Endodontics/Root Canal Therapy in Germantown, MD

Endodontics is the science of dentistry that cares for the inside of the tooth. The soft pulp, which is alive with blood vessels and tissue, is protected by the hard outer covering of the tooth. The root canals are passageways for nerves and blood vessels and they run from the pulp center into the jawbone. When injury or decay reaches past the outer enamel layer into the pulp of the tooth, untreated infection can create pain, and eventually kill the tooth. Root canal therapy is designed to alleviate the pain and save the tooth.

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man holding his jaw in pain

How Do I Know if I Need a Root Canal?

There are some reliable signs that will indicate you need endodontic therapy. These include sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures, pain in the tooth while chewing, an abscess near the tooth, a constant toothache or discomfort in the bone, swelling or tenderness of the gums near the tooth, or a graying of the tooth.

Root Canal Therapy 101

Our River Stone Dental dentists will work hard to make your treatment comfortable and effective. Root canals have the reputation of being painful but in fact the treatment will ease your pain. With advanced technology, precise equipment and effective sedation, getting a root canal is no more intense than getting a filling. The root canal procedure is common and routine and creates less trauma than a tooth extraction.

The first step is to ensure the patient’s comfort. The area will be numbed so you won’t feel any pain. Next we create a small opening in the crown of the tooth in order to access the pulp. We’ll carefully extract the infected pulp and clean the decay from the root canal. A substance to kill any bacteria and prevent infection will be used to flush out the area then it will be sealed to stop anything else from entering the root canal. Finally, the area will be covered with a tooth colored sealing substance. Often a dental crown is necessary to act as a protective cap to strengthen the tooth.


On the day of treatment we recommend rest and over-the-counter pain medication if you experience discomfort. For the first day, eat soft foods and drink plenty of water but avoid using straws. You should brush and floss as usual but avoid the treated area for a few days. You can gently rinse your mouth with a mixture of warm water and salt to aid in healing. Recovery is quick because the treatment is not invasive and you can expect to be back to most of your regular activities in a day or so.

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