr. Bajwa cleans out the area and fills it with a special material called gutta-percha. It is set in place with an adhesive cement to ensure that the root canal is sealed correctly. A temporary filling is inserted to protect the exposed area.
The final step is having a crown made to place over the tooth. At that point, the tooth has been restored to its full function.
The first phase usually takes one or two visits. The tooth will heal while the crown is being made. During a third visit, Dr. Bajwa will insert the crown.
You may experience some minor discomfort immediately after the procedure, but in most cases, over-the-counter painkillers are sufficient. In the event of an unusual event and you find that you need stronger medication, Dr. Bajwa can prescribe it. You may also be given antibiotics to prevent infections.