A root canal treatment, which is also called root canal therapy or can be simply referred to as a root canal, is used to eliminate infection from the pulp of a tooth. The pulp chamber is the space inside the tooth that contain nerves, blood vessels, and other cellular structures. The pulp stretches from the center of the tooth down through the roots. Root canal treatment is one of the most widely used methods to preserve a person’s teeth so they don’t need to be extracted.
Fortunately, a root canal is not painful. Instead, it eliminates pain. Many of our general dentists perform root canals, and we also have endodontists, who are root canal specialists, at many of our Towncare Dental offices. An endodontist is a dentist who completed dental school and then completed at least two additional years of specialty training in diagnosing and treating infections in the tooth pulp.
When Is a Root Canal Needed?
The hard, white part of the tooth that you can see is the enamel. When the enamel becomes cracked, chipped, or severely decayed, the soft inner pulp of the tooth can become infected. The only way to repair the tooth is for a dentist to perform a root canal to remove the infection. The symptoms below may be a sign that you need a root canal:
- A severe toothache
- Dental pain that disturbs your sleep
- Sharp pain when biting or chewing
- Extreme tooth sensitivity to touch, heat, or cold
- Severe swelling of the gums around the tooth
- Pus around the tooth
- Deep cavity / tooth decay
- Tooth discoloration
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, don’t delay. Call one of our Towncare Dental offices today to schedule a root canal consultation.
What Happens During a Root Canal Treatment?
Contrary to popular belief, getting a root canal is not painful. In fact, modern dentistry has made getting a root canal about as easy and comfortable as getting a filling. In most cases, the root canal procedure only takes about an hour or two to complete.
The root canal process typically includes these steps:
- Our root canal dentist will numb the tooth to prevent any pain.
- An opening is made in the top of the tooth (crown) to let the dentist access the inner pulp.
- The dentist will use special tools to remove the infected pulp, disinfect the area, and shape the root canals.
- The dentist will fill the canals with a special substance and then seal the tooth.
- At another appointment, your general dentist will place a permanent crown to protect the tooth from fracturing.
How Much Does a Root Canal Cost?
The cost of your root canal treatment depends on the complexity of the procedure. Depending on the type of tooth, it may have one, two, three, or four canals. A root canal on a front tooth is cheaper than a root canal on a molar, because molars have more root canals. The root canals can be very small; some are only as thick as a strand of hair.
Frequently, dental insurance will cover most of the cost of the root canal treatment. To find out what your total cost is estimated to be, call one of our offices to schedule a consultation.
What Should I Expect After a Root Canal?
After a root canal and crown, the tooth is restored to its normal functionality. Because the tooth was not extracted, it’s easier to chew, speak, and smile. Best of all, the toothache that had been caused by the infection will be completely gone.
Teeth that have been restored through root canal treatment generally last for a very long time when maintained with proper dental hygiene. Call one of our Towncare Dental offices today to find out how a root canal treatment could help you.