Our dentist and team understand that endodontics can be confusing and that you may have many questions. We have provided answers to some of the most frequently asked questions on this page. If you have further questions about endodontics in Falls Church, Virginia, or to set up an appointment with Dr. Eli Janabi, please contact Smile Studio Dental today at 703-982-2222.

What is endodontics?

Endodontics is one of the nine fields of dental specialty recognized by the American Dental Association. It involves treatment of the pulp (tooth nerves) and other surrounding tissues of the tooth. This usually includes the removal of diseased, decayed or otherwise damaged tissue to save the tooth from extraction and prevent further damage from occurring.

What is an endodontist?

An endodontist is a dental specialist who has completed up to two years of additional training following dental school. Endodontists receive specialized training in order to treat problems in the roots, nerves and dental pulp, including root canal treatments and treatments for damaged or cracked teeth. 

Why might I need an endodontist?

Endodontists are trained in the most effective ways to remove damaged, infected and inflamed tissue so that you can continue to use your tooth normally and avoid the need for more invasive treatment. 

What is a root canal?

Root canal therapy is an endodontic procedure performed when injury, infection or decay cause damage to the dental pulp. It involves cleaning out the infected tissues, sterilizing the root canals, filling them with medicated material to prevent future infection and capping the treated tooth with a dental crown. 

Does root canal therapy require multiple appointments to complete?

Not usually. Most root canals can be completed in a single appointment, though more complex cases may require additional visits to our office. 

How can endodontic treatment save my tooth?

Endodontic treatment removes the damaged tissues from your mouth to restore full function to the treated tooth. After your treatment is complete, the tooth should function normally and without discomfort for many years to come.

Even with a root canal, will my tooth eventually need to be extracted?

No. If your tooth has been properly treated and restored and you are carefully to maintain good oral hygiene and keep your regular dental visits, the tooth should last for the rest of your life.

Are there alternatives to root canal therapy?

No. If our dentist recommends a root canal it is because he believes that the tooth can be saved. Often the only alternative to root canal therapy is a tooth extraction. 

Is having a tooth extracted a better option than a root canal?

Tooth extractions are always the last resort. Our goal is always to help you preserve and protect your natural teeth, as keeping your teeth for as long as possible is important for proper eating and chewing functions, and promotes good long-term oral health. We will not recommend a tooth extraction unless the tooth is beyond the point where it can be saved. 

What are some signs that I may need a root canal?

There are a few common symptoms that may indicate if you need a root canal treatment. These include:

  • Sensitivity to temperature
  • Throbbing or aching sensations in or around the tooth
  • Aching
  • Pressure
  • Discomfort or pain when you bite
  • Swelling
  • An abscess
  • Infection
  • Fractures, cracks or breaks in your tooth structure

Do children ever need root canals?

Occasionally a child may need a root canal treatment. When a child receives root canal therapy it is known as pulpotomy, or a baby tooth root canal. There are also several other conservative endodotnic treatments available if your child requires endodontic care. 

What is root canal retreatment, and when might I need it?

Root canal retreatment is the exact same procedure as your original root canal. This treatment may be necessary if a previously treated tooth becomes re-infected or if hidden canals inside the tooth did not initially receive treatment. While we do everything possible to prevent the need for retreatment, it may sometimes become necessary to prevent an extraction.

How much does root canal therapy cost?

The cost of your treatment will depend on the extent of the damage to the tooth. Our office will provide you with a cost estimate of your treatment during your initial consultation, and will work with you to maximize your insurance benefits.