Root Canal Treatment
Root Canal Therapy
If you ask someone what the most dreaded procedure in dentistry is, there is a good chance they will answer “root canal.” There is no need to feel like this anymore! Our team of professionals will walk you through this procedure and make sure that you are at ease throughout the visits. Advanced education and the best equipment allows very little discomfort, that is if you feel any at all!
What is a root canal?
A root canal procedure is a regularly performed endodontic procedure that is done in order to save a tooth from infection. Millions of teeth are saved each year thanks to root canal treatments and over the years they have become painless and quick procedures that can be completed in just one appointment depending on the condition of your tooth. Saving the tooth with a root canal is preferred over having to remove the tooth because it allows for normal chewing and biting and helps to maintain your smile’s natural appearance. It is also much cheaper than requiring a tooth replacement such as an implant.
When is a root canal needed?
On the inside of the tooth, beneath the white outer enamel is tissue that is called pulp. If a tooth has experienced enough decay it is possible that an infection may reach the pulp within the tooth causing it to become infected as well. When this happens, patients will typically feel pain or inflammation surrounding the tooth. Leaving the tooth infected may result in the patient developing an abscess, or a pocket of harmful bacteria that develops at the root of the tooth which can lead to serious, potentially life threatening conditions. Symptoms associated with requiring a root canal may include:
- Pain while biting or chewing
- Chipped or cracking teeth
- Lingering sensitivity to hot or cold
- Swollen & bleeding gums
- Darkening gums
- Consistent pain or discomfort surrounding the tooth or gums
Is a root canal painful
One of the most common concerns about root canal treatment is the pain associated with the procedure. Modern anesthetics and techniques have made root canals a painless experience for the patient. If you have a sensitivity to pain, varying levels of dental sedation options are available which can make the procedure comfortable.
How is a root canal performed
Once it is determined that you need endodontic treatment, our doctors will discuss the procedure thoroughly to ensure you are comfortable. First, our skilled and gentle doctors will numb the area completely, so that you do not feel any pain. Next, a protective covering, which we call a raincoat, is placed to isolate the tooth and ensure the area stays dry and clean while our doctors are working. Specialized instruments, including a microscope to see very small parts of the tooth, are utilized for the best possible results. The nerve inside of the tooth is carefully removed, and a temporary filling is placed. A few weeks later, you will see the dentist again for a permanent filling and a post which will replace the middle of the tooth. Most of the time, a dental crown is also recommended to act as a hard hat to protect this tooth from fracturing in the future.
What to expect during recovery
After your root canal procedure your doctor will provide you with detailed instructions on the recovery process. It is important to follow the instructions carefully to avoid any possible complications after the procedure. You will be able to do most normal functions after a root canal such as driving, brushing your teeth, and flossing as normal. It is okay to drink alcohol after root canal treatment. It is recommended that you avoid hard or chewy foods for a few days
How much does a root canal cost?
The cost of a root canal will vary based on the complexity of the issue, the tooth that is affected, and whether or not any type of dental sedation is used. If you have dental insurance, part of the procedure is usually covered, although you will need to review your insurance policy to determine the type of coverage that you have. A root canal treatment is cheaper than tooth removal & replacement procedures that may be needed if the condition worsens.