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Don’t Fear The Root Canal!

  • December 9, 2017

If there’s a “bogeyman” of dental procedures, the root canal is probably it. At Fox Family Dentistry in Burke, VA, we perform many root canal procedures. Our patients routinely tell us that it’s no worse than getting a tooth filled.

As they say, knowledge is power. When you know what’s involved in performing a root canal, you’ll understand why you don’t need to fear.

Who Needs A Root Canal?

Root canals are almost always performed to remove infection that has spread to the pulp in the middle of a tooth. Any break in the enamel covering the teeth can allow infectious organisms to enter. Gum disease can also cause dental infections in the pulp.

The symptoms of a dental infection can include:

  • Severe pain in the tooth and/or jaw
  • Swelling of the gum tissue around the tooth
  • Temperature sensitivity
  • Fever
  • Swelling in the face or cheek
  • Swollen and/or tender lymph nodes under the jaw

Dental infections don’t clear up on their own. Left unchecked, dental infections can cost you teeth and even endanger your health. If you suspect you might have a dental infection, contact our Burke, VA office immediately at 703-260-1677 for an emergency appointment.

Both Dr. Lawrence Fox and Dr. Erik Fox are trained in endodontics, so if you need a root canal we’ll perform it in our practice. In the rare event of significant complications with the tooth, we’ll refer you promptly to a specialist. We routinely take X-rays before the procedure to be able to anticipate complications.

The Root Canal Procedure

Once the X-rays are done and reviewed, Dr. Fox will also review your medical history with an eye toward selecting the right anesthesia for you. Nothing will be done until you tell us that you’re comfortably and completely numb in the area that will be worked on.

The procedure begins by opening the tooth and reaching the pulp. The infected pulp, and the nerves, are carefully removed. Just as a side note, once the nerves are gone, so is your pain.

Once all of the infected pulp and the nerves are removed, Dr. Fox will apply a disinfectant agent to ensure that the infection won’t come back. After that, the tooth is sealed and Dr. Fox will place a temporary filling into the area that was removed by the drill.

You’ll almost certainly receive a prescription of antibiotics – another reason why Dr. Fox reviews your medical history carefully – to knock out any infection in the surrounding tissues.

In many cases, Dr. Fox recommends placing a dental crown over the tooth to protect and strengthen it, and to restore its appearance. This can be done at a later date.

And that’s it. You get numb, your tooth is opened, the interior is cleaned out and disinfected, the interior is sealed, and a temporary filling is placed. Typically, the whole thing takes a little over an hour. Since no two cases are exactly alike, your procedure may somewhat shorter or longer.

Don’t Take Chances With A Dental Infection

Your health is too important to gamble with. Extensive research shows that disease in the mouth can impact the health of the body, including heart problems, lung problems, various forms of cancer, and much more.

If you think you might have a dental infection, the sooner you have that infection removed, the better. Call Fox Family Dental at once at 703-260-1677. We’ll get you in and seen as soon as possible.

All of us at Fox Family Dental look forward to showing you just how gentle and pain-free dentistry can be.