If you have a toothache, call one of our dental offices today. A toothache is usually a sign that your tooth has been damaged or infected; prompt action is needed to repair the problem and save your natural tooth.

The two most common reasons for a toothache are either severe dental decay or trauma to the tooth. In both cases, an infection can reach the soft middle part of the tooth called the pulp. The pulp contains the nerves, blood vessels and cellular structures of the tooth. The pulp chamber stretches from the center of the tooth down through the roots where it causes an abscess or infection of the bone.

A root canal treatment eliminates the infection from the pulp of the tooth, saving the natural tooth so it doesn’t need to be extracted. Best of all, the procedure is not painful. Instead, it eliminates the pain you were experiencing.

When Is a Root Canal Needed?

The white part of the tooth that you can see is called the enamel. When the enamel becomes cracked, chipped, or severely damaged by decay, the soft inner pulp of the tooth can become infected. The only way to repair and restore the tooth is for a dentist to perform a root canal. You may need a root canal treatment if you have any of these symptoms:

  • Severe toothache
  • A toothache or mouth pain that interrupts your sleep
  • Sharp pain when biting down
  • Extreme sensitivity to hot or cold foods or beverages
  • Gums around the tooth swell
  • Tooth changes color

Our general dentists at Dental One Associates of Virginia can perform routine root canals. Our team may refer you to a root canal specialist called an endodontist for a more complex root canal. Call us today for a root canal consultation.

What Happens During the Root Canal Procedure?

Despite what you may have heard, getting a root canal is not painful. In fact, it’s about as easy and comfortable as getting a filling. In most cases, the root canal procedure only takes about an hour or two to complete.

The root canal process typically includes these steps:

  1. Our root canal dentist will numb the area around the tooth to prevent any discomfort.
  2. The dentist will access the pulp through a small opening made in the top of the tooth (crown).
  3. The dentist will use special tools to remove the infected pulp, disinfect the area, and shape the root canals.
  4. The dentist will fill the canals with a special substance and then seal the tooth.
  5. At another appointment, the dentist will place a permanent crown to protect the tooth from fracturing.

How Much Does a Root Canal Cost?

The cost of your root canal treatment depends on the complexity of the procedure. Depending on the type of tooth, it may have one, two, three, or four canals. A root canal on a front tooth is cheaper than a root canal on a molar, because molars have more root canals. The root canals can be very small; some are only as thick as a strand of hair.

Frequently, dental insurance will cover some or all of the cost of the root canal treatment. To find out what your total cost is estimated to be, call our offices to schedule a consultation.

What Should I Expect After a Root Canal?

After a root canal and crown, the tooth is restored to its normal functionality. Because the tooth was not extracted, it’s easier to chew, speak, and smile. Best of all, the toothache that had been caused by the infection will be completely gone.

Teeth that have been restored through root canal treatment generally last for a very long time when maintained with proper dental hygiene. Call Dental One Associates of Virginia today to find out how a root canal treatment could help you.

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