When caught early, tooth decay can be treated with a dental filling or a similar procedure to clean the enamel and seal the area. However, if the decay expands beyond the enamel and infects the inner pulp of the tooth, you will likely need a root canal. Also known as an endodontic treatment, root canal therapy at Smiles of Chevy Chase removes the infected pulp from the tooth, cleans the cavity, and then uses a filling material to seal the tooth. Experienced dentist Dr. Despina Markogiannakis recommends a root canal to Chevy Chase, MD patients because it not only treats the infected tooth, but it also prevents the decay from spreading to other teeth, which would ultimately create larger problems.
We understand that some people may have fears or reservations if they think they may require a root canal as it is a procedure that is often associated with pain. A root canal is a very common dental therapy, yet many people put off going to see a dentist for a toothache because of dental anxiety. Dr. Markogiannakis and her team will do their very best to make sure you are at ease and relaxed naturally, but we also offer several methods of sedation for those who experience significant anxiety. With that said, we go out of our way to ensure that every procedure you receive at our dental office is as stress-free as possible. Contact Smiles of Chevy Chase to schedule a consultation with Dr. Markogiannakis to learn more about root canal therapy and our various sedation methods.
An infection in the pulp of a tooth can be caused by a deep crack or cavity in the tooth or a physical trauma. Some of the most common signs that you may have an infected tooth are tooth or jaw pain, swelling or discoloration of the gums around the tooth, and changes in the color of the tooth. If the infected pulp is not removed, it will become increasingly painful as the infection spreads to other parts of your mouth. Schedule an appointment at Smiles of Chevy Chase as soon as you feel or see something abnormal in your mouth. If you have fears or anxieties about visiting the dentist, please ask us about sedation options to keep you calm and comfortable during your exam and treatment.
What To Expect
Before the procedure, you will discuss your sedation and/or anesthetic options with Dr. Marko. We want you to feel as at ease and relaxed as possible while you're among our dental family. Many patients request nitrous oxide sedation (laughing gas) or oral-conscious sedation to get them through a root canal, and we also employ The Wand, a special anesthetic device. Dr. Marko is very understanding of dental anxieties, and our team will help you make the appropriate decision to proceed with your procedure.
During an endodontic procedure, Dr. Markogiannakis will assess the inner chamber of your tooth and then carefully remove the infected pulp. From there, the inside of the empty chamber will be thoroughly sterilized to remove any lingering debris. Once it is cleaned, the tooth will be filled with a special material to seal and protect the tooth.
Depending on the type of sedation that was used, you may need to have an adult you trust to take you home following your procedure. Your mouth may feel sensitive or swollen, but this should not last more than a few days and can be treated with over-the-counter pain relievers. You should schedule a follow-up appointment for six months after your root canal. Dr. Marko will check to see that the infection is gone and that your mouth has healed. After that, you should continue to schedule annual dental exams and bi-annual cleanings to maintain your dental health.
During your consultation, Dr. Marko will go over cost estimates so your treatment fits both your needs and budget. If you have dental insurance, we can contact your carrier to determine your coverage. If you don't have dental insurance, Smiles of Chevy Chase accepts many payment methods. We can also help you find low-interest medical financing.
Root Canal Therapy
Thanks to advances in medical techniques and technology, a root canal can be a fast, easy process to treat an infected tooth. Along with different levels of sedation, your root canal at Smiles of Chevy Chase can be comfortable and save you from tooth pain or more invasive procedures. Contact our office in Chevy Chase, MD to schedule a consultation with experienced dentist Dr. Markogiannakis for more information on root canal therapy and other ways to improve your dental health.