845 Quince Orchard Blvd. Suite H, Gaithersburg, MD 20878
301-527-2727

Frequently Asked Questions

Root canal procedures have the reputation of being painful, but in reality most people report that the procedure itself is no more painful than having a filling placed.

Sometimes no symptoms are present; however, signs you may need a root canal include:

  • Severe toothache pain upon chewing or application of pressure
  • Prolonged sensitivity/pain to heat or cold temperatures (after the hot or cold has been removed)
  • Discoloration (a darkening) of the tooth
  • Swelling and tenderness in the nearby gums
  • A persistent or recurring pimple on the gums

A tooth’s nerve and pulp can become irritated, inflamed, and infected due to deep decay, repeated dental procedures on a tooth, and/or large fillings, a crack or chip in the tooth, or trauma to the face.

When a tooth’s nerve tissue or pulp is damaged, it breaks down and bacteria begin to multiply within the pulp chamber. The bacteria and other decayed debris can cause an infection or abscessed tooth. An abscess is a pus-filled pocket that forms at the end of the roots of the tooth. An abscess occurs when the infection spreads all the way past the ends of the roots of the tooth. In addition to an abscess, an infection in the root canal of a tooth can cause:

  • Swelling that may spread to other areas of the face, neck, or head
  • Bone loss around the tip of the root
  • Drainage problems extending outward from the root. A hole can occur through the side of the tooth with drainage into the gums or through the cheek with drainage into the skin.

A root canal is a treatment used to repair and save a tooth that is badly decayed or becomes infected. During a root canal procedure, the nerve and pulp are removed and the inside of the tooth is cleaned and sealed. Without treatment, the tissue surrounding the tooth will become infected and abscesses may form.

While a crowned tooth or bridge does not require any special care, remember that simply because a tooth is crowned does not mean the underlying tooth is protected from decay or gum disease. Therefore, continue to follow good oral hygiene practices, including brushing your teeth at least twice a day and flossing once a day especially around the crown area where the gum meets the tooth. Antibacterial mouth rinse can also help.

On average, dental crowns and bridges last around 10 years. The life span of a crown can be much longer and depends on the amount of “wear and tear” the crown is exposed to, how well you follow good oral hygiene practices, and your personal mouth-related habits. You should avoid such habits as grinding or clenching your teeth, chewing ice, biting fingernails, and using your teeth to open packaging.

Preparing a tooth for a crown or bridge usually requires two visits to Quince Orchard Dental Care. The first step involves examining and preparing the tooth while the second visit involves placement of the permanent crown. Temporary crowns are fabricated at our office and are a temporary restoration until the permanent crown is constructed by a lab.

Permanent crowns and bridges can be made by all metal (such as gold or another alloy), porcelain-fused-to-metal, Zirconia, or all ceramic.

  • Restore your smile
  • Restore the ability to properly chew and speak
  • Maintain the shape of your face
  • Distribute the forces in your bite properly by replacing missing teeth
    • Prevent remaining teeth from drifting out of position

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