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How to Know if You Need a Root Canal

While many people associate its name with discomfort and nerves, root canal treatment serves an important purpose in the dental community. You may need this treatment if certain symptoms—including pain, sensitivity, and damage to teeth as well as swelling, tenderness, darkening, and bumps on the gums—appear in your mouth. Despite its reputation, the root canal can save you a great deal of discomfort. If you notice the warning signs described above, seek out a dental practice that specializes in restorative dentistry procedures.

Smile Reston Heights’ dental professionals are experts in restorative and cosmetic dentistry as well as general dentistry, orthodontics, and more. No matter the area of practice, we serve residents of Vienna, VA, with excellent dental care. You can read about our excellent services from our previous customers on our website! For more information, call us at (703) 345-1100.

Below, we describe the root canal procedure, how it works, and how to determine whether you need one:

What Is a Root Canal?

Root canals save and treat damaged, infected, or dead teeth. The procedure involves removing infected, inflamed, or damaged pulp inside the tooth. The pulp consists of connective tissue, nerves, and blood vessels. Located in the center—or root—of each tooth, it extends from the crown of the tooth to the root under the gumline.

Tooth pulp provides nutrients and blood to teeth as they grow. Yet once adult teeth are fully formed, they no longer require pulp for nourishment or growth. Thus, teeth won’t miss the pulp removed by a root canal. 

If a tooth’s pulp becomes infected or inflamed and goes untreated, you could lose that otherwise healthy-looking (and feeling) tooth. 

How Does a Root Canal Work?

During this procedure, the dentist makes a small hole in the top of the affected tooth and removes the pulp along with any other problematic substances. The inside of the tooth is then cleaned, filled, and sealed. Finally, the dentist places a crown or other restoration over the tooth to protect it from further damage.

How Do You Know if You Need a Root Canal?

Signs you need a root canal include:

  • Severe pain when chewing or applying pressure to a tooth (or teeth)
  • Prolonged tooth sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures
  • Chipped or cracked teeth
  • Darkening or discoloration of a tooth
  • Darkening of the gums around the affected tooth
  • Tender, swollen gums near the affected area
  • Bumps on the gums near the affected area
  • An abscess, or pocket, in your jaw

Only a professional can determine if you need a root canal, but if any of these symptoms sound familiar, you should schedule a check-up.

Discover the Benefits of Restorative Dentistry in Vienna, VA

Restorative Dentistry Vienna VA

To receive diagnosis and treatment for your dental needs, look to the dental experts at Smile Reston Heights. We offer professional restorative dentistry services to families around Vienna, VA, including root canals, composite fillings, and other structural teeth solutions. For more information on dental care for you and your family, contact Smile Reston Heights at (703) 345-1100.

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