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Dental Root Canal: What Is It?
If you’re experiencing severe tooth pain, you may be worrying about your tooth and whether it can be saved. Luckily, root canal surgery is one of the most effective ways a dentist can save your tooth when it’s plagued by extreme decay, infection, or injury. In most cases, your pain is caused by an infection of the soft pulp tissue deep inside your tooth. Root canals remove this infected pulp, relieving your pain and giving your natural tooth a chance to be restored.
When Are Root Canals Needed?
Root canals are necessary to save the tooth when its pulp is significantly diseased or damaged. That’s because most teeth can’t repair themselves once the pulp is infected. Often, you’ll get a sense that something is wrong with your tooth because you’ll experience one or more symptoms. The most common of these symptoms is persistent pain that lingers for hours or remains constant. Other warning signs that you may have an infected tooth include:
- Lingering sensitivity to cold or hot foods and beverages
- Pain that wakes you up during the night
- Swelling or reddened gums around the affected tooth
- Sensitivity to pressure or touch
- Pain when you bite down on food
- Pain when you chew
- Discolored tooth or deep cavity
- What Is a Root Canal Dentist?
Most dentists are qualified to perform simple root canals, but you may also seek treatment from a specialist called an endodontist. An endodontist has completed dental school and has trained for an additional two or more years. This extra training is focused on diagnosing and treating conditions that affect the inner part of the tooth. Since endodontists specialize in the tooth’s interior portion, patients are often referred to endodontists when dental root canal treatment is expected to be more complex than usual. Also, endodontists are consulted when a tooth needs a second root canal, as that presents some special challenges. If you need a qualified dentist for your procedure, call us so we can schedule you for an evaluation with one of our experienced dentists.
What’s the Root Canal Procedure?
Your dentist will proceed through a number of steps to complete the surgery. The procedure usually takes one to two hours from start to finish. Below is a list of a few of the steps you can expect:
- Your dentist will take x-rays of your tooth to take a precise look at your tooth and jawbone.
- Using a local anesthetic, your dentist will numb your mouth so you are pain-free during the procedure.
- You’ll wait a few minutes for your mouth to be completely numb before proceeding.
- Your dentist will place a latex rubber shield in your mouth. The rubber “dam” isolates the tooth and keeps the area around the tooth clean.
- Your dentist makes a small opening in the top of the tooth. This opening allows the dentist to access your tooth’s pulp chamber and roots.
- Small instruments are used to remove the diseased pulp from your tooth pulp chamber and root canals.
- The canals and chamber are then washed out to remove debris and disinfect the area.
- The empty root canals and pulp chamber are filled with a rubber-like material to seal them.
- A temporary filling seals the initial opening made in your tooth’s crown.
- In a few weeks, a permanent root canal crown is placed on top of the tooth to keep it from fracturing and to provide long-lasting tooth restoration.
What Is the Cost of a Typical Root Canal?
Your root canal cost hinges on your own individualized needs and your unique treatment plan. Several of the most important factors in your cost include whether you’ll be treated by a general dentist or an endodontist and how badly your tooth is damaged. Your final cost also depends on your insurance coverage, whether you’ll require additional treatment and the type of tooth involved. The type of tooth matters because the number of tooth roots varies. Front teeth have one tooth root. Molars have four difficult to reach roots that tend to curve and make treatment more complicated. Call us to make an appointment with our skilled dentists today so we can provide you with a thorough cost estimate.
Are There Different Types of Root Canals?
Most root canals are performed on molars, but the treatment can be useful to repair any tooth. There are several alternatives to root canals, including an apicoectomy. Apicoectomy is the removal of the end of a tooth root, usually following a prior treatment that was unsuccessful. In children, a pediatric pulpotomy removes the tooth’s infected or damaged pulp while leaving the nerve in place.
What Should I Know About Treatment?
Root canals don’t have to inspire fear; we use local anesthetics to keep our patients comfortable. If you have tooth pain, don’t risk your health. Call us right away so you can find relief with a root canal in Mount Dora.