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What Are Root Canals?
To understand root canals and how they help restore diseased or severely decayed teeth, it helps to understand a bit about the structure of a tooth. Your tooth is surrounded by a hard, thin layer of enamel which protects your tooth from decay, bacteria and injury. Lying beneath the enamel is another hard layer called dentin, which is the major structure of the tooth. Dentin surrounds the tooth’s inner soft pulp tissue that contains nerves, connective tissue and blood vessels. Pulp extends into the tooth’s roots, and when this soft pulp tissue becomes infected or exposed, you experience extreme pain. If left untreated, the condition can cause you to lose your tooth. Root canals remove this infected tissue and seal the tooth roots, so that you can eat, drink, and bite without pain.
When Can Root Canals Help?
Teeth with infected pulp tissue cannot repair themselves, and a dental root canal is one of the best treatments available to save those infected teeth. A tooth that needs a root canal often causes a number of painful symptoms, including:
- Constant tooth pain that can range from mild to severe
- Sensitivity to pressure or touch
- Tooth pain that keeps you from sleeping or that wakes you up
- Swollen gums
- Sensitivity to cold or hot foods that persists
These symptoms can also be warning signs of other tooth issues, so it’s vital that you see a dentist right away. We’re here to answer your questions and help restore your healthy smile, so call our office as soon as you experience any of the above symptoms.
Is a Root Canal Dentist a Specialist?
Simple root canals can be performed by a general dentist or a specialist in endodontics. Endodontists specialize in complex root canals and cases where a tooth needs retreatment. As specialists, endodontists complete general dentistry training and continue for an additional two or more years learning to treat conditions that affect the interior of the tooth. Endodontists specialize in root canals, and they can perform other specialized surgeries such as apicoectomies and the placement of dental implants.
What Are the Steps of a Root Canal?
You won’t have to worry about root canal procedure pain since you’ll receive an injection of local anesthesia. While you may feel a little pinch when the needle enters your gum, the anesthetic numbs your tooth well enough that the procedure will be virtually painless. Here are some of the steps involved in your procedure once your tooth is numb:
- A small rubber dam is placed in your mouth to keep your tooth dry and clean.
- An opening is made in the top of your tooth to provide access to the pulp chamber.
- Your dentist removes the diseased pulp and uses small instruments to clean and prepare the tooth’s root canals.
- Your exposed root canals are filled with a disinfecting fluid to remove debris and bacteria.
- The canals are filled with a rubbery biocompatible substance called gutta-percha. This material seals the canals against bacteria.
- A root canal crown is used to cap the tooth and prevent it from cracking.
You can expect to be in the dental chair for one to two hours. You may still be a bit numb after the procedure is finished, so be sure to follow your dentist’s instructions about eating, drinking, and caring for yourself once you leave our office.
What’s the Average Root Canal Price?
The price of root canals ranges widely based on your individual dental health and treatment needs. Some of the potential issues affecting your root canal cost include whether you need additional treatments before or after your root canals, how many roots your affected tooth has, and whether an endodontist or a general dentist is performing the procedure. Dental insurance plans often provide partial coverage for root canals, helping to reduce your overall cost. For more specific cost information, schedule a dental exam with one of our experienced dentists. Based on your evaluation, we can give you a thorough estimate of your anticipated costs.
Are There Different Types of Root Canals?
Root canals vary by the type of tooth they involve. Molar root canals are the most common treatment used, but any other tooth can be treated by this method. Other options include apicoectomy, which is particularly effective for teeth that have already received root canals. In this procedure, an endodontist snips off the very end of the tooth’s root to remove diseased tissue.
What Should You Know About Treatment?
Our goal is to save your natural teeth and provide high-caliber care for all of our patients. To that end, we always try to keep you comfortable during your dental root canal treatment, using local anesthesia so your procedure is as painless as possible. If you suffer from tooth pain, and you’re wondering whether a root canal in Quail Meadows can relieve your pain, call us now to book an appointment.