Woman holding jaw in pain with a coffee cup

Root Canal 

Do you have nagging tooth pain or lingering sensitivity to hot or cold foods? Or are you in extreme pain?

Any of those symptoms could indicate you have a root canal infection.

The board-certified dentists at Smile Designer, DDS, in Arlington, VA, can relieve your pain with a virtually painless root canal. 

Are You in Pain? Request a Consultation

Pain doesn't have to be your new normal. A root canal is a virtually painless treatment that clears bacteria from the infected root canal, providing lasting pain relief.

Our team of board-certified and Ivy League-educated dentists have the tools and technology to safely and effectively treat infected root canals, just like an endodontist. Our compassionate staff, calming amenities, and gentle dentistry techniques can make your dental procedure as routine as a filling. 

If you suspect a root canal is infected or are suffering from extreme pain, call Smile Designer in Arlington, VA, to find relief:

(703) 351-7645

Smile Designer Office exterior
Smile Designer in Arlington offers world-class dental care in a modern and relaxing environment.

"This office is great!" 5-Star Reviews From Arlington, VA, Patients


Katy Malecha


Google logo

"... I was in a lot of pain prior to the appointment and as work got underway it became apparent that a root canal was going to be a must. I assumed that I would have to make another appointment and come back. To my surprise the dentist offered to stay and take care of everything right away. The dentist, assistant and receptionist all stayed until almost 10 PM so that I wouldn't have to go home in pain. I was so appreciative! They were all so nice about it and never made me feel that I was inconveniencing them...."

View On Google

Lindsay Wood


Google logo

I’ve been coming here for only a short time and so far this is the best experience I’ve had at a dentist office. Dr. Han performed 4 very complex extractions and the process was very painless. He educated me on how to promote proper healing and gave me a few things I needed before I left. This office is great! I’m excited for my next visit! The whole staff is pleasant! I can’t wait to have them turn my smile into a million dollar smile!

View On Google

What is a Root Canal Infection?

Root canal model
A root canal infection happens when bacteria reach the inner chamber of the tooth, either through untreated dental decay or trauma that results in a crack or fracture of a tooth. When bacteria reach the inner tooth, it infects the blood vessels, nerves, and other soft tissue that makes up the soft pulp inside.

Do I Have a Root Canal Infection? Root Canal Symptoms

Tooth pain is a common symptom of a root canal infection, but other symptoms can accompany or foreshadow a root canal infection. Symptoms can include:

  • Sensitivity to hot and cold food and drinks
  • Pain while eating or putting pressure on the tooth
  • A small bump on the gums
  • A darkened tooth
  • Tender and swelling gums
When you notice these symptoms, request a consultation at our Arlington, VA, dental office for a prompt procedure.

Step-by-Step Process of a Root Canal Treatment

Once the infection has spread to the pulp chamber, only root canal treatment can prevent the extraction of a tooth.
Once the infection has spread to the pulp chamber, only root canal treatment can prevent the extraction of a tooth.


The process of ridding your tooth of pain and clearing the infection from your root canal starts with a consultation with one of our experienced dentists. Like an endodontist, our dentist will examine your tooth to determine if a root canal is necessary and advise you of the next steps in your treatment plan.

Local Anesthesia and Optional Sedation

If we proceed with the root canal treatment, we will numb the area with local anesthesia to keep you comfortable and make the treatment virtually painless. Patients can also request sedation to help calm their nerves.

Accessing the Pulp

The first step of a root canal treatment is to create a path to the tooth's inner pulp chamber. The dentist will create an opening in the tooth's chewing surface to gain access to the soft pulp in the interior.

Removing the Pulp

The pulp will be carefully removed from the tooth to clear out the infection. This includes the infected pulp, the nerves, and blood vessels within the chamber.  

Draining the Abscess

Occasionally a tooth abscess is present in the tooth as well. If an abscess is present, the dentist will drain it to get rid of the infection that threatens your tooth.

Sterilizing the Root Canals

After the pulp is removed, our dentists will sterilize the interior of the tooth, just as an endodontist does. This step removes any last traces of bacteria to ensure that the root canal is clear of any lingering infection.

Filling the Root Canals

After the pulp is removed, the root canal is filled with a rubber-like material to help seal it against future infections.

Placing the Crown

Typically, you'll have to wait a few weeks before the dentist places your crown. Once everything looks good, the dentist can place your crown to restore function and appearance. However, when it's appropriate we can create your crown and place it on the same day as your root canal using our advanced CEREC system, which allows us to design and mill your crown immediately.

Take a Closer Look at Root Canal Treatment

At Smile Designers, DDS, we use rotary dentistry instruments to perform root canal treatment. These tools are more flexible, allowing fast, efficient, and effective treatment of the root canals.

Can I Get a Crown on the Same Day as My Root Canal Treatment?

Our dentists often won't recommend a crown on the same day of your root canal treatment. Instead, waiting a few weeks to make sure everything heals properly and looks good is recommended. However, if the dentist thinks the tooth looks good, we can make the new crown and place it immediately using our in-office same-day CEREC® technology.

Concerned About Costs?

While insurance typically covers at least part of a root canal treatment, if you have high out-of-pocket costs or lack insurance, we can help. We offer flexible financing through CareCredit®. This allows you to spread the cost of dental work over several months, which makes it easier to fit into your budget. If you have questions, please let us know.

"I will always come here." More 5-Star Reviews From Arlington, VA, Patients


Rosie Rose


Google logo

A great Dental experience with Smile Designer. Great energy and engagement with the staff. Prompt, thorough discussions about the services. The best dental group I have been to and I wish I would have found them sooner. Love the atmosphere and the care they give to each patient. I will always come here.

View On Google

Rosemary Sanchez


Google logo

Dr. Han is an excellent dentist. He has done extensive work on my teeth and I have not once had pain. I was always scared to go to the dentist but that fear is gone since I've been going to Smile Designer. I would recommend Dr. Han and the dental hygienists that do cleanings to everyone. Excellent practice!

View On Google
Smile Designer DDS reception area

Smile Designer DDS

The highly trained team at Smile Designer DDS includes a periodontist, a prosthodontist, an orthodontist, and a general dentist. Whatever your dental needs, we provide effective treatments using the latest technology to the community of Arlington, VA. Our dentists are affiliated with professional associations, including:

  • American Dental Association
  • American Academy of Periodontology
  • American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry
  • American Academy of Orthodontics
  • American Board of Periodontology
  • Virginia Dental Association
  • Northern Virginia Dental Society

To schedule an appointment contact us online or call (703) 351-7645 today.

Contact Us Today

Rate, Review & Explore

Social Accounts Sprite