Root Canals Greenbelt

Restore a Healthy Smile & Feel Like Yourself Again

Woman talking to her dentist about root canals in Greenbelt

Don't fall victim to the lies and misconceptions surrounding root canals. Over the years, they have gotten a bad reputation. It’s no secret that people don’t like to hear a root canal recommendation, but at McCarl Dental Group, PC, we bring the same level of skill, expertise, and gentle treatment to root canal treatments that our patients have come to expect from other dentistry services with our team. If you need a root canal in Greenbelt, our skilled dentists and team of smile specialists will make the process comfortable for you. If your root canal needs to be done by a specialist (endodontist) we will refer you to a great provider. So don’t hesitate to contact us right away if you’re in pain and need help.

Why Choose McCarl Dental Group, PC for Root Canals?

  • Gentle, caring dentists
  • Fast emergency appointments

Do I Need Root Canal Therapy?

Senior man sitting in dental chair

Specifically, root canals are recommended when a tooth’s damage or decay reaches the soft inside layer of the tooth called “dental pulp.” The nerve structure of the tooth is housed within the pulp, so when damage and decay irritate the nerve of the tooth, the result is pain, swelling, and sensitivity. The only way to know for sure that a root canal is the right treatment for you is to visit our team for an examination, but we encourage you to contact us right away if you experience any of the following symptoms:

  • Throbbing pain sometimes described as feeling like a pulse inside the tooth
  • Sensitivity when the tooth is exposed to hot or cold temperatures
  • Darkening of the tooth, often at the gumline
  • Infection or gum inflammation around the tooth
  • Other signs of infection, including fever, nausea, and inflammation

The Root Canal Process

Smiling dentist holding a denture while talking to a patient

During the procedure, the nerve and pulp are removed, and the inside of the tooth is cleaned and sealed. In some cases, we may need to prescribe oral antibiotics to ensure all infection is removed before we finalize your root canal treatment. Even though the pulp of the tooth is replaced during a root canal, the structure of the tooth may be weakened by this procedure. For this reason, we typically place a dental crown over the top of the treated tooth. This provides an added layer of protection from additional damage, keeping the tooth whole and healthy after a root canal.

The Benefits of Getting a Root Canal

Woman in dental chair touching her teeth

There are many benefits to getting a root canal that most patients do not think about, some of which include:

  • The absence of tooth pain thanks to the removal of the infected pulp.
  • The ability to keep your natural smile and avoid the time and cost of tooth extraction and tooth replacement.
  • The reduced risk of more serious overall health issues that can arise throughout the body when an infection is allowed to spread (i.e., heart disease).
  • The opportunity to enjoy better oral health and a more natural and aesthetically pleasing smile thanks to the customized crown you will receive.

Root Canal FAQs

When learning that saving a tooth requires root canal treatment, our team at McCarl Dental Group is here to ensure a safe and comfortable experience. While we make this clear during your initial visit, we know it can still be an unnerving thought knowing that you need this type of care. The unknowns remain with you, causing you to feel uncertain about whether to move forward; however, one thing most professionals (and patients) claim is that knowledge can help dispel concern. This is why we’ve compiled some frequently asked questions about root canals below. If you still have questions and would like to discuss them with us further, please reach out to schedule an appointment.

How long does it take to recover from a root canal?

There is no definite timeframe when it comes to recovering from a root canal. The reason is that no two people are the same, so healing can take longer for some. It is not uncommon, though, for many patients to return to work or school the next day.

Do Root Canals Hurt?

The pain associated with root canal therapy is actually related to the infection or damage to the tooth’s nerve, not the procedure itself. Root canals are routine procedures performed by our capable dentists, and you can expect to appreciate the skill, patience, and kindness shown by our team. We understand your apprehension and take great pride in our ability to treat you with the utmost care and respect. Our dentists, Dr. Lee, Dr. Duarte, Dr. Lam, and Drs. Jay and Clayton McCarl will ensure that you only receive the best in your time of need.

Can I eat before a root canal?

Yes, you are free to eat a full meal before your appointment.  You may be advised to consume only soft foods following your procedure, especially if you are still numb.

No matter your pre-root canal eating plans, you’ll want to make sure to give your teeth a thorough brushing beforehand.

Is it better to just pull the tooth?

Many individuals assume that just extracting the tooth will fix the problem. This is not always the case. Root canals are commonly recommended in instances of severe decay and disease because it is always better to try and save the natural tooth. Replacing a tooth with an artificial one can require more time and money in the long run. Artificial teeth require upkeep and maintenance. Even when choosing dental implants, the restoration on top of the post may need to be replaced over time.

Is it possible to prevent the need for a root canal?

Yes, you can often prevent the need for a root canal by simply taking proper care of your teeth and gums. A good oral hygiene routine as well as regular visits to the dentist’s office for checkups and cleanings are essential. Also, wearing a nightguard if you grind your teeth and eating nutritious foods will help to reduce your risk of dental decay and gum disease.