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Root Canal Therapy – Annapolis, MD

How Our Dentists Can Save Your Tooth

A male patient touching his cheek while talking to the dentist about root canal therapy

In the past, when a tooth was badly damaged, either by decay-causing bacteria or after a severe oral injury, it would be common for dentists to extract the tooth outright. However, our dentists want to do everything possible to maintain the integrity of your original tooth. Root canal therapy in Annapolis, MD is just one of the ways we do that. We are prepared to take all the necessary steps to keep your tooth intact, so don’t hesitate to call if you’re experiencing severe oral pain!

Why Choose Vanik Dental Group of Annapolis for Root Canal Therapy?

  • Detailed Treatment Planning Catered To All Patients
  • Natural-Looking Restorations Provided For Best Esthetics
  • Caring Dentists And Team Members

What is a Root Canal?

An image of a root canal procedure

When an infection enters the innermost layer of your tooth, it is likely that a root canal will be the suggested method of treatment to save your tooth from extraction. Root canals are common procedures that are used to remove the infected and damaged areas of your inner tooth layer, which is known as the pulp. Once this area is thoroughly cleaned and sanitized, we'll fill the tooth with a rubber-like material known as gutta-percha and seal it from further reinfection.

A custom-made dental crown is placed over your natural tooth to not only protect it but also encourage it to strengthen over time.

Why Do I Need a Root Canal?

A woman holding her cheek in pain before root canal therapy

If you’re experiencing severe chronic pain in your tooth, chances are pretty likely that you’re experiencing an oral infection and require immediate treatment. While we won’t know for sure until we take a closer look, it’s important to note the other common symptoms that accompany oral infections as well. This includes:

  • Extreme teeth sensitivity
  • Swelling around the tooth
  • Pimple-like bumps on the gum tissue
  • Darkening of the tooth, typically gray, brown or black in color
  • High fever

Does a Root Canal Hurt?

A patient having root canal therapy completed

A root canal procedure does not create any more pain or discomfort than a traditional filling; however, there is a common myth that should be debunked: root canals are not the cause of your pain. The infection that exists within your tooth is the culprit of your discomfort, and a root canal is designed to remove the infection, thus, eliminating the cause of pain.

It is important to understand that after your root canal, you will need to spend ample time recovering, and any medication or antibiotics prescribed by your dentist should be taken as instructed to alleviate any hurt and encourage successful healing.

Post-Op Instructions

An older woman sitting outside smiling after root canal therapy

During your recovery phase, it is suggested that you follow these instructions:

  • Get plenty of rest.
  • Maintain a good oral hygiene routine.
  • Take prescribed medications and antibiotics as instructed by Dr. Vanik.
  • Avoid chewing on the side of your mouth where the root canal was performed.

Eat solid foods for the first few days after your procedure.

Root Canal Frequently Asked Questions

Tray of teeth, one with root canal showing

Do you still have concerns about your root canal? Or is there anything else about the process that you want to be sure that you know in advance? You can reach out to our dental office and learn more about the root canal process. Dr. Vanik has helped many patients over the years, and for your convenience he has decided to answer some of the questions that he’s received most often on this page.

 Do I Really Need a Root Canal If My Tooth Doesn’t Hurt?

You might be told you need root canal therapy after routine X-rays are taken and signs of an infection are found in your mouth. If you’re not currently experiencing any pain, you might not think the issue is particularly serious. However, the fact is that even if an infection hasn’t gone beyond the body’s pain threshold, it can still result in serious damage. Also, if you initially experience pain that eventually goes away on its own, it should not be taken as a sign that the infection is gone. In all likelihood, the nerve inside the tooth has been destroyed, and bacteria could start to spread from beyond the root.

Should I Get an Extraction Instead?

If it comes down to a choice between tooth extraction and root canal therapy, we’ll recommend the root canal whenever possible. It’s always best to save your natural tooth when you can. Even if you got a prosthetic tooth to replace it, you might have to avoid certain foods, which makes it more difficult to maintain a nutritious diet. And of course, you’d have to worry about the additional costs of getting a dental prosthetic in the first place. Finally, it should be noted that many patients found root canal therapy to actually be more comfortable than a tooth extraction.

How Long Will a Root Canal Take?

The answer to that question can vary from patient to patient. One factor, obviously, is whether you’re only having one tooth treated or have multiple infected teeth that need to be addressed. The type of tooth involved also needs to be considered. An average root canal appointment takes about one to two hours. The entire treatment can usually be done in just one visit. However, there are times where a second appointment will be needed. You also need to account for the time it will take to create a crown to protect the tooth after the procedure is done.

What Should I Do to Prepare for a Root Canal?

You should avoid alcohol for at least 24 hours before the procedure; it might interact badly with the local anesthetic used to numb your mouth. Unless we tell you not to, it’s generally a good idea to eat before a root canal since it will take a while to get all feeling back in your mouth. Taking ibuprofen ahead of time can help to, as it can reduce the amount of swelling that might occur. Be sure to get plenty of sleep the day before the procedure so that your body is fully ready for treatment.