Root Canal Therapy in the Richmond Area
Our Root Canal Dentists Offer Painless Procedures
Many patients are surprised to learn that root canal therapy is an exceedingly common dental service. In fact, studies indicate that dentistry professionals perform over 15 million root canals every year. They are similarly impressed when they realize just how much the root canal procedure has evolved since the olden days. The modern treatment is both fast and pain-free! Schedule a consultation with a root canal specialist by contacting us online or calling our offices in Mechanicsville (804.559.3636), Short Pump (804.506.3636), or Midlothian (804.838.3636) and discover how our root canal dentist can help relieve your pain!
What Is a Root Canal?
A root canal (or endodontic treatment) removes bacteria from an infected root canal and prevents any potential reinfection of the tooth. This will relieve any pain and restore your dental health. When a tooth is at risk due to damage or disease, a root canal is often preferable because it can save the natural tooth and forego the need for an artificial replacement.
Your tooth is a sensory organ comprised of several layers. The outermost white layer, the part that is visible to the naked eye, is called enamel. Under the enamel is a secondary layer, dentin. Dentin is a hard, porous tissue that constitutes that largest portion of the tooth. Beneath the dentin, tooth pulp is a soft tissue that holds connective tissue, blood vessels and nerves. The pulp stretches from up by the tooth’s crown all the way down to connect it to the surrounding oral tissue.
Most root canal procedures are non-surgical and involve removing inflamed or infected pulp through the top surface, or crown, of a tooth and then cleansing and shaping the canal space to remove all traces of tissue and bacteria. Our root canal dentists will then fill the canal with a sterile, inert material to seal the tooth and prevent re-infection. Finally, they will use a temporary filling and potentially an artificial crown to close the opening, protecting the tooth and readying it for normal use.
When Is a Root Canal Necessary?
A root canal is necessary when the nerve of a tooth becomes damaged by injury or infected by decay. Root canal treatment saves the tooth and can help restore it to natural function. If a patient fails to see a root canal doctor in time, they risk a number of undesirable outcomes. These include increasingly intense pain and eventually the creation of an abscess. There are a number of symptoms that indicate you should consult our root canal specialists including:
- Intense pain when you bite or chew
- Sensitivity to hot or cold (especially if it lingers)
- A chip or crack in the tooth
- Visible decay or darkening of the gums
- Swollen or sensitive gums
- Pimples on the gums
Any combination of these symptoms warrants a visit with our dentists to discuss the root canal service we she offers. If you don’t see a root canal dentist, your general dentist will provide you with a referral to an endodontist, which is a root canal specialist.
What Happens During our Root Canal Treatments?
First, you will receive local anesthesia. During the procedure, our root canal dentists accesses the interior of your tooth by making a small opening in the crown and the tissue. They then thoroughly remove any infection using tiny medical instruments designed to reach every crevice of the pulp chamber and root canals, as well as shape the space in preparation for the following step. Once that is complete, they will carefully clean the canal and fill it with an endodontic filling material. Finally, your root canal doctor places a temporary filling over the access point. Sometimes, he or she will also decide to place a crown in order to better restore the tooth.
How Long Does a Root Canal Take?
Most patients are pleased to learn that our root canal dentists can complete a vast majority of root canals in about an hour. This runs counter to the poor reputation the procedure has earned over years of widespread misinformation. Those assumptions are outdated. Today, our root canal specialists can move as quickly as about twenty minutes per canal in the infected tooth, plus a little time for preparation. At East Coast Endodontics, our root canal services are second to none in Virginia.
Is a Root Canal Painful?
Root canal therapy is not painful. That would be the opposite of your root canal dentist’s goal. At East Coast Endodontics, our priority when offering root canal services is to relieve the patient’s pain. As such, our patients are happy to report they are “comfortably numb” for the duration of the procedure and experience little to no discomfort afterwards. Our root canal dentists will also send you home with instructions on how to best ensure a pain-free recovery.
Is a Root Canal or a Tooth Extraction Better?
It is always better to save your natural teeth when possible. This is why root canal services are such a common and critically important dental procedure. There is simply no better implant than the natural tooth. Preserving it helps our patients maintain the natural structure of the mouth and jaw, which in turn ensures that chewing remains normal and easy. Implants may also leave patients vulnerable to issues down the road. For example, implants may not be able to perfectly fill the necessary space, which in turn can lead to bone loss and collapse of the bite (or occlusion). Teeth also do more than just chew food. They contain nerves that communicate with your brain, helping you intuit how hard to chew and avoid biting too hard. Implants cannot yet mimic that level of sophistication.
Does Dental Insurance Cover a Root Canal?
Most dental plans will cover a portion of the expense of a root canal. However, insurance plans do vary, so our root canal doctors and team are always very happy to discuss your payment situation on a case by case. If we do not participate directly with your insurance company, payment is due in full at the time of service, and you can submit a claim for reimbursement to your dental insurer afterwards. Our office accepts cash, check, MasterCard, Visa, American Express and CareCredit.
East Coast Endodontics: The Best Root Canal Dentists in Richmond
East Coast Endodontics is proud to provide the best root canal services in Mechanicsville, Short Pump, and Midlothian, thanks to our cutting-edge techniques and anesthesia practices. Our work ensures a comfortable experience for every patient. Our team also takes care to specifically outline the root canal service so you understand what to expect. Above all, our root canal dentists always follow through on our commitments. We are happy to work with every patient in the Richmond, Virginia area looking for a root canal specialist, and we’re truly grateful for all the patients we have the good fortune to serve. Schedule your appointment today via email or by phone with our Mechanicsville (804.559.3636), Short Pump (804.506.3636), or Midlothian (804.838.3636) offices to learn more about our root canal service!