Dr. Ahmad's mission is to treat decay before it can get too severe, but we know this isn't always possible. When decay reaches the nerve of your tooth and causes an infection, it's time for a root canal. We know root canals have a bad reputation of being painful and unpleasant. However, with modern dental technology, this is no longer true. At our Herndon dental office, we can offer you gentle, effective root canal treatment to ease the pain of an abscess.
When decay is left untreated, it will make its way deeper into your tooth, past the hard enamel and into the soft pulp at the center of your tooth. The sensitive nerves of your teeth are housed in the pulp, and when it becomes infected, this is called an abscess. Abscessed teeth are often extremely painful and sensitive, and a root canal may be our best optoin to save the tooth.
Root canals allow the dentist to clean out the infection and remove the damaged nerve, eliminating the pain. They also prevent further infection to this now-vulnerable area by sealing up the canals that contained the nerves, removing any pockets where bacteria might collect and cause problems later.
When you arrive for your root canal appointment, we will first numb the area so you won't feel any pain. Herndon dentist Dr. Ahmad will then use a dental drill to remove the exterior decay and open a channel to the nerves. The nerves and pulp are removed and the area is cleaned using a series of long, thin files that leave the canals smooth to help eliminate the risk of future decay.
Once the nerves are removed, the empty canals are disinfected and then filled with a rubbery material called gutta percha. The gutta percha is heated to soften it and ensure all of the space within the canals is sealed. The completed root canal is usually covered with a temporary crown until a permanent crown can be made to keep the area clean and undamaged.
The area may still be sore for a few days after your root canal. Most patients find over-the-counter pain medication such as ibuprofen is sufficient to treat any lingering soreness. If the pain doesn't go away after a few days or gets worse, contact our office for a follow-up appointment.
In most cases, yes. By the time decay has reached the pulp of the tooth, it is usually too large to be treated with a filling. Root canals can also make the tooth more brittle and prone to cracking. A dental crown will strengthen the treated tooth and keep it strong and healthy.
If you've been suffering with an abscessed tooth due to fear of the dreaded root canal, you don't have to be afraid! Call our office today to schedule an appointment and find out just how easy modern root canal treatment really is.