We are open - safety is our top priority!
What Are Root Canals?
Root canals remove damaged pulp from inside a tooth. The pulp is the innermost layer in your tooth, containing blood vessels, connective tissue, and the tooth’s nerves. The damaged pulp is typically due to deep decay. Perhaps a cavity was too large for a filling or a fracture or trauma occurred or an old or loose filling allowed bacteria to get to the pulp, but no matter the cause, we will work with you to find a solution. Removing the pulp is the only way to preserve the tooth and stop a patient’s pain. Dentists perform millions of root canals every year, successfully saving diseased or damaged teeth.
What’s the Difference Between a Root Canal Dentist and an Endodontist?
All dentists receive training for performing root canals in dental school. Having a dentist perform the procedure is less expensive than having an endodontist perform it, so you should see your dentist first. Dentists frequently perform root canals; however, they will refer patients with complex root systems or patients who need retreatment to endodontists. Endodontists are dentists who have several additional years of training after dental school in treating diseases of the pulp. If you need a skilled dentist for your treatment, please call our office to schedule an appointment.
What Are the Signs That Indicate I May Need a Dental Root Canal?
Symptoms may include:
- Severe, spontaneous pain which can wake you up at night
- Lingering sensitivity to hot and cold
- Pain when touching the tooth
- A darkened tooth
- Gum swelling near the tooth
While excruciating pain is usually the symptom that drives individuals to dentists, some patients need root canals even though they have no symptoms at all. Call us as soon as possible if you are experiencing the above symptoms or think you may have a loose filling.
How Are Root Canals Performed?
During your root canal procedure, your dentist will:
- Numb the area with local anesthesia, so you won’t feel any pain.
- Isolate the tooth to keep saliva from getting into the canals, typically with a rubber dam.
- Drill a small hole through the chewing surface or back of your tooth to reach the canals.
- Clear away the diseased pulp using a small tool.
- Disinfect the canals and shape them.
- Fill the canals with gutta percha and seal the hole in the crown with a temporary filling.
- Talk to you about covering the weakened tooth with a crown to give it strength and warn you to avoid chewing hard foods with the tooth until you get your root canal crown.
The procedure should take about one to two hours depending on the number of roots holding the tooth in place. You may feel sore for one or two days afterward, but the discomfort is mild. Your dentist will suggest an over-the-counter pain reliever.
What Is the Expected Root Canal Cost?
A number of factors determine your cost for the procedure, including the tooth’s condition and its location. Front teeth have fewer roots than molars; root canals on a front tooth are less expensive than one on a molar. Root canals are always less expensive than having an extraction or replacing the tooth with a bridge or an implant. If you want an accurate quote, you will have to call us for an appointment and your dentist call tell you what your root canal will cost after an examination.
Are There Different Types of Root Canals?
Most patients need a conventional root canal, but children may require a pediatric pulpotomy on a baby tooth, which removes the pulp from a baby tooth. Pediatric pulpotomies generally preserve a baby tooth until it falls out because the dentist tops the tooth with a stainless steel crown. Apicoectomies are surgical procedures that cut off the tip of the canal if there is an infection after a conventional root canal fails. Root canal failure is rare. An endodontist will work by cutting an incision in the gum to avoid having to remove the crown from the previous procedure.
Does Dental Root Canal Treatment Hurt?
The most painful aspect of the procedure is the needle used to numb you. When your procedure is complete, the pain you’ve been feeling will wash away and you won’t feel anything at all. You might feel slight discomfort holding your mouth open for 30 minutes or more, but that’s it. Root canals causing any other symptoms are generally myths, and your dentist is the best person to help give you accurate and helpful information. If you have any symptoms that show you need treatment, don’t hesitate to call us to schedule your root canal in Baltimore.