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Gladnick Family & Cosmetic Dentistry
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Patients smile after root canal treatment in Rockville MD

Root Canals: What You Need to Know

August 14, 2021
Posted By: Gladnick Family and Cosmetic Dentistry
Close up of patient getting root canal in Rockville MD

Dental technology has progressed since the old days when the public regarded a root canal with a sense of dread. With so much lore about the procedure entrenched in our culture, Drs. Thomas and Elizabeth Gladnick in Rockville, MD, are happy to dispel those myths and express a singular truth. In short, root canals save teeth. They are the 4th and goal in football, and your dentists are the coaches who ‘go for it,’ rescuing success from the jaws of failure.

So, to truly appreciate what a root canal actually is, you first must understand the anatomy of your tooth.

Your Tooth is Like a Living Iceberg

Most people know that much of an iceberg lies below the water, out of sight and unappreciated. Your tooth is very similar. While what we see above the gums, referred to as the crown, is substantial, the part larger deep within your gums is called the root. This slender structure connects the tooth to the bone and your circulatory system. To keep your tooth alive, nerves and blood vessels run up a narrow corridor, called the canal, to the inner portion of the tooth known as the pulp.

Your tooth’s pulp is spongy tissue where bacteria may grow some form of damage penetrates your tooth enamel. Because the nerve also lives there, the infected pulp is usually the source of tooth pain and inflammation, a condition that threatens the tooth’s very life. When this happens, your dentist will likely suggest root canal therapy.

Why Do I Need a Root Canal?

Several causes may be linked to a required root canal. The most common are:

  • Fractured or broken teeth
  • One or more deep cavities that are in the pulp
  • An abscess or tooth infection
  • Another tooth injury with no clear crack or break

Sometimes Dr. Gladnick can address these with fillings to preserve the pulp, but if the damage is too extensive, the best course of action is to open up the tooth through the top of the crown and clear out all the infected pulp. Before this step, your dentist will ensure your tooth and gums have been numbed to avoid discomfort.  Remember, the pain associated with a root canal is due to infection, not the procedure. In fact, once the diseased tissue, including the nerve, has been removed and the canal is sealed to prevent future infection, the pain will dissipate. The final step to a root canal is installing an artificial crown which becomes the permanent cap to the remainder of the tooth. Your crown is custom-made and will blend into your surrounding teeth.

If you are experiencing tooth pain that may indicate an infection deep inside, don’t hesitate to contact Gladnick Family Dentistry in Rockville, MD. Now that you know a root canal is a solution rather than the problem, you’ll be happy you made the call.

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Man holding face in pain from root canal infection in Rockville, MD

Are you currently experiencing any pain in your teeth? Maybe you’ve noticed a few unwanted changes in your oral health and want to keep things in check. Depending on the type of pain and associated symptoms, you may need a root canal treatment to save a tooth.

At Gladnick Family & Cosmetic Dentistry in Rockville, MD, we do everything we can to preserve our patients’ smiles and get them back in the swing of their everyday lives as soon as possible!

How Do I Know I Need a Root Canal Treatment?

In many cases, patients in need of a root canal treatment may experience some of the following symptoms:

  • Sensitivity to heat or cold
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February 14, 2020
3 Ways to Feel Calmer During a Root Canal
Dental patient in Rockville sitting in chair smiling

Despite root canals being safe, routine dental procedures, root canal treatment can feel stressful for many people.

The most common reason our patients report being scared of having a root canal is because they’re afraid the root canal will hurt. In reality, most patients who need root canals are already in excruciating pain due to a dental infection within the tooth. 

Root canals actually help eliminate pain rather than causing it. Still, these “root canal jitters” are widespread. 

If you need a root canal in Rockville, MD but are worried about the treatment, there are a few things you can do in the dental chair to help yourself relax:

#1 Bring Headphones

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Our office will be closed from February 6th-13th while we move to our new address. We are excited to welcome you to our new office at 14995 Shady Grove Road Suite 450, Rockville, MD 20850 on February 14th, 2023.