Endodontic Root Canal Therapy

Endodontic treatment is a dental procedure used to treat teeth with damaged pulp. The pulp of the tooth is a soft tissue made up of nerves, blood vessels, and connective tissue. It extends from the crown to the tip of the root. If the pulp is damaged or diseased, it can cause severe tooth pain. Endodontic treatment eliminates the diseased pulp, and the tooth then continues to function like any other tooth.

What Is Endodontic Therapy?

An endodontic or root canal procedure is a way to treat an infected tooth instead of removing it. This procedure is used to save an abscessed tooth and preserve the natural teeth around it. A patient who has a tooth that has had a large cavity, trauma, or a fracture may need this procedure.

Unlike a traditional filling where the decayed portion of the tooth is removed and then filled with a metal, plastic, or porcelain material, in the endodontic treatment, the tooth is hollowed out to remove the diseased portion. The inside of the tooth is then cleaned thoroughly, and a rubber-like material called gutta-percha is placed into the root to lubricate and seal it. This treatment is able to preserve your natural tooth so that a new replacement is not needed in the future.

When Do I Need a Root Canal?

The roots of your teeth extend into your jawbone and are encased by a layer of tissue called the pulp. This pulp contains nerves and blood vessels, which is why when your tooth is damaged in some way, you usually feel pain. When decay or infection reaches your pulp, it can cause severe pain that’s difficult to manage. A root canal is necessary to remove damaged pulp from your root to prevent further pain and protect your tooth from further damage.

If the infected pulp isn’t removed, the infection can spread to your jaw and surrounding teeth. This can lead to more widespread tooth loss. An infected tooth also can’t heal on its own; it will continue to worsen until you receive treatment. When the pulp becomes inflamed or infected, it causes the surrounding tissues to become irritated and painful as well. Without treatment, this irritation can continue and worsen.

What Are the Different Types of Endodontic Procedures?

The most common type of endodontic procedure is a root canal, which involves removing the infected tissue from the tooth’s root and disinfecting it to prevent future infections. A dental crown is then placed over the tooth to protect it from breaking or cracking in the future. 

In most cases, the procedure can be completed in our office in one visit. However, if the infection is severe, you may need to return for additional visits to treat the tooth.

Other types of endodontic procedures include:

  • Apicoectomy: This procedure is used when an infection is present at the tip of the tooth’s root. During an apicoectomy, the inflamed tissue is removed, and the root tip is removed and treated. A filling material is then used to seal the end of the tooth.
  • Retreatment: This common procedure involves treating a tooth that has previously undergone endodontic treatment due to new signs of infection. The tooth may need further treatment with medication or an incision in the gums to remove the affected portion.

For more information, contact our Alexandria dental office at (703) 823-2848 or 5130 Duke St, Suite 8, Alexandria, VA 22304, or our Manassas dental office at (703) 479-7654 or 8608 Centreville Rd, Manassas, VA 20110.


5130 Duke St, Suite 8, Alexandria, VA 22304

Phone: (703) 823-2848

  • MON - WED9:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • THU9:00 am - 5:30 pm
  • FRI9:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • SAT7:00 am - 1:00 pm
  • SUNClosed
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8608 Centreville Rd, Manassas, VA 20110

Phone: (703) 479-7654

  • MON9:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • TUE10:00 am - 6:00 pm
  • WED - FRI9:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • SAT7:00 am - 1:00 pm
  • SUNClosed
Contact Us