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What Is Root Canal Therapy?
An endodontic procedure, root canal surgery removes infected tissue from deep within your tooth’s roots. This treatment is necessary when the soft pulp tissue at the core of your tooth is damaged by decay or injury. When a tooth cracks deeply or is plagued by advanced dental decay, your tooth’s pulp chamber becomes exposed. This exposure allows bacteria to infect the dental pulp, an infection that can be quite serious and lead to a variety of dental and health issues if left untreated. An infection of the tooth’s pulp tissue can also be extremely painful. Root canals are effective treatments, allowing your dentist to remove the damaged tissue before it has a chance to permanently destroy your tooth.
What Are the Signs I Need a Root Canal?
If your tooth’s pulp tissue becomes infected, you may experience any number of symptoms. Most often, you’ll feel moderate to severe tooth pain that just won’t go away. Below we list a few other common signs that you may need endodontic treatment:
- Tooth pain that keeps you from sleeping or pain that wakes you at night
- Inflamed gum tissue near the tooth
- Tooth discoloration
- Sensitivity to hot or cold foods that lingers even after the hot or cold food is consumed
- Deep cavities
- Pain when biting or chewing
- Sensitivity to pressure or touch
Root canals can permanently relieve these symptoms, so it’s important to call our office and schedule an appointment as soon as you begin experiencing tooth pain or sensitivity. After evaluation, our dentist can determine how best to ease your pain and restore your tooth’s health.
What Is a Root Canal Dentist?
If your dentist determines that you need dental root canal treatment, you may be wondering how to find a qualified dentist for this procedure. You should know that both general dentists and endodontists are qualified to perform root canals. Endodontists tend to handle root canals that are more complicated or cases requiring retreatment. If you have persistent tooth pain, contact our office today so we can connect you with a qualified provider.
What’s the Procedure for Root Canals?
Taking one to two hours, a simple root canal procedure usually begins with x-rays. These x-rays will show your dentist exactly where the damage is and how your root canals are shaped and angled. Once your dentist has a clear picture of your tooth, your procedure will begin, and will include these steps:
- The tooth is numbed with a local anesthetic so you won’t feel any pain.
- A thin sheet of latex is stretched around the tooth to isolate it and keep it clean.
- Your dentist will drill a very tiny hole in the top of your tooth in order to access the pulp chamber.
- Pulp is removed from the chamber and root canals, and the canals are cleaned and shaped.
- A disinfecting fluid is used to flush any lingering debris or bacteria from root canals.
- The empty canals are filled with a biocompatible rubbery material that helps provide structure to the tooth and prevent bacteria from re-contaminating it.
- The tooth is sealed and capped with a root canal crown. The crown restores your smile and allows you to eat normally again.
What’s the Average Price of Root Canals?
The average price of a dental root canal varies widely, depending on the type of tooth to be treated, the severity of your infection and whether an endodontist or general dentist performs your procedure. The type of tooth to be treated affects your root canal cost because the number of roots in your teeth vary. Molars have three or four roots, so they take longer and require more attention to treat than do front teeth, which have only one root. The complexity of your case matters, too, because a severely decayed tooth will need more repair than a less damaged tooth.
Your total cost depends on your insurance coverage as well. Many dental insurance providers cover part of the cost of restorative procedures such as root canals. Once our dentist has had a chance to make a thorough evaluation of your tooth and overall dental health, we’ll provide you with a price estimate for your treatment. We’ll also work with your insurance company to help reduce your expenses, so call us to schedule an appointment today.
What Kinds of Root Canals Are Available?
Molar root canals are the most frequently performed root canals, but the treatment can be used to eliminate infection from any tooth. Other endodontic alternatives include apicoectomy, which removes the root’s tip and the surrounding infected tissue.
Where Can I Find Out More About Root Canals?
If you have tooth pain that just won’t go away, call us to schedule an exam with one of our experienced dentists. You may be able to find relief with a root canal in The Village of Cross Keys.