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Posts for tag: root canal

August 19, 2021
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: root canal  

Root canals, one of the treatments offered by your Alexandria, VA, dentist, Dr. Moutaz Abdeen of Alexandria Smiles Dentistry, can help you avoid tooth loss. Root canal therapy may be needed if you experience any of these tooth issues:

Tooth trauma

Although your teeth are strong, they can be damaged if you fall and hit your mouth or experience a blow to your face. If the damage is severe, you might need a root canal to save your tooth.

Root canals in Alexandria, VA, protect your teeth by removing the pulp at the center of the damaged tooth. Once the pulp is removed, the interior of the tooth is cleaned. Your dentist also uses tiny files to shape the small root canals that extend the length of the tooth. Adding a rubber-based filling to the tooth seals and restores it.

Infection or inflammation in your pulp

When infection or inflammation reaches the soft pulp at the center of your tooth, you'll need a root canal. Inflammation or infection is more likely to occur if you have extensive tooth decay, a crack in a tooth, or have had multiple dental procedures on the same tooth.

Removing the pulp preserves your tooth while ending your pain. Pulp is made up of tissues, nerves, and blood vessels that were essential during the formation of your tooth. Luckily, once the tooth is fully formed, it can function normally even if the pulp is removed.

Signs and symptoms that may mean you need a root canal

Any of these signs and symptoms could occur if you need a root canal:

  • Tooth Pain: Pain can range from mild to severe and may worsen when you chew or eat hot, cold, or sugary foods and beverages.
  • Swollen Gums: The gum around your tooth may be red, tender, and swollen.
  • Change in Tooth Color: Problems deep inside your tooth may cause it to darken.
  • Facial Swelling: The lower half of your face may swell if you have an abscess, a bacterial infection inside your tooth pulp.
  • Fever: A fever may also be a sign of an abscess. Other signs can include swollen lymph nodes and pus or a bump on your gum.

End your pain with root canals performed at the Alexandria, VA, dental office. Call Dr. Moutaz Abdeen of Alexandria Smiles Dentistry at (703) 671-0626 to schedule your appointment.

October 09, 2020
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: root canal   Infection  

Could that nagging pain in your tooth be related to an infection in the pulp? Your dentist in Alexandria, VA, Dr. Moutaz Abdeen of Alexandria Smiles Dentistry, can diagnose the source of your pain and recommend root canal therapy if you happen to have an infection.

Why infections are so dangerous

The bacteria in your pulp won't necessarily remain in your tooth if you have an infection. Infections also lead to tooth loss if they're not treated. Once the tooth dies, it's no longer nourished by your bloodstream and may eventually fall out.

How can you tell if you have an infection?

Severe, throbbing pain often accompanies an infection, but it's possible to have an infection even if you only have moderate pain. Did your severe pain suddenly go away? Although that may seem like a good sign, you may still have an infection. The pain may have simply stopped because the nerves in the pulp died.

A tooth infection, just like any other infection, can make you feel sick. In addition to feeling miserable, you may notice that the lower half of your face is swollen or your gum is sore and inflamed. Other symptoms of an infection can include a pimple-like bump on the gum, pus around the tooth and swollen lymph nodes. If you have any of these symptoms, call the dentist immediately.

How do root canals treat tooth infections?

During root canal therapy at our Alexandria dental office, your dentist removes the pulp, eliminating the source of your pain. The tooth and the root canals are cleaned and shaped, and antibiotics are added to the interior of the tooth to kill lingering bacteria. After the tooth drains, a permanent filling made of gutta-percha, a durable, rubber-based filling will be added to restore it.

You'll also need to take antibiotics to kill the bacteria and prevent the infection from spreading.

Prompt root canal treatment can help you avoid tooth loss due to an infection. If you're concerned about a painful tooth, call your Alexandria, VA, dentist, Dr. Abdeen of Alexandria Smiles Dentistry, at (703) 671-0626 to schedule your appointment.

By Alexandria Smiles Dentistry
August 30, 2020
Category: Dental Procedures

Remembered fondly by fans as the wacky but loveable Carlton on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Alfonso Ribeiro is currently in his fifth year hosting America's Funniest Videos. It's the perfect gig for the 48-year-old actor, who loves to laugh and make others laugh as well. This is quite the opposite experience from one he had a few years ago that he remembers all too well: a severely decayed tooth.

After seeing his dentist for an intense toothache, Ribeiro learned he had advanced tooth decay and would need root canal treatment. Ribeiro wasn't thrilled by the news. Like many of us, he thought the procedure would be unpleasant. But he found afterward that not only was the root canal painless, his toothache had vanished.

More importantly, the root canal treatment saved his tooth, as it has for millions of others over the last century. If you're facing a situation similar to Alfonso Ribeiro's, here's a quick look at the procedure that could rescue your endangered tooth.

Getting ready. In preparation for root canal therapy, the tooth and surrounding gums are numbed, often first with a swab of local anesthesia to deaden the surface area in preparation for the injection of the main anesthesia below the surface. A dental dam is then placed to isolate the infected tooth from its neighbors to prevent cross-contamination.

