Man who needs a root canal holding his jaw in pain while at work

Root Canal Therapy

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. Getting treatment fast is crucial to preserving your health.

The board-certified dentists at Smile Designer in Arlington, VA, can relieve your pain and save your tooth with gentle root canal therapy. 

Need a Dentist Now? Contact Our Arlington Office

Tooth pain can't wait. If you're experiencing symptoms of a root canal infection or a dental emergency of any kind, our dentists will work to see you as soon as possible. Get the care you need quickly by contacting us online or calling:

What Is a Root Canal Infection?

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.

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 prompt attention.
root canal diagram

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

"Best dental practice I have ever experienced" 5-Star Reviews From Arlington, VA, Patients


Dr. Kia Cadet



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I recently transitioned to Smile Designer as my primary dental practice, and the experience has been nothing short of amazing! The professionalism and customer-centered attention to care set the bar. I’m looking forward to informing my friends and family about the best dental practice I have ever experienced, from the front office staff to Dr. Han - phenomenal!

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Helen Y



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The practitioners and staff are all friendly and professional. Throughout the entirety of my treatment, I felt Dr. Ahn had my best interests at heart. She was patient and listened to my needs and did not rush the ortho treatment. The office is clean, wait times are not very long, and I have never had an issue with billing. Would definitely recommend!

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Why Choose Smile Designer in Arlington?

Award-Winning Dentists With Ivy League Training

Our staff includes a member of the American Board of Periodontology and graduates of the prestigious University of Pennsylvania School of Dentistry. Their top-quality training and commitment to professional excellence means you can trust that your smile is in good hands.

Root Canal Treatment In-Office

Many dental practices have to refer out to a specialist when a patient needs a root canal procedure. Our dentists are fully equipped to provide gentle, effective treatment right here at our Arlington, VA, dental office. Our patients don’t have to wait for a middleman to get involved to receive the care they need.

Early Hours for Your Convenience

Every Friday, our doors open promptly at 7:00am. If you need a dentist fast, we can see you first thing in the morning. We’re also open as late as 6:00pm on Tuesdays to make after-work care convenient. If you need a little more flexibility with scheduling, we’ll do everything we can to accommodate you.

Why Would I Need a Crown After Root Canal Therapy?

In many cases, a dental crown is the best way to protect a tooth from further harm after treatment for a root canal infection. In root canal therapy, the treatment area is most often larger and deeper than what could be restored with a filling. Improper coverage of the tooth can invite the risk of decay and reinfection, which could mean you'd require an extraction down the road.

A dental crown is the best choice because it offers top-to-bottom coverage. It may seem like an unnecessary additional procedure, but think of it like insurance for the continued health of your smile. By protecting the vulnerable tooth, your crown may actually save you time and money on more reparative dentistry down the line. Plus, crowns are partially or fully covered under typical dental insurance plans.

Illustration of a dental crown being placed on a treated tooth

Take a Closer Look at Root Canal Treatment

At Smile Designer, 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.

Root Canal Treatment, Step by Step

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.

Find Relief From Your Symptoms And Restore Your Quality of Life

Everyone knows that an excruciating toothache quickly becomes your main focus. You may not be able to manage eating, working, or spending time with family if you’re dealing with pain. Our Arlington dentists are here to help you feel like yourself again.

We use a light touch and conservative methods so treatment isn’t painful and is focused only on the precise areas of the tooth that need attention. If you’re concerned about pain during the procedure, our sedation options can ensure that your experience is comfortable and stress-free. 

Let’s get you back to a state of comfort and good oral health. Book an appointment for root canal therapy by contacting us online or calling us in Arlington, VA:

the team at Smile Designer in Arlington, VA

"Truly compassionate treatment" Kind Words From DC-Area Patients


Daniel Sullivan



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Another great session--very professional, truly compassionate treatment -- always with concern for patient's welfare -- minimizes the pain --patient first.

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Alise Powell



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friendly staff and excellent patient-care experience! the office is very clean and the front desk staff are very responsive, always a pleasant experience getting a cleaning.

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

patient and dentist talking

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.

"What more could you ask for?" More 5-Star Reviews From Arlington, VA, Patients


Violet Slepoy



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Absolutely love this studio and everyone who works here! The office is modern, the service is great, and the dentists are all very friendly and well informed. I’ve had lots of different services here and all were completed well. Also, the front desk receptionist is so kind and helpful. I’m used to ride receptionists at other offices so that was definitely a welcome change.

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Tara B.



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Same amazing service I’ve been experiencing here for the last 10 years, but recently they have had a new dentist join their team, Dr.Casey. Excellent dentist, stellar bedside manner, skillful, hilarious, empathetic. Techs and support staff are as professional and caring as ever. The place is spotless and conveniently located, with street parking literally steps from the front door. What more could you ask for?

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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.

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