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What Is a Root Canal, and When Do You Need to Get One?

The roots of our teeth are the part below the gum line. These roots are the most important part of the tooth because they are responsible for anchoring the tooth in the jawbone. The roots of the teeth contain dental pulp, which is the soft tissue that contains the nerves, blood vessels, and connective tissue. When the dental pulp is infected or injured, a root canal therapy is necessary to remove the damaged tissue and protect the healthy parts of the tooth.

What Is a Root Canal Therapy

A root canal is a common dental procedure that involves removing the infected, injured or dead pulp (pulpal nerve damage) from the root canals of a tooth. This procedure is needed when a tooth’s pulp becomes infected, either due to decay or trauma. Without treatment, the infection can spread and cause further damage to the tooth and even the surrounding tissue.

Pulpal nerve damage is a common dental issue that can result from a variety of causes, including:

  • Traumatic injuries to the mouth causing damage to the nerves in the pulp; for instance, from a blow to the face, a fall, or an automobile accident
  • Decay, crack or fracture in the tooth
  • Bacterial infections due to severe tooth decay or gum disease
  • Improper fillings that cause pressure on the nerves in the pulp

Pulpal nerve damage is a serious dental issue that can cause a great deal of pain and discomfort. The most common symptoms of pulpal nerve damage include:

  • Sharp, shooting pains in the tooth
  • Sensitivity to hot and cold food and beverages
  • Swelling of the gums around the affected tooth

If left untreated, the nerve damage can progress and cause more severe symptoms such as throbbing pain, discoloration of the affected tooth, and tooth loss.

If you experience any of the symptoms associated with pulpal nerve damage, it is important to seek professional dental care as soon as possible. Your dentist will be able to properly diagnose the issue and provide the necessary treatment. Depending on the severity of the damage, treatment may involve root canal therapy, extraction, or a crown.

What Happens during a Root Canal Therapy

When a tooth becomes infected, the pulp and nerve tissue inside the tooth can become swollen, causing pain and discomfort. If left untreated, the infection can spread to the surrounding teeth or even to the jawbone. A root canal is the only way to save the tooth and stop the spread of infection.

During a root canal, the dentist will use special instruments to remove the infected pulp and nerve tissue from the inside of the tooth. After the infected tissue has been removed, the dentist will fill the empty chamber with a special filling material. This filling material is designed to seal off the inside of the tooth from bacteria and other contaminants that can cause further damage.

In some cases, a crown may be necessary after a root canal. A crown is a cap that fits over the top of the tooth and provides additional protection. A crown also helps to restore the tooth to its original shape and size.

Root canals can be a painful procedure, but the pain is usually short-lived. The procedure itself can take several hours, depending on the complexity of the case. After the root canal is complete, the patient may experience some mild discomfort for a few days. Pain medication may be prescribed to help relieve any pain or discomfort.

Recovery time is usually short, and most patients are able to return to their normal activities shortly after the procedure.


Root canals can be a great option for treating infection and decay in the inner layer of a tooth. If you’re experiencing pain or discomfort due to an infection or decay, it’s important to see a dentist as soon as possible. With timely treatment, a root canal can help save your tooth and restore its normal shape and function.

Are you looking for a root canal dentist in Manassas? Look no further than Manassas Smile! We are a team of experienced and highly qualified dentists who specialize in providing top-notch dental care and root canal treatments. We go above and beyond to make sure that our patients receive the best care and treatment possible. Let us make sure that your dental experience is as comfortable and stress-free as possible! Contact us today to get started!

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