What is a root canal?
Root canal treatment is a dental procedure performed to retain a tooth which is compromised or may otherwise require extraction. Although root canal therapy has a very high degree of success, 90 to 95%, it cannot be guaranteed. Occasionally a tooth which has had root canal therapy may require retreatment, apical surgery, or even extraction.
Inside the root of a tooth is the pulp. The pulp consist of nerves, blood vessels, and connective tissue which are responsible for the development of the root structure and clinical crown. When the pulp becomes symptomatic due to trauma, tooth decay, chipped tooth, cracks, or repeated dental procedures, it must be removed to help alleviate symptoms and heal the tooth.
How is a root canal performed?
If you experience any symptoms such as throbbing pain, acute cold sensitivity, or swelling around tooth or facial, your dentist will recommend root canal therapy to eliminate the problematic pulp. This therapy is done with local anesthesia and may be completed in one or two visits, depending on the condition of the pulp tissue. The pulp is accessed and removed using small endodontic files. The canal(s) are then thoroughly cleaned and sealed using gutta percha. Nitrous Oxide (laughing gas) will be used if requested. If your tooth is diagnosed as unsalvageable or chances of success are not favorable for root canal therapy we will contact the referring dentist for other options. You will be able to drive home after treatment and continue your normal daily routine.
What happens after treatment?
When root canal therapy has been completed, a record of your treatment (x-ray image) will be sent to your dentist. You should contact them as soon as possible for follow-up treatment. He or she will decide on what type of restoration will be required to protect your tooth. A certain amount of soreness after endodontic treatment should be expected, however, if the pain is too severe we are available to respond.
How much does it cost?
The cost of root canal therapy may vary depending on the condition of the tooth, whether or not it will require post and core with build-up, or an old root canal that must be retreated. Our office staff will gladly check on insurance coverage and explain any out-of-pocket expense that you may incur. In general root canal therapy is much less expensive than extraction and replacement with implants or other artificial appliances.