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What’s the Purpose of a Root Canal?
The purpose of root canals is to repair and save a tooth that is deeply diseased. Your tooth can become infected by a deep cavity, a break or a crack in the tooth or any other injury that leaves your tooth’s soft inner pulp exposed to bacteria. This pulp is full of nerves and blood vessels, so when it becomes infected, it causes intense pain and swelling. If left untreated, the infection can attack the jawbone that supports the tooth, causing the tooth itself to fail. Root canals remove diseased tooth pulp, seal the tooth roots and save your natural tooth so that you can bite and chew normally again.
Do I Need a Root Canal?
When cavities are so deeply entrenched in your tooth that a filling cannot treat the problem, a root canal may be the best way to save the tooth. Many of our patients experience a number of symptoms when they need root canals. To help you understand what to watch for, we list some of the most common symptoms below. If you experience one or more of these warning signs, give us a call right away.
- Constant tooth pain or pain that lingers for long periods of time
- Severe tooth pain that wakes you up in the middle of the night
- Pain when eating
- Prolonged sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures
- Tooth discoloration
- Red or swollen gums that may have a blister-like bump
- Sensitivity to touch or pressure
Is a Root Canal Dentist a Regular Dentist?
General dentists often perform root canals, but referral to a specialist called an endodontist may be necessary if your case is complex. Endodontists train as general dentists then continue their education for two years to specialize in conditions that affect the tooth’s interior. They handle complicated root canals, re-treatment of root canals, traumatic tooth injuries and other dental surgeries.
The first step for getting help for your tooth infection is to call our office. Our knowledgeable dentist will examine your tooth and connect you with the provider who can best address your needs.
What’s Involved in a Root Canal Procedure?
The procedure is quick for simple root canals, taking about one to two hours. It involves the following steps:
- Your dentist takes x-rays of the tooth to get a clear look at it and the jawbone.
- Your mouth is numbed with an injection of a local anesthetic.
- The tooth is isolated and kept clean and dry by a small latex shield that is stretched around your tooth.
- Your dentist creates an opening in the top of your tooth and uses that opening to reach the pulp chamber and root canals.
- Infected pulp is removed and root canals are cleaned and shaped.
- Disinfecting fluid flushes out debris and bacteria from the exposed canals.
- Canals are filled with a biocompatible substance that is rubbery. This material seals the canals and prevents future infection from entering the canals. A plastic or metal post may also be placed in the canal to keep the sealant in place and support the tooth.
- The opening in the crown is filled and a temporary root canal crown caps the tooth. The crown protects your tooth and provides extra stability against tooth fractures and cracks.
How Much Are Root Canals?
The price of a dental root canal is very individualized depending on the degree of damage your tooth has suffered. Your root canal cost also hinges on other variables such as whether you need pre-treatment, which of your teeth needs to be repaired and whether you have an endodontist or a general dentist performing your treatment. If you have dental insurance that covers part of the cost of the procedure, your overall out-of-pocket expenses will be less. We’ll provide you with a detailed cost estimate once our dentists have examined your tooth and we’ve coordinated with your insurance coverage. Call us to get started today.
What Kinds of Root Canals Are Available?
Root canals can be performed on any tooth that has a deep infection and is still salvageable. Molars are most often saved by this type of treatment, but damaged incisors and canine teeth also benefit from the treatment. If prior treatment is unsuccessful, you may be able to save your tooth with an apicoectomy. In this procedure, the endodontist removes the tip of the tooth root and any remaining infected tissue. Pediatric pulpotomy may be an option for kids.
What Should You Know About the Treatment?
While dental root canal treatment has a reputation for being frightening and painful, we use local anesthetics to keep you comfortable during your procedure. If you have tooth pain or other signs of a diseased tooth, call our office right away. A root canal in South Ocala can relieve your tooth pain, save your tooth, and restore your dental health.