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General Dentistry in Roanoke, VA

Endodontic Treatments in Roanoke, VA

Root canal therapy isn’t the only treatment endodontics offers. This field also deals with cases of dental trauma, performs microsurgery on the tips of the tooth’s roots, and even helps figure out what’s going on when tooth pain seems to come and go intermittently or when the pain isn’t localized at one tooth. Dr. Sidrys can provide root canal therapy on most teeth, but refers out complex cases to specialists in the area.

The Inside Story +

When problems (such as infection and inflammation) develop in the pulp tissue, your first indication of trouble may be tooth sensitivity — or intense pain. In time, as the nerves die, the pain may go away… but the problem won't. In fact, if left untreated, the end result may be tooth loss.

The "Root" of the Problem +

One potential source of infection is untreated tooth decay, which can allow bacteria from the tooth’s surface to work their way deep inside. A crack or fracture in a tooth could offer another pathway for microorganisms to infect the pulp.

Dental trauma — from a sports injury, for example — may also damage dentin or pulp or expose it to infection.

Endodontic Treatment +

  • First, you will receive anesthesia (usually a numbing shot).
  • Next, a small opening is made in the tooth surface to give access to the pulp chamber and root canals.
  • Then, tiny instruments are used — to remove dead and dying tissue from inside the narrow passages. These passages are then cleaned, disinfected, and filled with a safe, inert material.
  • Finally, the opening in the tooth is sealed to prevent contamination.

Other endodontic treatments may be recommended for removing sources of infection and preventing future problems. Following an endodontic procedure, it may be necessary to have a restoration (such as a crown).


  • Root Canal Treatment 
  • Root Canal Re-treatment 
  • Root Canal Surgery 
  • Whitening Traumatized Teeth 
  • Tooth Sensitivity 
  • Cracked Tooth  
  • Root Canal Treatment for Children 
  • Root Canal Q&A 
  • Combined Root Canal & Gum Issues
Root Canal Treatment 
Root Canal Treatment in Roanoke, VA


A root canal procedure becomes necessary when infection or inflammation develops in the pulp tissue of the tooth.

A natural tooth that's saved via root canal treatment and restoration helps you avoid the problems that commonly occur when teeth must be removed. These include unwanted tooth migration or shifting, which can lead to difficulties in chewing; the need for bridgework or dental implants, which may be costly and complicated; and even the eventual loss of bone structure from the area of the missing tooth.

Root Canal Re-treatment 
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Root Canal re-treatment

If initial root canal (endodontic) therapy has failed, the first thing to do is evaluate your options. Besides re-treatment, the alternatives may include endodontic surgery or extraction (removal) of the tooth. However, a missing tooth should be replaced by a dental implant, a bridge, or a partial denture as soon as possible — and none of these are simple or inexpensive options. That’s part of the reason we prefer to help you retain your natural teeth whenever possible.

Root Canal Surgery 
Dental crowns and bridges in Roanoke, VA

Root Canal Surgery (Apicoectomy)

Occasionally, root canal treatment proves unsuccessful at resolving an infection in the tissues near a tooth’s roots. That’s when a minor surgical procedure called an apicoectomy might be recommended. Because this procedure is often performed with the aid of a microscope and other small specialized tools, it’s considered a type of endodontic microsurgery. An apicoectomy, probably the most common type of root canal surgery, involves removing a small portion of the apex (tip) of the tooth’s root, along with any surrounding hard or soft tissue that may be infected.

Whitening Traumatized Teeth 
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Whitening Traumatized Teeth

Because a non-vital tooth’s stains are intrinsic (inside, rather than outside, the tooth), we need to put the bleaching agent itself inside the tooth. Internal bleaching is a routine procedure. Here’s how it works:

  • Access to the pulp chamber
  • Then, any debris from the chamber will be removed and rinsed away, and a special cement will be added.
  • Next, some bleaching agent will be placed in the empty pulp chamber and temporarily seal it in.
  • When the tooth reaches the desired color change, a more permanent restoration will be placed on the tooth to seal that little hole — usually a tooth-colored filling material of composite resin.
Tooth Sensitivity 
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 If it's a relatively minor irritation, try not to brush the affected teeth too long or hard. Make sure you're using a soft-bristled brush and the proper, gentle brushing technique. Always use a toothpaste containing fluoride, as this ingredient is proven to increase the strength of tooth enamel, which helps resist erosion.

If sensitivity persists, however — or if your tooth pain becomes more intense — don't wait to get an examination to determine what's causing the problem.

Cracked Tooth  
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Cracked Tooth

The preferred treatment for cracked teeth is — you guessed it — prevention! Wearing proper protective equipment (including a custom-fitted mouthguard) when playing sports and staying alert to dangerous situations (like distracted or impaired driving) can help keep you safe. So can regular dental checkups, where your teeth are examined carefully for early signs of a problem. However, if you experience any symptoms that could indicate a cracked tooth, don’t wait: The sooner it’s treated, the better the chance that we can save it.

Root Canal Treatment for Children 
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There are some good reasons for trying to save baby teeth for as long as possible with root canal treatment, rather than simply extracting any that are damaged by trauma or infection.

For one, primary teeth have the same functions as adult teeth — and a missing tooth at any age can cause problems with speech and eating.

Without primary teeth to guide them in, permanent teeth tend to emerge in a crooked fashion. This can result in bite problems that may require extensive orthodontic treatment later.

Root Canal Q&A 


What is a root canal?

Dentists use the term “root canal” to refer to the tiny, narrow passageways that branch from a central, hollow space in your tooth (called the pulp chamber) down to the ends of the tooth roots.

Why do I need root canal treatment?

If the tooth pulp becomes acutely inflamed or infected because of decay or injury, the tissue will need to be removed in order to save the tooth and stop the infection from spreading.

Is there an alternative?

You could have the whole tooth extracted, but it's always better to try to save it — especially since root canal treatment is routine and has a very high success rate (over 90%). Saving the tooth can prevent other troubles from occurring later on.

Is root canal treatment painful?

The procedure normally causes no more discomfort that a filling would. In other words, the infections that make the treatment necessary in the first place are often painful because they are inflaming tissue that has lots of nerves and therefore is very sensitive.

What will happen during the procedure?

After numbing the area, a tiny hole in the crown (top) of your tooth is made to access the pulp chamber and canals. The diseased tissue is removed, and the pulp chamber and the canal(s) are disinfected all the way to the root end(s). The canals and the pulp chamber are filled with an inert, biocompatible material and sealed with adhesive cement. The access hole will receive a temporary filling.

What will happen afterward?

Your tooth may feel sensitive for a few days, but any discomfort can usually be relieved with over-the-counter pain medication or anti-inflammatories like ibuprofen. You will be instructed to avoid chewing on that tooth until it receives its permanent filling, which can be placed a few days later.

Combined Root Canal & Gum Issues
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Combined Root Canal & Gum Issues

When dental problems involve both root canals and gum disease, saving the affected tooth can prove challenging. This is when it matters where the infection started: If it’s primarily a root-canal problem that later moved into the gums, the outlook for the tooth is reasonably positive if it receives immediate treatment. However, if gum disease came first, the prospects often aren’t as good; by the time the infection has moved into the tooth, it’s possible that much bone has already been lost, making the tooth’s long-term prognosis poor.

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