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What Is Root Canal Treatment?
Sometimes, decay or infection reaches the soft, pulpy tissue inside your tooth. When this occurs, you may feel severe pain, throbbing or general soreness around the affected tooth. A tooth injury or crack can also expose this soft tissue, leading to pain and dysfunction. Dental root canal surgery can help relieve your pain and repair your tooth’s infected roots. It does this by removing the infected tooth pulp and sealing the tooth so it remains intact and functional.
Why Do You Need a Root Canal?
Unfortunately, your tooth pulp cannot repair itself once it’s infected or damaged. A root canal is the best way to rid your tooth of the infected tissue so you can save your tooth and return to your normal eating habits. Luckily, most infected teeth present a few warning signs. If you pay attention to these symptoms and seek treatment from our experienced dentists right away, you may be able to save your tooth. Here are a few of the warning signs to watch for:
- Constant mild-to-extreme tooth pain
- Lingering sensitivity to hot or cold foods
- Sensitivity to pressure or touch
- Pain upon biting or chewing
- Swelling or reddening of the gum tissue around the tooth
- A bump on the gum near the tooth
- Waking up at night with intense dental pain
Do I Need a Special Root Canal Dentist?
The complexity of your situation may determine whether you see a general dentist or a specialist for your procedure. General dentists may perform simple root canals, but if your situation calls for specialized training, you may be referred to an endodontist. Endodontists have completed an extra two to three years of training beyond a general dentistry program. They focus on diagnosing and treating diseases, conditions, and injuries that affect the inner tooth. They’re often called on when root canals are complex or if a tooth requires re-treatment. Our mission is to provide you with the most qualified care possible, so call our practice today if you think you may need treatment. We’ll connect you with our skilled dentists so that we can help restore your tooth.
What Will Happen During My Root Canal Procedure?
Simple root canals are fairly quick procedures, usually lasting one to two hours. They’re also relatively painless since your dentist uses local anesthesia to keep you pain-free during the procedure. You can also expect the following steps to occur during your treatment:
- Your dentist takes an x-ray of your tooth and jawbone.
- Your mouth is numbed with an injection of a local anesthetic. It may take several minutes for you to lose sensation in your mouth.
- A rubber dam is placed around the tooth to keep the area clean and isolated.
- Small instruments, such as a small drill, are used to make an opening in the crown of your tooth.
- Your dentist uses that opening to remove the pulp from your tooth and root canals.
- Your root canals are flushed with fluid to clean out debris and disinfect the area.
- Once your root canals are dry, they’re filled with a sealing material called gutta-percha. Gutta-percha is a rubbery material that is biocompatible.
- A temporary filling is placed in your tooth’s opening to seal the tooth until a permanent crown can be made. The root canal crown will protect your tooth from fracturing and provide extra strength and structure to your repaired tooth.
What Do Root Canals Cost?
Root canals vary in price, depending on how damaged the tooth is and whether treatment is needed to prepare the tooth for the procedure. Other factors affecting your root canal cost include the number of roots in your tooth, and whether an endodontist or a general dentist treats you. Many of our patients find that they can reduce overall costs by using dental insurance to cover a portion of the procedure. Our dentists can develop a treatment plan for you and give you an estimate of your costs after a thorough evaluation. Give us a call to schedule your evaluation today.
What Are Some Alternatives to Root Canals?
Molar root canals are the most common type of endodontic procedure, but the treatment can save any type of tooth. If your tooth is still infected after unsuccessful treatment, you don’t necessarily have to resign yourself to losing the tooth altogether. There are a few endodontic alternatives, including an apicoectomy, which involves removing the tip of the root where infection may linger.
How Do I Access Dental Root Canal Treatment?
If you suffer from intense tooth pain, don’t risk your health by delaying care. Give our office a call to find out if a root canal in Ocala can save your tooth and relieve your pain. We can’t wait to help you restore your teeth, your smile and your health.