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What Is Root Canal Surgery?
At the core of your tooth is a chamber of soft pulp tissue that is full of blood vessels and nerves. This tissue’s tendrils, or root canals, extend down to the base of the tooth’s roots. When advanced decay causes this pulp tissue to become infected or if the tooth pulp is somehow injured, you may experience intense pain. Often, this damaged pulp makes it difficult for you to eat comfortably. To prevent this infection from irreparably damaging your tooth, root canal surgery is performed. The procedure, also known as an endodontic treatment, removes the damaged pulp from the tooth, relieving your pain and tooth dysfunction.
When Are Root Canals Recommended?
In most cases, damaged tooth pulp can’t repair itself. Dental root canal treatment can often save the tooth by eliminating the source of infection and shoring up the tooth’s weakened support structure. If your dental pulp is infected, you may notice a variety of symptoms, including:
- Persistent tooth pain that ranges from moderate to agonizing
- Sensitivity to extreme temperatures, either hot or cold
- Sensitivity to pressure or touch
- Tooth discoloration
- Deep cavities or cracks in the tooth
- Inflamed gums near the tooth
- Swelling or tenderness of the lymph nodes
- Swelling of surrounding tissues such as cheeks or jaws
If you experience any of these symptoms, call our office right away to schedule an evaluation with one of our experienced dentists.
What Type of Dentist Does Root Canals?
If you’ve been searching for a special root canal dentist, we can help. We’re happy to connect you with the skilled provider who can best care for your damaged tooth. Root canals can be performed by general dentists as well as endodontists. General dentists usually handle cases that are straightforward, while endodontists are consulted for cases involving retreatment or complications. Endodontists train first as general dentists then complete a two- to three-year residency focusing on diagnosing and treating inner tooth issues.
How Long Is a Root Canal Procedure?
Simple root canals usually last one to two hours. Your dentist will numb your tooth to make sure that you won’t feel pain during the procedure, and you may wait for a few minutes for the numbing agent to take effect. Once your tooth is completely numb, your procedure can begin. Here’s what to expect during your treatment:
- Your dentist will place a latex dam around the tooth. This isolates your tooth and keeps it dry during the procedure.
- A tiny hole is made in the top of the tooth. Your dentist uses this opening to reach your tooth’s pulp chamber and root canals.
- Your dentist removes the pulp tissue, cleans out the canals with small instruments and washes out the canals with an antibacterial fluid.
- Next, your canals are sealed, and your tooth is capped with a crown.
Are Root Canals Expensive?
We’re committed to keeping your root canal cost affordable, and we’re happy to work with your dental insurance provider to reduce your overall out-of-pocket expenses. Many insurance providers cover a portion of the cost of root canals, which helps to keep you on budget.
Our dentist will provide you with a thorough cost estimate for the procedure after your comprehensive exam. Your cost will depend on several issues, including the type of tooth to be treated and how many roots it has. Front teeth usually have just one root, while molars have four roots. Molars are also more difficult to reach and treat, so treatment of molars is more complex and more expensive. The complexity of your condition and whether you’re treated by a general dentist or an endodontist will also affect your price. We want you to have the care you need, so call us today to schedule your evaluation and find out more about costs.
Do Root Canals Vary?
Root canals are effective treatments for all types of teeth, but they are most often performed on molars. If you’ve previously had an unsuccessful dental root canal, your dentist may recommend retreatment or an apicoectomy. Retreatment involves removal of your prior root canal crown and removal of infected tissue. Apicoectomy involves the removal of the tip of the tooth root and any infected tissue around the root. The root is then sealed, and a few stitches are placed in the gum tissue to promote proper healing.
What Else Should You Know About Root Canal Treatment?
Root canals aren’t the painful experiences that some people like to joke about. We use local anesthetics to keep our patients pain-free during their procedures. Many patients report immediate relief from tooth pain after their procedure, but a few have slight discomfort that can last a few days. If you have a painful tooth, don’t wait to seek treatment. Call our office right away to schedule a root canal in Capitol Heights.