Endodontics Specialist

Legacy Dental Care

Cosmetic, Family and General Dentistry located in Woodbridge, VA

Being told you need a root canal can make you feel nervous, but there’s no need to worry — root canal therapy doesn’t cause discomfort, it brings relief. Endodontics specialist Sowmya Punaji, DDS, of Legacy Dental Care offers root canal therapy and other tooth-saving treatments to patients of all ages from Woodbridge, Virginia, and the surrounding areas. If you’re ready to put an end to persistent tooth pain, call today.

Endodontics Q & A

What is endodontic dentistry? 


Endodontics is the area of dentistry that manages the infections, conditions, and problems that affect the tissues and structures inside your teeth.  

As one of the most commonly performed endodontic treatments, root canal therapy addresses any painful inflammation or infection that develops within a tooth’s soft pulpy interior. The primary objective of a root canal, apart from putting an end to tooth pain and sensitivity, is to help you keep your natural tooth intact. 

Endodontic dentistry also encompasses a variety of specialized surgical treatments. Some of these procedures are designed to preserve a tooth that can’t be saved with traditional root canal therapy; other endodontic procedures are used to address dental trauma or unexplained intermittent tooth pain.    

Why might I need a root canal?

Because a cavity in your enamel can lead to a deeper infection in the soft tissues inside your tooth, having untreated cavities boosts your chances of ultimately needing a root canal. 

This means that if you consume a lot of sugary foods and beverages, you don’t brush twice a day or floss regularly, or you don’t make time for regular dental cleanings and exams, you’re more likely to develop the kind of cavities that eventually spread down into your root canal.   

Common signs and symptoms of a deep tooth infection include:

  • Prolonged sensitivity to heat or cold
  • Throbbing or radiating tooth pain 
  • Tenderness or pain when touched 
  • Swollen gums in the affected area
  • Discoloration of the affected tooth

If you experience any of these symptoms, especially if they persist, schedule an urgent-care appointment with Dr. Punaji as soon as possible. 

What is root canal therapy like?

Although there’s a widespread misconception that root canal therapy is an uncomfortable or grueling procedure, it’s actually very similar to having a cavity removed and filled.    

Before the procedure begins, Dr. Punaji numbs the area with a local anesthetic. Once you’re comfortable, she makes a small opening on the bite surface of your tooth, removes the inflamed or infected pulp, cleans and shapes the root canal interior, fills the space, and seals it closed. 

Although a mature tooth can survive without its pulpy interior, you may need a porcelain crown to restore full functionality if your tooth is weakened by the procedure. 

To learn more about any of the endodontic dental services at Legacy Dental Care, call the office today.