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Root Canals Specialist

Dr. Ricardo M. Gaitan, DDS and Associates

Orthodontics & General Dentistry located in Fairfax, VA & Sterling, VA

If you have a sensitive, painful, or darkening tooth, you might need a root canal procedure to save it. Ricardo M. Gaitan, DDS, offers comprehensive dentistry services like root canals to individuals living in and around Fairfax and Sterling, Virginia. To receive comfortable, high-quality dental care, call the nearest office or book a consultation online today.

Root Canals Q&A

What are root canals?

Dr. Gaitan may recommend root canal therapy to treat a tooth that’s inflamed or infected within its soft tissue. This area inside your tooth is called the pulp.

To address this inflammation or infection, Dr. Gaitan removes the pulp to preserve your tooth instead of extracting it. The term “root canal” has come to mean the part of the tooth itself or the procedure used to repair it when it’s compromised.

What symptoms can indicate that I need a root canal?

The most common indication that you may need a root canal is severe tooth pain while biting or chewing. Additional symptoms might include:

  • Swollen gums
  • Facial swelling
  • Persistent bad breath
  • Darkening of the tooth
  • Tender or bleeding gums
  • Extreme sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures
  • A recurring bump on the gums near the tooth 

In some cases, you may not have any symptoms of a tooth problem until Dr. Gaitan detects the infection or inflammation during a routine exam. Because dental issues can linger well below your gum line, it’s essential to have regular dental exams and cleanings.

What can I expect during a root canal?

Dr. Gaitan performs even the most complicated dental procedures on-site.

During your root canal, he numbs your tooth, then creates a small opening in the crown of your tooth to extract the infected nerves and pulp. Then the opening is cleaned out and filled with a rubber-like material.

Once your tooth is cleaned and filled, Dr. Gaitan seals the opening in your tooth with a temporary filling before completing your final tooth restoration at a future appointment.

What can I expect after a root canal?

After your root canal, you might experience numbness or temporary discomfort. This discomfort can last for a few days, so you should avoid chewing anything or drinking hot or cold liquids until it subsides.

To increase your comfort after your root canal, Dr. Gaitan may recommend medications like ibuprofen to reduce pain and inflammation. You can also rinse your mouth multiple times a day with warm salt water and continue brushing the area gently to improve the healing process.

If you’re experiencing muscle pain, applying ice packs or cold compresses every 20 minutes can offer relief. You might also have mild swelling or bruising near the anesthetic location, but this usually fades quickly.

If you’re interested in learning more about root canals, call the office of Ricardo M. Gaitan, DDS, or book a consultation online today.