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We’ve reopened in accordance with CDC, O.S.H.A., and State Dental Board guidelines to responsibly resume seeing our patients for regular dental appointments and treatment. We want to assure you of the measures we take to maintain a clean and safe environment so you can continue to receive needed dental care without fear or concern.
What Is an Endodontic (Root Canal) Treatment?
Inside the roots of your teeth are canals that contain pulp. The pulp contains blood vessels, tissue and nerves. When the pulp becomes infected, usually from decay, a dentist removes the pulp to stop the pain. Once an adult tooth fully emerges, it does not need the pulp; it can get nutrients from the surrounding tissue.
How Would I Know if I Need a Dental Root Canal?
While only a qualified dental professional can determine if you need a root canal, these are the common symptoms you would experience:
- Pain, often severe
- Intense hot and cold sensitivity
- Gum swelling
- Facial swelling near the tooth
- Pain when chewing
- Your tooth becomes loose
You may have all, some or none of these symptoms. It surprises some of our patients to learn that they need endodontic treatment because they are not in pain. Call our office to request an appointment if you have any of these symptoms.
Who Should I See for Dental Root Canal Treatment?
You can make an appointment with our root canal dentist, who can also place your root canal crown afterward. Our dentist will examine your tooth and if he or she decides the procedure would be especially complicated, you will be referred to an endodontist. An endodontist specializes in performing complex root canals and re-treatments of failed root canals. The American Dental Association recognizes endodontics as a dental specialty. Our dentist will discuss with you the best person to do your procedure.
What’s the Root Canal Procedure?
Root canals are usually completed in one, possibly two, appointments. The steps in the routine procedure are as follows:
- Your dentist provides a local anesthetic, such as Novocain, so you won’t feel any pain. Root canals are painless, despite what you may have heard.
- We isolate your tooth using a shield. This keeps the area where the dentist will work free of saliva and bacteria.
- Your dentist will drill a small hole in the tooth to reach the canals. The hole is in the chewing surface or the back of the tooth.
- Using special tools, your dentist removes decay and tooth pulp and then shapes the canals so there is no space for bacteria to hide.
- Your dentist rinses the canals using special disinfectants.
- To keep bacteria from getting into the canals, your dentist fills them with gutta-percha, an inert rubbery material.
- Typically, your dentist places a temporary filling in your tooth.
For a few days afterward, you may have minor discomfort, which can usually be relieved with an over-the-counter pain reliever. Afterward, you should have a crown put on the tooth to restore its original functionality. It may take time for the crown to come in since they are custom made to match the surrounding teeth. Your tooth is more brittle after the procedure so you have to be careful not to bite down on anything hard with the tooth until you have your crown.
What Will a Root Canal Cost?
Your cost for a root canal depends on your tooth’s condition and how many roots hold the tooth in place. Root canals for anterior (front) teeth are less expensive than root canals on molars, which have more roots. It is less expensive when a dentist performs the procedure as opposed to when an endodontist performs the procedure. Root canals are typically medically necessary, so if you have dental insurance coverage, it may pay some of the cost. Call us today to make an appointment. After an examination, our dentist will give you an estimate of your total cost. While costs vary, root canals are generally less expensive than having the tooth pulled and replacing it with an implant or a dental bridge.
What Are the Various Types of Root Canals?
There are traditional root canals, which are quite common. Dentists remove the root tip during apicoectomies and then seal the root. Dentists suggest the procedure, also known as root end surgery, when previous endodontic treatment fails. The majority of root canals have no problems, but there are rare instances when the canals are re-infected. We may use a pediatric pulpotomy on a baby molar to save the tooth until it is ready to fall out on its own. Our dentist only removes diseased pulp, leaving the unaffected pulp in place.
Comfortable Root Canals
If you believe you need treatment, don’t hesitate to call our office to make an appointment. Your tooth won’t get better on its own. Several things can happen if you don’t seek treatment, including the infection spreading, localized jawbone deterioration from the infected canal and you can lose the tooth if you wait too long to get help. Call us today for help. We can alleviate your pain and swelling and preserve your tooth.