Root Canal Treatment

Root canal therapy is a procedure that can rescue an infected tooth, preventing the need for its removal. This treatment not only ensures the health and strength of your tooth, but also restores its natural appearance.

Root Canal Treatment
in Falls Church, VA

The inner structure of a tooth consists of a soft and delicate substance known as pulp, typically protected by the enamel that surrounds it. However, there is a risk of a potentially severe infection if harmful bacteria manages to reach the pulp’s interior. This can occur in cases of deep cavities or unexpected injuries. Without timely intervention, the likelihood of losing the tooth increases. Fortunately, root canal treatment provides an effective solution for addressing such critical tooth infections.

illustration of root canal of tooth
  • What is a root canal?

    A root canal procedure is used to preserve a tooth that has developed an infection within its inner tissue, blood vessels and nerves. To alleviate pain and save the tooth, the dentist must eliminate the infected and diseased tissue. The affected region is then thoroughly cleansed, and the interior canal is treated with medication to start the healing of the surrounding area.

  • What are signs I need a root canal?

    A patient suffering from an infected root canal will almost certainly recognize that there is something wrong. They will usually be in severe pain and will notice the following symptoms:

    • Severe and intense toothaches that won’t go away
    • Sensitivity to hot and cold foods and drinks
    • Swollen and tender lymph nodes
    • Recurring abscesses on the gums

    Generally, but not always, a crown will need to be placed after the root canal treatment is complete in order to protect the tooth from any further damage.

  • How is root canal treatment performed?

    The root canal procedure starts with the use of digital X-rays to assess the extent of damage. Typically, sedation is administered for patient comfort as the dentist gains access to the tooth’s inner structure from the top. With precision, they remove any infected material, leaving the tooth hollowed. An antimicrobial solution is then used to cleanse the root canals all the way down to the jawbone. To strengthen and speed up the healing, the tooth is then filled with a medicated substance. To safeguard the tooth from potential fractures and damage, a dental crown is placed over it.

  • What are alternatives to root canal treatment?

    Most people facing root canal treatment are curious as to whether there are alternative procedures worth considering. Since endodontic therapy is considered a “last line of defense” for restoring your tooth, the only remaining options are to have your tooth extracted or wait until you’re in pain and have it removed at a later date. Unfortunately, with either of these options, you risk the infection spreading deeper into your face or adjacent teeth. Getting a root canal is the best possible solution.

    If you opt to have your tooth extracted, there’s still the concern of replacing it as soon as possible. Otherwise, the extra space in your bite can throw off the alignment of your surrounding teeth. Two of the more common replacement options include a dental bridge or implant.

More Questions?

If you have more questions about root canal treatment, please contact our office and we will be happy to discuss further.

map of pike smiles enlarged

Pike Smiles

6231 Leesburg Pike
Suite 304
Falls Church, VA 22044
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Monday - Thursday
8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.


(703) 533-8200

Email Address

[email protected]