There are plenty of urban legends regarding root canals, but in reality, a root canal procedure is both safe and effective. At Tamara Levit, DDS, PC, in North Bethesda, Maryland, the team regularly performs root canal procedures, preserving their patients’ natural, permanent teeth. Don’t let a toothache prevent you from living your best life, call or use the online booking tool to make an appointment today.
A root canal is a type of oral surgery designed to repair a tooth that’s decaying or badly damaged. The goal of a root canal is to eliminate an infection inside your tooth’s pulp. Left untreated, an infected tooth can lead to abscesses and gum deterioration.
The only way to determine if you need a root canal is to visit an experienced dentist. However, there are telltale signs that can alert you to a potential problem. These include:
Many people in need of a root canal also experience swollen, tender, and generally irritated gums.
A root canal typically takes two separate appointments.
At your first appointment, your Tamara Levit, DDS, PC, provider performs an oral exam, reviews your medical history, and asks you a series of questions about your symptoms. Next, your dentist takes digital X-rays to get a better look at your tooth and its roots.
After pinpointing the source of your discomfort, your dentist administers a local anesthetic, numbing your teeth and gums. Next, a rubber dam is placed over your affected tooth, ensuring it stays dry during the procedure.
Your dentist drills an access hole at the top of your tooth and carefully removes any infected tooth pulp. After clearing the debris, your dentist rinses your tooth with a medical-grade antiseptic solution. Depending on the severity of your infection, your dentist may also place a temporary crown.
A week later, you return to the office for your second appointment. Your dentist removes your temporary crown and fills the interior of your tooth with a rubber-like compound called gutta-percha. After the gutta-percha dries, your dentist applies your permanent crown and bonds it in place.
Root canals have a bad reputation, but there's nothing to worry about. Thanks to modern techniques and anesthetics, a root canal is typically no more painful than an extraction. You may experience some swelling and pain directly following your procedure, but any discomfort should subside 24-48 hours following treatment. In addition, a root canal saves your permanent tooth, preserving your jaw health for years to come.
Take toothaches seriously. If you suspect you may need a root canal, call or use the online booking tool to make an appointment at Tamara Levit, DDS, PC, today.