What is a root canal?
A root canal is one of the most common dental procedures performed, well over 14 million every year. This simple treatment can save your natural teeth and prevent the need of dental implants or bridges.
At the center of your tooth is the pulp. The pulp is a collection of blood vessels that helps to build the surrounding tooth. Infection of the pulp can be caused by trauma to the tooth, deep decay, cracks and chips, or repeated dental procedures. Symptoms of an infected tooth can include bite sensitivity, hot or cold sensitivity, or pain in the tooth and/or gums.
How is a root canal performed?
If you experience any of these symptoms, your dentist will most likely recommend seeing an endodontist for treatment to eliminate the diseased pulp. This injured pulp is removed and the canals in the tooth’s roots is thoroughly cleaned and sealed. This therapy involves local anesthesia and may be completed in one or more visits depending on the treatment required. Success for this type of treatment occurs in about 90% of cases. If your tooth is not amenable to root canal treatment or the chance of success is unfavorable, you will be informed at the time of consultation or when a complication becomes evident during or after treatment.
What happens after root canal treatment?
When your root canal therapy has been completed, a report of your treatment will be sent to your restorative dentist. You should contact their office for a follow-up restoration within a few weeks of completion. Your restorative dentist will decide on what type of restoration is necessary to protect your tooth. It is rare for root canal patients to experience complications after routine root canal treatment. If a problem does occur, however, we are available at all times to respond. To prevent further decay, continue to practice good dental hygiene.
How much will root canal treatment cost?
The cost associated with this procedure can vary depending on factors such as the severity of damage to the affected tooth and which tooth is affected. In general, endodontic treatment is much less expensive than tooth removal and replacement with an artificial tooth.