What is a Root Canal
The root canal a tiny passageway that branches off from beneath the top of the tooth. The passageway moves vertically downward until it reaches the tip of the root. Teeth have between one and four root canals.
When is a Root Canal Procedure Needed?
Many types of tooth infections can cause inflammation and infection inside of the soft tissue of the root canal. Decay from untreated cavities, poor dental hygiene, periodontal disease, and a traumatic injury are common causes that without treatment, can spread to the root canal containing blood vessels, nerves, and other tissues. A root canal can prevent the need for a tooth extraction in most cases.
A diseased inner tooth can bring a host of problems, pain and sensitivity. If left untreated, the infection can spread, causing small pockets of pus to develop. This can lead to abscesses and further health problems. In serious cases if left untreated, the infection of the tooth can spread to other parts of the body, and sometimes be life threatening.
What is Root Canal Procedure?
Root canal treatment is a common procedure with a high rate of success. Root canal therapy is designed to save the problem tooth by preventing an extraction. The root canal process usually entails one to three visits. The dentist may need to perform an x-ray of the infected tooth to decide the treatment plan appropriate for the next steps.
After the treatment plan is discussed, the root canal specialist will drill a small hole through the top of the infected tooth to reach the inner chamber. The inner chamber of the tooth is then cleansed and disinfected. The canals are reshaped after being cleaned.
The cleansed and reshaped canals are filled with an elastic material and medication that is designed to prevent infection. In most cases, a temporary filling will be placed on the tooth to close the opening. The temporary filling will be replaced with a permanent crown protect and restore the tooth to be fully functioning. Most patients who have a root canal completed by a root canal expert experience little or no discomfort or pain.
How Much Does a Root Canal Procedure Cost?
Root canal procedures can vary in pricing depending on how complex the problem is and which tooth is infected. Molars can be more difficult to treat and may lead to a higher cost. In general, the root canal process is less expensive than the alternative of having the infected tooth be extracted. This process also preserves the tooth for a more aesthetically pleasing look.
Benefits of Root Canal
• Root canals can eliminate the need for a tooth extraction. This can save the patient time, money, and pain.
• Root canals create visually appealing results. Crowns that are placed after the root canal mimic the look of a natural tooth.
• Root canals do not require a large amount of procedure time or recovery time.
• Most dental insurance plans cover the cost of a root canal treatment.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are signs a root canal is needed?
Sometimes no symptoms may be present. The most common signs you may need a root canal are: severe toothaches, prolonged sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures, discoloration of the tooth, swelling or tenderness in the surrounding gums, or a persistent pimple on the gums.
How painful is a root canal?
Root canals are often completed with a form of anesthetic or numbing in the area. Most patients report that it is no more painful than having a filling placed.
How successful are root canals?
Root canal treatments are over a 95% success rate. This is a routine treatment that is commonly performed in the dentist office.