Getting a root canal can be necessary in the treatment of many different dental problems. Dr. Alireza Hamidzadeh, DDS, MS, at Happy Smiles Dental offers root canal treatment for patients in and around Clarksburg/Urbane, Maryland.

What is root canal therapy?

It is a procedure where diseased tissue that has accumulated within the root canal is removed. The root canal is a chamber reaching the tooth root(s). It contains blood vessels, nerve endings, and other sensitive tissues. If this area becomes infected, severely inflamed, or dead, it can distress the roots and cause a lot of damage. This therapy is used to attempt to restore a problem tooth before it becomes necessary to extract it.

Why would you need a root canal?

Decay is the most common reason for root canal therapy. When the decay has progressed to the pulp chamber of the tooth, you will feel increased sensitivity, especially when you drink something hot or cold. When the decay progresses too far, bacteria can get into the pulp of the tooth and cause an infection, even an abscess, in the bone at the end of the root of your tooth. Patients are usually in pain daily and need to have the procedure to ease the pain and stop any ongoing damage. This therapy can be beneficial if you have a damaged tooth that has become infected. If the tooth has had a lot of other procedures, that could also require a root canal. This therapy is also very successful as a restorative treatment. A tooth repaired with a root canal can last for many years, even possibly a lifetime.

Does a root canal hurt?

This therapy has a reputation for being painful. But it’s the aching that relates to the infected tooth that causes the majority, if not all of the pain, not the treatment. Dental techniques have come a long way in the last several years which makes the therapy considerably less painful. In fact, in most cases, the procedure itself is painless as the patient gets numbed before the procedure begins. Dr. Hamidzadeh at Happy Smiles Dental can provide nitrous oxide (laughing gas) or oral sedation to keep you comfortable throughout the procedure. The actual therapy can last anywhere from 1 hour to 90 minutes and take multiple visits. This will depend on the condition of the tooth and any complications that might be involved. After the procedure, the patient can go home but it’s important to follow the post-operative instructions from Dr. Hamidzadeh.

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