Accessing the interior. To get to the infection, a small access hole is drilled. The location depends on the tooth: in larger back teeth, a hole is drilled through the biting surface, and in front teeth, a hole is drilled on the backside. This access allows us to insert special tools to accomplish the next steps in the procedure.

Cleaning, shaping and filling. Small tools are used to remove the diseased tissue from the interior tooth pulp and root canals. Then the empty spaces are disinfected. This, in effect, stops the infection. Next, the root canals inside the tooth are shaped to allow them to better accept a special filling called gutta percha. The access hole is then sealed to further protect the tooth from future infection, and a temporary crown is placed.

A new crown to boot. Within a couple weeks, we'll cap the tooth with a long-lasting lifelike crown (or a filling on certain teeth). This adds further protection for the tooth against infection, helps strengthen the tooth's structure, and restores the tooth's appearance.

Without this procedure, the chances of a tooth surviving this level of advanced decay are very slim. But undergoing a root canal, as Alfonso Ribeiro did, can give your tooth a real fighting chance.

If you would like more information about root canal treatments, please contact us or schedule a consultation. To learn more, read the Dear Doctor magazine articles “A Step-By-Step Guide to Root Canal Treatment” and “Root Canal Treatment: How Long Will It Last?

By Alexandria Smiles Dentistry
November 15, 2019
Category: Oral Health
Tags: root canal  

Whether it's in online forums or around the office water cooler, outdated information about root canals continues to make the rounds, and dentists like Dr. Moutaz Abdeen of Alexandria Smiles Dentistry in Alexandria, VA, are determined to set the record straight. Read on to learn the truth about root canals and how beneficial they can be.

The reason for root canals

Within the dental industry, root canals are known as endodontic therapy - "endo-" meaning "inside" and "-dontic" referring to the teeth. Inside each tooth is a series of blood vessels, nerves, and soft tissues—this is what is referred to as "dental pulp." When decay goes beyond the outside of the tooth and begins affecting these inner structures, it can cause cavities that are dangerous to one's health and often very painful. Root canals, therefore, are designed to remove the damaged tissue and replace it with a filling. This material strengthens the tooth from the inside out, and once your Alexandria dentist seals your tooth with a crown on top, it'll be as good as new!

How root canals benefit you

Though many people continue to assume that root canals are painful, your Alexandria dentist can assure you that root canals don't cause discomfort. Rather, this treatment actually stops pain in its tracks by removing the nerves inside the tooth that have been damaged by decay. By removing this decay, you're also eliminating the risk of developing a more serious infection elsewhere in the body. Root canals also help to preserve your tooth, allowing the roots to stay in place and continue supporting the jawbone and surrounding teeth.

Concerned about your dental health? Give us a call

Alexandria Smiles Dentistry is a full-service dental office that will help you achieve your optimal dental health. Contact our office in Alexandria, VA, today to schedule an appointment with our skilled, experienced dentist, Dr. Abdeen. Our number is (703) 671-0626.

September 10, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: root canal   Tooth Pain  

Root Canal DiagramIf your dentist suggests root canal therapy, your first reaction may not be one of excitement. However, this necessary and highly-effective procedure cleans your damaged tooth from decay, helping save the natural structure of the tooth and eliminate the need for tooth extraction. Find out more about root canal therapy and why it is nothing to fear with Dr. Moutaz Abdeen at Alexandria Smiles Dentistry in Alexandria, VA.

What is a root canal? 
A root canal is a dental procedure which removes the soft tissues of the tooth located within its inner pulp chamber, cleans the inside of the tooth and its roots, then rebuilds the tooth using composite resin materials and, often, a dental crown. The procedure tends to have a bad reputation, but is actually painless, relatively fast, and often your only option to save your tooth from extraction and the side effects that come with it.

What can I expect during my root canal procedure? 
Though many people believe the opposite, a root canal does not hurt. Before your procedure, your dentist will use a local anesthetic to numb the area of the procedure to ensure you feel no discomfort during your treatment. Then, your dentist will access the tooth’s inner pulp chamber via a small hole in the crown of the tooth. They will remove the decayed or damaged tissues and nerves from inside the tooth, instantly eliminating its ability to feel pain and curing an existing toothache. Your dentist uses a composite resin material to fill the tooth after thoroughly scrubbing it of infected tissue indenturing none is left behind. After the procedure, your dentist may fit you for a dental crown, which will fit over the tooth to protect and stabilize it from daily use.

Root Canal Therapy in Alexandria, VA
If you have a broken, damaged, or painful tooth, chances are you could benefit from a root canal. Consulting with your dentist will help you determine which is your best next step moving forward.

For more information on root canal therapy or dental anxiety, please contact Dr. Moutaz Abdeen at Alexandria Smiles Dentistry in Alexandria, VA. Call (703) 671-0626 to schedule your appointment with Dr. Abdeen today!