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Root Canal Treatment

Root Canal Dentist in Gaithersburg, Potomac, Rockville

Dentist Chairs

What is a root canal treatment? 

A root canal is a way to maintain a tooth with a nerve that is unhealthy or dead. It is like a filling inside the roots of your tooth. After a root canal treatment, you will need to have a permanent filling placed and a crown placed on top to protect your tooth from fracture.  


Signs that you need a root canal treatment

Your dentist will perform some tests on your tooth to assess its vitality, which is whether the nerve inside the tooth is alive or dead. The nerve inside your tooth can die spontaneously or as a result of decay or trauma.


When the nerve in your tooth is dying, you might experience pain. After the nerve is dead, the tooth might feel fine until an abscess develops and pressure at the tip of the root builds up within the bone, causing pain once again. 


Let your dentist know if you have been experiencing any of these symptoms

  • Sensitivity to hot/cold that lingers

  • Spontaneous pain that wakes you up in the middle of the night

  • Throbbing, aching in pain in your tooth

  • Pain when chewing

  • Pus or drainage from your tooth or gums

  • Swelling or inflammation


If you have any difficulty breathing or have swelling around your airway, this is a medical emergency. Please go to the nearest emergency room to seek immediate care. 

What does a root canal feel like? 

Root canal treatments have a bad reputation, but they are actually just like long filling appointments. Your dentist will numb you up so that you are comfortable before proceeding. S/he will remove any decay and access the center of your tooth where the pulp chamber is to clean out your infected/dead nerve. The dentist will shape the canals with special instruments and disinfect the tooth so that your body can heal. The canals will be filled with a biocompatible material that seals the tooth. 


After the root canal treatment, you will likely need a crown to protect the tooth. After the tooth structure had to be removed to access the root canal system, your tooth is left like a hollow egg shell that is weak and prone to future fracture. Any forces on the tooth will act as a wedge that drives the tooth apart. A crown will hug your tooth and direct forces inwards, protecting your tooth from breakage. 


If your jaw tends to get tired after being open for long periods, you can ask your dentist for the “bite block,” a rubber prop that will relieve the tension in your jaw muscles and allow you to rest.

If you have experienced any of the symptoms above, contact us at 301-963-9690.  

How much does a root canal cost?

A root canal in the Gaithersburg, Potomac, Rockville area can cost anywhere between $1100-1800, depending on the position and complexity of the tooth.

For more information, please contact us here

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